We run a programme of events and public engagement activities including the highlights below:

We regularly team up with Cinema City to host public screenings related to our research. UEA philosophers introduce great movies with philosophical themes. Each film is followed by a Q&A session and then drinks in the bar, where discussion can continue further. No prior knowledge of philosophy required! ​

Normal cinema prices and concessions apply.​

To book tickets call Cinema City on 0871 902 5724 or visit the Cinema City website​.

"And what of doing evil in return for evil, which is the morality of the many - is that just or not?"​

—  the prisoner Socrates, in Plato's dialogue, Crito​

The Crito Project is an organisation whose purpose is to provide a degree-level education in philosophy, logic and ethics to inmates serving their sentences in the East of England. The Project has been active since 2013 and has expanded to the point where it is delivering education across three prisons. The Crito Project's academic provision is overseen and endorsed by the University of East Anglia's Philosophy Department.​

We believe that education is the most effective method of reform available to us as a society, and that it has the power to alter people's self-perception, their future, and the lives of those around them.​

Current education provision in our prisons comes to an abrupt halt at Level Two; the central premise of this project is that this arbitrary ceiling is having a limiting effect upon the efficacy of our prison system in achieving its central goal, namely the reform of those people within its institutions. This is not a small concern: the reduction of crime, and the wellbeing of many excluded members within our society, rest upon the efficacy of our prison system.​

Feb  02 – Michael Stuart (National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan): Why are modern scientific papers written like that? Ask Virginia Woolf!

Feb 20 – Shaun Nichols (Cornell): The nature and emergence of property norms.

March 02 – Richard Breheny (UCL): Pragmatic Implicatures: Alternative priming, salience, and context adaptation

March 16 – Robert Booth (Liverpool Hope): When talk is not cheap: Phenomenology and environmental activism

Easter break

April 27 – Anna Alexandrova (Cambridge): Defining ‘social science’ in the age of interdisciplinarity

May 11 – James Miller (Durham): Towards a unified ontology of words

The UEA Wittgenstein workshop is an international research seminar with a focus on Wittgenstein's philosophy broadly understood. This includes its background and influences, Wittgenstein's relation to his interlocutors, the reception of his philosophy and its relation to 20th century philosophers and philosophical movements, Wittgenstein's relation to and relevance for contemporary positions and debates in philosophy.​

The workshop meets several times per term, and is attended by our academic staff, Undergraduate and Postgraduate students. Generally anyone with an interest in Wittgenstein at UEA, or another HE institution, or with relevant interests and background is welcome to attend. Talks are given by invited speakers from the UK or overseas, our academic staff, and Postgraduate students.

Read more about the UEA Wittgenstien workshop.

Feb 8 – Tamara Dobler (University of Amsterdam) ‘Do Tautologies and Contradictions Have Aboutness?’

Feb 22 – Silver Bronzo (University of Chicago) ‘The Tractatus against the Force/Content Distinction’

Mar 8 – Ian Ground (University of Hertfordshire) ‘Black Boxes, Beetles and Beasts’

Mar 22 – Charles Travis (King’s College London) TBA

May 3 – Hanoch Ben-Yami (Central European University) ‘Wittgensteinian Thoughts on the Imagination’

May 17 – Edward Minar (University of Arkansas) ‘Philosophical Investigations §§281-288’

May 31 – Nancy Yousef (Rutgers University) ‘Undisciplined Reading: On the Availability of Wittgenstein for Literary Studies’

Online research seminar co-chaired by Alice Leal (Wits University, South Africa) and Philip Wilson (UEA).

Find out more

Public Lectures

The UEA Philosophy Public lecture series is held in the spring term and features UEA and external academics.

The UEA Philosophy Public lecture series is held in the spring term and features UEA and external academics.

Science and the Humanities in the Contemporary Imagination

The UEA Philosophy Public Lecture Series 2023 will explore the relation between science and the humanities in contemporary intellectual thought. Scientific work often impacts ordinary life but is rarely developed against a reflection of humane values, whilst the humanities work on pressing issues of cultural value apart from a scientific mindset. Can philosophy help bring the two together towards an integrated vision of culture?

Thank you to our sponsor, The Royal Institute of Philosophy.

If you have any questions, please contact: philosophyevents@uea.ac.uk

All events are free and open to all, no booking required. The series will be held in person at Thomas Paine Study Centre (TPSC) Lecture Theatre (see campus map). Free parking is available in the UEA West Carpark from 5:30pm the night of the event. UEA West Car Park is located on Chancellor’s Drive, next to TPSC.

Please arrive at 6:00pm for a 6:15pm start, the events will run until approximately 8:00pm.


Tue 14 March 2023 | 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA

A More Human AI – Nancy Roberts (Umbrella Analytics) and Prof Richard Harvey (UEA)

The current debate about artificial intelligence is between those who believe in true AI and those who don’t. People are worried about the impact of digital technologies on their lives, especially in the job market and in cyberwars. Nancy Roberts from Umbrella Analytics and Prof. Richard Harvey from the School of Computing Science will tell us about how the humanities can help us navigate the thrilling promises and real boundaries of AI.


