Founded by the late Victor Suchar.

Due to the Coronavirus crisis the BRLSI Philosophy programme continues online.

As we currently do not have an automated payment solution, we rely on your generosity and goodwill to contribute to this lecture and the organisation of others in the future.


Please make a contribution by:

1. Simply clicking on Support the BRLSI . (You can contribute as much or as little as you would like in the open field)


2. Texting: BRLSI 5 to 70085 to donate £5 for Visitors or BRLSI 2 to 70085 to donate £2 for Members

The costs are your donation plus a standard rate message.

The Philosophy Group at BRLSI endeavours to provide time for thought and reflection on many of the major questions of our time, both in the form lectures by eminent speakers and through lively discussion in the Café Philo series. Philosophy is the love of wisdom and it starts with wonder. We look forward to welcoming you to our evenings of philosophical exploration.

If you are interested in brief summaries of previous talks and lectures, you can find these in the new Philosophy Compendium by clicking here.


The 2020 BRLSI Philosophy Programme  


Psychological Wellbeing during the Pandemic - Dr Punit Shah, University of Bath       

The way we interact with each other has fundamentally changed since the Covid-19 crisis, from how we deal with self-isolation, loneliness, solitude to our psychological wellbeing in general. This conversation explores these issues in light of the crisis and considers how this may shape our interactions and psychology in the future.

If you would like to watch the video of the conversation, please click on the image above.


Death and Society - Dr John Troyer, University of Bath

Dr John Troyer and Andreas Wasmuht discuss societies’ attitude to death and how this has changed over time and differs across cultures.

If you would like to watch the video conversation, please click on the above image.


The Meaning of Existence - Being and Becoming - Part 1 From Ritual to Religion


The question of our existence represents one of the fundamental enquiries into what it means to be human. ‘Is there any inherent meaning and purpose to our existence?’, is something humanity has asked itself stretching back into pre-history.

This first lecture in the series traces the Meaning of Existence from early human rituals to the emergence of religion and how each attempts to answer this fundamental question.

If you would like to watch Part 1 of the video Presentation, please click on the image above.



07 July 2020                     Cafe Philo - What is Progress?


                                     Moderated by Don Cameron and Andreas Wasmuht


Friday 5 June 2020     WITTGENSTEIN

                                         Dr Karim Esmail


01 September 2020          The Philosophy of Time

                                     Professor Raymond Tallis


01 December 2020   The history of Philosophy

                                     Professor A C Grayling



Previous meetings


04 February 2020               ETHICS OF REPRODUCTION

                                           Dr Jonathan Ives, Reader in Empirical Bioethics, University of Bristol


07 January 2020          Knowledge & Wisdom 


                                       Donald Cameron and Andreas Wasmuht, BRLSI Convenors


03 December 2019             WHAT IS IT THAT HUMANITY SHOULD NOT GIVE AWAY TO MACHINES?    Dr Patrick Stacey


05 November 2019     The Problem with Truth


                                       Professor A C Grayling, New College of the Humanities


01 October 2019          The Mystery of Music

                                        Professor Ray Monk, University of Southampton


03 September 2019     Reality as Process. An outline of A. N. Whitehead’s metaphysics.

                                        Dr Michael Halewood, University of Essex


07 June 2019              The Nature of Knowledge                                    Dr Karim Esmail, University of Cambridge


07 May 2019             ‘The Mystery of How We Make Sense of the World’    Professor Raymond Tallis, FMedSci FRCP FRSA


02 April 2019          Living in Godless Times - Are we the last individuals?   Dr Mattia Cacciatori, Bath Uni


05 March 2019             Time to Tell: A look at how we tick        Ronald Green



05 February 2019          Why the Mind is not the Brain


                                      Grant Bartley, Editor Philosophy Now Magazine




08 January 2019              CAFÉ PHILO - Who is my neighbour?


                                        Professor Gerard Kilroy, UCL



                                        GEORGE BERKELEY (1685-1753)


