Next RIP Lecture: 24 February

Our next RIP lecture is on Tuesday:

24 February 2009
6:00-7:30 pm
Chancellor’s Building Rm CBA0.060

Dr Stephen McLeod
University of Liverpool


Some of the duties of individuals and organisations involve responsiveness to need. This requires knowledge of need, so the epistemology of need is relevant to practice. The prevailing contention among philosophers who have broached the topic is that one can know one’s own needs (as one can know some kinds of desires) by feeling them. The article argues against this view. The main positive claims made in the article are as follows. Knowledge of need, in both first-person and second-person cases, is a type of knowledge-that with no single basic epistemological source. Needs, like medical conditions, have signs and symptoms. Knowledge of these, with inference, results in knowledge of need. Finally, it is argued that need is akin to, but not a special cases of, metaphysical necessity de re. Some implications of this for the epistemology of need are explained.

All welcome! Wine!

First PhilSoc debate of 2009!

Hi, thanks to everyone who braved the weather to make it to the first PhilSoc debate of the year.

The topic of debate was whether love was selfless or selfish and it brought up a lot of interesting debates about altruism and whether being selfish is actually a bad thing or not. It also brought up the problem of anyone wanting a selfless relationship as it would assume that the person did not value your input to making their lives better, as that would be a selfish motive.

For anyone who hasn’t had an email, please contact me if you wish to be considered for the position of the next PhilSoc president. I shall be deciding over the next month or so, so if you do want to be considered, showing up for the debates regularly is a necessity. It is something that would look great on a CV and while it is not exhaustive it does hold some interesting challenges. Applicants must be comfortable with the idea of public speaking. Wine bottle opening is an added bonus!

Hope to see more people next time, and if anyone has any debate topics, please get in touch with me on