Tue 21 March 2023 | 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA

Science for the People – Prof Stephen Ashworth (UEA) and Prof Kay Yeoman (UEA)

Scientific knowledge is robust because it is the product of a collective effort, but this process has its own challenges, some of which concern how we communicate what is worth investigating and how we should pursue it. Professor Kay Yeoman from the School of Biological Sciences (UEA) and Professor Stephen Ashworth from the School of Natural Sciences (UEA) will chart the challenges facing science communication and the bridges that sometimes need to be constructed between research activities, outputs and their communication to a wider audience.


Mon 27 March 2023 | 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA

Knowledge Through Imagination – Dr Milena Ivanova (Cambridge University), Dr Fiora Salis (University of York) and Dr Adam Toon (University of Exeter)

Our imagination can take us beyond the here and now in works of literary fiction and philosophy, but also in scientific and technological research. Imagination helps us make sense of what other people are thinking, to problem-solve and make decisions. Dr Fiora Salis (University of York), Dr Adam Toon (University of Exeter) and Dr Milena Ivanova (University of Cambridge) will discuss the functions of the imagination and how we can hone its power to deal with the complex problems we confront as a society.

Followed by a free drinks reception.


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Big Ideas in Education: Past, Present and Future.

How we learn to think about the world shapes what can be thought about it. Education, then, is philosophy in action. Now, in these times of enormous challenge and change, it has never been more important to question what it is we do when we teach and learn.

This lecture series invites a team of experts to discuss some of the 'big ideas' in education. Looking back and forward for inspiration, it explores what is taught, how, when, and why. Finally, it imagines what possible learning lives future generations might hope to lead.

Thank you to our sponsor, The Royal Institute of Philosophy.

If you have any questions, please contact: philosophyevents@uea.ac.uk.


Tue 1 February 2022 | 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA
Why is Lawrence Stenhouse Still Important?
- Professor John Elliott (UEA)

Professor John Elliott introduces the life and work of Lawrence Stenhouse, an influential figure in educational theory and founding director of the innovative Centre for Applied Research in Education here at UEA. This lecture will locate Stenhouse’s ideas in a particular philosophical tradition and explore their relevance for society today.

Tue 8 February 2022| 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA
Beyond the Ivory Tower?
– Associate Professor Victoria Showunmi (UCL) and Dr Sophie Scott-Brown (UEA)

Associate Professor Victoria Showunmi will address diversity in higher education, relating the concept to what it means in terms of practice, structure, and educational leadership. Dr Sophie Scott-Brown will reflect on the different concepts of diversity and inclusivity, and the implications of this for 'widening participation' in higher education. 

Tue 22 February 2022 | 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA
Why has Education become so Instrumental?
- Dr Geoff Hinchliffe (UEA), with UEA student contributions

The idea that education is “worthwhile in itself” often appears somewhat out-dated and naïve. Education is experienced as a process driven by tests, exams and an achievement culture. For government, education’s prime role is seen in economic and employability terms. This presentation will give some reasons why this is so, drawing on both the post-war political trajectory in England and also the ideas of Max Weber, Michel Foucault and Lyotard. The lecture concludes by suggesting a different, enabling role of the state in educational provision and giving greater responsibilities and scope to those engaged in educating.

Tue 15 March 2022 | 18:15 – 20:00 | Thomas Paine Study Centre Lecture Theatre, UEA
Where and How Will Education Take Place?
- Professor Judith Suissa (UCL)

Philosopher, Professor Judith Suissa reflects on the 'other' spaces of education, the informal forms of learning that takes place between peers and friends, within families and communities. While less acknowledged, these spaces are vital to human development and flourishing, and, if supported, offer rich potential for the future.

CANCELLED EVENT: Tue 22 March 2022 | 18:15 – 20:00
"What If?" - Imagining Future Landscapes of Education
- Dr John Gordon and East Norfolk College

Bad News is Good News? The Upside of Down

We live in times of endemic crisis... The long drawn-out epochal phenomenon of climate-decline. The shorter emergencies that are pandemics. And many more. It is obvious that events such as these have the capacity to hurt us badly, even to destroy us. But what about the other side of the coin? Are there ways in which these crises can enrich us?... Even make us?

This series will look at that question from the perspective of popular philosophising. How can we truly make the best out of the crises caused by our civilisation? What is the potential upside of down? 

Thank you to our sponsor, The Royal Institute of Philosophy.

