Meaning and Mindedness Seminar Series


Next seminar:  Friday 26 November 2010.  Seminars take place on the last Friday of the month.  See programme above for further details, titles, speakers, venues etc.

What is it to have a mind? What gives our lives meaning and value? Clinicians touch on these questions daily in their work with patients, drawing on psychological models of human nature and development. But they have also been among the central questions of philosophy from Plato and Aristotle to the present day. This series of interdisciplinary seminars aims to bring together prominent philosophers, clinicians and others with a view to deepening our understanding of these fundamental questions. The series is not intended as a seminar in the philosophy of psychoanalysis - that is, an enterprise in which philosophers are the investigators and psychoanalysts the objects of investigation - but focuses instead on topics that are objects of interest both to psychoanalysis and to philosophy. By exposing clinicians to the way philosophers think about issues relevant for them, and by enabling philosophers to see how their theories might be put to use in work with patients, the series should provide an opportunity to explore the common ground between these two kinds of inquiry, both of which are committed to understanding something of the truth about human nature and human living. The series is equally suited to philosophers (including graduate students in philosophy), clinicians (including those seeking Continuing Professional Development), and to trainees.

Each seminar will last two hours (19:00 – 21:00) and consist of a paper (45 mins), a response (15 mins), followed by discussion. Whenever the paper is presented by a philosopher, the response will be from a clinician and vice versa. All of our speakers are well respected in their own field, but all have been asked to make sure they present their ideas in a way that is accessible not only to fellow specialists, but to a mixed clinical and academic audience from a range of disciplinary backgrounds.

For further details please contact There is a fee for each seminar of £10 per person, though please note that free places are available for philosophers, philosophy students and clinical trainees. These will be offered first come first served. To book, or to register for a free place, please contact:

Conference, Events and Marketing Unit, The Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, London NW3 5BA
T: 020 8938 2548
F: 020 7447 3837

Organisers: Edward Harcourt, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University; Sarah Majid, Adult Department, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

The organizers gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Wellcome Trust.

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