BEING HUMAN Conversation


WED 30 AUGUST 2023
6:30pm – 7:45pm AEST


Limited seats in person
The Ethics Centre
Level 1, 161 Castlereagh St
Sydney, 2000


Tickets are no longer on sale for this event

We fancy ourselves to live in a world where we are free to live our version of the good life. But in reality we are constantly wading through a morass of norms and expectations imposed on us by others that dictate how we’re ‘supposed’ to behave.

We unconsciously constrain our behaviour moment to moment, and our vision of a good life, for fear of stepping outside of acceptable norms. What we wear, how we speak, whom we speak to, our very authenticity, are all regulated by this weight of societal expectations.   

Yet most of us yearn break free from our inhibitions. Hence the popularity of alcohol, drugs, dance parties, orgies and more. But even these vehicles have their own norms and expectations.

Can we ever be truly uninhibited? Are we stifled in our ability to choose a good life for us if the expectations of others narrow our possible ways of being? Are we ever really authentic? Do we even want to encounter the raw authenticity of others? Is predictability and conformity preferable to a world filled with the uninhibited?

Join host Dr Tim Dean and special guest artist Emma Maye Gibson aka Betty Grumble for a playful evening, filled with activities designed to release inhibitions and allow the audience to experience the freedom – and the terror – of life without norms. The Ethics of Inhibition will ask big questions about whether we’ve constrained ourselves – and others – too much, and whether we should seek to live a more uninhibited life.

This event is part of a series which includes ‘The Ethics of Ownership on 17 August. See both events for $60 in person or $20 livestream.  

Event live stream will be available to watch on demand for up to 14 days post-event. 

About 'The Ethics Of...'

‘The Ethics of…’ is an event series where we freely examine the experiences, hopes and challenges that make us truly human; from the good to the bad and everything in between. Each event is an intimate conversation, led by a philosopher, with opportunities for the audience to share their experiences, views and learn from each other. Join us for this important and interactive event, held both in person and livestreamed, about the ways we connect with each other.


Dr Tim Dean

Tim is a public philosopher, speaker and writer. He has a Doctorate in philosophy from the University of New South Wales on the evolution of morality and specialises in public philosophy, ethics and critical thinking. He is an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney and the author of How We Became Human. He is the recipient of the Australasian Association of Philosophy Media Professionals’ Award for his work on philosophy in the public sphere.

Guest Artist

Photo: Lexi Laphor

Emma Maye Gibson

Emma Maye Gibson is a Sydney/Warrane based performance artist, also known as Betty Grumble. Her work is a genre smash of ritual theatre, autobiography, cabaret, performance art and multi-media. She has her Masters in Fine Arts/Arse and has presented work at The Sydney Opera House, Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, Perth & Adelaide Fringes, The Melbourne Comedy Festival, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, Griffin Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, OUTsider Festival (Austin, Texas), MoMA (NYC), The Glory (London), LiveWorks, AsiaTOPA, Dark Mofo, Berlin Fringe and beyond. She regularly leads Grumble Boogie dance classes and is currently engaged in developing a new work under the guidance of mentors Annie Sprinkle, Elizabeth Burton and Victoria Spence. You can find out more about Betty Grumble via