If you have any questions please contact: philosophyevents@uea.ac.uk

Tue 9 February 2021 | 18:15 – 20:15 | Online

Silver Linings From the Ecological Emergency - Amitav Ghosh (Author, The Great Derangement) in conversation with Rupert Read (UEA)


Tue 23 February 2021| 18:15 – 20:15 | Online

Silver Linings From the National Scandal of Covid-19 - Richard Horton (Editor of the Lancet)


Tue 9 March 2021 | 18:15 – 20:15 | Online

Making the Most of Our Flawed Education System, At a Time of Global Crisis - Sophie Scott-Brown (UEA)


Tue 23 March 2021 | 18:15 – 20:15 | Online

Can We Adapt Transformatively To Climate Decline? – Roundtable discussion: Nick Brooks, Joanne Clarke and Rupert Read (all UEA)


Crisis and Control

How should we respond to the multitude of crises that seem to define the contemporary age? Do we need to ‘take back control’? What would that really mean? We all face moments of crisis, but in the world today crisis seems to have become near permanent state, infecting every aspect of our public and private lives.

The 2020 Philosophy Public Lecture Series will explore crisis in family life, in our prison system, in political rhetoric and our emotions, and ask why so many people today are turning to the ancient philosophy of stoicism for answers.


Tuesday 14 January, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Managing a Domestic Crisis: Seneca, Stoicism and the Family” Dr Elizabeth Gloyn (Royal Holloway)

Listen back to the lecture:


Tuesday 28 January, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Philosophy and Freedom: Practicing Stoicism in Prison” Dr Ben Walker (Crito Project and UEA)

Listen back to the lecture:


Tuesday 11 February, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Is there a Crisis of Rhetorical Culture” Professor Alan Finlayson (UEA)

Listen back to the lecture:


Cancelled: Tuesday 3 March, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Who's in Charge of our Emotions?” Dr Birgit Breidenbach (UEA)

Owing to the ongoing national dispute between Universities UK (UUK) and the University and College Union (UCU), and resultant strike action by members and supporters of UCU, ‘Who’s In Charge of Our Emotions?’ with Dr Birgit Breidenbach has been cancelled. The event will not be rescheduled as part of this series, we apologise for any disappointment and inconvenience caused.


Postponed: Wednesday 18 March, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“The Rise of Modern Stoicism” Dr John Sellars (Royal Holloway) 

In light of the concern relating to COVID-19 and the increased necessity to contain the spread of infection, UEA has taken the decision to postpone public events.

We place great value on our public events programme and will continue to monitor the situation carefully, making every effort to reschedule cancelled events wherever possible. We apologise for the disappointment caused, and we very much look forward to bringing you notice of new dates as soon as possible.

Being Governed

What does it mean to be governed? We usually associate being governed with politics. In modern democracies, we are supposedly self-governing. But what does it mean to govern ourselves? And do we, really? Or perhaps we should associate being governed with the laws of nature; then being governed comes as necessity. The 2019 Public Philosophy Lecture Series will explore ways in which our lives are being governed that fall in the space between the voluntarism of politics and the necessity of laws of nature, including by way of ‘economics’, ‘rules’, ‘nature’, ‘social science’ and ‘populism’.

We seek to make all our public lectures as accessible as possible. You can listen to audio recordings of all the public lectures in this series, using the links below. 


Tuesday 22 January, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Being Governed by Economics” Dr Alex Douglas (St. Andrews)

Discussant: Prof. Robert Sugden (UEA)

Listen back to the lecture:


Tuesday 5 February, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Being Governed by Rules for Belief” Dr James Andow (UEA)

Discussant: Ian Hare (UEA)

Listen back to the lecture:


Tuesday 19 February, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Being Governed by Nature” Dr Rupert Read (UEA)

Discussant: Dr Janosch Prinz (UEA) and Dr Sophie Scott-Brown (UEA)

Listen back to the lecture:


Tuesday 5 March, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Being Governed by Social Science” Dr Michael Frazer (UEA)

Discussant: Dr Zeynep Pamuk (Oxford) 

Listen back to the lecture:


Tuesday 19 March, 6:15pm

Thomas Paine Lecture Theatre

“Being Governed by Populist Logic” Dr Marina Prentoulis (UEA)

Discussant: Dr Emmy Eklundh (KCL)

Listen back to the lecture:

Apocalypses Now?


Tuesday 16 January

"Where one should find hope, in the face of a deteriorating climate."

John Foster, response from Samantha Earle.

This event is followed by a drinks reception which is free and open to all.


Tuesday 30 January

"Are robots going to supplant humanity?"

A panel discussion with Dr Gareth Jones, Dr Rupert Read and Dr Ryan Dawson, chaired by Prof Catherine Rowett.


Tuesday 13 February

"It's already eternal Treblinka for animals"

Prof Gary Francione, response from Prof Catherine Rowett.

This event is followed by a drinks reception which is free and open to all.


Tuesday 27 February - CANCELLED

"This civilisation is finished"

Dr Rupert Read, response from Deepak Rughani (Co-founder Biofuelwatch)

Read the text of the lecture: Some thoughts on ‘civilisational succession’


Tuesday 13 March

The Curve at the Forum

"That we carry on like this IS the catastrophe"

Chris Hedges (Pulitzer Prize Winner), response from Dr Rupert Read.