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News: Spring 1993

Festival of Philosophy

A Festival of Philosophy was held in Durham on October 17th. The event was aimed at the general public, and was publicised in advance on local radio. The Festival was held in a university building next to the Cathedral, and was attended by about 450 people at various stages in the day. A variety of organisations connected with philosophy had stalls, as did several philosophy book publishing companies and of course Philosophy Now. There were lectures on subjects including animal rights, aesthetics, applied philosophy, the nature of truth and time travel. At the end of the afternoon an “Any Questions” type session was held, with a panel of philosophers fielding questions from the public. There was also a talk on “States of Mind” by guest speaker Dr. Jonathan Miller. The day was rounded off with a performance in English of the play Huis Clos by Sartre. Festival coordinator Chris Long was pleased with the way the day had gone and many people said they’d like to see the event happen again in the future.

Strawson – The Director’s Cut

A video has just gone on sale featuring the eminent philosopher Sir Peter Strawson. The video shows Professor Strawson in conversation with Professor Mark Sainsbury and Dr. Martin Davies. In their discussions Strawson explains his ideas on metaphysics, on the philosophy of mind and on logic and language, and describes how his views have developed with time.

The video was first shown at the Mind/Aristotelian Society Joint Session in July, but has now been re-edited and is being made available by the organisation Philosophy in Britain. It is in VHS format, costs £35 (£50 to institutions) and lasts 75 mins. The subject matter is quite difficult, making the video suitable for 3rd year undergraduates upwards. Further details from the film’s director, Rudolf Fara, at Philosophy in Britain, Dept. of Philosophy, King’s College, London WC2R 2LS

Conspiracy Corner – Russell Accused

In January a large conference was held at Wembley, in London. The organisers used it to warn the world that a 200 year old secret society called the illuminati was plotting to unleash a variety of man-made diseases, with the intention of reducing the global population to a tenth of its current level. The AIDS virus was apparently released by the World Health Organisation as a trial run for this operation. The late great Bertrand Russell was fingered as a member of this conspiracy, the evidence being provided by his 1953 book The Impact of Science on Society, where he said “If a black death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation,survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.” A disbelieving world laughed harshly at these revelations.

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