Talks, Papers and Conference Presentations
2017
‘From desire to encounter: the human quest for the infinite’. University of St Andrews Philosophy Club (Philosophy Department Staff Seminar), April 2017.

‘The Encounter with the Infinite: Descartes’s Third Meditation’. Presentation given to Cambridge/London based theology-philosophy working group on desire and religion, London, March 2017.

‘Transcending science: humane models of religious understanding’. Paper given to University of Reading Philosophy Society, March 2017.

‘Religious belief: where’s the evidence?’. Paper given to Wotton Society, Eton College, March 2017.

‘Nature and Natural Law: The Constraints on Practical Reasoning’. Paper given at international symposium on
Law as a Guide to Justice held in honour of Amanda Perreau-Saussine Ezcurra, Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge, March 2017.

‘Descartes, God and the Mechanistic Universe’. Paper presented at the research seminar programme of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, February 2017.

‘From Desire to Encounter’. Seminar paper given for the
Religious Experience and Desire Research Project 2016-17, held at Kings College London and Heythrop College with support from the Templeton Foundation, January 2017.

‘Descartes and the Philosophy of Mind’. Talk given at Abingdon School, January 2017.

2016
‘Science and the Sacred: Spirituality Without Religion?’ Paper given to Philosophy Society, King’s College London, November 2016.

‘Does the Universe Have a Purpose?’ Panel discussion with Tim Mulgan and Beverley Clack on Mulgan’s ‘ananthropocentric purposivism’, Forum for European Philosophy, London School of Economics, November 2016. Podcast at
http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/theforum/does-the-universe-have-a-purpose/

‘Loving Kindness and Mercy’. Paper given at Open Study Day, St Theosevia Centre for Christian Spirituality, Oxford, November 2016.

‘Morality and the Transcendent’, lecture given for the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion and the Humane Philosophy Project, Blackfriars, Oxford University, November 2016.

‘Religion and Atheism: Beyond the Divide’. Panel discussion with Julian Baggini, Raymond Tallis and Lois Lee, Bristol Festival of Ideas, November 2016.

‘The Epistemic Implications of Religious Diversity.’ Paper delivered at Templeton International Cluster on Religious Diversity, Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt, November 2016.

‘Science and the Sacred: Spirituality without Religion?’ Talk given at Joseph Butler Society for the Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University, October 2016.

‘Making Sense of Things: Philosophy, Science and Religion’. 5th annual Philosophy, Science and Religion lecture given at CUNY La Guardia, NY, October 2016.

‘Science and the Sacred: Spirituality without Religion?’ Annual Walton Public Lecture delivered at Fordham University, New York, October 2016.

‘Loving Kindness and Mercy: Their Human and Cosmic Significance.’ Paper given at one-day conference on
Philosophical and Religious Perspectives on Love, Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College University of London, June 2016.

‘The Future of Belief: (1)The Crisis of Meaning; (2)The New Spirituality’. Two Lectures given at
How the Light Gets In Philosophy and Music Festival (Institute of Art and Ideas), Hay on Wye, June 2016.

‘Why Humility Matters.’ Talk given at St Alban’s Cathedral Study Centre, for series on
Why Philosophy Matters organized by University of Hertfordshire, May 2016.

‘Descartes, God and the
Meditations.’ Talk given at Bishopshalt School, Hillingdon, April 2016.

Renard Endowed Lecture on ‘Transcending Science: Humane Models of Human Understanding’, Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska, April 2016.

‘Descartes and the Problem of Consciousness’. Seminar given at Philosophy Department, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, April 2016.

‘Transcending Science: Humane Models of Human Understanding’. Philosophy of Religions Workshop Series, University of Chicago, School of Divinity, April 2016.

Participant and respondent to opening paper at Templeton funded international cluster on Religious Diversity, involving scholars from Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, and the UK, held at the Sankt Georgen Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule at Frankfurt am Main, March 2016.

‘How to Philosophize about Religion’. Royal Institute of Philosophy Invited Lecture, Keele University, March 2016.

‘Mercy and human nature’. Paper delivered at a symposium with Iain McGilchrist for the Von Hügel Institute lecture series on
The Theme of Mercy, St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, February 2016.

‘Virtue ethics, marriage, feminism and Christianity’. Talk for Wilder Prize ‘Reading Over’, Eton College, February 2016.

‘How to Believe: Understanding the World Religiously’. Philosophy Club, Headington School Oxford, February 2016.

‘The pure light of reason? Layers of meaning in Descartes’s
Meditations’. Opening paper given at two-day international conference on Descartes’s Meditations, Objections and Replies,  Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, January 2016.

‘The Problem of Evil: Why the After-Life Doesn’t Meet the Case’. Natural Theology Group, Athenaeum, London, January 2016.

2015
‘Vision, Praxis and Enactment’. Paper presented at International Conference on Philosophy and the Consecrated Life, Gregorian University, Rome, December 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTjR_JO-3LM&feature=youtu.be

‘God, Descartes, and Secularism’. Lecture given at AKC Lecture Series on
Philosophers and the Question of God, King’s College London, October 2015. God Descartes Secularism

‘Conscience: what is its history, and does it have a future?’ Paper given at Symposium on The History of Moral Concepts held at Millbank House, Westminster, London, hosted by the Centre for Global Studies and the University of Exeter, October 2015.

’How to Understand the World Religiously’. Paper presented at the Centre for Philosophy of Religion/Staff Research Seminar, Heythrop College, University of London, October 2015.

‘What is Religious Understanding, and Does It Compete with Science?’ Talks given at Magdalen College School, Oxford, and Marlborough College, October 2015.

‘Understanding evil: analytic versus humane perspectives’. Paper given at International Conference on
The Argument from Evil in Analytic Philosophy: Prospects and Limits held at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology, Frankfurt, September 2015.

‘Descartes and the Enlightenment’. Lecture given at SUNY Geneseo Western Humanities Summer Program, New College Oxford, July 2015.

