Beyond Reality: The Limits of Understanding

Beyond reality

From trees to houses, atoms to stars, we assume our senses and instruments reveal the truth about the world. But could our picture of reality be radically incomplete? Is this hocus pocus best reserved for fools and philosophers, or does it open a world of infinite potential? Watch the debate with the mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, the award-winning novelist Joanna Kavenna and post-modern philosopher Hilary Lawson: Beyond Reality.

Life’s Secret: The Purpose and Pursuit of Happiness

Is there a purpose to life? Nietzsche teased “only the English strive for happiness”. Are we right to focus on practical goals and abandon any deeper purpose? Or is a goal independent of our everyday pursuits essential to our being? Watch now.


Applied philosophy podcasts on SoundCloud

JAPP podcastsThe Society for Applied Philosophy hosts an Annual Lecture each year inviting a prominent member of its community to discuss his / her work. The lecture, published in the Journal for Applied Philosophy, is normally followed by an interview giving the lecturer the opportunity to discuss the topic further. The interviews are made available to the public in the form of a podcast, which can be streamed from the Society for Applied Philosophy Soundcloud page.

Visit the page to hear leading experts discuss:

  • Militant atheism
  • Poverty and gender equity
  • Human rights
  • Universal healthcare
  • Normativity and public policy

Dangerously Big Ideas: Do we need grand theories?

Our culture and philosophy is sceptical of grand theories and big ideas, which we think best left to Parisian taxi drivers. But aren’t grand theories unavoidable? Would it not be better to explore and embrace big ideas rather than pretend they have been banished? Or is this the route to dangerous nonsense?

In this latest video from IAI TV, Historian of ideas Hannah Dawson, philosopher and Closure theorist Hilary Dawson, and Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought Robert Eaglestone are thinking big.

Dangerously Big Ideas: Do we need grand theories?

Big Ideas

Philosophy Bites Back: can science do away with philosophy?

From neuroscience to cosmology, Hawking to Dawkins, many argue science can do away with philosophy. Yet science is replete with philosophical  puzzles. Should we see science as one metaphysics amongst others? Bestselling author Lawrence Krauss squares off against philosophers Angie Hobbs and Mary Midgley

Phil bites back

This Debate Has No Title: Solving the self-referential paradox

New from the The Institute of Art and Ideas. Paradoxes of self-reference are found in mathematics, literature and philosophy from the Greeks to Derrida. Can we ever solve them? And do we need to? Literary critic Patricia Waugh, mathematician Peter Cameron and philosopher Hilary Lawson and  tackle the problem here:


The Limits of My World

Language has been the focus of philosophical enquiry for the last century. But was the ‘linguistic turn’ a wrong turn, leading to a barren discipline without ‘real world’ influence? Is it time for a fresh approach to the big issues, or would this be a capitulation to intellectual fantasy?

The Panel

One of the world’s most influential analytic philosophers, John Searle, live from Berkeley, joins post-postmodernist Hilary Lawson and Cambridge logician Michael Potter to wage the ultimate war of words:



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