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Nov
15

Next Cafe: The Mindfulness Movement – History, Ethics, & Politics

For over one hundred years, peoples of predominantly European and Anglo-American societies – the Western countries of the ‘Global North’ – have turned to Asian-derived mind-body practices and training regimes, such as meditation, as therapeutic ways of living with rapid socio-economic change and political turmoil. Mindfulness, or Buddhist sati, is a case in point. Emerging [...]

Sep
20

Last Night’s Cafe: Ethics and the Laws of War

When war is unleashed, the philosopher John Locke observed, the combatants find themselves in a situation where no-one is judge or arbitrator, and all that is left is for the warring sides to ‘appeal to heaven’. In other words, the laws and rules that operate with a political community no longer hold, and all that’s [...]

Sep
06

Next Cafe: Ethics and the Laws of War

Are there moral rules that govern the conduct of war? We have a body of international humanitarian law concerning armed conflict, such as the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute (which includes war crimes and the crime of aggression). But what is the moral justification of the existence those laws – if there is any [...]

May
09

Next Cafe: Philosophy and Shame

Shame is often viewed as a particularly negative feeling. It might be defined as a feeling compounded of incompetence, indecency, and blame-worthiness, that can lead to self-loathing as well as anger directed inwardly or outwardly. In more extreme cases, it might be experienced as an attack on one’s identity, caused by a sense of inadequacy. [...]

Mar
15

Next Cafe: Should we legalise the deliberate termination of human life?

Debates around what has been called ‘assisted dying’ or ‘therapeutic killing’ are complex and often heated. In this cafe, John Saunders and Andrew Edgar (Philosophy, Cardiff University) introduce an exploration of the key moral issues at the heart of this topic to help facilitate further reflection on whether the legal status quo requires change. Join [...]

Jul
15

Next Cafe: What is Humanism?

How does a humanist approach to life, ethics, politics and our place in the universe? How does humanism differ from religious traditions’ ways of answering the ‘big questions’? Join us from 8.00 pm on Tuesday 19 July at The Gate where we’ll be discussing these and other issues with Mike Reynolds from Cardiff Humanist Society

Jun
22

Last Night’s Cafe: Sexism, Racism and Existentialism

Are sexist, racist, homophobic or other forms of widespread prejudice always a matter of conscious beliefs? In the UK, ever since the trial of the men suspected of killing Stephen Lawrence, the idea of ‘institutional racism’ has been part of public discourse. The idea that racism – the systematic disadvantaging of people based on the [...]

Jun
15

Next Cafe: Sexism, Racism and Existentialism

Experiments show that someone’s behaviour can manifest racist or sexist attitudes that they don’t agree with. This is a hot topic right now. How does it happen? What can be done about it? We will consider the contributions that two existentialist philosophers, Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon, can make to understanding this ‘implicit bias’. [...]

Feb
19

Last Night’s Cafe: What can science tell us about the future?

To what extent can science tell us what to do about the future, especially in relation to novel phenomena like climate change. Flooding across the Southwest since early January and now across the south and some areas of the Home Counties saw a link being made last week in the mainstream media for the first [...]

Feb
11

Next Cafe: What can science tell us about the future?

Human-caused climate change has now been openly linked to recent flooding events in Wales and Southern England. Last year’s report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reaffirmed that climate science is increasingly clear on the influence of humans on global climate. But there remain many uncertainties and complexities to consider. What exactly can science [...]

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