18 January 2017
On 17 January Abingdon School welcomed back Prof John Cottingham – a world leading scholar on Rene Descartes – to deliver a lecture on the Philosophy of Mind to a group of sixth form students, and a few GCSE pupils keen to study Philosophy at A-level. The talk covered a number of areas including Descartes' main ideas of the differentiation of mind and body, modern takes on the matter (for example, through an understanding of AI and quantum mechanics) as well as an examination of some of the major misrepresentation and misinterpretations of Cartesian dualism in academic circles. At the end of the talk, questions were posed, with Prof Cottingham noting afterwards both the quality of said questions, as well as how attentive and considered the pupils attending were throughout the session. We have already lined Prof Cottingham up for another visit in 2019, when a new cohort of sixth formers will be coming through, as it is always a pleasure to have him come and speak.