Philosophy Department Undergraduate Essay Competition 2019 - 'Philosophy in the Wild'
The winners of this year's undergraduate Philosophy in the Wild' essay competition are Maya Kokerov (winner), Euan McGinty (runner up) and Neville Birdi (runner up). The judges were impressed by the quality of all the essays submitted, and the choice was a difficult one. However, the essays produced by Maya, Euan and Neville were selected for the way they imaginatively interpreted the brief, and how all three pieces of work demonstrated the importance and value of philosophy in the world today. The winners were awarded vouchers worth £100 (first prize) and £50 (runners up) respectively.
Maya (first prize), applied metaphysical ideas on personhood to the contemporary issue of social media: "I was interested in tackling the common idea that the internet is solely used to express superficial aspects of our lives - but it is possible to use social media smartly if we think about it in philosophical terms".
Euan channelled his interest in the Philosophy of Language to explore the way certain words and terms can influence our perception of the world, relating particularly to environmentalism. He focused on John Baird Callicott's discussion about the historical baggage associated with the term 'wilderness'. Says Euan: "my aim was to apply some of the knowledge I've gained from studying philosophy and put it in the context of issues that concern me".
Neville's inspiration came directly from Professor Kimberley Brownlee's lectures on Ideas of Freedom, and particularly 'freedom of thought' and 'freedom of expression'. Writing the essay allowed Neville to draw links between the philosophical theory and the real world: "everyone now knows we live in a 'post-truth' and 'fake news' age, so when better to discuss the value of thought, expression, and the press?" he says.
Congratulations to all three winners on their achievement from everyone in the Department!
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson to be a Guest on BBC Radio Four's 'In Our Time' Programme
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson will feature in a forthcoming edition of In Our Time, to be broadcast on BBC Radio Four on Thursday 9 May 2019 at 0900. Professor Ansell-Pearson, who specialises in modern European philosophy and is the author of monographs on Bergson and Nietzsche, will discuss Bergson and the Question of Time with Melvyn Bragg and his fellow expert guests.
In Our Time is BBC Radio Four's flagship discussion programme exploring the History of Ideas, and has been presented by Melvyn Bragg since its inception in 1998. The programme's reputation and cultural impact is such that it is claimed to have "transformed the landscape for serious ideas at peak listening time".
New Publication: 'Issues in Political Theory' (Fourth Edition), Co-edited by Patrick Tomlin with Catriona McKinnon and Robert Jubb (Oxford University Press 2019)
With a focus on real-world problems and debates, Issues in Political Theory is a clear and engaging introduction to political theory and how it is applied to address a range of global challenges. Expert contributors ably introduce students to important concepts, key thinkers, and major texts in political theory, while extended case studies at the end of each chapter show how to apply theoretical ideas to real contemporary issues and debates. The text is supported by online resources (which include additional case studies intended to give students confidence in using theory to shed light on key issues) and a range of additional teaching and learning resources.
Professor Etienne Balibar: Public Lecture at Warwick University Now Available to View Online
The Philosophy Department welcomed Professor Etienne Balibar as its distinguished Guest Speaker on 11 February 2019, as part of the new research programme 'Philosophy in a Time of Crisis'. Professor Balibar's Public Lecture focused on 'Circulation and Hospitality as Fundamental Rights', and was recorded. It can now be viewed via the project website. www.philosophyx.co.uk
Summary Overview of Lecture:
As migrants and refugees in increasing numbers are subjected to extreme violence in their attempts at crossing borders to reach a more livable place, a fundamental reflection is needed to update the concepts which frame mankind’s treatment of its own mobility. This includes a critical return on the question of the “law of population” of capitalism, but also a juridical elaboration of the rights of circulation and hospitality which articulate territory, citizenship, and community. At stake, ultimately, is a political transformation of the world into a place where everyone can live a decent life.
Etienne Balibar is Emeritus Professor at Paris X Nanterre and Anniversary Chair of Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University, London. He is an internationally recognized political philosopher and critical thinker, a leading voice in the Marxist tradition, and the author of Spinoza and Politics, The Philosophy of Marx and co-author of Race, Nation and Class and Reading Capital. In these, and many other seminal works, Professor Balibar has addressed fundamental questions such as racism, the notion of border, whether a European citizenship is possible or desirable; violence, identity and emancipation.
Professor Quassim Cassam is the 'Unthinkable Guest' in The Irish Times (5 March 2019)
Professor Quassim Cassam features in The Irish Times of 5 March 2019, where he speaks to journalist Joe Humphreys in the 'Unthinkable Guest' interview series. Professor Cassam expands on recent examples of 'Intellectual Vice' from Brexit to the Birmingham Six, themes which are explored in his new book 'Vices of the Mind', published by Oxford University Press (2019).