‘Philosophy, Religion and the Meaning of Life’. Lecture given at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, July 2015.

‘Detachment, Rationality, Evidence’. Paper given at public conference on
Religious Epistemology, sponsored by Royal Institute of Philosophy, Heythrop College London, June 2015.

‘Descartes, God and Secularism.’ Paper given at Benedictus Academic Research Forum, Burlington House, London, June 2015.

‘Ageing, Mortality and the Meaning of Life’. Paper given to Centre of Medical Ethics and Law, Kings College, University of London, March 2015.

Opening speech in debate at University College London Union Debating Society in support of the motion ‘This House Believes that the New Atheism Does More Harm Than Good’. March 2015.

‘How to Philosophize About Religion’. Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture, University of Wolverhampton, February 2015.

‘Psychoanalysis, philosophy, religion: triangle of conflict or of harmony?’ Paper presented at the Maudsley Philosophy Group, Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital London, January 2015.

‘God and the Soul in Descartes’. Paper given to Edmund Society, Abingdon School, and to Isaiah Berlin Society, St Paul’s School London, January/February 2015.

2014
‘Transcending Science: Humane Models of Religious Understanding’. Paper given at Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College University of London, December 2014.

‘Recovering Religion as a Live Option in a Secular Age’. Paper given at conference on
Faith in A Secular Age: A Conversation with Charles Taylor. Heythrop College, University of London, December 2014.

‘Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life’. Opening Keynote Address at the Cave Hill Philosophy Symposium, Tenth Anniversary Conference on
Philosophy of Religions, University of the West Indies, Barbados, November 2014.

‘The Meaning of Life.’ Headington School, Oxford, November 2014.

‘Philosophy, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’. Swindon Philosophical Society, October 2014.

‘Descartes: theist, epistemologist, scientist’. Paper presented to Philosophy Society, Royal Holloway University of London, October 2014.

‘Making Sense of Things: Reflections on Philosophy, Religion and Science’. Presentation to Algae Group, Athenaeum, London, October 2014.

‘The Psychoanalytic and the Religious Quest: Four Parallels’. Plenary paper at conference on
Philosophy and Psychoanalysis in Dialogue, University of London, October 2014.

‘From Descartes to Darwin and Beyond’. Two-day Master Class given at the Institute of Philosophy’s Doctoral Program, University of Zurich, October 2014.

‘Does Morality Make Sense Without God?’ Opening Public Lecture in Fiftieth Anniversary Lecture Series of the Institute for Social Ethics, Ethik Zentrum, University of Zurich, October 2014.

‘Philosophy, Happiness and the Meaning of Life’. Gloucestershire Philosophy Society, Cheltenham, October 2014.

‘Brain Laterality and Religious Awareness.’ Templeton Symposium on
Ascetical Practice in a Secular Culture, Villa Palazzola, Italy, September 2014.

‘Morality and the Transcendent’. South Street Philosophy Group, Oxford, September 2014.

‘How to Do Humane Philosophy’. Opening keynote lecture at Conference on
Humane Philosophy and the Arts at Blackfriars Hall Oxford, organized by the Humane Philosophy Project, sponsored by the Ian Ramsey Centre University of Oxford and the Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw, July 2014.

‘Morality and Religion.’ Paper given at London School of Philosophy Summer School, Conway Hall, London, June 2014.

‘Morality and the Transcendent’. Paper delivered at Conference on
Morality and God: What’s the Connection? Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London, June 2014.

‘How to Philosophize about Religious Belief’; ‘Intimations of the Transcendent’; ‘Misfortune and Misery’; ‘Religious Conversion’. Mangoletsi public lectures given at the University of Leeds, May 2014.

’‘Human Nature and the Transcendent’. 70th annual Aquinas Lecture delivered in the Aula Magna of the University of Malta, April 2014.

‘Reason, the Emotions and the Good Life’. Lecture given to staff and students of the Theology and Philosophy Departments, University of Malta, April 2014.

‘What is the Sacred?’ Paper given at conference on ‘Thinking the Sacred with Roger Scruton’, Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University, Montreal, April 2014.

‘God and Morality.’ Paper given at New College of Humanities, London, March 2014.

‘Hope and the Virtues.’ Opening paper at Thirty-Fifth Annual Philosophy of Religion Conference,
Claremont Graduate University, California, February 2014.

‘God and the question of evidence’. Paper given at London Philosophy Club, Marylebone, London, January 2014.

2013
‘Reason and Religion.’ Opening keynote paper given at the inaugural conference of the OZSW (Onderzoekschool Wijsbegeerte/Dutch Research School of Philosophy), Erasmus University Rotterdam, November 2013.

‘Is God redundant when it comes to understanding morality?’ Paper given at Centre for Philosophy of Religion seminar programme, Heythrop College, University of London, November 2013.

Opening speech against the motion: ‘This House would allow parents to choose their children’s genes’, Cambridge Union Debate, November 2013.

‘The Philosophical Search for Truth’. Inaugural lecture for series on
Truth and Uncertainty organized by the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford, October 2013.

‘Present-day Academic Philosophy’. Panel discussion with Christopher Norris and Severin Schroeder. 6th
PhilosophyTown Festival, Malmesbury, October 2013.

‘Why we are not “persons” ’. Keynote paper given at conference on
Being a Human Being, Being a Person sponsored by Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, and Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw. Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, July 2013.

‘Descartes and Darwin: Reflections on the Sixth Meditation’. Plenary paper given at the 87th
Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and Mind Association, University of Exeter, July 2013.

‘Belief and Nature’. Symposium with Ronald Britton at
Meaning and Mindedness Seminar, Tavistock Clinic, London, June 2013.

‘Philosophy of Religion: metaphysical or anthropological?’ Paper presented at Conference on
The Future for Philosophy of Religion: an exploration of recent ‘turns to the human’ in thinking about religion. Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London, June 2013.

Philosophy, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’. Paper given at second annual programme of presentations and discussions entitled My Night with Philosophers, French Institute, London, June 2013.

‘Descartes, the Passions, and the Good Life’. Paper given at
Quest of the Heart symposium, Birkbeck College, University of London, June 2013.

‘The Meaningful Life and the Transcendent’. Paper presented at debate with Herman Philipse and Wijnand Mijnhardt on
Religion and the Meaning of Life, Descartes Institute, University of Utrecht, May 2013.

‘The passions: help or hindrance to the good life?’ Paper given at Israel-Atlantic Canada Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy, Van Leer Institute Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University, May 2013.

‘Commands and reasons: can there be theistic foundations for morality?’. Paper given at conference on
Does Morality Need Religion?, McDonald Centre, Christ Church, Oxford University, May 2013,

‘Descartes and Darwin’. Natural Theology Group, Athenaeum, London, April 2013.

‘The Meaningful Life: Autonomous Choice or Obedience to the Good’. Paper given to Philosophy Seminar, University of Johannesburg, March 2013.

‘Descartes and Darwin: Reflections on the Sixth Meditation’. Philosophy Department Seminar, Rhodes University, February 2013, and University of Cape Town, March 2013.

‘Philosophy, Happiness and the Meaning of Life’. Public Lecture, Rhodes University, South Africa, February 2013, and Philosophy Society, University of Cape Town, March 2013.

‘Design in Nature.’ Talk and panel discussion with Sarah Coakley and John Worrall for CPNSS and Forum for European Philosophy
Thinking in Public series, London School of Economics, February 2013. podcast

‘Is religious belief philosophically respectable?’ Radley College, January 2013.

‘Ultimate Responsibility and Belief in God’. Religious Studies A
Level Conference, Cheltenham Ladies College, January 2013.

‘The Ontological Argument’. Paper presented at Philosophy, Religion and Ethics A-Level Conference, Heythrop College, London, January 2013.


2012

‘Philosophy, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’. Inaugural lecture in Royal Institute of Philosophy (Oxford Brookes branch) series on Why Philosophy Matters, Ashmolean Museum Education Centre, Oxford, November 2012.

‘Philosophy, Religion and Education’. Speech at Prize Giving, Our Lady’s School, Abingdon, November 2012.

‘Does modern science support belief in God?’ Seminar with Keith Ward, Heythrop College Centre for Philosophy of Religion, London, November 2012.

‘Is Religious Belief Philosophically Respectable?’. Unicorn Group, Oxford, November 2012.

‘Spirituality, Self-discovery and Moral Change’. Seminar given at University of Gloucestershire, The Bible and Spirituality Project, October 2012.

‘The Afterlife: Personal Identity and Survival’. The Abbey School, Reading, September 2012.

‘The Meaningful Life: Autonomous Choice or Obedience to the Good’. Opening paper at Conference of Ethics Research Group, University of Tromsø, September 2012.

‘Dignity, Autonomy and Embodiment’. Plenary paper at European Society for the Philosophy of Religion Biennial Conference, Soesterberg, Netherlands, August 2012.

‘Freud’s Critique of Religion: How Damaging is his Account?’ SUNY Geneseo Western Humanities Summer Course, New College, Oxford, July 2012.

‘Reason, the Emotions and the Good Life’. Opening keynote paper at Fifth International Conference on Ethics and Applied Ethics on the theme ‘Moral Sentiments’. Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), Santa Maria, RS, Brazil. This paper also presented at Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio da Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Rio da Janeiro, Brazil, June 2012.

‘Descartes and “consciousness”: human thoughts and animal passions.’ Paper given at Universidade Federal de Bahia (UFBA), Salvador, and at Universidade Federal do Paraná (UFPR), Curitiba, Brazil, June 2012.

‘Descartes and “consciousness”: human thoughts and animal passions’; ‘Reason, the Emotions and the Good Life’; and ‘Human Nature and the Transcendent’. Papers given at Department of Philosophy and Social Work, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Mallorca, June 2012.

‘Transcendence and Responsiveness’. Paper given at Colloquium in Honour of Fergus Kerr,
The Gift of Desire and the Fear of Loss: Psychological, Philosophical and Theological Perspectives. Blackfriars, Oxford, May 2012.

‘Cosmology, Science, Morality’. St Edward’s School, Oxford, March 2012.

‘From Descartes to Freud: Science, Religion and Self-Awareness.’ Athenaeum, London, March 2012.

‘Human Nature and the Transcendent’. Paper given at Central European University, Budapest, March 2012.

‘Happiness and the Meaning of Life’. Paper given at University of Birmingham Philosophy Society, March 2012.

‘Is Religious Belief Scientifically Respectable? Paper given at one-day Science and Religion Conference, Heythrop College, University of London, March 2012.

‘Conscience, Authority and Conflict’. Paper given at Thomas More Institute Seminar Series on
Conscience, Values and Belief in Public Life, Hampstead, London, February 2012.

‘Confronting the Cosmos: Scientific Rationality and Human Understanding.’ Paper given at Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford, February 2012.

‘Religion and the Mystery of Existence.’ Paper presented at Philosophy of Religion Discussion Group, Oriel College Oxford, and given as public lecture at Heythrop College, University of London, February 2012.

‘Ethics and Religion: how they fit together.’ Paper given at Religious Studies Conference, Heythrop College, London, January 2012.


2011
‘Confronting the Cosmos: Scientific Rationality and Human Understanding.’ Plenary paper at 85th Annual Meeting of American Catholic Philosophical Association, St Louis, Missouri, October 2011.

‘Integrity and Human Flourishing’. Austin Hempel Public Lecture given at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada, October 2011.

‘Knowledge of God: insider information or objective evidence?’ Paper given at St Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS, and Cape Breton University, Sydney, Canada, October 2011.

‘Descartes and “consciousness”: human thoughts and animal passions’. Paper given at Philosophy Colloquium, Dalhousie University and St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada, October 2011.

