The History of Philosophy research cluster at KCL has a new website. Visit the link for details about upcoming reading groups, work-in-progress discussions, the KHOPS seminar series (resuming in Spring 2023), workshops on books published by members of the cluster and more. The current members of the cluster are:
Mathilde Victoria Prietzel Nielsen (she/her)President of King’s College London Philosophy Society Undergraduate at King’s College London Department of Philosophy
We were summoned at the Prêt across the National Gallery to meet each other, get fuel, a run-through of the plan, and role assignments. I was to be the checker, that is, to keep track of which shots we had done and which we hadn’t (this was not done sequentially!). Other roles included clapper (the wooden board, not hands), extra set of ears, extra set of eyes, prompter/stylist, equipment gather-carrier-set-upper. Once the roles had been assigned we went to the gallery to be let into the gloriously silent halls to get our badges (so as to not get hand-cuffed for wandering the halls at night) before going through the galleries to our first shot, and I must say: Monet, Picasso, and the rest of the gang makes a whole other experience when not diffused by the usual museum buzz.
Though not required, you intuitively lower your eyes, widen your gaze, and raise eyebrows to communicate to and agree with the others that this is not the usual museum experience – it is of course far better.
That is, it is better when you are together with your crew or for the first 150 meters walking alone.
Around 160 you start wondering whether you’re lost and, if so, whom to call on. Cézanne? Raphael? As a team, our main job turned out to be how to keep the lights on whilst keeping the sound off: light sensors required us to keep walking about when filming in order to keep the light on, but it happens that wooden floors may squeak, so we caught ourselves in quite the dilemma (a suitable environment for philosophers, sure). The dilemma we solved with a fusion of modern dance and loss of shoes. The night we rounded off with a communal, laugh, stretch, and yawn.
The centre for Philosophy and Arts (KCL) are delighted to announce a new series of events exploring the relationship between art and our emotions. The series launches at The National Gallery with a film, panel discussion, and Q&A on regret. Reserve your free zoom seat here and join Vanessa Brassey from King’s College London, Andy West, author of ‘The Life Inside: A Memoir of Prison, Family and Philosophy’, and author and arts journalist Chloë Ashby. The event will be chaired by Sacha Golob, King’s College London.
So, what will we be discussing?
Regrets may be painful or bittersweet. They can be ethically loaded or merely a plaintive ‘perhaps’. Perhaps you could’ve been a contender; loved more kindly; been more philanthropic; or sold your bitcoin before December?
This means that regret is an aromatic concoction of nostalgia, reminiscing and grief with gentle top notes of longing. We will be thinking about the ways it can also be intensely and weirdly pleasurable. And how pictures help us to understand this, on their own special way.
The Art & Emotion series. Free (but pre-registration required). Make sure you get your seat.
In collaboration with and hosted by The National Gallery London.
Epidemiologist Julian Peto is advocating mass testing as the key part of a plan to stop the virus spreading. Studies where everyone has been tested have picked up asymptomatic cases. With the addition of isolation and contact tracing this method of testing has been able to massively reduce the spread of the virus. The hope is such a coordinated scheme implemented nationally could help bring the numbers down. There’s a question over which type of test is best to use for mass testing. At the moment many of us do lateral flow tests at home. Although they give instant results their accuracy has been shown to be strongly linked to how well the tests are conducted – hence the need to back up any positive findings with the more accurate PCR test.
PCR takes longer and needs sophisticated lab equipment. However a compromise could be to use RT Lamp tests, they are accurate, give results in around 20 minutes, do require a very basic lab, but without the expensive equipment of PCR. A number of RT lamp tests have now been developed for SARS-Cov2. Kevin Fong has been to see the developers of one of them, the OxLAMP test.
And with the lifting of restrictions how are you going to judge your own personal risk from Covid?
It’s a question that interests philosopher of science Eleanor Knox. She says government mandates on mask wearing and social distancing have allowed us to avoid tricky questions around our own potential risk from the virus and risks our own behaviour might pose to loved ones. Now there’s a lot more to think about in terms of balancing our desires to return to some semblance of normality while levels of Covid infection continue to rise.
Would you like to do a short (200 word+/-) review for our upcoming ‘Sound Pictures’ conference (pre-watch available now, live keynote and Q&A on 10th July)? Choose from a selection of ‘watch’ ahead talks. For example Professor Derek Matravers’s video on mixed perceptual modalities, or a novel philosophical argument about songwriting (complete with musical performances) from NYU’s Jenny Judge, or a fresh and critical podcast from our very own Colette Olive (KCL), as well as several other academic contributors. Plus there are recorded msucial performances and interviews with Bafta-nominee Film Composer Anne Chmelewsky and never before seen performances from Multi-Award winning violinist and composer Anna Phoebe and Tate Artist Nicola Durvasula. It’s a philosophy conference – just done a little bit differently – and open to anyone who has ever wondered about the nature of the connection between sound and image.
The conference is aimed at a broad audience so we hope there is something here to engage with philosophically for artists, musicians, undergraduate students from a broad variety of disciplines, and of course, for researchers working on the topic. The introduction film and interviews are aimed primarily at those less familiar with what is distinctive about this question philosophically, or with a particular speakers’ work, or who are newly interested in the kind of questions we have posed.
This conference is generously sponsored by a small grant from the British Society of Aesthetics.
Yesterday, Dr. John Callanan joined Melvyn Bragg Broadcaster and host of In our Time, Fiona Hughes Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Essex, and Anil Gomes Associate Professor and Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy at Trinity College, Oxford to discuss the insight into our relationship with the world that Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) shared in his book The Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. It was as revolutionary, in his view, as when the Polish astronomer Copernicus realised that Earth revolves around the Sun rather than the Sun around Earth. Kant’s was an insight into how we understand the world around us, arguing that we can never know the world as it is, but only through the structures of our minds which shape that understanding. This idea, that the world depends on us even though we do not create it, has been one of Kant’s greatest contributions to philosophy and influences debates to this day.
In case you missed it you can catch the episode here: