Philosophy Now 20th Anniversary Celebration!

The Philosophy Now Festival 2011 took place on 18 December. This page will remain available for reference.

A whole day of philosophical events, debates, talks, philosophy fun, an award ceremony and a party. All readers and past contributors to Philosophy Now are invited, and it’s free!

Sunday 18th December 2011, 10:30 am until evening. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London.

It is twenty years since the launch of Philosophy Now, so we’re celebrating with an all-day philosophy festival in central London on Sunday 18th December. The management of Conway Hall have very kindly allowed us to take over the whole of their ground floor for the day. We’ve invited many philosophy organisations to take part and put on events. There will be debates, lectures, workshops and games throughout the day, and lots of family-friendly activities. Most of the main events are listed below, but check this page again for updates. Do come – it’ll be fun!

Download the Programme of Events PDF for a handy timetable.

Lectures and Talks

Dr Timothy J. Madigan
“The Poet of Nature: George Santayana on Lucretius”

Professor Anthony O’Hear
“Philosophy: Wisdom or Technique?”

The 1st George Ross Memorial Lecture:
Professor Roger Scruton
“The Role of Philosophy in the Conduct of Everyday Life”

Dr Mark Vernon
Ancient Greek Philosophy

Award Ceremony

In the evening we’ll be announcing the winner of the first annual Philosophy Now Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. The prize will be a book token.

If you would like to nominate a person or organisation for this award, please email

Philosophy Sessions For Children

Peter Worley and his colleagues from the Philosophy Foundation will be running four philosophy workshops for children. They are free, but places are limited so if you would like your child to take part please email with your child’s name, age and the session/s you would like to attend.

More details are available in the Philosophy Sessions For Children page.

11-12am Bertrand Russell Room for ages 5-9
The Christmas Present (Can a machine think?)

11-12am Conway Hall Stage for ages 9 and above
Philosophical Alchemy (An introduction to doing philosophy)

2-3pm Bertrand Russell Room for ages 5-9
Goldfinger (Language, meaning and King Midas)

2-3pm Conway Hall Stage for ages 9 and above
The Disappearing Ball Trick (The big questions of existence)

Philosophy Session For Teenagers

With A-Level philosophy book authors Jeremy Hayward & Gerald Jones.

Workshops & Debates

Utilitarianism Workshop
“The Health or Wealth Game”
devised by Jeremy Hayward and Gerald Jones

Ralph Blumenau’s Philosophy Workshop
“There are no absolute standards, but that does not mean that there are absolutely no standards.” We’ll discuss this idea with reference to (1) religion, (2) ethics, (3) aesthetics, (4) history, (5) politics, and (6) science.

Philosophy Speed Debating

A Round Table Debate on Philosophy vs Religion

Partner Organisations

The day’s many events will be brought you by:
Philosophy Now
Philosophy For All
South Place Ethical Society
Conway Hall
Royal Institute of Philosophy
University of the 3rd Age
Philosophy Foundation
Philosophical Society of England
London School of Philosophy
Kingston Philosophy Café
Café Philo

Other attractions

• Charity book sale
• Information stands
• “Meaning of Life” Wall of Ideas (post and discuss your own ideas, pictures, poems etc.)
• Party in the evening
• Philosophy Santa


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