Sophie Allen speaks at Philosophy Festival

Keele philosophy lecturer, Sophie Allen, took part in two public philosophy debates on 21st September 2019 at the festival of music, art and ideas, How The Light Gets In, held in London.

The first debate (for which Sophie only had 24 hours to prepare) was called One True Story and took place with Professor Barry C Smith, Director of the Institute of Philosophy at the London School of Advanced Study, and novelist Janne Teller. They investigated whether philosophy can still be said to be searching for one true theory and, if it isn’t, what is the purpose of philosophy?

The second debate, A Crack In Everything, took place in a large marquee with standing room outside only and involved Sophie, Hilary Lawson, philosopher and director of the Institute of Art and Ideas, and Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek who appeared via skype from his Slovenian kitchen. The subject of that debate was Paradoxes and what their appearance in theories tells us about the nature of the world or our knowledge of it. There were lots of paradoxes, Hegel, quantum theory, Hugh Grant, quite a few jokes, and a reasonable amount of disagreement. Sophie concluded that it was better to abandon the search for a Theory of Everything in favour of a Theory of Almost Everything.

Film of the debates will be available soon via the Institute of Art and Ideas

Information about the debates can be found here.


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