On Nature

Nature is powerful. We play at escaping to it, long to return to it, wish to conquer it, say we will protect it, risk destroying it. But what is it? How do we engage with our natural environment? What is natural vs unnatural? What might art, theory and clinical practice tell us about our relationship with the natural world that we are an intrinsic part of? 

Join philosophers, analysts and artists to debate these questions.

Click here to register: https://psychoanalysis.org.uk/civicrm/event/info%3Fid%3D1181%26reset%3D1

Attendees can tune in live, or access a recording over the following 48 hours, enabling viewing at their own convenience. (After this time, the recording will no longer be available)

Feifei Zhou is a Chinese-born artist and architect. She holds an MA in architecture from the Royal College of Art in London and was a guest researcher at Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA). Her work explores spatial, cultural, and ecological impacts of the industrialized built environment. She co-edited the digital publication Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene with Anna Tsing, Jennifer Deger and Alder Keleman Saxena, published in October 2020.

Vanessa Brassey is a philosopher, artist, and visiting research fellow at King’s College London, where she is also Director of the Centre for Philosophy & Arts. She publishes in academic journals, magazines and makes short-form documentaries. During the lockdown she returned to landscape painting, documenting her daily dog walks on Hampstead Heath (a tonic to break up the zoom lecturing and teaching).

William Badenhorst is a psychoanalysis with the British Psychoanalytical Society, a psychiatrist, in private practice and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London.

Chaired by Alla Rubitel, a psychoanalyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society, a consultant psychiatrist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, and an Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London.

Stereotypical Summer? We think not…

Stereotyping and Medical AI 
Online Summer Colloquium Series

by the Sowerby Philosophy & Medicine Project

The aim of this fortnightly colloquium series on Stereotyping and Medical AI is to explore philosophical and in particular ethical and epistemological issues around stereotyping in medicine, with a specific focus on the use of artificial intelligence in health contexts. We are particularly interested in whether medical AI that uses statistical data to generate predictions about individual patients can be said to “stereotype” patients, and whether we should draw the same ethical and epistemic conclusions about stereotyping by artificial agents as we do about stereotyping by human agents, i.e., medical professionals.

Other questions we are interested in exploring as part of this series include but are not limited to the following:

  • How should we understand “stereotyping” in medical contexts?
  • What is the relationship between stereotyping and bias, including algorithmic bias (and how should we understand “bias” in different contexts?)?
  • Why does stereotyping in medicine often seem less morally or epistemically problematic than stereotyping in other domains, such as in legal, criminal, financial, educational, etc., domains? Might beliefs about biological racial realism in the medical context explain this asymmetry?
  • When and why might it be wrong for medical professionals to stereotype their patients? And when and why might it be wrong for medical AI, i.e. artificial agents, to stereotype patients?
  • How do (medical) AI beliefs relate to the beliefs of human agents, particularly with respect to agents’ moral responsibility for their beliefs?
  • Can non-evidential or non-truth-related considerations be relevant with respect to what beliefs medical professionals or medical AI ought to hold? Is there moral or pragmatic encroachment on AI beliefs or on the beliefs of medical professionals?
  • What are potential consequences of either patients or doctors being stereotyped by doctors or by medical AI in medicine? Can, for example, patients be doxastically wronged by doctors or AI in virtue of being stereotyped by them?

We will be tackling these topics through a series of online colloquia hosted by the Sowerby Philosophy and Medicine Project at King’s College London. The colloquium series will feature a variety contributors from across the disciplinary spectrum. We hope to ensure a discursive format with time set aside for discussion and Q&A by the audience. This event is open to the public and all are welcome. 

To find out more about this series, please visit the Philosophy & Medicine Project’s website: https://www.philosophyandmedicine.org/summer-series. Our next colloquium in the series will be a Special Legal-Themed Panel Discussion chaired by a member of the London Medical Imaging & AI Centre for Value Based Healthcare, and featuring our very own Professor David Papineau and Dr. Jonathan Gingerich (which you can register for here)!

Our working line-up for the summer series is as follows, with a few additional speakers and details to be confirmed:

June 17            Professor Erin Beeghly (Utah), “Stereotyping and Prejudice: The Problem of Statistical Stereotyping” 

July 1               Dr. Kathleen Creel, (HAI, EIS, Stanford) “Let’s Ask the Patient: Stereotypes, Personalization, and Risk in Medical AI” (recording linked)

July 15             Dr. Annette Zimmermann (York, Harvard), “ “Structural Injustice, Doxastic Negligence, and Medical AI” 

July 22             Dr. William McNeill (Southampton), “Neural Networks and Explanatory Opacity” (recording linked)

July 29             Special Legal-Themed Panel Discussion: Dr. Jonathan Gingerich (KCL), Dr. Reuben Binns (Oxford), Prof. Georgi Gardiner (Tennessee), Prof. David Papineau (KCL), Chair: Robin Carpenter (The London Medical Imaging & AI Centre for Value Based Healthcare) (link to register)

August 12        Professor Zoë Johnson King (USC) & Professor Boris Babic (Toronto), “Algorithmic Fairness and Resentment”

August 26        Speakers TBC

September 2    Dr. Geoff Keeling (HAI, LCFI, Google)

September 9    Professor Rima Basu (Claremont McKenna)  

To be notified about upcoming colloquia in the series and other Project events, you can subscribe to the Philosophy & Medicine Project’s newsletter here, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Previous colloquia will also be posted to the Philosophy & Medicine Project’s website and YouTube channel. (And for those unable to attend these colloquia, please feel free to register for our events in order to be notified once recordings of previous colloquia become available!)

