Programme of events
Please note that the festival, which took place in October 2010, is now over. Thanks to all those who participated and made the events such a great success.
The programme is included here for information.
The Habit of Happiness
Sunday 10th October, 8.00pm
The Crypt Concert Room, Metropolitan Cathedral
If we are creatures of habit, does this make our lives dull and boring, or is it rather the key to our happiness? Does the spiritual life require us to develop the right kind of habits, or should we be trying to break free of the force of habit altogether? Liverpool philosopher of religion Clare Carlisle debates these questions of happiness and habit with Simon Oliver, who teaches theology and philosophy of religion at the University of Nottingham.
Tickets: Free of charge, please contact the Metropolitan Cathedral (0151 709 9222) to book your place, or just turn up on the night. This event follows evening Mass, which begins at 7pm – all are welcome to attend this service, or to come later in time for the philosophy debate. Please note that entry to the Crypt Concert Room will be via the entrance to the Crypt Chapel on Mount Pleasant – opposite the Students’ Union and close to the University clock tower. On this map, it’s in squares C6/D6, opposite building no. 501/502.
Monday 11th October, 2.30pm
The Crown Hotel, Lime Street
Philosophy in Pubs special festival enquiry: Happiness as Habit? Come along to discuss issues arising from last night’s event at the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Doubting Certainty: The Philosophy of Mathematics
Monday 11th October, 3.00-5.00pm
The Box @ FACT
Why do philosophers worry about mathematical knowledge? We all know lots of mathematical truths, such as 2 + 2 = 4 – and, unlike many truths in the physical world, most of these mathematical truths can be known with certainty. So why do some philosophers worry not just that our mathematical knowledge may be uncertain, but that we may have no mathematical knowledge at all? Mary Leng, lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool and author of Mathematics and Reality (2010), will consider this issue, and respond to your questions about maths and philosophy, numbers and nature.
Please note that this talk replaces the previously advertised event, ‘Visualizing Mathematics’, with James Robert Brown of the University of Toronto. Professor Brown is unable to give his talk as planned due to illness. We plan to reschedule this event at a future date: for further details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets: £4 / £3. Follow the link here to book online, or call 0871 9025737 to book by phone.
Philosophy in Pubs: Start Something New
Wednesday 13th October, 1.00pm
Upstairs at the Bluecoat
Is doing your own thing possible – socially, psychologically, artistically? Is it even desirable? Can we start something radically new today? What shape would that take? The Philosophy in Pubs group are like-minded people searching for philosophical stimulation in a relaxed atmosphere. Come along to get involved in this enquiry and debate, or just to listen to the thoughts of others. This event is also part of the Bluecoat’s Chapter and Verse literature festival.
Tickets: free of charge, just turn up.
Thursday 14th October, 6.30pm
The Concert Room, Anglican Cathedral
Most of what philosophers say about religion focuses on the content of religious teachings – on what religious people believe. But what they practice tells us just as much about what their religion means. Prayer is an especially important aspect of this practice, found in all religious traditions. Philosopher of religion George Pattison, who is Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford and the author of numerous books, including Thinking About God in an Age of Technology, will suggest that prayer reveals aspects of human life that have eluded many of the greatest philosophers. He will show that prayer challenges many modern philosophers’ views on issues such as the nature of freedom, and what it means to be a self. There will be an opportunity for questions and debate following Professor Pattison’s lecture.
Tickets: Free of charge, please contact the Anglican Cathedral (0151 709 6271) to book your place, or just turn up. This event follows Evensong, which all are welcome to attend before the lecture. Refreshments will be available from 6.00pm.
Thursday 14th October, 8.30pm
Peter Kavanagh’s Pub, Egerton Street (off Catherine Street)
Join the Philosophy in Pubs group to continue the discussion about Philosophy and Prayer over a pint or two… All welcome.
Julian Baggini: Welcome to Everytown
Friday 15th October, 6.00pm
Julian Baggini is co-founder and editor of The Philosophers’ Magazine, and frequently contributes his fresh philosophical perspective to newspapers, TV and radio programmes, and live debates. Philosophy in the City, in partnership with the Bluecoat, are delighted to welcome Julian to Liverpool to discuss his 2007 book Welcome to Everytown, in which he explores the ideas of the inhabitants of the most typical postcode in England. How have his ideas changed since he wrote the book? Come along to find out… This event is also part of the Bluecoat’s Chapter and Verse literature festival.
Tickets: £5 / £3. Contact the Bluecoat (0151 702 5324) for further information and tickets.
Saturday 16th October, 5.00pm
This unique event celebrates the lyrics and music of John Lennon. Four contributors respond to Lennon and his philosophy through song-writing, introducing their own opinions, and taking questions from the audience in an ‘open forum’ atmosphere. Featuring Mike Jones from Liverpool University’s Institute of Popular Music; Kelly Wood, songwriter and regional officer for the Musician’s Union; Rob Lewis, a community philosopher and teacher at King George V College; and Dave Owen, guitar virtuoso, and ‘human juke box’, who will be on hand to play selections throughout the event. Part of the John Lennon Tribute Season, running from October 9th to December 9th 2010 to mark the 70th anniversary of Lennon’s birth and the 30th anniversary of his death. This event is also part of the Bluecoat’s Chapter and Verse literature festival.
Tickets: £3 / £2. Contact the Bluecoat (0151 702 5324) for further information and tickets.
Truth and Art
Tuesday 19th October, 6.00pm
Can works of art communicate truth? Can they tell us something about our world? Can they reveal to us the nature of reality? Do representative and abstract works of art express truth in the same way? At this event, led by Manchester philosopher Mark Sinclair, you can reflect on these questions while viewing works of art from Tate Liverpool’s current exhibitions. Dr. Sinclair will lead a philosophical gallery tour, and respond to your questions about philosophy and art.
Tickets: £5 / £3. Please contact Tate Liverpool Box Office (0151 702 7400) to book your place.
Thursday 21st October, 6.30-8.00pm
Palm House, Sefton Park
At a time of escalating concern and fierce debate about environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and species conservation, how can we think philosophically about our relationship to nature? Many of us care about the natural world – but why exactly do we value it, and how can we best persuade others of its importance? Is nature valuable because we depend on it for our survival and our modern lifestyles, or does nature have a value that’s independent of human beings? North west environmental philosophers Simon Hailwood and Isis Brook will discuss these questions and lead an open discussion. There’ll be a bar open so you can drink as you philosophize!
Nina Power: One-Dimensional Woman?
In her recent book One-Dimensional Woman, London philosopher and writer Nina Power asks, Where have all the interesting women gone? She argues that, if the contemporary portrayal of womankind is to be believed, female achievement would culminate in the ownership of expensive handbags, a vibrator, a job, a flat and a man. In discussing her ideas with Liverpool’s Victoria Browne at Next to Nowhere (part of radical co-operative bookshop News From Nowhere), Nina Power will suggest new ways of thinking about transformations in work, sexuality and culture.
Philosophy in Pubs: Philosophy and the City
Sunday 24th October, 3.00pm-5.00pm
Philosophy as we know it began in the market-place of ancient Athens. But what is the role of philosophy in a 21st-century city? What is the connection between philosophy and modern life? Is Liverpool a philosophical city? This informal enquiry marks the close of the Philosophy in the City festival by discussing these questions over refreshments at the Tate. Everybody welcome; free of charge; just turn up!