Human Nature: Does Evolutionary Explanation Have Limits?
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection might reasonably be considered one of the most successful theories of all times. But how should we understand it? Are there in fact two theories rather than one (linear and branching evolution)? Can the theory be used both to explain and to predict? What, furthermore, are the implications of Darwin’s theory for some of the problems that we consider in philosophy? Can Darwin’s theory account for human nature, for example, or is there something about human beings that requires supplementary explanation? Can Darwin’s theory be appealed to in explanation of the emergence, for example, of the human mind? Might Darwin’s theory be applied to our political, social and economic behaviour? Or might it, in such an application, be thought to defeat itself as Marxianism and Freudianism do? During this weekend we will hear two philosophers discuss what the Theory of Natural Selection can, and can’t explain. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions of the speakers and to socialise with the speakers and other participants.
SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2020
2.45pm Course Registration
3.00pm Problems with Darwinism?
4.30pm Tea / coffee
5.00pm How evolution works
6.30pm Break / bar open
8.15pm- Human nature: An exception to the workings of natural
SUNDAY 5 APRIL 2020
8.15am Breakfast (residents only)
9.30am What can evolution do for us?
10.45am Coffee / tea
11.15am Q & A
Questions directed by MARIANNE TALBOT
12.30pm Break / bar open
2.00pm Course disperses
Ridley, Mark., How to read Darwin, (Grants Books 2005)
A reading list will be given out during the weekend. This book is only 110 pages long. It covers both ‘The Origin of Species’ and ‘The Descent of Man’, and is good preparation for all the lectures. Ridley presents the central arguments in Darwin’s own words and interprets/analyses them in clear and accessible language. It costs less than £8.
Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.
Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.
All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.
Tuition (includes tea/coffee): £80.00
Baguette Sunday: £5.00
Dinner Saturday evening: £21.00
Single B&B Saturday Night: £83.00
Single Room Only Saturday Night : £71.00
Sunday Lunch: £15.00
Twin/Double Room (2 sharing) B&B Saturday night: £118.00
Twin/Double Room Only (2 sharing) Saturday Night: £94.00
If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.
If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.
Anthony O’Hear is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Buckingham and Head of the Department of Education. He is Honorary Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and editor of its journal Philosophy. He is also editor emeritus of The Fortnightly Review's new series.
Friedel Weinert is Emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Bradford. He has published several books on the interrelationship between science and philosophy, including Copernicus, Darwin & Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science (Wiley Blackwell 2009). He has edited several volumes in this area, including Evolution 2.0.: Implications of Darwinism in Philosophy and the Natural and Social Sciences, edited by Martin Brinkworth and Friedel Weinert. (Heidelberg/Berlin/New York: Springer. The Frontiers Collection 2011).
Director of Studies
Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.
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