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Stage Editorial

philosophy18.jpg Feeling philosophical?

The ‘On Philosophy’ public lecture series is returning to the Lit & Phil with a season of talks focussed on helping us navigate the challenges of modern life.

Emily Thomas kicks things off in October with ‘Does the Future Exist?’ (October 9) helping us negotiate the weird and wonderful world of time, asking what it means when physicists tell us that time is an illusion or that the future does not exist. Carl Cederstrom will be tackling ‘The Happiness Fantasy’ (October 23) and tracing our present-day conception of happiness, showing how this once-revolutionary idea has in fact pushed us to live lives that are increasingly unfulfilling, insecure and narcissistic. Brian O’Connor will ask why modern philosophers have worked so hard to develop reasons to denigrate idleness when idle aimlessness may instead allow for the highest form of freedom in ‘Idleness as Freedom’ (6 November). Clare Chambers will argue for the abolition of state-recognised marriage in ‘Against Marriage’ on the grounds that it violates both equality and liberty. Finally, Sarah Richmond discusses her new translation of Sartre’s ‘Being and Nothingness’ in ‘The Inescapability of Choice’, arguing Sartre’s notion of the inescapability of choice remains as crucial an idea as ever (6 December).

On Philosophy: Lit & Phil, 23 Westgate Road, Newcastle, 7pm, £5 (£3 students/unwaged), £20 season pass (£10 students/unwaged). More info: biggbooks.co.uk