Presidential Address Spring 2024 

Jo Wolff was named the new President of the Royal Institute of Philosophy in October 2023, and in May 2024 he gave his inaugural Presidential Address.

Each president of the Royal Institute of Philosophy will give an address during their term of presidency. The first President of the Royal Institute, the Earl of Balfour took office in 1925 for a 5 year period.  Since then, the Royal Institute has seen a further 6 presidents with Baroness O’Neill stepping down in 2023 to hand the role to Professor Jo Wolff.

On 9 May, Professor Jo Wolff delivered his inaugural address ‘The Value of Ceremony’ at Haberdashers’ Hall to an invited audience of around 100 academics, politicians, media, and those from the legal and corporate fields.

Jo Wolff is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. A political philosopher, he has worked on questions of inequality, disadvantage, social justice, and questions of public policy, and in his Address he explored the role of ceremonies in a meaningful life and how ceremonies can help us to think about human values.

You can now watch his speech on YouTube via the link below.

To listen on our Podcast:

We’re also delighted to share some pictures from the evening below.

Photo credit: Andrew Lunn Photography

Finally, we were pleased to welcome BBC’S Radio 4 Free Thinking team and wish to thank them for their coverage of the event. You can hear from Jo Wolff and some of our guests here: