The Bullshit Industry
2019 - 36 minutes
This talk was given at a conference on Truth, Trust and Democracy in London on 29 November 2019. My reference to ‘the bullshit industry’ was a reference to the army of philosophers and political commentators who, inspired by Harry Frankfurt, use the notion of bullshit to analyse politics today. I argued that such ‘bullshit analyses’ are inadequate and are themselves a form of bullshit.
Extremism: A Philosophical Analysis
2019 - 28 minutes
A keynote for the Finnish Institute in London and Academy of Finland seminar at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, and Harris Manchester College on 25 October 2019. The talk distinguishes between positional, psychological and methods extremism. Psychological extremism is analysed in terms of the idea of an extremist mindset, and much of the talk is about the nature of this mindset.
Reflections on Self-Knowledge
2018 - 52 minutes
This talk was given in Padua on 17 December 2018 at a workshop on knowledge and self-knowledge. It was a chance for me to comment on my book Self-Knowledge for Humans six years after it was written, and also to develop some new thoughts about the relationship between my view of self-knowledge and Gareth Evans’ influential discussion in The Varieties of Reference.
A Philosophical Perspective on Radicalization
2017 - 23 minutes
This short talk was given on 22 September 2017 at a colloquium on Universities, Security and Intelligence Studies at Oriel College, Oxford. The talk, which was for an audience of intelligence professionals and security specialists, developed the case that the concepts of radicalization is of limited value in understanding the turn to political violence. Instead of a single ‘radicalization process’, there are multiple individual pathways that call for a special type of understanding.