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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

How the Light Gets In 2015 Event

Institute of Arts and Ideas
21 - 31 May 2015
The Globe Festival Site

Event details

Ray Monk will be speaking at HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest philosophy and music festival, this May.

HowTheLightGetsIn, the world’s largest philosophy festival, is back with a new theme: ‘Fantasy and Reality’. From the dangers of morality to the limits of knowledge, join leading philosophers John Searle, Mary Midgley, Simon Blackburn, Ray Brassier, Ted Honderich, Rae Langton, Bernard Stiegler, Peter Hacker, Nancy Cartwright, John Milbank, Berit Brogaard and many more to challenge the foundations of our reality and discover the new fantasies shaping our world.

Ray Monk will be debating in ‘The Word and the World’ on whether there are limits to what language can say and giving a talk on whether music can reveal otherwise inaccessible realities. For more info head to

HowTheLightGetsIn flyer

Highlights are set to Include

The Good, The Bad and the Dangerous (Saturday 23rd May)


Most of us aspire to lead moral lives. Yet the Romans believed slavery was moral, Victorians that the Empire was moral, and today's suicide bombers that 9/11 was moral. Is morality a dangerous fantasy? Would abandoning it free us from the shackles of prejudice, or is it an essential part of being human?

Italian philosopher and author of Nihilism and Emancipation Gianni Vattimo, anthropologist Daniel Everett and Darwinian philosopher Helena Cronin debate the value of virtue.


Life, the Universe and Everything (Saturday 23rd May)


Philosophers have always sought grand theories to explain the world's mystery. And Stephen Hawking once predicted that science would have its own Theory of Everything by 2000. Yet we are no closer to an answer. Are we necessarily limited and reality beyond reach or is a solution just round the corner?

Theoretical physicist Roger Penrose, Oxford philosopher Peter Hacker and maverick scientist Aubrey de Grey envisage an ultimate theory of everything. Gabrielle Walker hosts.


In Search of the Self (Saturday 23rd May)


There is no self, no 'I', only a flickering illusion. So claim many neuroscientists and philosophers. Yet for the rest of us, the denial of the self feels like a bitter pill to swallow. Is the self a fantasy? Or is it essential to our being and consciousness?

Philosopher Simon Blackburn, neuroscientist Colin Blakemore, philosopher and author of Are you an Illusion? Mary Midgley seek out the all-seeing I.


Belief and the Gods (Saturday 30th May)


There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of faiths and gods. Yet each religion believes theirs is the true account. Is this because belief in the divine is a fantasy humans have evolved to hold? Or does it indicate something essential about the character of the world?

Philosopher and author of The War for Children's Minds Stephen Law, Zizek collaborator John Milbank, and anthropologist of religion Madawi al-Rasheed debate the origin of belief.


For more information on Ray's own events please see the following Links

The song of the Real

The Word and the World



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