                                        Jeremy Comerford, BRLSI member


6 November 2018           THE EVOLUTION OF ETHICS


                                         Dr Diana Fleischman, Portsmouth University


02 October 2018        Appearance v Reality         

                                   Grant Bartley, Editor of Philosophy Now Magazine


04 September 2018    The Mystery of Music - cancelled

                                   Professor Ray Monk, University of Southampton



03 July 2018                 Cafe Philo - What good are the Arts?       Professor Gerard Kilroy

                                       Introduced by Sir Christopher Frayling


08 June 2018                 An Introduction to Hume

                                      Professor Karim Esmail, Lecturer in the Philosophy of Religion

                                      at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge


01 May 2018                  Is Post-Truth Fake News?

                                        Professor Simon Blackburn, University of Cambridge


03 April 2018                 A Kantian view of Europe (and Brexit)

                                        Professor Simon Glendinning, LSE


06 March 2018                 Why do we have Ethics?

                                          Dr Don Cameron, BRLSI Convenor


06 February 2018              Kierkegaard's concept of Anxiety and Immanuel Kant

                                          Professor Alison Assiter, University of the West of England


02 January 2018                 Philosophical mini-debates

                                           Chaired by Dr Don Cameron, BRLSI Convenor


05 December 2017             Café Philo              How tolerant are we?

                                            Chaired by Professor Gerard Kilroy


07 November 2017             The Philosophy of Humanism

                                            Professor A C Grayling, The New College of the Humanities


03 October 2017                  An Introduction to Philosophy for Children           


                                            Tom Bigglestone, The Philosophy Man


05 September 2017             PRACTICAL REASON


                                            Professor John Broome, Oxford University



04 July 2017                        CAFÉ PHILO – DOES TRUTH MATTER?

                                             Chaired by Professor Gerard Kilroy


02 June 2017                       The Problem of Evil

                                             Dr Karem Esmail


02 May 2017                        'Reaching the Limits'

                                              Professor Jane Heal, University of Cambridge


04 April 2017                    ‘The meaning of existence – being and becoming’  

                                           Andreas Wasmuht, BRLSI Philosophy Co-Convenor


07 March 2017                    'Artists and Engineers'

                                             Professor D H Mellor, University of Cambridge


07 February 2017                 'Gossip, Power and Culture - The engine of Society'

                                              A C B Wilson, member of the BRLSI Philosophy Group


03 January 2017                   'Cafe Philo - How good is Democracy?'

                                              Professor Gerard Kilroy, University College London


29 November 2016             'Sex: The Philosophy'

                                             Dr Donald Cameron, BRLSI Convenor


28 October 2016                 ‘Psychology of Ghosts and Hauntings’

                                                Professor Christopher French, Goldsmiths, University of London


04 October 2016                  ‘How we think and how we ought to’

                                                Professor Richard Pettigrew, Bristol University


06 September 2016              Café Philo – 'What is Happiness'

                                                Professor Gerard Kilroy, University College London


12 July 2016                         'Philosophy and the Internet'

                                              Matthew Harris, Head of Religious Studies and IB Coordinator,

                                              Warminster School


05 July 2016                         ‘Stoicism’ 

                                                Dr. Kurt Lampe, Senior Lecturer in Classics, Bristol University


07 June 2016                        ‘The Evolution of Religion’ – Is it adaptive to believe that God is on your side?

                                                Dr. Michael Price, Brunel University


03 May 2016                       ‘Is Philosophy dead?’

                                                David Hampshire, University of Warwick


05 April 2016                   Can Science and Information Technology replace Philosophy?

                                          Dr. Donald Cameron, Philosophy Convenor


01 March 2016                 'Tools to transform our thinking'

                                            Professor Daniel Dennett, Tufts University


02 February 2016                   Café Philo – ‘Why is speech so special?’

                                              Professor Gerard Kilroy – University College London


05 January 2016                  ‘The Holy Good or the Wholly Good’

                                                Duncan McGibbon, BRLSI


Members’ Papers: As always, I am encouraging our members to do a little research and consider presenting a paper. If you are uncertain, get in touch and we can talk about it. You can learn so much more about a subject by actually doing it, rather than just listening. Dates from July 2012 onward, except October, are still open

Subscribe to this Newsletter: To subscribe, please let me have your email address, by post, via my pigeonhole at the BRLSI office, on any bit of paper at a meeting, or simply email me. Email is very useful to communicate any last-minute changes, or as a reminder of events to come. To unsubscribe, just let me know.

Don Cameron,