Why Philosophy Matters Seminar Series

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


Edcuation Centre, Ashmolean Museum


Philosophy, Happiness, and the Meaning of Lifewith speaker Professor John Cottingham

Can philosophy offer advice on happiness? Can it help us to find meaning and purpose in life? Traditionally, philosophers saw it as part of their role to offer an account of how human beings can live a worthwhile life, but many contemporary academic philosophers steer clear of such questions. John Cottingham will argue that philosophy can and should address these issues, and will examine some of the obstacles to finding true meaning within the framework of modern secularism.

John Cottingham is Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College, University of London, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Reading University, and an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. His books include On the Meaning of Life, The Spiritual Dimension, Cartesian Reflections, and Why Believe?

Why Philosophy Matters is a new series of events organised by the Royal Institute of Philosophy branch at Oxford Brookes University
in association with The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and I.B. Tauris

This series of events explores the relevance and significance philosophical ideas from across the history of thought and celebrates the incalculable ways in which philosophers have helped to change our understanding of the world and, consequently, the world itself. Speakers shall offer timely answers to questions about philosophical impact, making a case for the ongoing value of philosophy in a scientistic age in which Stephen Hawking recently announced that 'philosophy is dead'. The series aims to demonstrate that the historical impact of philosophy has been at least as significant as that of science, and continues to be important in ways that may not always be immediately measurable.

Events take place at 18.00 at the Ashmolean Museum, Education Centre (nearest entrance from St. Giles), unless otherwise noted. All events are all free and open to the general public (no booking required) and shall take the form of talks, debates, conversations, and conferences. A series of related books will be published by I.B. Tauris.