The Annual Lectures

Since 1998, the Institute has held an annual lecture, bringing a philosopher of international standing to London to give a talk on the topic of his or her choosing.  In 2014 and in partnership with the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a new annual lecture was established in Edinburgh. In 2018, Michael P. Lynch gave the first Royal Institute of Philosophy / University of Cardiff Annual Lecture. The Inaugural Royal Institute of Philosophy and University College Dublin Annual Lecture was given by Martha Nussbaum in 2018. 


For details of upcoming annual lectures, please follow the links below:



The Cardiff Annual Lectures

2018 Michael P Lynch, "Fake News and the Politics of Truth" 


The Dublin Annual Lectures

2018 Martha Nussbaum, "Fear, Anger and the Politics of Blame"


The Edinburgh Annual Lectures

2014 Michael Ignatieff, ‘Liberal Democracy and the Challenge of Authoritarian Capitalism‘

2015 Nancy Cartwright, ‘Scientific Generalisations: What’s so Good about Missing out all the Differences?‘

2016 Simon Blackburn, ‘Feelings, Judgment and the Common Pursuit’ 

2017 Peter Singer, ‘Living an Ethical Life’

2018 Melissa Lane, ‘The Idea of Accountable Office in Ancient Greece and Beyond’


The London Annual Lectures

1998 Thomas Nagel,‘Conceiving the Impossible and the Mind-Body Problem’

1999 Alasdair MacIntyre, ‘Social Structures and their Threats to Moral Agency’

2000 Bernard Williams, ‘Philosophy as a Humanist Discipline’

2001 John Searle,‘Freedom of the Will as a Problem in Neurobiology’

2002 Mary Warnock,‘What is Natural and Should We Care About It?’

2003 Jürgen Habermas,‘Religious Tolerance? The Pacemaker for Cultural Rights‘

2004 Noam Chomsky,‘Simple Truths, Hard Choices: Some Thoughts on Terror, Justice and Self-defence‘

2005 John McDowell, ‘Intention in Action’

2006 Jerry Fodor,‘The Revenge of the Given: Mental Representation without Conceptualization’

2007 Sir Anthony Kenny,‘Knowledge, Belief and Faith: Is Religion Really the Root of all Evil?’

2008 T. M. Scanlon, ‘Reassessing Reasons’

2009 Simon Blackburn, ‘The Sovereignty of Reason’

2010 Ned Block, ‘Attention and Mentalism’

2011 Derek Parfit, ‘Is Personal Identity What Matters?’

2012 Christine Korsgaard, ‘On Having a Good’

2013 Tyler Burge, ‘Perception: Where Mind Begins’

2014 David Chalmers, ‘Why isn’t there more progress in philosophy?’

2015 Amartya Sen, ‘Justice and the Idea of Objectivity’

2016 Timothy Williamson, ‘Speculative Philosophy’

2017 Rae Langton, ‘What’s the Point of Immortality?’

2018 Kwame Anthony Appiah, ‘What is a Science of Religion?’