Posted by Stephen Law on January 24, 2012
CFI UK EVENTS AT SUNDAY TIMES OXFORD LITERARY FESTIVAL
Tickets on sale NOW: http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/
2.00pm Wednesday 28th March
Nigel Warburton: LITTLE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
Nigel Warburton makes difficult philosophical concepts easy with his Little History of Philosophy. The senior lecturer in philosophy at the Open University follows humanity’s quest for answers to some of the big questions: what is reality? and how should I live? Warburton, author of several popular introductions to philosophy, takes a chronological look at key moments in the history of Western thought from the execution of Socrates to the modern animal rights movement. Warburton presents more than a history of ideas, he invites the reader to think for himself.
12.00 noon Thursday 29th March
David Aaronavitch: CONSPIRACY THEORIES
Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere – from Pearl Harbour to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. David Aaronovitch’s VOODOO HISTORIES entertainingly demolishes the absurd and sinister conspiracy theories of the last 100 years. Aaronovitch reveals why people are so ready to believe in them and the dangers of this credulity. Meticulous in its research, forensic in its reasoning, hilarious in its debunking, this book will arm anyone who has found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or the twin towers. His book explodes the conspiracy theories surrounding:
– the Protocols of the Elders of Zion
-The deaths of Kennedy, Monroe and Princess Diana
-“Pseudohistory” such as the Holy Blood, Holy Grail
-9/11 Truth Movement
-The moon landings
David Aaronovitch is a writer, broadcaster and commentator on culture, international affairs, politics and the media.
12.00 noon Saturday 24th March
Prof Steve Jones: CREATIONISM AND EVOLUTION
Many biologists are worried by a recent and unexpected return of an argument based on belief by the certainty, untestable and unsupported by evidence, that life did not evolve but appeared by supernatural means. Worldwide, more people believe in creationism than in evolution. Why do no biologists agree? Steve Jones will talk about what evolution is, about new evidence that men and chimps are close relatives and about how we are, nevertheless, unique and why creationism does more harm to religion than it does to science.
Steve Jones won the Aventis Prize for Science Books (then known as the Rhone-Poulenc Prize) in 1994 for ‘The Language of the Genes’. In 1997 he was awarded the Royal Society’s Michael Faraday Prize – the UK’s foremost award for communicating science to the public.
10.00am Thursday 29th March
Stephen Law: BELIEVING BULLSHIT
Nutty, and sometimes dangerous, forms of religious beliefs are on the rise around the world. We need to be on our guard.
The central aim of Stephen Law’s latest book is to immunize readers against the wiles of many cultists, creationists, “New Age” faddists, self-styled gurus, psychics and healers and other purveyors of snake oil by providing a “How to…” pocket guide to the tricks of the trade. By such means, an impregnable fortress can be constructed around a set of beliefs, rendering it immune to any sort of rational criticism – an intellectual black hole. Law flags up eight main mechanisms involved in producing such psychological fly-traps and reveals how they succeed in imprisoning minds.
Stephen Law is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London and Provost of Centre for Inquiry UK. He has written several popular introductions to philosophy including The Philosophy Gym (Headline) and The Philosophy Files (Orion, for children). His latest book is Believing Bullshit (Prometheus).