‘Descartes and Modern Philosophy’, and ‘What’s been happening to Modern Moral Philosophy’. Talks given at Malmesbury History and Ideas Festival, October 2011.

‘Philosophy in Culture and the Public Sphere’: Panelist at Round Table Discussion, British Postgraduate Philosophy Association 15th Annual Conference, University of Reading, September 2011.

‘Knowledge of God: insider information or objective evidence?’ Plenary paper at British Society for the Philosophy of Religion Biennial Conference, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, September 2011.

‘The Meaningful Life: Secular and Christian Perspectives’. Paper given at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, June 2011.

‘Descartes and “consciousness”: human thoughts and animal passions’. Paper given at Philosophy Department, University of Heidelberg, June 2011.

‘Intimations of the Transcendent’. Paper given at Workshop on the theme of
Mystery, Humility and Religious Practice in the writings of David E. Cooper and John Cottingham, Philosophy Department, University of Durham, June 2011.

‘Conscience chez les êtres humains et les animaux’. Seminar paper given at the College de France, Paris, June 2011.

‘Philosophy and Religion in the Modern Age’. Talk given to Dialogue Society, Civic Centre, Reading, May 2011.

‘Human Nature and the Transcendent.’ Paper given at Philosophy Department Seminar, University of Stirling, May 2011.

‘Ethics and Normativity: Why Scientific Reductionism Fails’. Opening address at XLVIII Reuniones Filoóficas Conference on
Biologia y Sujectividad, University of Navarra, Spain, April 2011.

‘Conversion, Self-Discovery and Moral Change’. Paper presented at at Thirty-Second Annual Philosophy of Religion Conference, on the theme
Conversion, Claremont Graduate University California, February 2011.

‘Conversion, Self-discovery and Moral Change’. Presentation at London Natural Theology Group, Athenaeum, and at Oxford Philosophy of Religion Work in Progress group, January 2011.

‘Philosophy and Religion’. Annual Aquinas Dinner speech, St Benedict’s School, Ealing, London, January 2011.

‘Spirituality, Self Discovery and Moral Change’, Philosophy Society, Heythrop College London, January 2011.

2010
‘Conversion, Self-discovery and Moral Change’. Seminar presentation for Centre for Philosophy of Religion, Heythrop College, University of London, December 2010.

‘The Meaning of Life’. Queen’s College Chapel, Oxford, Sunday 28 November 2010.

‘Darwinism, Morality and Meaning’. Paper given to Wotton Society, Eton College, November 2010.

‘Is Religious Belief Philosophically Respectable?’ Talk given at Temple Society, Rugby School, November 2010.

‘Darwinism, Genealogy and Ethics’. Paper given at Beijing International Conference on
Evolution and Ethics, Peking University, October 2010.

‘Humane Philosophy and Why it is At Risk’. Talk given at Thomas Hobbes Festival of Ideas, Malmesbury, October 2010.

‘Human Nature, Meaning and Ultimate Value’. Sullivan Lecture delivered at Fordham University, New York, October 2010.

Participant in Liberty Fund Colloquium,
Conceptions of Law and Liberty in the Abrahamic Faith Traditions. Cleveland, Ohio, October 2010.

‘Spirituality, Self-Discovery and Moral Change’. Plenary paper given at Conference on
Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health, St John’s College, Durham University, September 2010.

‘Intuition and Genealogy.’ Paper given at OU Ethics Centre Conference on
Intuition: Theory and Anti-Theory in Ethics, University of Edinburgh, July 2010.

‘Belief and Praxis in Ancient and Modern Religion’. Paper given at Conference on
Belief and its Alternatives in Greek and Roman Religion. University of St Andrews, July 2010.

‘Human Nature and the Transcendent’. Paper given at Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on Human Nature, Oxford Brookes University, June 2010.

‘Faith, Hope and Love: Epistemic, Moral and Psychological Connections’. Keynote address at one-day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference, Heythrop College, University of London, May 2010.

‘How to Live?’ Talk and panel discussion with Sarah Bakewell, Michael Foley and Julian Baggini, Bristol Festival of Ideas, May 2010.

‘Evidence, Religious Faith and the Epistemic Bias’. Paper given (i) at University of Cambridge D Society and (ii) at University of Bristol Philosophy Research Seminar, April 2010.

‘Sceptical Detachment or Loving Submission to the Good: Reason, Faith and the Passions in Descartes’. Paper given at
Ideas in Early-Modern Philosophy Workshop, University of Zurich, April 2010.

‘The Appeal of Philosophy’ (incorporating some remarks on Nietzsche’s
Genealogy of Morals). Newcastle Prize ‘Reading Over’, Eton College, March 2010.

‘Is Religious Belief Rational? New Perspectives on the Conflict between Secularism and Spirituality.’ Spring Public Lecture jointly sponsored by Chaplaincy and University of Reading, March 2010.

‘Human Flourishing and the Virtues’. Paper given at one-day conference on
Human Flourishing through the eyes of Faith and Reason, Blackfriars, Oxford, March 2010.

‘Happiness, God and the Meaning of Life’. 2010 Erasmus Lecture given at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, February 2010.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DNGesinV5s

‘Faith, Reason and the Epistemic Bias’. Paper given at Annual Claremont conference in Philosophy of Religion, on the theme
Skeptical Faith, February 2010.

‘God and Goodness’. Paper given at School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, California, February 2010.

‘The Desecularization of Descartes’. Paper given at Philosophy Department, Claremont Graduate University, California, February 2010.

‘Sceptical Detachment or Loving Submission to the Good? Descartes on Reason, Faith and the Passions.’ Paper given at John Templeton Foundation Symposium on Faith, Rationality and the Passions, Wolfson College, Cambridge University, January 2010.

‘God and Ultimate Value: Why Secularism is a Dead-End’. Paper at 50th Meeting of the Christian Philosophy Conference, Allen Hall, London, January 2010.


