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10 May 2021updated 08 Jun 2022 11:07am

Agora: a marketplace of ideas

Welcome to the New Statesman’s philosophy column.

By New Statesman

Agora is a space for academics to draw on their education and experience in order to address contemporary social, political and cultural issues from a philosophical point of view.

The series is curated by Aaron James Wendland. Wendland is Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy at King’s College London and Senior Research Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto. He tweets @aj_wendland.

Why public policy shouldn’t be guided by master numbers – Anna Alexandrova, Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge

Why Stoicism isn’t just about you – Nancy Sherman, University Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University

Is this the best of all possible worlds? – AW Moore, Professor of Philosophy at St Hugh’s College, Oxford

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Are severe sanctions against Russia morally justified? – Avia Pasternak, Associate Professor of Political Theory at University College London, and Zofia Stemplowska, Professor of Political Theory at Worcester College, Oxford

What anger tells us about ourselves – Myisha Cherry, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside

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How refugees strengthen democracy and solidarity – Ashwini Vasanthakumar, Queen’s National Scholar in Legal and Political Philosophy and Associate Professor of Law at Queen’s University

Should consuming revenge porn be a criminal offence? – Helen Frowe, Professor of Practical Philosophy at Stockholm University and Jonathan Parry, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the London School of Economics

Why falsehood on Twitter spreads faster than truth – Aaron James Wendland, Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy at King’s College London and Senior Research Fellow at Massey College, Toronto

What Hitchcock’s Vertigo teaches us about love – Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Centre

Why democracies need the notion of a loyal opposition – Jonathan Wolff, Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford

Why social science needs stories – Alex Prescott-Couch, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Tutorial Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford

Reimagining political philosophy – Sophie Smith, Associate Professor of Political Theory at University College, Oxford

The political risks of Big Data dominance – Firmin Debrabander, Professor of Philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art

What is romantic friendship? – Sukaina Hirji is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania and Meena Krishnamurthy is Assistant Professor Philosophy at Queen’s University

Why nation-states struggle with social care – Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley

Are Islamic philosophers critical of authority? – Peter Adamson, Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

Can authoritarianism ever be justified? – Fabienne Peter, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick

Would extinction be so bad? – Roger Crisp, Professor of Moral Philosophy and Uehiro Fellow at St. Anne’s College, Oxford

What we’ve lost with the rise of TV streaming – Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Centre

Can comedy change the world? – Kieran Setiya, Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Do gender norms enforce a divide between philosophy and literature? – Carrie Jenkins, Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia

How much should we trust technology? – C. Thi Nguyen, Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Utah

Do we have a duty to read women writers? – Rachel Fraser, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Tutorial Fellow at Exeter College, Oxford

Why compelling narratives are the key to political success – Quassim Cassam, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick

Why drugs should be not only decriminalised, but fully legalised – Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and Michael Plant, Fellow at the Wellbeing Research Center at the University of Oxford

How empty stadiums are killing the character of sports clubs – Jake Wojtowicz, Philosophy Instructor in Rochester, New York

What the New Atheists miss about the meaning of God – Adrian Moore, Professor of Philosophy and Tutorial Fellow at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford

Does the truth set us free? – Ulrika Carlsson, PhD in Philosophy at Yale University and writer for Axess Magazine in Stockholm, Sweden

Why social liberals are not moral relativists – Thomas Hurka, University Professor and Jackman Chair in Philosophical Studies at the University of Toronto

How to prevent AI from taking over the world – Ruth Chang, Chair and Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow at University College, Oxford

Why Donald Trump was the ultimate anarchist – Melissa Lane, Class of 1943 Professor of Politics and Director of the University Centre for Human Values at Princeton University

How should we relate to the work of “cancelled” artists? – Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Centre

Why we have a moral duty to acknowledge strangers – Kimberley Brownlee, Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia

Why Epicureanism, not Stoicism, is the philosophy we need now – Catherine Wilson, Presidential Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York

Why should we care if humans die out? – Tom Sinclair, Associate Professor and Tutorial Fellow in Philosophy at Wadham College, Oxford

In defense of NIMBYism – Christine Sypnowich, Queen’s National Scholar and Head and Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University

What US democracy can learn from Ancient Greek philosophy – Teresa Bejan, Associate Professor of Political Theory and Tutorial Fellow at Oriel College, Oxford

The moral conflict between environmentalism and animal welfare – David Egan, Lecturer in Philosophy at Outer Coast College

How liberalism paves the way for populism – Akeel Bilgrami, Sidney Morganbesser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University

The politics of stupidity – Sacha Golob, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Kings College London

The problem with philanthropy – Sally Haslanger, Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies at MIT

How Britain and the US became trapped in the nationalism of decline – Jeff McMahan, White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy at Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Why no vote is deplorable – Michael Hannon, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham

Why thinking as a team is more important than ever – David Papineau, Professor of Philosophy of Science at King’s College London

Why rebranding higher education as ‘job training’ is an offense to humanism – Zina Hitz, Tutor at St. John’s College, Annapolis

What the problem of moral luck teaches us about lockdown rule-breakers – Roger Crisp, Professor of Moral Philosophy at St. Anne’s College, Oxford

