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The Great Debate at Newcastle Science Festival 2005

The Great Debate and Newcastle Philosophy Society present

The Nature of Being Human

Friday 18th March 2005

Public discussion held as part of

Click here for Proceedings

Venue     Outline     Booking     Relevant Links     Books

Adam Bell Inge Rebergen Colin Talbot Caspar Hewett LG 38 Bedson Teaching Centre
Queen Victoria Road,
University of Newcastle,
Newcastle upon Tyne
Location Map

Chair: David Large

Colin Talbot, author The Paradoxical Primate
Caspar Hewett, Chair, The Great Debate
Inge Rebergen, Historian and philosopher
Adam Bell, Kantian philosopher

What is that defines the nature of being human?

This question has fascinated philosophers and scientists for centuries and the proposed answers remain highly contested. Is it a universal nature? Is it consciousness? Is it our capacity for rational thought? Is it our ecological ability to adapt our environment rather than adapt to it? A number of secondary questions arise about how we can best interrogate the subject: Can we rely on reason alone? What can the study of evolution tell us about ourselves? How do these considerations interrelate? Why is it so popular to apply Neo-Darwinist principles to human behaviour and to society today? And what do philosophers of mind make of all this? Is it a scientific question at all?

These questions and others will be examined through a discussion of what it is to be human.

Come along, hear the arguments and have your say.

Pre-booking is essential as numbers are limited.

To book e-mail:

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Relevant Links

Colin Talbot's homepage at Nottingham University
Of Blank Slates and Zombies by Caspar Hewett
Reflections on the Blank Slate by Caspar Hewett
Modern Theory and the Human Mind by Caspar Hewett
Sexual Selection: The Human Mind and the Peacock's Tale by Caspar Hewett
Minds, Genes and Consciousness by Caspar Hewett
Review of 'Man, Beast and Zombie' by Kenan Malik, Caspar Hewett
Discussions on David Chalmers - "Absent Qualia, Fading Qualia, Dancing Qualia" by Inge Rebergen
Why Philosophers love zombies by Inge Rebergen
Tabletop by Inge Rebergen
What Can Science Tell Us About Human Nature? by Kenan Malik
The Great Blank Slate Debate
Minds, Genes and Consciousness by David Large
Determinism and Free Will in Science and Philosophy by David Large
Philosophical Responses to Evolution by David Large

Buy these books from Amazon
The Paradoxical Primate The Blank Slate Consciousness Explained Kinds of Minds Man, Beast and Zombie

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© C J M Hewett, 2005