It’s a story we can’t stop telling ourselves. Once, humans were benighted by superstition and irrationality, but then the Greeks invented reason. Later, the Enlightenment enshrined rationality as the supreme value. Discovering that reason is the defining feature of our species, and we named ourselves the ‘rational animal’.
But is this flattering story itself rational?
Philosopher Justin E.H. Smith and psychoanalyst Josh Cohen will attempt to illuminate unreason at a moment when the world appears to have gone mad again.
Justin E.H. Smith is professor of the history and philosophy of science at the University of Paris. His new book 'Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason' will be published in April.
Josh Cohen is professor of modern literary theory at Goldsmiths and a practicing psychoanalyst. His latest book 'Not Working: Why We Have to Stop' was published in January.
£5 (3 for concessions). At the door.