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Agora: a marketplace of ideas

Welcome to the New Statesman’s philosophy column.

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Agora is a space for academics and other publicly minded thinkers to draw on their education and experience, in order to address contemporary social, cultural, and political issues from a philosophical point of view, and encourage reasonable debate over contentious issues.

The series is moderated by Aaron James Wendland, assistant professor of philosophy at the Higher School of Economics and the co-editor of Wittgenstein and Heidegger and Heidegger on Technology. He tweets @ajwendland.

Below, you’ll find links to all the columns in the series.

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