Why Bertrand Russell’s argument for idleness is more relevant than ever – Max Hayward, Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Sheffield

Horror and comedy: screaming and laughing – Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center

Black Lives Matter and the politics of violence – Alexander Blanchard, Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London

How coronavirus exposed our society’s ageism – Vittorio Bufacchi, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at University College Cork

What the pandemic tells us about personal identity – Kieran Setiya, Professor of Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

How bias algorithms perpetuate inequality – Susanna Schellenberg, Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University

Love isn’t about happiness. It’s about understanding and inspiration – Carrie Jenkins, Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia

Leadership should be defined by consensus not coercion in a time of crisis – Christopher Finlay, Professor of Political Theory at Durham University

What does the corona crisis teach us about the value of work? – Lisa Herzog, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Groningen

Climate and coronavirus: the science is not the same – Eric Schliesser, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and Eric Winsberg, Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Florida

Why does travelling change us? – Emily Thomas, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Durham University

Why human rights are not enough – Will Kymlicka, Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University

Why extremism is a question of psychology, not politics – Quassim Cassam, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick

How the rhetoric of weaponization is undermining liberal ideals – Robert Simpson, Lecturer in Philosophy at University College London

What Jean-Jacques Rousseau can teach us about Twitter – Boris Litvin, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stetson University

How Christmas decorations reflect our obsession with adornment – Stephen Davis, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Auckland

Is the quest for immortality worse than death? – Adrian Moore, Professor of Philosophy at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford

Why severe inequality is never justified – Philip Goff, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Durham University and David Faraci, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Durham University

The myth of the undeserving poor – Jonathan Wolff, Blavatnik Chair in Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford

Are drone strikes ever ethical? – Trish Glazebrook, Professor of Philosophy at Washington State University

Privacy is a collective concern – Carissa Véliz, Research Fellows at the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics, Oxford

Why conspiracy theories are deeply dangerous – Quassim Cassam, Professor of Philosophy at Warwick University.

Millennials are fine with being vague about gender – Carrie Jenkins, Professor of Philosophy at the University of British Columbia.

Why our relationship with technology is destroying the planet – Aaron James Wendland, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Higher School of Economics.

Are human rights taking over the space once occupied by politics? – John Tasioulas, Yeoh Professor of Politics, Philosophy, and Law at King’s College London.

Marriage is an unequal institution that belongs in the past – Clare Chambers, fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.

Fifty years on, is there any point in returning to the moon? – Tony Milligan, teaching fellow in ethics and the philosophy of religion at King’s College London.

Where are all the women in ancient philosophy? – Peter Adamson, Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilians Universität

Should corporate executives be criminally prosecuted for their misdeeds? – Jeff McMahan, White’s Professor of Moral Philosophy at Corpus Christ College, Oxford

Can placebo surgery ever be ethical? – David Papineau, Professor of Philosophy of Science at King’s College London

When is someone Just Joking? – Noël Carroll, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center

How to get on with your political enemies – Brian Weatherson, Marshall Weinberg professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan

Should humans be allowed to colonise outer space? – Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, and Agata Sagan, research fellow at the University of Warsaw

Climbing trees and raising children with Simone de Beauvoir – Jonathan Webber, professor of philosophy at Cardiff University

Human supremacism: Why are animal rights activists still the orphans of the left? – Will Kymlicka, Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy as Queen’s University

The problem with “post-work” – Jeff Noonan, professor of philosophy at the University of Windsor.

Why British jihadists can’t be charged with treason – Cecile Fabre, senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

Like most secessionist movements, Brexit shows that breaking up is hard – David Miller, professor of political theory at Nuffield College, Oxford.

How meritocracy caused the college admissions scandal – Michael McLendon, professor of political science at California State University.

A philosophy for our age of outrage – Todd May, Class of 1941 Memorial professor of the humanities at Clemson University.

In liberal democracies, should minorities have a claim to different rights? – Paul Patton, Scientia professor of philosophy at the University of New South Wales.

The digital age could spell a workplace revolution – for better or worse – Liza Herzog, professor of political philosophy and theory at the Technical University of Munich

From golf to Grand Theft Auto, why do we love playing games? – Thomas Hurka, Jackman Distinguished Chair in philosophical studies at the University of Toronto

Why Brexit distorts the will of the people – Philip Pettit, L.S. Rockefeller University professor of human values at Princeton University

How can we teach objectivity in a post-truth era? – Simon Blackburn, fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge

Taking back control for real: the case for open borders – Roger Crisp, professor of moral philosophy at St Anne’s College, Oxford

Why we should stop fixating on what Muslim women wear – Alia Al-Saji, associate professor of philosophy at McGill University

In the post-truth world, we need to remember the philosophy of science – Timothy Williamson, Wykeham professor of logic at New College, Oxford

The backlash against “gender ideology” must stop – Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley

I was no-platformed. Here’s why it’s counterproductive – Jeff McMahon, White’s professor of moral philosophy at Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Philosophy must be dragged out of the ivory tower and into the marketplace of ideas – Aaron James Wendland, assistant professor of philosophy at the Higher School of Economics

Martha Nussbaum: “There’s no tension in supporting #MeToo and defending legal sex work”  – Aaron James Wendland interviews Martha Nussbaum, professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago