Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture

  • Wednesday 25 February 2015
  • 5:30pm – 7:30pm, MC001
  • Millennium City Building, University of Wolverhampton.

There has been a growing disquiet in recent years about the dominant science-based model for philosophy, which threatens to fragment the subject into a series of technical specialisms and is often linked to a dogmatically naturalistic agenda. How might philosophy move in a more humane direction, recovering its traditional goal of achieving a coherent overview of reality and the human condition? Humane philosophy must strive not for quasi-scientific knowledge but for understanding; and understanding is necessarily holistic, synoptic and multi-layered, drawing not just on intellectual analysis but on all the resources of the human mind, including imaginative and poetic modes of awareness. This lecture will examine the implications of this for the conduct of philosophy in general and the philosophy of religion in particular.

John Cottingham is Professorial Research Fellow at Heythrop College University of London, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Reading, and an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. His books include Philosophy and the Good Life: Reason and the Passions in Greek, Cartesian and Psychoanalytic Ethics (Cambridge, 1998); On the Meaning of Life (Routledge, 2003); The Spiritual Dimension (Cambridge, 2005); Cartesian Reflections (Oxford, 2008), Why Believe? (Continuum, 2009), and most recently Philosophy of Religion: Towards a More Humane Approach (Cambridge, 2014)

Free public lecture, everyone welcome.

For further details contact: Dr Meena Dhanda, tel: 01902 323 503 or email: