[SydPhil] 'Inner West Council Philosophy Talk', Cat Moir (USyd): “What is utopia and (why) do we need it?", Thursday, October 17, 6:00pm-7:30pm, Leichhardt Library.

Simon Lumsden s.lumsden at unsw.edu.au
Wed Oct 9 15:18:18 AEDT 2019

Details of the Next (and last for 2019) “Inner West Council Philosophy Talk"

Title: “What is utopia and (why) do we need it?”

Speaker:  Dr Cat Moir (Germanic Studies, University of Sydney)

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘utopia’? A vision of an ideal society or perfect state of humanity? Or an impractical, unrealisable plan or big idea? Understood in the broadest sense as images of a perfect world, utopias have been around for as long as the historical record goes back. The desire to imagine a perfect state, whether here or in the hereafter, is common to many human societies. However, the term was only coined by Thomas More in 1516, whose eponymous work inaugurated a genre of political philosophy that has reverberated down the ages. The twentieth century, in particular, saw mass political movements pursue utopian goals, often with catastrophic results. Utopian thinking has, perhaps, been tainted by some of these historical failures, but does this mean there is no place for utopias today? Or do we need more, not less, imaginative thought and practice to tackle global challenges and work towards a (better) future for all? In this talk, I will explore the concept of utopia and make a case for its continued relevance in today’s world.

Thursday, October 17
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Free event - All welcome - Light refreshments provided (from 5:30pm)

Leichhardt Library, Italian Forum
Bookings online or call 9367 9266

Full details as well as registration for the event are available from this link:
If the event booking says that it is fully booked please still attend as many people who register do not show up on the night.

Dr Cat Moir is senior lecturer in Germanic studies at the University of Sydney. She is an intellectual historian focusing on the history of ideas in the German-speaking world in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her first book, Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics (Brill, 2019) explores the thought of 20th-century utopian thinker Ernst Bloch. She has published widely on the history of utopian thinking, including a chapter on the German reception of More’s utopia in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Utopia.

Upcoming talks:
There will be eight talks in 2020. Details will be availably shortly.

Simon Lumsden
(Inner West Council philosophy talks program coordinator)

Simon Lumsden | Philosophy
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of New South Wales | Sydney | NSW 2052 | Australia
work + 61 2 9385 2369
s.lumsden at unsw.edu.au<mailto:s.lumsden at unsw.edu.au>

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