|Decolonial Desires: Thinking through Discipline and Difference||Seminars and Colloquia||Clemena AntonovaSaurabh DubeJulian Strube||
Speakers: Clemena AntonovaSaurabh DubeJulian Strube
Series: Seminars and Colloquia
|The Return of Yesterday||Lecture||Misha Glenny||
Speakers: Misha Glenny
The political and social consequences of the Reformation were intimately linked with profound changes in technology that had taken place in the previous 100 years. Central to the intellectual revolution of the Renaissance was the humanist idea of human scale. Since then, we have struggled to balance the requirements of progress with those of scale. The advent of the personal computer has accentuated this challenge as never before. Not only have crises proliferated since the 1990s, the Decade of Delusion, but the loss of human scale has magnified their impact. The need to control technology and return to human scale is now an imperative. Read more
|US Perspective of the War in Ukraine||Panels and Discussions||Ivan VejvodaMirjana Tomic, Bruce Stokes, Richard Parker||
Speakers: Ivan VejvodaMirjana Tomic, Bruce Stokes, Richard Parker
Series: Panels and Discussions
Washington has pledged support for Ukraine and approved the biggest arms, economic and humanitarian aid package since 1945. It has also provided intelligence and training.
What is the political and economic thinking behind current policy decisions? Is there bipartisan support? What have been the main policy debates? How long can the US sustain this high-profile support? Can the midterm elections, scheduled for 8 November 2022, alter political aims and foreign policy priorities?
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022, US objectives regarding the outcome of the war seem to be shifting, as several US media noted, from liberating Ukraine to defeating Russia. Is the final goal clear for the US citizens and the Western allies?
Does US president Joe Biden have popular support for his policy towards Ukraine? What does the US public think about the war in Ukraine? Is the public ready for long-term support?
What has been the role of the media in shaping policies towards Ukraine?
Bruce Stokes will explore public attitudes towards the war in Ukraine, Russia, and government policies, while Richard Parker will focus on debates and policy choices that have dominated the US public sphere. Read more
|Courage: A Conceptual History||Lecture||Aner BarzilayLudger HagedornEdward Skidelsky||
Speakers: Aner BarzilayLudger HagedornEdward Skidelsky
Courage has always been a central virtue in the Western ethical tradition, but its meaning has changed considerably over time. In antiquity, courage signified fearlessness in the face of bodily injury and death, whether passively endured (like Socrates and Christ) or actively risked (like Achilles and Alexander the Great). Today, however, such "physical courage", as it is called, tends to be depreciated in favour of "moral courage", defined by Sidgwick as a readiness to “face the pains and dangers of social disapproval in the performance of what one believes to be one’s duty”. Why did this shift occur, and what is its significance for the future of courage? These were the questions Skidelsky addressed in his talk. Read more
|Philosophy, Sacrifice, and War: Problems and Ambiguities||Lecture||James DoddLudger Hagedorn||
Speakers: James DoddLudger Hagedorn
James Dodd seeked to explore the limits of a philosophical approach to the twin problems of war and sacrifice. Is something like a true “philosophy of war”—understood as a coherent system of ideas, or a clearly articulated theoretical posture adequate to fully addressing the enduring challenges of war on a properly philosophical register—at all possible? In turn, can philosophy offer a cogent analysis of the phenomenon of sacrifice, one that captures both its paradoxical character and spiritual resonance? The suggestion was that where the two seem to fundamentally merge—when war calls for sacrifice, and sacrifice calls for war, each seeming to provide the meaning for the other—we trip on the limits of philosophy in a way that the very sense of its vocation becomes clear. Read more
|War and the Fate of Europe in Patočka’s Heretical Essays||Lecture||Katerina KociDavid Dusenbury||
Speakers: Katerina KociDavid Dusenbury
Despite the effort not to repeat the mistakes and atrocities of the previous generations, the twenty-first century continues to be a century of wars and suffering. In these lectures, David Dusenbury and James Dodd reflected on Patočka’s and Derrida’s phenomenological analysis of self-sacrifice as a form of resistance in extreme situations of oppression (war or repression of authoritarian/totalitarian regimes). Read more
|Civilisations, Barbarity, Conquest, Legitimacy and Crimes of War||Lecture||John DunnMisha Glenny||
Speakers: John DunnMisha Glenny
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February of this year has cast a glaring new light on a very old but ever more urgent question. In his lecture John Dunn asked, if there are any terms on which the human population of the world could still hope to live with one another in peace and personal freedom into a future of many generations? Could we still create together a modus vivendi of real duration? We know now, as we did not yet know in the year 1940, in which John Dunn was born, that any future generational horizon is in ever starker jeopardy because of the colossal and ever less controllable harm we are inflicting as a species on our global habitat. We know, as we could have known in much of Europe for at least three centuries, that the world was then, as it mercilessly remains, a vast distance from realising those terms and that it could not in principle realise them at all rapidly. We still have only a tiny repertoire of forms through which to try to act collectively on any scale: international agencies, civilisations, states, peoples (or, if you prefer, nations) – each of doubtful efficacy and eminently questionable legitimacy. Which of these forms could still take how much of the strain and how and why could war still feature as anything but grounds for despair within that ever more desperate struggle? We have never had any clear idea of how the world could be made a just world for its human inhabitants. Do we still have any rational horizon for collective hope over time? Read more
|We Have to Talk about Power||Panels and Discussions||Martin KrygierStephen Holmes||
Speakers: Martin KrygierStephen Holmes
Series: Panels and Discussions
Partisans of political constitutions and the so-called “rule of law” insist that they are devices meant primarily to curtail abuses of power. Some among us - the decisive American certainly and the vacillating Antipodean partly - argue that this idea is both theoretically misleading and historically baseless; perhaps indeed powerless. So how should we be discussing the complicated relations between power (public and private) and the legal and institutional arrangements that have evolved in aspirationally liberal societies to cope with the main challenge of human coexistence in a domestically diverse and internationally unforgiving environment? Read more
|Limits of Machines, Limits of Humans||Lecture||Edward LeeLudger HagedornStefan Woltran, Gerti Kappel, Michael Wiesmüller||
Speakers: Edward LeeLudger HagedornStefan Woltran, Gerti Kappel, Michael Wiesmüller
"Rationality" in Simon’s "bounded rationality" is the principle that humans make decisions based on step-by-step (algorithmic) reasoning using systematic rules of logic to maximize utility. "Bounded rationality" is the observation that the ability of a human brain to handle algorithmic complexity and data is limited. Bounded rationality, in other words, treats a decision maker as a machine carrying out computations with limited resources. In this talk, Edward A. Lee argued that the recent breakthroughs in AI demonstrate that much of what we consider "intelligence" is not based on algorithmic symbol manipulation, and that what the machines are doing more closely resembles intuitive thinking than rational decision making. Under this model, the goal of "explainable AI" is unachievable in any useful form. Read more
|‘Patriotic Science’: The COVID 19 Pandemic and the Politics of Indigeneity and Decoloniality in Sri Lanka||Seminars and Colloquia||Harshana RambukwellaLudger HagedornSaurabh Dube||
Series: Seminars and Colloquia
This paper uses the Sri Lankan case to argue that decoloniality, which has become a global theoretical trend, is insufficiently self-reflexive of how its sharp East-West binary can be politically disabling for on-the-ground struggles in postcolonial societies. The fetishization of indigeneity can have devastating consequences. Read more