Digest Week 7 Hilary Term 2022

HT22, Week 7 (27th February - 5th March)

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. 

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

Presocratic Philosophy Reading Group | 1:00 pm | Old Library, Hertford College

We will be meeting weekly to informally read and discuss various presocratic texts over lunch every Sunday. Everyone is welcome to bring their own food (not provided) and meet us in Hertford’s old library at 13.00 on Sundays. We will be welcoming you at Hertford’s main entrance in Catte Street until 5 past, but if you arrive after then please ask the porters to show you the way to the old library (which provides plenty of space and ventilation). 

Interdisciplinary Psychoanalysis Seminar (St John's College)

Title: The Shadow of Narcissism: (Jewish) Self-Hatred in the Age of Identity Politics 
Speaker: Shaul Bar Haim (University of Essex)

My talk aims to highlight the need to explore the political, historical and psychoanalytical dimensions of 'self-hatred'. I discuss ‘self-hatred’ as a genuine authentic, non-pathologized, and overlooked emotion that can help us understanding a core aspect of identity politics.

There is a whole history of the 'self-hatred Jew' (similar but not equal to self-anti-Semite) which I'm going to present briefly – a concept which turned from a pathology in the 19th century, to a psychological and sociological concept in the mid-20th century, into a rhetorical accusation in debates mainly over Zionism and anti-Zionism. However, I argue, 'self-hatred' is functioning in discourses of identity groups such as the so-called ‘diaspora Jews’ as a sort of a 'shadow emotion' of narcissism, that is a degraded emotion WHICH is illegitimate to express in public. My goal will be to understand how self-hatred in general and Jewish self-hatred in particular became a cultural taboo; and also, to ask some questions about the inflation, I believe, in the idea of 'internalization' in identity discourses, and in the social sciences more generally, in a way that excludes the possibility for some emotions to be manifested publicly.

To receive the link for this video-seminar please email paul.tod@sjc.ox.ac.uk, with your academic or professional affiliation, if you have not so far registered to receive the seminar links; if you have, you do not need to again. The link will be emailed to you on February 28 and the video will be viewable for 14 days. If you do not receive the link please check your spam folder.

A Spirit of Trust Reading Group | 4:00-6:00pm | Colin Matthew Room, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road

Written over the course of 40 years, Robert Brandom’s highly-anticipated 2019 book A Spirit of Trust presents a novel reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. It translates the Phenomenology into the idiom of contemporary Anglophone philosophy, demystifying the Phenomenology’s notoriously impenetrable prose and rendering it transparent to contemporary philosophical analysis

The reading group would be of direct relevance for anyone with an interest in Hegel and German Idealism. However, the work is only partially interpretative. The majority of Brandom’s effort is spent on making a host of contributions to contemporary philosophical debates, meaning that the reading group would also be relevant for anyone with an interest in the determination of conceptual content, pragmatist semantics, the social metaphysics of normativity, the metaphysics of agency and intentionality, the relationship between mind and world, and the historical groundedness of our discursive practices. As today's flag-bearer of linguistic pragmatism (following in the footsteps of Dewey, Quine, and Rorty), the reading group is a great opportunity to find out about Brandom’s own thought too, namely his theory of inferentialism, and its advantages and disadvantages over more traditional semantic schemas.


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

The Hegel Reading Group continues to meet by Skype on Tuesdays 6:00-7:30pm. We are reading 'The Phenomenology of Spirit' (any translation). We are now in Section 6 B: Self-Alienated Spirit. Culture II a 'The struggle of the Enlightenment with superstition'. New Readers please contact either susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk or louise.braddock@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link. Details of each week's reading are posted on: hegelinoxford.wordpress.com.


Joseph Butler Society | 8:15pm | Harris Seminar Room, Oriel College

Title: 'Fictionalism in Religion and Ethics'
Speaker: Robin Le Poidevin (Leeds)

You can read the abstract here.

OxAI Safety Hub Inaugural Lecture Series | 6:00-7:00pm | Lecture Theatre, Department of Computer Science, OX1 3QD

Current Directions in AI Alignment Research by David Krueger (Cambridge)

In the third talk of the OxAI Safety Hub’s inaugural lecture series, David Krueger (Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge) will be speaking on current directions in AI alignment research. Join us at the Department of Computer Science, 2nd March, 6.00 – 7.00pm for his talk, followed by a social with free pizza and books.

If you have any accessibility requirements, please reach out to us at oxaisafetyhub@gmail.com.

Facebook page.

Philiminality non-Eurocentric Philosophy Q&A | 8:00pm GMT | Online via Zoom

Ashley Singh: BA Computer Science and Philosophy, Indian Philosophy paper student 
Justin Holder: current DPhil Philosophy student, focusing on the intersection of Madhyamaka Philosophy and Philosophy of Science
Jonathan Egid: current PhD in Comparative Literature at KCL specialising in Ethiopian Philosophy and Global Intellectual History
Lea Cantor: current DPhil Philosophy student, specialising Chinese (esp. Daoist) and Ancient Greek Philosophy, as well as Historiography and Comparative Methodology in Philosophy

Interested or actively seeking to learn about 'non-Eurocentric' Philosophy beyond your curriculum as a student at Oxford (and beyond!) but not sure where to start? 

Pursuing non-Eurocentric Philosophy at the graduate level but not sure how to find the programmes? 

Navigating finding any resources at all, finding people and departments that support this study, that will actively enhance your experience and enable your philosophical career or hone your philosophical abilities? 

Whether you have questions or are just curious, join Philiminality to talk with trailblazing students already doing it! From testing the special subject in Indian philosophy at Oxford to moving between departments to find resources to carving out an arena with their own research to finding faculty support and positive change, this panel will hear from students with a range of experiences. 

Come to Zoom with to hear some background and thoughts on terms used, introductions to our panelists’ areas of study, and plenty of time for questions. We’ll try to help you navigate a changing discipline for expanded and interesting horizons in the philosophy available to us.

Join Zoom Meeting here | Meeting ID: 841 3780 4336 | Passcode: philim!

Event poster. Facebook event 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 January 21st, 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.