The Winchester Lectures

The Winchester Visiting Lecturerships were established in 1995 for the purpose of inviting visiting lecturers in the fields of International Relations, History, Medical Sciences, Philosophy, Religion, Theology or Law. The lectures were made possible due to a generous endowment by Bapsybanoo, Marchioness of Winchester (1902-1995).

Recent Lecturers in Philosophy have included Professor W. Künne, Hamburg (1999); Professor D. Zimmerman, Rutgers (2004); and Professor R. Jay Wallace, University of California, Berkeley (2007).


Sandra Harding

Professor Sandra Harding (Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA) will give her Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Lecture at 5pm, Thursday 4th May 2017 at the Examination Schools,

Public Lecture: ‘After Mr. Nowhere: New Proper Philosophic Selfs?’ [MP3]

Date: Thursday 4th May 2017 at 5pm

Venue: Examination Schools, Oxford

Abstract: Contemporary analytic philosophy has modelled itself on distinctive characteristics of modern Western sciences: in its initial formulations, it was to be a "scientific philosophy." Its objectivity and thus its intellectual and social value, was defined in terms of its freedom from social and political values. Yet the new social movements emerging since the 1960s, such as poor peoples' movements, civil rights, feminist, anti-colonial, and many more, have developed methods of research, including in philosophy, that claim a stronger commitment to objectivity than the conventionally objective sciences and their philosophies ever could achieve, though they refuse the value-free understanding of how best to maximize objectivity. This presentation will identify and reflect on the different conceptions of the "proper philosophic self" created by the knowledge-production projects of these new social movements.

Panel Session: 'Feminist Standpoint Epistemology'

Sandra Harding in discussion with Beverley Clack, Liz Frazer, Sabina Lovibond, and Katherine Morris

Date: Friday 5th May 2017 at 4pm

Venue: Harris Manchester College, Oxford



Frances Kamm

Professor Frances Kamm (Littauer Professor of Philosophy & Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Harvard University) was Winchester Visiting Lecturer in 2013.  She delivered two public lectures at the Faculty of Philosophy in Michaelmas Term 2013

Lecture 1: Who Turned the Trolley?  Harming Some to Save Others
Monday 21 October 2013, 6.30 - 8pm

Lecture 2: How Was the Trolley Turned?  Harming Some to Save Others
Tuesday 22 October 2013, 5-7pm

The lectures were hosted and organised by the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics.



Dana Scott

Professor Dana S. Scott (Hillman University Professor of Computer Science, Philosophy, and Mathematical Logic (Emeritus)) was Winchester Visiting Lecturer in 2010

Title: 'Exploring Mathematical Universes'

Abstract: For many generations in mathematics new worlds have been put forward, starting perhaps with non-Euclidean geometry and progressing to the current, sophisticated constructions of higher-dimensional manifolds used in discussions of theoretical physics. On other fronts, starting with the early introduction of Boolean algebras, complex numbers, quaternions, and vector spaces, investigations in algebra and analysis have been finding and analyzing more and more structures and "spaces". 

In the last century Category Theory introduced a program to better classify "universes" of objects like those just mentioned. With different motivations, logicians showed how to construe rigorously interpretations of "infinitesimal" quantities in the Calculus, and how to introduce "generic" sets into the set- theoretical universes — in the famous independence proofs in Set Theory. From other directions, efforts have been successful in making clear-cut distinctions between "computable" and "non-computable" or "non-constructive" objects and transformations. 

From Philosophical Logic we have had a large number of proposals on how to include such concepts as "modality" or "tense" or "probability" in logic. An important question to answer is how "productive" the new universes are in helping solve mathematical problems or craft new explanations of why mathematics is successful. One proposal being investigated by the speaker is a modal version of Zermelo-Fraenkel Set Theory where every formula has a probability. 


Winchester Lectures

© Katherine O'Donnell