2009
‘Common Ground’. Paper given at Joint Meeting of Interfaith Network and British Humanist Association, Barnards Inn Hall, London, November 2009.
‘Can there be Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe?’ Paper delivered at one-day conference of British Humanist Association and Humanist Philosophers, on
Evolutionary Theory: Is this all there is? Conway Hall, London, October 2009.
‘What is Humane Philosophy and Why is it At Risk?’ and ‘Happiness, God and the Meaning of Life’. Talks given to Philosophy Seminar and Philosophy Society at the University of Hertfordshire (De Havilland Campus), October 2009.
‘The Source of Goodness’. Presidential address at British Society for the Philosophy of Religion Biennial Conference, on ‘God and Morality’, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, September 2009.
‘Integrity and Fragmentation’. Paper given at St Bartholomew the Great, London, for Open University Public Lecture Series on ‘Integrity in Public Life’, 27 May 2009. Fuller version given at plenary session of the Society for Applied Ethics annual conference, University of Leeds, June 2009.
‘Die Desäkularisierung von Descartes’. Paper given at Katholische Akademie Berlin, June 2009.
‘Atheists without Knowing It? Hume’s Critique of Mysticism’. Paper given at Claremont Graduate University, California, April 2009.
‘Happiness, God and the Meaning of Life’. Talk given to Friends of Christ Church Oxford, Kings College London Philosophy Society and St John’s College Oxford, Strawson Society, April/May 2009.
‘God in Descartes’. Southampton University Philosophy Society, April 2009.
‘The Desecularization of Descartes’. Paper given at Philosophy Department, Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana, March 2009.

2008
‘Happiness and the Meaning of Life’ Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture, University of Bradford, December 2008.
‘Happiness, Temporality, Meaning’ Paper at
Interdisciplinary Seminars in Psychoanalysis series, St John’s College Research Centre, Oxford University, November 2008.
‘Religion and the Meaning of Life’. Paper given to Edinburgh University Philosophy Society, and to Oxford Brookes University, November 2008.
‘God and Goodness.’ Paper at one-day conference in honour of Gerry Hughes, Heythrop College, University of London, November 2008.
‘Atheists without Knowing It? Hume’s Critique of Mysticism’. Paper given at Colloquium on
Hume and Spinoza and Hume on Religion in honour of Professor Herman de Dijn, Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, October 2008.
‘Happiness and the Meaning of Life’. Public lecture given at Hobbes Festival, Malmesbury, October 2008.
‘The Individual and Society’. Paper at Forum for European Philosophy 22, followed by Panel Discussion with David Willetts MP and Daniel Johnston, editor of
Standpoint, October 2008.
‘Sacrifice and Moral Value’. Paper given at 17
th Biennial Conference of the European Society for the Philosophy of Religion, University of Oslo, September 2008.
‘Are Religious Claims Explanatory Hypotheses?’ South Northamptonshire Clerical Society, May 2008.
‘Religion and the Meaning of Life’, and ‘Is religious belief philosophically respectable?’. Papers given to conference on
God and the Meaning of Life, Rewley House, Oxford University Department of Continuing Education, May 2008.
‘Ethics, Religion and the Meaning of Life’. Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture, University of York, April 2008.
‘The Role of the Emotions in Ethical and Spiritual Formation.’ Opening paper for Conference on
Religion and the Emotions, University of Zurich, March 2008.
‘Author meets critics’ workshop on
The Spiritual Dimension; Ethik Zentrum, University of Zurich, March 2008.
‘Are Religious Claims Explanatory Hypotheses?’. Paper given at Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, Oxford University, February 2008.
‘What is Humane Philosophy and Why is it At Risk?’ Paper given at Royal Institute of Philosophy series on
Conceptions of Philosophy, University of London, February 2008.

2007
‘How to Believe: Religion and Analytic Philosophy’, Paper delivered at Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte, University of Leuven, Belgium, November 2007.
Invited participant at Liberty Fund conference on ‘Elizabeth Anscombe: Analytical Perspectives on Human Nature and Liberty’, St Andrews, Scotland, November 2007.
‘God and Descartes’. Paper delivered at Yale University Society for Early Modern Philosophy, October 2007.
‘God in Descartes’, Oxford University Systematic Theology Graduate Seminar, October 2007.
‘The Meaning of Life’. Plenary presentation at Sedbergh Festival of Ideas, July 2007.
‘The Radical Contingency of the Ethical’. South Street Philosophy Group, Oxford, September 2007.
‘Happiness, the Good Life, and the Radical Contingency of the Ethical.’ Paper delivered as part of a special programme of lectures on ‘What is a Good Life’, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, June 2007.
‘Just War Theory and the Definition of Terrorism.’ Plenary presentation at Ammerdown Conversation on
The Use of Language in the War against Terrorism, Ammerdown Centre, Radstock, June 2007.
‘Formations of faith’. Paper at Forum for European Philosophy one-day conference on Secularism, London School of Economics, June 2007.
‘Happiness, the Meaning of Life, and the “Radical Contingency of the Ethical” ’. Opening keynote address at one-day conference on Happiness and the Meaning of Life, sponsored by Royal Institute of Philosophy, University of Birmingham, May 2007.
‘Happiness and the Meaning of Life’.
The Reading Town Hall Annual Lectures Series, 2007: The Pursuit of Happiness: Leading Thinkers Explore Our Choices (Other series contributors, Sir Anthony Kenny, Fr Christopher Jamison, Prof. A. C. Grayling, Prof. Richard Schoch), May 2007.
Invited participant at Liberty Fund conference on ‘Prudence, Rhetoric and Freedom in Ancient and Modern Political Thought’, Cambridge, April 2007.
‘Belief and Self-Discovery in the Religious Quest’. Philosophy Seminar at Rhodes University, SA, February 2007.
‘From Idolatry to Faith: Belief and Self-Discovery in the Religious Quest.’ Aquinas Lecture, Blackfriars, Oxford University, 24 January 2007, and Fisher Lecture, Cambridge University, 29 January 2007.

