The Annual Lecture

Since 1998, the Institute has held an annual lecture, bringing a philosopher of international standing to London to give a talk on the topic of his or her choosing.

People-Rae-LangtonThis year’s Annual Lecture was given by Rae Langton.

‘What’s the point of immortality?’

Abstract: ‘Immortality is impossible, and would be dull, despite advertisements to the contrary. Yet hope for immortality is ubiquitous—helped by two illusions, the apparent necessity of one’s existence, and contingency of one’s association with a particular body. It depends on a capacity for imaginative self-projection, whose real point is something else: not immortality, but empathy.’’

You can see videos of past annual lectures here.

Details of the next Annual Lecture, which will be given by Kwame Anthony Appiah, will appear here when we have them.

Past Annual Lectures

1998 Thomas Nagel,‘Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem’

1999 Alasdair MacIntyre, ‘Social Structures and their Threats to Moral Agency’

2000 Bernard Williams, ‘Philosophy as a Humanist Discipline’

2001 John Searle,‘Freedom of the Will as a Problem in Neurobiology’

2002 Mary Warnock,‘What is Natural and Should We Care About It?’

2003 Jürgen Habermas,‘Religious Tolerance? The Pacemaker for Cultural Rights

2004 Noam Chomsky,‘Simple Truths, Hard Choices: Some Thoughts on Terror, Justice and Self-defence

2005 John McDowell, ‘Intention in Action’

2006 Jerry Fodor,‘The Revenge of the Given: Mental Representation without Conceptualization’

2007 Sir Anthony Kenny,‘Knowledge, Belief and Faith: Is Religion Really the Root of all Evil?’

2008 T. M. Scanlon,Reassessing Reasons’

2009 Simon Blackburn, ‘The Sovereignty of Reason’

2010 Ned Block, ‘Attention and Mentalism’

2011 Derek Parfit, ‘Is Personal Identity What Matters?’

2012 Christine Korsgaard, ‘On Having a Good’

2013 Tyler Burge, ‘Perception: Where Mind Begins’

2014 David Chalmers, ‘Why isn’t there more progress in philosophy?’

2015 Amartya Sen, ‘Justice and the Idea of Objectivity’

2016 Timothy Williamson, ‘Speculative Philosophy’