Big thinkers in town

foiOriginal thinkers from Flinders are very much to the fore in the sixth Adelaide Festival of Ideas, which has opened with the theme of ‘Pushing the Limits’.

Associate Professor Robert Phiddian of the School of Humanities, who chairs the Festival’s Advisory Committee, said that when planning for the event began nearly two years ago, ‘pushing the limits’ seemed to be a good thing.

“In this Festival, part of our task will be to examine how to adapt to the limits – financial and environmental in particular – that can be pushed no further,” Associate Professor Phiddian said.

Since its launch a decade ago, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas has tackled a wide range of themes including ethics, reconciliation, addiction and theology.

Australian Research Council Fellow Professor Fran Baum, Director of the Southgate Institute at Flinders, is a major speaker, and will address the issue of whether capitalism is good for your health.

“The 2009 Festival will explore some of the limits that we might conceivably push in seeking solutions to some of our most urgent current issues,” Associate Professor Phiddian said.

The Festival has attracted an impressive range of home-grown and international luminaries to challenge, stimulate, captivate and provoke participants. It runs from July 9 to July 12. A full program is available.

  • Really good ideas can also prove durable, as the continuing influence of David Hume demonstrates. The great 18th century philosopher and his work will be the drawcard for a conference organised by Flinders to be held in the Institute Building of the State Library on July 13 and 14. Hume and the Enlightenment will look at his legacy on philosophical thought and ideas, and his relevance to a range of disciplines including politics, history, literature and economics. The keynote speaker is Dr Stephen Buckle of the Australian Catholic University. Program and speakers’ information is available.
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