2006
‘Belief and Self-Discovery in the Religious Quest’. Public Lecture at Katholische Akademie, in Association with Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, November 2006.
‘Approaches to Studying the Self and the Soul’. Interdisciplinary conference on The Self and the Soul in Science and Society’, House of Lords, London, November 2006.
‘The Nature and Significance of Religious Belief.’ Paper given to Edmund Society, Abingdon School, October 2006.
‘Do We Need Religion?’ Talk to Inter-faith Group, Reading, October 2006.
‘Religion without Metaphysics: Religious Praxis without Metaphysical Freight’. Opening paper delivered at 16th Biennial Conference of the European Society for the Philosophy of Religion, University of Tübingen, September 2006.
‘Virtues, Emotions, and Frameworks of Interpretation’. Paper delivered to Moral and Theoretical Philosophy Workshop, University of Lund, Sweden, May 2006.

2005
‘Impartiality and Ethical Formation’. Paper delivered at First Annual Conference of the Research Programme on Impartiality and Partiality in Ethics, University of Reading, 2 December 2005.
‘Religion, Science and Human Value.’ Royal Institute of Philosophy Lecture, University of Durham, November 2005.
‘Impartiality and Ethical Formation’. Departmental Seminar, University of Durham, November 2005.
‘What Difference Does it Make? The Nature and Significance of Religious Belief’. Paper given to Butler Society, University of Oxford, November 2005.
‘Philosophy, Faith, and the Unitary Nature of the Good’. University of Cambridge, Sermon before the University, 23 October 2005.
‘What Difference Does it Make? The Nature and Significance of Religious Belief’. Paper given to D Society, University of Cambridge, October 2005.
‘The Cartesian revolution, modern science, and the Enlightenment.’ Paper delivered at SUNY Geneseo Summer School, New College Oxford, July 2005.
‘Religion, Science and Human Value.’ Keynote address at conference on
God, Philosophy and the Ethical Life, University of Southampton, May 2005.
Series of three public lectures on
Questions of Cartesianism: ‘What did Descartes Really Doubt?’; ‘Contemplation and Control in Cartesian philosophy’; ‘Descartes Philosophy of Mind and its Reputation in the Modern Era’. University of Latvia, Riga, May 2005.
‘Religion, Science and Human Value’, National School of Political Science, Bucharest, April 2005.
‘Descartes’s Theory of the Mind and its Reputation in the Modern Era’. Paper given at New Europe College, Bucharest, April 2005.
‘The unity of truth, beauty and goodness’. Rhodes University, March 2005.
‘Plato’s Sun and Descartes’ Stove’. Philosophy Department Seminar, University of Cape Town, February 2005.
‘A Triangle of Hostility? Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and Religion’. Paper delivered at Workshop on Psychoanalysis: Its place in Culture, at St John’s College Research Centre, Oxford University, January 2005.

2004
‘Descartes’s Reputation’. Reputations of Seventeenth-Century Philosophers series, Warburg Institute London, October 2004.
‘Descartes’ Theory of Mind’. Paper delivered at St Edward’s School Oxford and Queen Mary’s College Basingstoke, Autumn 2004.
‘Cartesian trialism revisited’. Keynote address at ISSEI Ninth International Conference Workshop on Descartes’ Conception of a Human Being, , University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, August 2004.
‘Descartes as Sage: spiritual askesis in Cartesian philosophy’. Invited paper at Australian Research Council International Seminar on ‘The Persona of the Philosopher in Early Modern Europe’, University of Queensland Centre for the History of European Discourses, Brisbane, July 2004.
‘Plato’s sun and Descartes’ stove: contemplation and control in Cartesian philosophy’. British Academy Dawes Hicks Symposium, May 2004.
‘Religion and language: emotion, symbol and fact’; ‘Religion and the Enlightenment: modernist and postmodernist obstacles’; ‘Religion and the good life: epistemic and moral resources’; ‘Religion and pluralism: one path or many.’ Stanton Lectures II, University of Cambridge, April and May 2004.
‘Religion, Science and Human Value’. Paper delivered to Philosophy Society, Birkbeck College, University of London, May 2004.
‘What is Work-Life Balance?’. Paper delivered to The Work Life Balance Workshop, Girton College Cambridge, April 2004.
‘Doubtful uses of Doubt: the irrelevance of scepticism to the Cartesian programme’. Seminar on Scepticism in Early Modern Europe, All Souls College, Oxford, February 2004.

2003
‘Reason and the Passions: ethical and psychological dimensions of Descartes’ philosophy of mind.’ Seminar held at University of Cagliari, November 2003.
‘ “Our natural guide . . .” Conscience, ‘nature’ and moral experience.’ Second annual Joseph Butler Lecture, Kings College London, November 2003.
‘Why should analytic philosophers do history of philosophy?’ Opening paper given at conference on Historiography of Philosophy, Intellectual History and Science, Carlsberg Academy, Copenhagen, October 2003.
‘Religion and spirituality: from praxis to belief”; ‘ Religion and science: theodicy in an imperfect universe’; ‘Religion and value: the problem of heteronomy’; ‘Religion and self-discovery: the interior journey’. Stanton Lectures I, University of Cambridge, April and May 2003.
‘Spirituality, Science and Morality’; paper delivered at Philosophy Society, University of Cape Town, March 2003.
‘Religion, philosophy and psychoanalysis’; paper delivered at staff seminar, University of Cape Town, March 2003.

