Digest Week 6 Michaelmas Term 2021

MT21, Week 6 (14th- 20th November)

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 person.

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

Postcolonial discussion group | 1:00-2:30pm | Tumbling Bay Cafe, West Oxford Community Centre, Botley OX2 0BT

You're warmly invited to join Alternative Curricula, a discussion group set up to explore decolonial & postcolonial theory. Anyone from any background is welcome. Our term card can be found here

Title: Place, space and decoloniality
•    Bell et al, ‘Retrospective Autoethnographies: A Call for Decolonial Imaginings for the New University’ (2019) Qualitative Inquiry 1–11 https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800419857743
•    Eve Tuck, Marcia McKenzie & Kate McCoy (2014) ‘Land education: Indigenous, post-colonial, and decolonizing perspectives on place and environmental education research.’ Environmental Education Research, 20:1, 1-23, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2013.877708 
•    Yi, I. ‘Cartographies of the Voice: Storying the Land as Survivance in Native American Oral Traditions.’ Humanities 2016, 5, 62. https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030062

Sophist reading group | 4:15pm-6:15pm | Balliol College

Anyone who would like to join can email Dimosthenis Patramanis or Hermann Koerner for details.


The Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society | 5:30pm-7:15pm | Online via Zoom

Title: Doxastic wrongs, non-spurious generalisations and particularised beliefs

Speaker: Cecile Fabre (Oxford)

Chair: Robert Stern (Sheffield)

Due to the Covid-19 situation, The Aristotelian Society will be holding its meetings online via Zoom until further notice. To join the presentation and discussion period for each talk you will need to follow this link. If you have any problems or concerns about the software, please contact mail@aristoteliansociety.org.uk. You do not need to have a Zoom account or to download anything in advance but we have found that the software works better on Google Chrome or Firefox, rather than other browsers. Please log into the “waiting room” at least 5 minutes in advance of each talk.

Free of charge and open to all!

Abstract and Draft Paper | View the 2021/22 programme


Roots of Responsibility ERC project special lecture #6 | 4:00pm-6:00pm | Online via Zoom

Title: Criticizing Blame

Speaker: Susan Wolf (UNC Chapel Hill)

Abstract: Philosophers commonly distinguish between responsible and non-responsible individuals, understanding responsible agents as those individuals who are appropriate objects of punishment and reward, blame and credit, as well as such reactive attitudes as resentment, indignation and gratitude. Non-responsible individuals, by contrast, are never appropriate objects of these responses. The lecture will present reasons to question this distinction: By marking a difference between blame and criticism, and the different conditions under which they are justified, we can see that the concepts of responsibility and blame are not as unified as we generally take them to be. This has implications for our understanding of responsibility, blame, punishment and the problem of free will. 

We encourage colleagues and especially postgraduate students to attend. Please spread the word. Further information is available in this post, on the Roots of Responsibility website. A poster for the event (in PDF) can be downloaded from here

All are welcome, but registration is essential; if you are interested in attending, please register on the zoom registration page.

Effective Altruism Oxford - Empowering students to have a positive impact | 6:00pm

Title: “The Against Malaria Foundation: What we do & how we do it”

Speaker: Robert Mather

Effective Altruism is a research field that helps us find the best ways to improve the world, through the use of evidence and careful reasoning. It’s also a community of people who strive to take action on that basis, to have a large positive impact on the world. 

EA Oxford aims to empower Oxford students to use EA ideas in their career. During term, we meet weekly on Tuesdays at the HB Allen Centre, where we hold speaker events, seminar programmes, and workshops, as well as provide a space to meet and network with likeminded students and professionals in EA. 

Each Tuesday at 6pm there’ll be a talk from an EA professional, including prominent philosophers at Oxford such as Hilary Greaves (director of the Global Priorities Institute) and Toby Ord (senior research fellow at the Future of Humanity Institute). Free pizza is provided after the talk.

Sign up to our mailing list to learn more. 


Hegel Reading Group | 6:00pm-7:30pm | Online via Skype

This term we continue The Phenomenology of Spirit (any translation) ‘Faith and pure Insight’, starting at Paragraph 527. Weekly readings updates will be posted here.

For enquiries or to be added to the circulation list and receive the Skype link please contact louise.braddock@philosophy.ox.ac.uk or susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk.


The Joseph Butler Society | 8:15pm | Large Senior Common Room, Oriel College, Oxford 

Title: ​How serious is play? Some Philosophical and Theological Reflections

Speaker: Douglas Hedley, University of Cambridge

Register at Eventbrite here

Ethox Seminar | 2:30pm-4:00pm | Online via Zoom

Speaker: Anneke Lucassen, Centre for Personalised Medicine, University of Oxford

Title: CPM - harnessing multidisciplinary approaches to personalising medicine

For more information please see here.

Oxford Public Philosophy | 11:11am | Online via Zoom

Philosophy Praxis & Poetry - Hexful Social, part 1

OPP has put together 2 poetry workshops to (1) inspire you to write philosophy in a new medium, (2) encourage you to submit something to the OPP blog and future journals, and (3) promote thoughtful engagement with the idea of ‘Philosophical Praxis’. Our first workshop will take place in the morning, and will take the form of a prompt-based writing session - a prompt will be shared. Anyone of any skill level is welcome, including experienced poets and complete beginners. Bring along a cup of tea and your preferred writing medium! We’d love for you to attend both part 1 & 2 (25/11), but you can attend one without the other if you want to.
Learning resources will be made available on our website.
Join Zoom Meeting | Meeting ID: 815 4194 4645 | Passcode: 469382
Facebook event


Algorithms at Work - Reading Group | 12:30-1:30pm | St Antony’s College and on Zoom.

Automated systems are increasingly running workplaces – from everyday management to hiring and firing workers. AI hasn’t come for workers’ jobs: it is managers who see their traditional tasks replaced or supplemented by sophisticated analyses of personal data. The pervasive reliance on ‘people analytics’, monitoring technology and algorithms to measure, control, and sanction workers is highly controversial: whilst fast and efficient, the technology is easily prone to bias and threatens to disperse responsibility into the cloud.

This discussion group will explore the effects of algorithmic control and surveillance and its current and future regulation, drawing on disciplines including law, economics, sociology, and computer science. We will convene weekly in a hybrid format (Thursday, 12:30 – 13:30) at St Antony’s College and on Zoom.

Applications are invited from across the University; further details can be found here.

Weekly reading group on the occasion of the centenary of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus | 6:30-7:30pm | Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities

We are delighted to announce that this term we will be hosting a reading group, open to all members of the University and the public, to mark the centenary of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

One of the defining texts of the 20th century, Wittgenstein’s first work is notoriously difficult for first-time readers. By working through it together, the problems that baffle us alone or leave us stranded can be solved through discussion, drawing on our individual readings and backgrounds. This is the perfect opportunity to cover a text often sidelined, or marginalised as an eccentricity in the history of ideas.  

The TLP is composed of 7 core propositions. We will endeavour to finish the text by the end of Michaelmas Term (first week of December). We will play it by ear together and see how far we get each session, though we will try to finish one proposition a week where realistic, with a few exceptions where more time is required. 

Every Friday from October 15th, 18:30, at Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road.

Please message us at jack.franco@queens.ox.ac.uk or ph21251@bristol.ac.uk to let us know you’re coming, and to receive a copy of the text. We will be using the newly published (Anthem Press) centenary edition, by Luciano Bazzocchi and PMS Hacker (more on this choice in the first session!)

We will offer suggested further reading at the end of sessions. All welcome, students, staff and public.