The 2018 Francis Bacon Lecture with guest speaker Professor Angie Hobbs

Nationhood and Nationalism Today: a Philosophical Perspective

In the past turbulent eighteen months, a great many words have been tossed around which cry out for philosophical analysis: democracy, sovereignty, populism, identity, will, control.  In this talk Professor Hobbs will concentrate on two of the most contentious of all: nationhood and nationalism. She will examine the origins and developments of the concepts, and explore healthy and unhealthy ways of caring about a nation, trying to disentangle the metaphysical and psychological confusions which underpin the unhealthy forms.

The lecture will conclude with suggestions for what we can do to combat exclusive and aggressive forms of nationalism based on narrow ethnicity and construct, instead an inclusive form of civic attachment based on shared values and goals which can benefit all.

Professor Angie Hobbs FRSA

Professor Hobbs gained a degree in Classics and a PhD in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.  After a Research Fellowship at Christ's College, Cambridge, she moved to the Philosophy Department at the University of Warwick; in 2012 she was appointed Professor of the Public Understanding of Philosophy at the University of Sheffield.  Her chief interests are in ancient philosophy and literature, ethics and political theory, and she has published widely in these areas, including Plato and the Hero (C.U.P).  She contributes regularly to radio and TV programmes and other media.  She has spoken at the World Economic Forum at Davos, the Houses of Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and Westminster Abbey and been the guest on Desert Island Discs, Private Passions and Test Match Special.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Honorary Patron of the Philosophy Foundation and Patron of the Philosophy in Education project.

Further information and booking

This is a free of charge public lecture. Please register to attend using the online booking form

Further information about the annual Francis Bacon Lecture Series 

Francis Bacon lectures are supported with annual funding from the Royal Institute of Philosophy


N001, de Havilland Campus, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9EU