2002
‘Spirituality, Science and Morality’. Paper given to Philosophy Society, Heythrop College, University of London, October 2002.
‘The Career and its Role in Conceptions of the Good Life’. Paper given at one-day conference ‘Girton comes to Oxford: Changing Roles and the Work-Life Conundrum’, St John’s College Oxford, June 2002.
‘Spirituality, Science and Morality’. Paper given at Philosophy Department Colloquium, Trinity College, Dublin, June 2002.
‘Why Analytic Philosophers should do History of Philosophy’. Paper given at British Society for History of Philosophy Conference, St Anne’s College, Oxford, March 2002.
‘Spirituality, Science, and the Meaning of Life.’ Lecture given at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA, and Natal University, Pietermaritzburg, SA, March 2002.
‘What did Descartes really doubt?’ paper given at Colloquium on Responses to Scepticism, Rewley House, Oxford University, February 2002.

2001
‘Descartes on the Voluntariness of Belief’. Paper given to Philosophy Senior Seminar Programme, University of Leeds, November 2001.
‘The Place of God in Descartes’ Philosophy’; public lecture at The University of Iceland, Reykjavik, September 2001.
‘Cartesian Ethics’. Paper given to Philosophy Seminar, University of Uppsala, May 2001.
‘Hidden Depths: The Ambiguity of the Concept of the Profound’. Discussion paper given at Conference on Subjectivity, University of Cagliari, April 2001.
‘Doxastic voluntarism in Descartes and Hume’; paper presented to Graduate Colloquium, Rutgers University, March 2001.
‘Spirituality, Science and the Meaning of Life’. Opening paper given at Conference on Spirituality, Philosophy and Education, University of St Andrews, March 2001.

2000
‘Descartes and the History of Philosophy’. Colloquium on The New Historiography of Early Modern Philosophy, Warburg Institute, London, November 2000.
‘Descartes and the voluntariness of belief’; paper presented to Colloquium on ‘Cartesian Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century’, University of Utrecht, October 2000.
‘Reason, the emotions and the good life’; paper presented to Philosophy Department, California State University, Long Beach, May 2000.
‘How theocentric is Descartes’ philosophy?’; paper presented to Philosophy Department, University of California Irvine, May 2000.
‘Reason, the Emotions and the Good Life’. Paper delivered to Colloquium on ‘Virtue and the Good Life’, University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education, May 2000.
‘ “Even among the Turks . . .” How Christian is Descartes’ Philosophy?’ Paper delivered at British Society for the History of Philosophy ‘Athens and Jerusalem’ Conference, University of Keele, April 2000.


1999
‘From Classical to Cartesian Virtue’; paper delivered as main speaker at conference on Descartes and Ancient Philosophy: Third S.V. Keeling Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, University College London, November 1999.
‘Reason, the Emotions and the Good Life’. Heffer Lecture in Philosophy (invited public lecture) delivered at the University of Cambridge, November 1999.
‘From Descartes to Freud: self-awareness and the passions’; paper delivered at Philosophy research seminar, University of Copenhagen, October 1999.
‘Individual fulfilment and moral demands’; paper delivered at Conference on ‘Etica individuale e giustizia’, University of Cagliari, September 1999.
‘Reason, emotions and the good life’; paper delivered at Philosophy Department, Rosskilde University Denmark, October 1999.
‘Partiality, Distance and Moral Obligation’, Interdisciplinary Conference on ‘Caring at a Distance’, University of Reading, May 1999.

1998
‘Frameworks of Ethical Understanding’, Highfield Family and Adolescent Unit Study Day, Warneford Hospital, Oxford. May 1998.
‘Reason and Emotion in Descartes’, University College London, December 1998.


1997
‘The Ethical Credentials of Partiality’. Aristotelian Society, Presidential Address, Senate House, University of London, October 1997.
Papers on ‘Self-discovery and psychoanalytic ethics’ and ‘The Ethical Credentials of Partiality’, Department Seminar, University of Cape Town; paper on ‘Descartes on Thought and Language’, Departmental Seminar, University of the Witwatersrand; March 1997.

1996
Paper on ‘Descartes et les passions: aliénation ou intégration?’, delivered at ‘L’esprit cartésien’ congress of L’Association des Sociétés de Philosophie de Langue Française, Paris, Sorbonne, September 1996.
‘The Self’, Ronald Grimsley Colloquium, University of Bristol, March 1996.
‘Descartes on Thought and Language’, Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on Thought and Language, September 1996.
Paper on ‘The Ethical Credentials of Partiality’, Second Annual Philosophy Conference, The University of Utah, May 1996.

1995
‘Descartes and the Objects of Thought’, University of London Advanced Seminar on Intentionality, Warburg Institute, November 1995.
Paper on ‘Cartesian science and ethics’. Visiting Speakers Programme, University of Warwick, and St Anne’s College, Oxford University, November 1995.
‘From Descartes to Freud’. Paper delivered at University of Sheffield Seminar Programme, and St John’s College Oxford Reading Group, October 1995.
Paper on ‘Partiality and Virtue Theory’ delivered to the Philosophy Department Seminars at the University of Haifa and the University of Tel Aviv, March 1995.
Paper on ‘Cartesian Science and Ethics’ delivered to the Philosophy Department Seminar at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Be’er Sheva, March 1995.
‘Descartes on mind and body: alienation and integration.’ Paper delivered for lecture series on the Mind-Body problem, University College London, February 1995.

1994
Papers on ‘Cartesian dualism’ and ‘Cartesian ethics’ delivered at the seminar of the Instituto de Investigaçiones Filosoficas, Universidad Naçional Autonoma de Mexico, September 1994.
‘The alien body: the self and the passions in Cartesian ethics’. Paper delivered at 1994 Conference of Society for Seventeenth-Century French studies, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, September 1994.
‘Cartesian science and ethics’. Paper delivered to Amoral Sciences Club, University of Cambridge, and to Birkbeck College Philosophy Society, University of London, Autumn 1994.
‘Partiality and virtue theory’, paper delivered at Philosophy Department Colloquium, University of St Andrews, June 1994.

