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November 26th, 2014 6:00 PM   --   8:30 PM

Was David Hume the first humanist?

Scottish philosopher David Hume wrote extensively on ethics, and on religion. His great contribution was to recognise what has become a central tenet of modern Humanism, which is that the second typically has nothing positive to give to the first. 

Its effects are more often negative, through its capacity to harden the heart and pervert the understanding. 

In this lecture, Simon Blackburn explains his thinking on both topics, and on the negative relation between them. 

Essential Information

Time: Doors open at 6.00pm for a 6:30pm start - 8.30pm (followed by a drinks reception)
Date: 26 November
Venue: UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (Anatomy G29 J Z Young LT)

Presented by Professor Simon Blackburn

Simon Blackburn is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, part-time Research Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Professor of the New College of the Humanities. 

He has also held visiting appointments at the University of Melbourne, the University of British Columbia, Oberlin College, Princeton University, Ohio State University, the Universidad Autonomia da Mexico, and was for ten years Adjunct Professor at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra. From 1984 —1990 he edited the journal Mind. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2001 and Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.

His books include two introductions to philosophy, Think (Oxford) and Being Good (Oxford), as well as Lust (2004),Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed (Allen Lane), The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Mirror, Mirror: The Uses and Abuses of Self-Love, and numerous other academic publications.

The Bentham Lecture is organised by the Humanist Philosophers' Group with support from the British Humanist Association and the Philosophy Department at University College London.


UCL, Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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