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The Individual and Society: does the West have the balance right?

Forum for European Philosophy panel discussion in collaboration with Standpoint


To many people, the contemporary emphasis on the individual in politics is responsible for loosening the web of duties and relationships that is crucial to civil life and flourishing communities. Of course, the emphasis is typically intended as an ontological as much as a moral one. The reference to the individual aims to give politics a secure foundation in reality, and, so the argument goes, the real foundations of human forms of life are individuals and their families, not societies.

In the forms of life characteristic of the West today have we got the balance between the individual and society right? Why do we find it so hard to agree the boundaries of personal freedom and collective responsibility? And is the West indeed guilty of privileging the individual at the expense of society? In this panel discussion the Forum for European Philosophy is collaborating with the new culture and politics magazine Standpoint to explore a fundamental question about the Western image of the individual and its implications for our lives with others.

John Cottingham is professor of philosophy at the University of Reading. David Willetts is shadow secretary of state for innovation, universities and skills and has been the MP for Havant since 1992. He was shadow secretary of state for work and pensions from 2001-2005 and has worked at HM Treasury and the Number 10 Policy Unit.


Speaker(s):

Professor John Cottingham | talks | www
David Willetts MP | talks
Chair: Daniel Johnston | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

22 October 2008 at 6:30 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

Hong Kong Theatre, London School of Economics &Political Science
Houghton St
London
WC2A 2AE


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Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
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Tickets:

Free

Available from:

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email events@lse.ac.uk or phone 020 7955 6043.

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