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Have We Still Got Soul?

Over the four Saturday afternoons of September, Leeds Salon, in partnership with The Tetley*, has put together a series of public discussions asking: What Does it Mean to be Human? The first discussion is:

Have We Still Got Soul?

‘There's no such thing as a soul. It's just something they made up to scare kids, like the boogeyman or Michael Jackson.’ Bart, The Simpsons

The concept of the soul is a problematic one today: pushed into obscurity by philosophic rejection of dualism and scientific understanding of our materiality. It is certainly difficult to accept any idea of an inner ‘something’ that constitutes our self-consciousness and sense of identity yet shows up on no X-ray. But it seems equally difficult to concede that our unique first-person perspective can be so easily reduced to bodily identity. What explains our desire to see the person in the self-portrait or picture, the subject as being somehow present in the object? Is the language of friendship and love just a fond metaphor for genetic selfishness? If we are only blood and brain, then what do we mean when we speak of heart and soul?

Speaker: Angus Kennedy - head of external relations at the Institute of Ideas and author of 'Being Cultured: In Defence of Discrimination' (2014).

Admission: £3 to pay on the day.

For more information visit:

*The Tetley is a new centre for contemporary art and learning, located in the former headquarters of the world-famous Tetley Brewery on Hunslet Road. Visit their website at:

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  • Paul T.

    For all those coming today, please say hello and, if possible, join us at the end in The Tetley bar.

    Cheers, Paul

    September 6, 2014

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