Philosophy: Understanding personal identity with Professor Bill Brewer

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From Descartes and Locke to philosophers of the present day, learn how great thinkers can help you to understand who you are

About this event

What am I? The question of personal identity has sparked fascinating debates throughout the history of philosophy. Philosophy is a discipline open to anyone – all you need is a bit of curiosity and an open mind.

During this fascinating and illuminating lecture-style workshop with Professor Bill Brewer, Susan Stebbing professor of philosophy at King’s College London, you will learn about three deeply influential accounts of personal identity, from Descartes and Locke to modern-day philosophers, such as the animalists.

This introductory class is a unique opportunity to explore the philosophy of personal identity with one of the UK’s most inquiring minds, helping you to better understand what you are or who you might be.

Over the course of the session, you will develop your capacity for philosophical thinking, as well as your ability to assess the virtues and vices of different ideas. By the end of the class, you will have a fresh perspective on the age-old question of “what we are”, enabling you to contribute to complex philosophical discussions with more confidence.

This course is for…

  • Anyone with a curious mind who would like to learn more about philosophy.
  • Anyone who would like to broaden their knowledge on the subject of personal identity.

Tutor Profile

Bill Brewer is the Susan Stebbing professor of philosophy at King’s College London. He studied maths and philosophy at the University of Oxford and has previously held positions at Oxford, the University of Cambridge and Warwick University. Bill is the author of Perception and Reason, and Perception and its Objects, as well as many articles in philosophy journals and collections. He tweets @mbillbrewer.

Course Details

  • Date: Monday 13 December 2021
  • Time: 6:30pm-8.30pm (GMT)

6.30pm GMT | 7.30pm CET | 10:30am PST | 1:30pm EST

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website


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Welcome to Guardian Masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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