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Modern Philosophy Day Course, Sunday 16th November



A day course in modern philosophy with Dr Mark Vernon.


A lively, day crash course in philosophy, exploring the essentials you need to know about the modern figures from Descartes to Nietzsche, and examining the origins of the western tradition since the 17th century. The day will comprise of talks from Mark and group discussions, and there will be time for you to ask Mark any of your burning philosophical questions.


We begin with Descartes, and continue by looking at two different stances in philosophy, empiricism and idealism. Along the way, we will be introduced to figures including Hobbes and Locke, Kant and Bishop Berkeley – key players in the birth of liberal, Enlightened ideas. These are crucial for understanding many of the assumptions we take for granted today, from what counts as knowledge, through what makes a good life, to who we are as human individuals. Finally, we will look at some particular issues in philosophy – the philosophy of science and the philosophy of religion.


Dr Mark Vernon is a writer, broadcaster and teacher. He began his professional life as a priest in the Church of England. He has a PhD in philosophy, and degrees in theology and physics. His most recent books are two on God – God: All That Matters (Hodder) and The Big Questions: God (Quercus) – and he has written books on friendship, wellbeing and the good life. Mark writes regularly for publications in the UK, including the Guardian, TLS and The Tablet. He also broadcasts on the BBC. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London and a keen blogger at
Order of the day
11:00 – 11:15 Arrival, tea & coffee and Introductions
11:15 – 12:00 Descartes and the birth of modernity
12:00 – 1:00 Empiricism, Idealism and the Enlightenment
1:00 – 1:45 Lunch and open symposium
1:45 – 3:00 The philosophy of the self
3:00 – 3:30 Tea and cake
3:30 – 4:30 The philosophy of science and religion
4:30 – 5:00 Conclusions, winter punch. END
Idler Course Testimonials
‘Mark is a great teacher who helps to bring clarity to some potentially very intimidating subjects.’
‘A great place to think, laugh and learn.’
‘It is much better to be talk philosophy than to read it.’


Place The Idler Academy, 81 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QH
Dates Sunday 16th November 2014
Time 11am - 5pm
Duration Full day course
Class Size Maximum of 10
To Book Add to basket or call 0207 221 5908
Benefits Idler exercise book & pencil / lunch and refreshments
Testimonial 'Mark is a great teacher who helps to bring clarity to some potentially very intimidating subjects'.
Cost £125, £112.50 fellows

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