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Philosophy on Forest Radio

Many decades ago I was a student of Philosophy at the University of London. It's something I wouldn't normally admit to, as people think it's something "highbrow" that people go into because they want to show off. Maybe it is. They certainly wouldn't go into it for the money! But the truth is, it's something that some people can't help getting drawn ino a bit like writing in that respect and such victims need to be pitied rather than criticised. But seriously, there is such excellent free material available on the Internet now that anybody who retains the least bit of their childhood curiosity about the world is spoilt for choice with regard to philosophical discussions aimed at the ordinary intelligent person in the street. I personally believe, with Albert Einstein, that "If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.

These three talks cover the nature of mind and consciousness, the nature of reality and the likelihood of Artificial Intelligence outperforming our own in the near future. They are Internet recordings of free public talks from The Institute of Art and Ideas and the Royal Institution. The Institute of Art and Ideas is an independent educational foundation started in 2008 with the aim of "rescuing philosophy from technical debates about the meaning of words and returning it to big ideas and putting them at the centre of culture. Not in aid of a more refined cultural life, but as an urgent call to rethink where we are." It seeks to "challenge the notion that our present accepted wisdom is the truth" and "uncover the flaws and limitations in our current thinking in search of alternative and better ways to hold the world."

The Royal Institution, founded in 1799 by the leading British scientists of the age including Henry Cavendish and best known perhaps for its Christmas Lectures to a general audience including young people (which have been running since 1825 and have been televised since 1936), has recently invited the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees, to talk about the possibility of a "posthuman future."

The three lectures include introductions so there is no need to say any more here. I very much hope you enjoy them and that they leave you with a great deal to think about.

The Institute of Art and Ideas

The Royal Institution






Beyond Material part of "How the Light Gets In" (Institute of Art and Ideas)





The Miracle of Mind presented by The Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI) Live





Towards a Posthuman Future ~ Sir Martin Rees, Royal Institution






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