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Philosophy: Soul Mind Body – Beyond Living Machines With Dr Maria Serban From University of East Anglia

8th February 2022 @ 11:15 - 12:15



Dr Maria Serban, Lecturer in Philosophy in the School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies, will present Beyond Living Machines.

Descartes famously argued that animals and human bodies are like machines, only designed and built by an infinitely greater engineer. The analogy between animals and machines was used by many to justify animal experimentation that disregarded the suffering of the animals.

So, understanding living beings as machine-like has important practical consequences.

In this talk we will explore some critical viewpoints and antimachine perspectives on living beings that might unlock solutions to the problems triggered by the machine analogy adopted in philosophy and the biological sciences.




Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: Year 12 & 13 students (and equivalent) studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Philosophy and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Philosophy at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:



8th February 2022
11:15 - 12:15
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