Digest Week 7 Michaelmas Term 2020

MT20, Week 7 (22nd - 28th 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 online.

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

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The London Mind Group | 16:00 - 17:00 | Online

Speaker: Mike Martin (Oxford/Berkeley) | Equivocal Acquaintance and Object-Dependence
In order to keep numbers manageable, it is an expectation of participation that one has read the paper in advance. To receive the papers, please sign up to our mailing list on our website.
Please direct any questions to Alex Grzankowski at alex.grzankowski@gmail.com.


Seminar on Hans Blumenberg | 17:00 | https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89764748793

Speaker: Eva Geulen (ZFL Berlin)  | Blumenberg 'in the Horizon'  

Plato Reading Group | 14:00–16:00 | Online

This term, we continue reading the Theaetetus. At the start of the term, we were at 168c5; the specific section of the week is sent around by email in advance. Each session is led by a person appointed in the preceding session, preparing the translation of the agreed-upon section of the text especially diligently. The sessions consist in the presenter’s translation of the passage and discussion of whatever interesting or uncertain point that arises, whenever it arises. We use the Greek text (OCT) as the basis for our discussion, and everybody should have prepared the week’s section in advance. People who do not know Greek or are just starting to learn it are welcome to attend. 

If you want to be included in the email list, please subscribe here.

For more information please email hermann.koerner@philosophy.ox.ac.uk.


Joseph Butler Society | 20:15 to 21:45 | Online via Zoom

Speaker: Meghan Sullivan (Notre Dame) - God and the Good Life

In this session I will present some material from the 9th chapter of a forthcoming book on virtue ethics and religious faith, called God and the Good Life (written with Paul Blaschko, Penguin Press, coming Dec 2021). The chapter deals with the ancient puzzle of how we understand the role of contemplation in the good life, drawing on the current experience with Coronavirus to develop a defense against the charge that contemplative virtues are elitist, impractical, or inhuman. I'll also give a bit of framework for the type of virtue ethics defended in the book and the case methodology. At the end, if we like, we can talk about what it is like to teach this tradition coming into some considerable changes in higher education. I can share a bit about the course at Notre Dame that inspired the book, also called God and the Good Life.

Register here.

Alternative Curricula discussion group | 17:00 | Online

Race, racism and the institution 

In this session, we will conduct a close reading of some of the University of Oxford’s communications on race following the global Black Lives Matter protests of May and June 2020, in conjunction with Sara Ahmed’s book On Being Included.

For more details and a link to join the conversation, sign up to the Alternative Curricula mailing list at altcurricula@gmail.com

Further information can be found at https://tinyurl.com/altcurricula.


Hegel Reading Group | The Phenomenology of Spirit | 18:00-19:30 | Online

The Hegel Reading Group continues to meet by Skype on Wednesdays 18.00-19.30. New readers are welcome.

We are reading 'The Phenomenology of Spirit' (any translation), this week paras 46. Please contact susanne.herrmann-sinai@philosophy.ox.ac.uk for the Skype link.


Philosophy in the Films of Terrence Malick | 19:30 | Facebook live

Beginning with 1973’s Badlands, American film director Terrence Malick has created cinematic works of art, works that are in some sense also deeply philosophical. Philosophy, in fact, in a way led Malick to film. He studied with Stanley Cavell as an undergraduate at Harvard. Later a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Malick left without completing his dissertation there when his supervisor Gilbert Ryle told him that he could not write a thesis on Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Kierkegaard—such figures were not properly philosophical, Ryle is reported to have said. Returning to the States where he for a time taught philosophy at MIT, Malick translated a work of Martin Heidegger’s, while collaborating with Hubert Dreyfus. Soon, however, he left academic philosophy behind altogether, embarking instead on a directing career in film. Today, after nearly fifty years of pioneering filmmaking, Malick’s contribution to philosophy through film invites systematic, careful attention. This introductory essay contributes to that task.

Join us to hear from Steven DeLay, Old Member of Christchurch College, Oxford and Fellow of Ambrose College, Woolf University.

Africana Philosophy discussion group |  17:00 | Online

Speaker: Joy James - Abolition and acquiescene 

Visit our facebook page for the zoom links or our website to sign up to our mailing list.