The second lecture, entitled The Quest of Perfectibility, of the Humans and Machines lecture series by Robert Skidelsky focuses on the use of technology as an instrument of control. The central thread is the dream of optimising society, running from Plato to Marx and the use in our own time off social technology to achieve it. The debate today is between those who champion the ‘democracy of the internet’ and those who emphasise its potential, and use, for purpose of surveillance and control.
LECTURE SERIES BY ROBERT SKIDELSKY, Emeritus professor, Warwick University, UK
- The Future of Work | APRIL 19, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
- The Quest for Perfectibility | APRIL 24, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
- Transhumanism | MAY 3, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
- Extreme Events | May 10, 6:00 p.m. | AUDITORIUM
Robert Skidelsky is emeritus professor of political economy at Warwick University. His three-volume biography of John Maynard Keynes (1983,1992, 2000) won five prizes and his book on the financial crisis – Keynes: The Return of the Master – was published in September 2010. He was made a member of the House of Lords in 1991 (he sits on the crossbenches) and elected a fellow of the British Academy in 1994.
Recently, he has written and filmed a series of lectures on the History and Philosophy of Economics which is available as an open online course in partnership with the Institute for New Economic Thinking.
His most recent publications include Money and Government (2018), What’s Wrong with Economics?: A Primer for the Perplexed (2020) and Economic Sanctions: A Weapon out of Control? (2022). He is currently working on a book about automation and the future of work.