Titian: Love, Desire, Death

Launching soon.

PhilosophyArts are also delighted to announce the imminent launch of their first app project, created as part of The National Gallery’s upcoming exhibition Titian: Love, Desire, Death.

Titian: Love, Desire, Death has been extended in London and will reopen when the Gallery does. Details of reopening and ticket sales will be announced in due course.

PhilosophyArts has contributed to the upcoming Titian Exhibition.

Do the Clothes Maketh the Human?

Missed the event? Never mind…you can still listen to the podcast… here 

Shahidha Bari/ Yashka Jessica Moore/ Heather Widdows

Listen here or on YouTube

Does fashion allow us to express our individuality or is it a case of the Emperor’s new clothing? Can we judge a book by its cover or is beauty just another manifestation of sexist and racist ideals? Does is even make sense to think of our judgements about beauty as being ethically right or wrong? Whether you wear your heart on your sleeve for fashion or think beauty should be given the boot, join us to discuss the cultural, political, and philosophical dimensions of fashion and beauty.

Shahidha Bari, Fellow, Forum for Philosophy, Professor of Fashion Cultures, UAL & Author, Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes
Yashka Jessica Moore, Designer and writer
Heather Widdows, John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics, University of Birmingham & Author, Perfect Me: Beauty as an Ethical Ideal

Sarah Fine, Fellow, Forum for Philosophy & Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, KCL

Gauguin: The question of art and morality today

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Nevermore, 1897, @The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

Sacha Golob from Philosophy|Arts will be discussing whether we can still love the work of celebrated artists despite their immoral behaviour at the National Gallery as part of the forthcoming exhibition of Gauguin’s celebrated works.

These events ordinarily sell out, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Book tickets here (£5/£10)

Friday 11th October

6.30 – 8 pm in the Sainsbury Wing Theatre (The National Gallery)

Gauguin: The question of art and morality today

Book tickets here

The National Gallery in collaboration with The Centre for Philosophy and Visual Arts at King’s College London, discuss whether we can still love the work of celebrated artists despite their immoral behaviour

Friday, 11 October 2019

6.30 – 8 pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre


Gauguin’s legacy as a painter is undeniable, but his lifestyle presents a challenge to our appreciation of his greatness. To some, he was a bohemian renegade, who broke free from Europe’s bourgeois shackles in his quest for creative liberation in the South Seas. To others, he abused the myth of the noble savage, abandoning his family to satisfy his exotic fantasies, while boosting the market for his art back home.

In the wake of recent scandals, and movements such as #MeToo and #StayWoke gaining significant attention, once-admired artists, writers, actors and filmmakers have been disgraced. Can we still love the work of artists whose behaviour we loathe? Is it ever really possible for objects of beauty not to be spoiled by the dirty hands that made them? Or could Gauguin’s artistic achievements even justify what he did?

This discussion poses questions about how we can (and if we should) make such moral judgements, inviting us to reflect on our relationship to art and consider what we take to be its purpose or responsibilities. 

Speakers include Shahidha Bari, Daniel Callcut, Sacha Golob and Janet Marstine.Image: Detail from Paul Gauguin, ‘Self-Portrait’, 1885 © Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas (AP 1997.03)

Book tickets here

Shahidha Bari

Shahidha Bari is a writer, academic and broadcaster. She is a Fellow of the Forum for Philosophy at the London School of Economics. Bari appears regularly on BBC Radio 3’s Arts and Ideas programme, ‘Free Thinking’, and is an occasional presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’. Bari is currently Professor of Fashion Cultures and Histories at the London College of Fashion and is the author of ‘Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes’.

Daniel Callcut

Daniel Callcut is a freelance writer and philosopher with a wide interest in the arts. He writes for ‘Prospect’ magazine, ‘Aeon’, and ‘Arts Professional’. Cambridge University Press and Routledge have published Callcut’s academic work and he is the editor of ‘Reading Bernard Williams’, an extensive collection of essays on one of the great philosophers of his generation.

Sacha Golob

Sacha Golob is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at King’s College London. He is the Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Visual Arts and the Associate Editor of the British Journal for the History of Philosophy. Golob has published extensively on French and German Philosophy and the Philosophy of Art. His current research looks at contemporary conceptions of degeneration, transformation and virtue.

Janet Marstine

Janet Marstine is Honorary (Retired) Associate Professor, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. She writes on diverse aspects of museum ethics from codes of practice to diversity initiatives and artists’ interventions as drivers for ethical change. She is author of ‘Critical Practice: Artists, museums, ethics’ (Routledge 2017), among other titles, and co-editor, with Svetlana Mintcheva, of the forthcoming volume ‘Curating Under Pressure: International perspectives on negotiating conflict and upholding integrity’.