Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

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.


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


Date and Time:

22 October 2008 at 6:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



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

Show map

Organised by:

London School of Economics & Political Science
See other talks organised by London School of Economics & Political Science...




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.

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund