How to read all about it

Dr Laura Candiotto
Dr Laura Candiotto

Can you trust what you read other, of course, than in the Berwickshire News?

Do you always believe websites, social media or twitter? Do you believe everything you see on TV or even everything that other people tell you?

How do you judge what’s true and what isn’t, what makes good sense and what doesn’t? What makes you susceptible to believing one person and not another, and does it matter?

The first Borders Enlightenment Conference, being held in Chirnside on Saturday, April 29, aims to provide some insight into these pressing current issues that, one way or another, affect us all.

To try to understand something more about what actually makes us tick, philosophers who have studied the great thinkers on the functioning of emotions, reason, knowledge, truth and storytelling have been invited to help us to stop and think and guide us through some of the salient questions and issues.

Jane O’Grady, from the London School of Philosophy, will address the question of what it means to be human?

Do emotions distort our reasoning or is reason an encumbrance to our instinctive perceptions of the world, and to our natural sympathy, she will ask.

Laura Candiotto, of the school of philosophy, psychology and language sciences at Edinburgh University will ask what happens to our judgements when they are affected by emotions.

Is their role in acquiring knowledge beneficial or detrimental and how can we know, she will ask.

She will examine the impact of positive and negative emotions in group knowledge and their social and political consequences.

Ken Gemes, of Birkbeck, University of London, will consider truth and fake news, pondering why we often seem more concerned with meaning-conferring narratives and stories than literal truth.

At the event’s David Hume dinner, Vincent Hope will discuss Hume’s moral psychology and his notion of a communal sense of shared respect for treating each other fairly, based on sympathy.

The questions asked throughout the day are billed as being likely to be fascinating and surprising.