This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Wednesday 5 June 2024, 8pm to 9pm
  • Location: Online only
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Wait, are you you or the other one? Which is the evil twin? Have you ever switched partners? Can you read each other's mind?

Twins get asked the weirdest questions by strangers, loved ones, even themselves. For Helena de Bres, a twin and philosopher, these questions are closely tied to some of philosophy's most unnerving unknowns. What makes someone themself rather than someone else? Can one person be housed in two bodies? What does perfect love look like? Can we really act freely? At what point does wonder morph into objectification?

Helena, the author of How to Be Multiple: The Philosophy of Twins, uses twinhood to rethink the limits of personhood, consciousness, love, freedom and justice. Join her as she explores the long tradition of twin representations in art, myth and popular culture; twins' peculiar social standing; and what it's really like to be one of two. With insight, hope and humour, she will argue that our reactions to twins reveal our broader desires and fears about selfhood, fate and human connection, and that reflecting on twinhood can help each of us-twins and singletons alike-recognise our own multiplicity, and approach life with greater curiosity, imagination and courage.

This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You will receive a link to join a couple of days before the event and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.

Image credit: Photo of Helena de Bres by Ebony Lamb

Book sales

You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too. 

About the speaker

Helena de Bres is a Professor of Philosophy at Wellesley College, USA, where she researches and teaches ethics, philosophy of literature and political theory. Her essays and humour writing have appeared in The Point, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of BooksMcSweeney's Internet Tendency and elsewhere. Her book Artful Truths: The Philosophy of Memoir was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2021.


University of York