1993
Paper on ‘Air, Gravity and Cartesian Physics’, International Symposium, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, November 1993.
Papers on ‘Descartes’ and on ‘Partiality and the Virtues’ delivered at Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork, Ireland, Autumn 1993.
Papers on Descartes delivered to Eton College Philosophy Society and Queen’s College Oxford Philosophy Society, Summer 1993.
Paper ‘Descartes and More on Causation’ delivered to BSHP/CNRS Joint Conference on ‘Les Platoniciens de Cambridge’, University of Nantes, May 1993.
Public lecture on Descartes delivered at Queen’s University Belfast, Autumn 1993.


1992
Papers on Descartes and on modern ethics delivered at University of Auckland, University of Canterbury (Christchurch) and University of Otago (Dunedin), New Zealand, August- September 1992.
Papers on Descartes and on modern ethics delivered at Australian National University, Canberra, University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of New South Wales, University of Sydney, and University of Western Australia, August/September 1992.
‘The Cartesian legacy’. Inaugural address of the Joint Session of the Mind Association and the Aristotelian Society, July 1992.
Papers on Descartes delivered to Universities of Bradford, Essex and Keele.
Paper on ‘Impartiality and Virtue theory’ presented to Oxford University graduate seminar.

1991
British Society for the Philosophy of Science Conference on Causation, held at Kings College, London: main speaker. September 1991.

1990
‘Descartes on Colour’; paper delivered to Aristotelian Society, London, June 1990.
Paper on ‘The ethics of self-concern’ presented to University of Sussex Philosophy Department weekend conference; Isle of Thorns, June 1990.
Paper on ‘The ethics of self concern’, delivered at Conference on Impartiality and Ethical Theory, Hollins Institute for Ethics and Public Policy, Virginia USA, June 1990.
Papers delivered to Open University London Seventeenth-Century Research Group, University College London, the University of Kent, Anglia Polytechnic and Oxford University Wheatsheaf Society; session 1990-1.

1989
Paper on ‘Descartes, Knowledge and Certainty’, Open University Summer School, University of Bath August 1989.

1988
Paper on the Justification of Punishment given to Philosophy Department Seminar, University of Wales, Lampeter, November 1988.
Respondent at Colloquium of the Centre d’ Etudes Cartésiennes, Sorbonne University, Paris, May 1988.
Guest Papers on Descartes and on the Philosophy of Punishment, Universities of Stockholm and Uppsala, April 1988.

1987
Universities of Birmingham and Kent. Guest paper on ‘Punishment: the moral imperative’, read to Philosophy Societies, November 1987.
University of Sussex. Guest paper on Punishment, November 1987.
Kings College, University of London. Guest paper ‘Descartes on Colour’, Philosophy Colloquium, November 1987.
University of Southampton. Guest paper on Descartes, November 1987.
University of Kobe, Japan. Paper presented to World Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, August 1987.
University of Cambridge: Symposiast at Joint Session of Mind Association and Aristotelian Society, July 1987.
University of Leiden and University of Rotterdam, Holland. Guest paper on ‘Descartes on Colour’ presented to Philosophy Departments, May 1987.
University of Virginia; Princeton University; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Washington University, St. Louis; University of Missouri, Columbia; Claremont Graduate School, California. Guest paper on ‘Descartes on Colour’ presented to Philosophy Department Colloquia, January-March 1987.
Baylor University, Texas. Visiting lecture ‘Objective science and subjective experience’, April 1987.
University of Delaware, February 1987; Miami University, Ohio, March 1987; Visiting lecture ‘Just Punishment.’

1986
UK Association for Legal and Social Philosophy. Paper on ‘Warnock and After’ given at Conference on ‘Ethical and Legal Aspects of Medicine’ at University of Leeds, April 1986.
Maison Française d’Oxford. Paper on ‘Cartesian Freedom’ presented to International Colloquium on Descartes, April 1986.

1985
London Boroughs’ Training Committee Course in Medical Ethics: papers on ‘The nature of moral argument’ (November 1984 and January 1985).
Open University Summer School Guest Lecture on ‘Cartesian Qualia: how we perceive the world and what it is really like’, University of Bath, August 1985.
Berkeley Tercentennial Colloquium, Oxford, September 1985; Session Chairman.
University of Durham Philosophy Seminar: Guest paper on ‘Descartes’ Theory of Perception’, November 1985.
Royal Institute of Philosophy, lecture on ‘Meditation Six: The external world, "nature" and human experience’, London, November 1985.
University of Warwick Philosophy Society: Guest paper on ‘Partiality and Morality’, November 1985.
British Society for History of Philosophy. Paper on ‘The Intellect and the Will, Spinoza’s Critique of Descartes’, at Biennial Conference, London, November 1985.
Universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen and Stirling. Guest papers on Descartes and on ethics at Staff Colloquia, February 1985.

1984
UK Association for Legal and Social Philosophy Conference on ‘Discrimination and Equality’, University College London, April 1984. Chaired session on ‘Procedural Equality’.
Open University Summer School Guest Lecture on ‘Cartesian Trialism’, University of York, August 1984.

1983
Philosophy Department Colloquium, University of Washington, Seattle. Paper read on ‘Descartes’ Theory of the Mind’, August 1983.
UK Association for Legal and Social Philosophy Conference on ‘Philosophy and the Criminal Law’, University of Manchester, April 1983. Paper read on ‘Rights and Interests in the Criminal Process’.
Phi Beta Kappa Lecture on ‘Global Morality, Altruism and Self-Preference’, delivered at Randolph Macon Woman’s College, Lynchburg, Virginia, March 1983.

1982
Participant at colloquium of the Centre d’Etudes Cartésiennes, University of Paris (Sorbonne), June 1982.

1979
Royal Institute of Philosophy Conference on ‘Law, Morality and Rights’, University of Lancaster, September 1979. Chair of session on ‘Racial Discrimination’.

1976
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Gesellschaft Conference on ‘Truth, Knowledge and Reality’, University of Reading, July 1976. Session Chair.