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The London Lectures: Peter Adamson - Don't Think for Yourself: Philosophy, Authority, and Belief in Three Medieval Cultures

Friday 21st February 2020 5:45pm - 7:15pm 107 Charing Cross Road Literary Event, Free Event

We’re delighted to be teaming up with author and philosopher Julian Baggini and the Royal Institute of Philosophy to bring you The London Lectures—a series of wide-ranging talks by experts in the field of Social Epistemology.


How Do We Know? The Social Dimension of Knowledge


Knowledge is often thought of as something that we each individually have: something inside our own minds. But our knowledge depends on other people's testimony and expertise. And what we know depends on what our society makes it possible for us to know, either formally or informally, through social norms and practices that suppress some ideas and privilege others.


Peter Adamson
Don't Think for Yourself: Philosophy, Authority, and Belief in Three Medieval Cultures


Medieval philosophy is commonly assumed to be authority-bound and uncreative. In this talk Peter Adamson, Professor Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at LMU in Munich, shows how medieval philosophers in Latin Christendom, the Islamic World, and Byzantium debated the question of how, and whether, elite scholars and ordinary people should "think for themselves” as opposed to taking authoritative beliefs on trust. The answers they gave remain relevant for us today as we confront our own questions about the role of authority and expertise in society.


Peter Adamson is Professor of Late Ancient and Arabic Philosophy at the LMU in Munich, and retains an appointment at King's College London, where he was Professor of Philosophy until 2012. He is the author of the podcast and book series A History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps.



Tickets: Free reservation

Venue: Level 6, Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road

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