Narcissism and identity-determinism

August 11, 2017

A lecture by Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, at The Academy 2017.

Narcissism is now - according to the New York Times - 'the go-to diagnosis' for commentators. Why has cultural narcissism become so deeply woven into the fabric of contemporary society? Why has individualistic self-preoccupation with identity become dominant at the very time when individual autonomy and agency are so weak? Are there any positive aspects in constructing Brand Me and a ‘Narrative of Self’ in terms of reclaiming subjective selfhood? Is narcissism too clichéd a concept to help us understand today’s crisis of identity?


Podcast of Ideas - 3 August 2017

August 3, 2017

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Claire Fox, Izzy Lyons and Rob Lyons to discuss the news of the past two weeks.

As Anthony Scaramucci leaves the White House after just 10 days, what on earth is going on inside the Trump administration? What are the pros and cons of Justine Greening's proposals on self-determination of gender identity? What should we make of the row over pay at the BBC? With public disagreements on what leaving the EU should mean and how long any transitional phase should last, is Brexit itself under threat?


The emergence of the self in history

July 28, 2017

A lecture from The Academy 2017 by Professor Frank Furedi.

This lecture will focus on the gradual development of sensibility towards the self. It will focus on the emergence of self-consciousness during the Renaissance and on the way that the distinction that Luther drew between the inner and external life of the individual opened up the space for the authorisation of the self. The lecture will conclude with reflections on the relationship of the self to the modern conception of subjectivity.


Liberty of conscience, freedom of speech

July 23, 2017

A lecture by Dr Teresa Bejan, associate professor of political theory at the University of Oxford, recorded at The Academy 2017.

Today, many take for granted that the familiar slate of individual rights and liberties—of religion, speech, and association—belonging to citizens of modern liberal democracies go hand-in-hand.  And indeed, since John Stuart Mill, many liberals have assumed that the freedom of speech, in particular, is logically and historically inseparable from the liberty of conscience, the so-called ‘first freedom’ of early modernity from which all other modern liberties developed.  In this lecture, Teresa Bejan challenges this assumption and shows that the connection between the liberty of conscience and freedom of speech is more tenuous, both historically and philosophically, then we might assume—or hope.


Podcast of Ideas - 7 July 2017

July 7, 2017

Rob Lyons is joined by Alastair Donald and Claire Fox to discuss the week's news, including the row over public-sector pay, the current state of play in British politics, Donald Trump vs CNN and the aloof behaviour of Emmanuel Macron.


Podcast of Ideas - 20 June 2017

June 20, 2017

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Alastair Donald, Geoff Kidder and Pauline Hadaway to talk the events of the past week.

Is the public discussion to the Grenfell Tower fire helpful or will it divert attention from some important underlying issues? Why were ministers so quick to label the attack on Muslims in Finsbury Parks as 'terrorism'? What do the Brexit talks and the potential Conservative deal with the DUP mean for Northern Ireland?


Podcast of Ideas: further reflections on Election 2017

June 12, 2017

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Dolan Cummings, Alastair Donald and Claire Fox to discuss the fallout from the General Election.

Can Theresa May survive without an overall majority? Is the strong reaction to a post-election deal with the DUP justified? Has class made a comeback at this election? And how should we view the apparent sharp rise in the youth vote?


Podcast of Ideas: the morning after Election 2017

June 9, 2017

Rob Lyons is joined by Alastair Donald, Claire Fox and Geoff Kidder to discuss the surprise result in the General Election.

Why did May’s gamble fail? What’s behind Labour’s relative success? What does the SNP’s decline mean for Scottish independence? What does it all mean for Brexit?


Podcast of Ideas: UK general election - episode 4

June 5, 2017

Adam Rawcliffe is joined by Rob Lyons, Jacob Reynolds and Izzy Lyons to discuss the ramifications of the London Bridge attack for the election, why the opinion polls are so inconsistent, the state of play in Scotland and what people should consider when deciding who to vote for.


The emergence of the individual

June 2, 2017

Podcast: lecture by Angus Kennedy recorded at The Academy 2016

The Reformation ushered in a shift in authority from clergy to scripture, from obedience to the Word towards interpretation and opinion. Authority became grounded in a reading, in individual perspective, and open to debate. Being true to one’s conscience was more important than obedience to an external ruler: the self, the autonomy of the inner person, grew in importance and led to a conceptual distinction between subject and object, between the internal and the external world - to the emergence of the individual.

For details of this year's event, visit The Academy 2017 page.