Digest Week 1 Michaelmas Term 2019

MT19, Week 1 (13th - 19th October)

If you have entries for the weekly Digest, please send information to admin@philosophy.ox.ac.uk by midday, Wednesday the week before the event. 

Unless otherwise stated, all events will take place in the Radcliffe Humanities Building on Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG.

Notices - other Philosophy events, including those taking place elsewhere in the university and beyond

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Workshop on Psychoanalysis and Social Science | 09.00 - 13.00 |St John’s College Research Centre (45 St Giles')

This is the third occasional workshop in the series and as previously there will be short presentations. These will cover both theory and practice of social enquiry across and beyond the traditional disciplinary domains, the range of methods that employ psychodynamic ideas and psychoanalytic theory, and the relation of method to the theory itself, including its clinical testing ground in the analytic session.


Louise Braddock (Associate member, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford): Remembering, repeating and getting stuck or, ‘How societies imagine’

Steven Groarke (British Psychoanalytical Society and Professor of Social Thought, Roehampton University): Drifting back in time: a note on memory and the past in the analytic situation

David Kaposi Lecturer in Psychology and Psychotherapist (BPC), School of Psychology, The Open University: Saving a victim from himself - Dynamics of Presence and Absence in the Milgram experiments

Sarah Marks Lecturer in Modern History & UKRI Future Leaders Fellow, Department of History, Classics & Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London: Historical reflections on the intergenerational transmission of trauma

Keir Martin, Associate Professor, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo and Psychotherapist: The Location of Dreams

David Russell, Associate Professor of English, University of Oxford: John Ruskin and the Dream of Painting


Poet Ruth Padel and philosopher Jane Heal in conversation on 'The Self' | 14.00 | Somerville College

In Parenthesis and British Society of Aesthetics present Notes from a Biscuit Tin, a year-long centenary celebration of the philosophical and poetic vision of Mary Midgley.

Join poet Ruth Padel and philosopher Jane Heal for tea and biscuits in the Mary Somerville Room, Somerville College as they discuss the theme of ‘The Self’ in Midgley’s work.

Please visit: https://www.ruthpadel.comhttps://www.phil.cam.ac.uk/people/teaching-research-pages/heal/heal-page

Find out more about Notes from A Biscuit Tin here: www.notesfromabiscuittin.com

Interdisciplinary seminars in psychoanalysis | The location of dreams: further thoughts | 20.15 | Lecture Room, St John’s College Research Centre (45 St Giles')

Speaker: Keir Martin, University of Oslo

In this paper, I take a series of dreams that I had during anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea as my departure point. The dreams involved ‘visitation’ by the tubuan; an ancestral spirit central to many local ritual practices. Some of these visitations seemed to blur a simple distinction between dream and reality or a distinction between the tubuan as internal or external object. Rather than taking an interpretation of the meaning of the dream-tubuan as a starting point, I explore the effect of framing or experiencing of the tubuan as an internal or external object. Taking the work of theorists such as Winnicott as a starting point, the paper explores the ways in which the boundaries of the self are shaped by the process in which objects move from being experienced as internal or external; a process that fundamentally alters both the objects of perception and the subjects who are shaped by the process of perceiving them.

Please visit http://oxfordpsychoanalysis.blogspot.com/

The seminar is open free of charge to members of the University and to mental health professionals but space is limited. To attend it is helpful (but not essential) to e-mail paul.tod@sjc.ox.ac.uk


Comparative Methodologies Discussion Group | 19.00 - 21.00 | Ryle Room, Radcliffe Humanities

This reading group aims to explore what comparative philosophy is, and how to do it. There is an increasing awareness of the value of dialogue between different traditions on a wide range of philosophical topics. However, there is a lack of consensus on what the aims of comparative philosophy are, and how it ought to be conducted. Worries have been raised about the potential pitfalls of comparative work, such as a tendency to assume the primacy of one tradition over the other. But what would it mean to take a “balanced approach” in response to this worry? Is there an external standpoint from which we can do comparative philosophy? What, if anything, is global philosophy? The reading group will centre on four readings covering a range of traditions that will address these questions.

More information, including readings: https://www.facebook.com/events/395978474627352/

When: Tuesdays on Odd Weeks, 7-9pm

Where: Ryle Room, Faculty of Philosophy (Radcliffe Humanities)


'What We Owe the Future' (Prof Will MacAskill) | 18.00 | Auditorium at St. John's College, Oxford

Society is currently taking actions whose impact goes far beyond the present generation. But future generations, who outnumber us vastly, have almost no representation today. They can't bargain with us. They don't have a vote. Associate Professor Will MacAskill, cofounder of the Global Priorities Institute and author of Doing Good Better argues that our impact on future generations is the most important moral consideration of the world today.

Further details can be found here.


The Powers Metaphysic (Neil Williams) | 17.00 - 18.30 | Corpus Christi College

A weekly reading group on Neil Williams' new book The Powers Metaphysic (OUP 2019). At each meeting, one member of the group will introduce a chapter with some comments/questions they want to raise for the group, which we will all discuss during the meeting.

15th October: Chapter 3 - presented by Christopher J. Austin (Location: MBI Foyer)

For more information, visit https://www.power-parts.website/

Normative Ethics Reading Group | 15.00 - 17.00 | Ryle Room, Radcliffe Humanities

A weekly reading and discussion group for topics in normative ethics and decision theory. Some weeks involve a faculty member from Oxford or elsewhere presenting some of their recent or in-progress work. Contact Tomi Francis at tomi.francis@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for details.


Work-in-Progress Seminar | 11.30 - 13.00 | Corpus Christi College

Lorenzo Giovannetti 'The Metaphysics of Natural Dispositions in Plato’s Cratylus' (Location: Refugee Scholar’s Room)

For more information, visit www.power-parts.website/

Hegel Reading Group | 18.30 | Ryle Room, Radcliffe Humanities

We shall continue reading the Phenomenology of Spirit.

17 October – Introduction and start of The actualisation of rational self-consciousness §§ 347–359.

Please contact susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for information. See also the website with general information www.hegel.moonfruit.com.


Byrne Colloquium in Moral, Political, Social, and Legal Philosophy | 17.00 - 19.00 | 10 Merton Street Lecture Room

Ruth Chang and Grant Lamond co-convene with guest speaker John Tasioulas. The topic will be Human Rights. If you'd like to attend, please send an email by October 11 to juris-event@law.ox.ac.uk. You must register to receive the paper in advance, but all are welcome. Pre-reading of the paper is desirable but not required.


Oxford Political Thought Seminar | 12.00 - 13.30 | Lecture Room 6 of New College

To postgraduate students:

The Oxford Political Thought seminar is hosting Katrina Forrester, who has just written a new history of Rawlsian political philosophy and its reception. One of Forrester’s major arguments is that political philosophy needs to step out of Rawls’s shadow.


Constitutionalising the Party | 16.30 | Harold Wilson Room, Jesus College

Speakers: Tarun Khaitan (University of Oxford), Jonathan Kuyper (Queen's University Belfast)

This paper argues that democratic constitutions should seek to achieve three distinct, and sometimes conflicting, objectives in relation to political parties: i. Support political parties to function as efficient intermediaries between the state and its people (the ‘party support principle’); ii. Ensure a separation of the ruling party and the state (the ‘party-state separation principle’); and iii. Discourage political parties from operating as factions (the ‘anti-faction principle’). The paper further maps a range of design possibilities that might aid constitutions in pursuing these objectives.