Sam Barker at the Institute for Art and Ideas asked me to share some information about a very cool looking philosophy festival that will be held this summer in the UK. He writes:

HowTheLightGetsIn is the world’s largest philosophy festival taking place Hay-on-Wye in the UK this summer from 22nd May – 1st June 2014. There are a number of events at this year’s festival that I thought would be of interest to readers of Brains for example Barry C. Smith, Margaret Boden and Warren Ellis discussing the impact of neuroscience on philosophy. Our full programme can be found online at

I’ve attached a PDF version of the the philosophy program at the bottom of this post — here are a couple of highlights:

  • 25th May – Neuroscience vs. Philosophy: From the existence of the self to the nature of freewill, many philosophers have dedicated their lives to problems of the mind. But now some neuroscientists claim to have settled these raging debates. Is it possible we have discovered ascience to replace philosophy and does this mean we can finally make real progress? Neuroscientist Molly Crockett, philosopher of mindand language Barry C. Smith and neurobiologist Steven Rose put neuroscience on trial.
  • 1st June – The Chemistry of Freedom: The cry of democrats and revolutionaries, we value freedom above almost anything. But neuroscientists claim they can predict decisions seven seconds before we act. Might free will be an illusion? Do we need to reimagine what it means to be human, or does freedom win over bad science? Neuroscientist Patrick Haggard, Templeton Prize winning physicist George Ellis and philosopher of mind and action Jennifer Hornsby consider where choice begins and chance ends.

Philosophy at HowTheLightGetsIn

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