Philosophy Public Lecture Series 2018 – Apocalypses Now? is a series of five lectures between Tuesday 16 Jan and Tuesday 13 March. They are free to attend and open to all, and take place in the Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre. All details can be found on the UEA website.

The 2018 philosophy public lectures at UEA are about the possible apocalypses facing our world. The five lectures explore the following themes:

• Where one should find hope, in the face of a deteriorating climate (Tue 16 Jan): Can we still find human hope, in the face of a climate crisis that we seem unwilling to solve, and the deteriorating future that therefore threatens?

• Are robots going to supplant humanity? (Tue 30 Jan):
Does Artificial Intelligence [AI] threaten humanity itself, or are there philosophical reasons for believing that AI is an over-hyped threat? A panel debate!

• It’s already eternal Treblinka for animals (Tue 13 Feb):
Are our non-human kin already enduring apocalypse, and if so what can be done about it? With new UEA Professor and the world’s leading animal-rights lawyer Gary Francione.

• This civilisation is finished (Tue 27 Feb):
Is industrial-growth civilisation doomed? What can replace it?

• That we carry on like this IS the catastrophe (Tue 13 March):
Is catastrophe still to come for humanity? Or is it in fact already here, only we privileged few haven’t noticed yet? With Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges.

Series convenor Dr Rupert Read said: “This year’s public lectures are given by philosophers who share a sense of the need for a profound ethical and practical transformation of our civilisation. The lectures contemplate too what will occur if such a desirable transformation does not occur, and what we should do to prepare for that possibility. In the view of many of us, our civilisation WILL be transformed. Either profoundly for the better; or by making way for something completely different, through a process of some kind of collapse. If philosophers aren’t willing to contemplate that stark choice, who will be? So thinking about the future begins here.”