sand-formation

Current Visitors

Marius Backmann

Marius Backmann obtained his PhD in 2011 at the University of Cologne with a thesis on Humean Libertarianism: Outline of a Revisionist Account of the Joint Problem of Free Will, Determinism and Laws of Nature. After a brief stint at the Centre for Science and Research Management in Speyer, he returned to academia in 2013 to take up a postdoc position at Thomas Müller’s project „What is Really Possible?“ at the University of Konstanz. Since November 2015, Marius is funded within his own research project The Metaphysics of Induction  in Konstanz. Apart from his work on ontologically motivated attempts at a justification of induction, my research focuses on philosophy of time, analytic metaphysics, metaphysics of science, laws of nature, and free will.

Dates of visit: 21 July 2017 – 20 July 2019

Email: marius.backmann@uni-konstanz.de 

Research Project

Induction and Necessary Connections in the Sciences

Some of the proponents of the view that the problem of induction could be solved by inferring the existence of necessary connections from which to deduce regularities concerning future or unobserved cases have also claimed that such an inference pattern can be found in scientific reasoning. If these necessitarians are correct, we should be able to identify the proposed inference patterns in scientific publications. The working hypothesis is that these reconstructions of scientific reasoning do not fit actual scientific practice. In order to establish this, I will survey publications in medical and chemical research. 

 

Jacob Bjorheim

Jacob Bjorheim studied Economics and Finance at the University of St Gallen, Switzerland and received his PhD at the LSE on “The Epistemological Value of the Consumption Based Capital Asset Pricing Model”. He is a lecturer at the University of Basel, Switzerland on “Public Sector Investments” focusing on the foreign exchange reserve management practices of central banks, and a Research Fellow at the University of Zurich, Department of Banking and Finance. Prior to his academic work, he was leading the Asset Management division at the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) in Basel.

Dates of visit: 6 October 2017 – 8 December 2018

Email: j.bjorheim@bluewin.ch

Research Project

When Policy Makers believe in Fiction

Today, we are 10 years into what economists call the “Global Financial Crisis” (“GFC”). Despite the severity of the economic and financial market disruptions and the enormous social costs, economic teaching and research have, mostly, defended the continued use of large-scale macroeconomic models, often referred to as Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models (“DSGE”).My project at the CPNSS explores three topics related to the structure, interpretation and use of DSGE models, i.e. (1) the micro-foundation, (2) the use of mathematics, and (3) the narratives or stories that such models tell. I intend to let the two first topics frame the, more important, third topic. I argue these narratives are fictional in character and question policy decisions made on such basis. The working title of the final paper is “When Policy Makers believe in Fiction”.

 

Dong-Ryul Choo

Dong-Ryul Choo is a professor of philosophy at Hallym University, South Korea.  He studied at Seoul National University (Korea) and at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA), from which he got his Ph. D. in philosophy in 1994.  He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of California-San Diego (Dept. of Philosophy) in 2003-2004, and at Yale University (Dept. of Political Science) in 2010 - 2011.  His research interests include moral realism and naturalism in metaethics, forms and the flexibility of consequentialism in normative ethics, and distributive justice and viable forms and structure of egalitarianism in political philosophy.

Dates of visit: 

8 January 2018 – 3 January 2019

Email: drchoo@hallym.ac.kr

Research Project

Priority revisited 

At the LSE, the primary subject of his research will be the contrast between luck egalitarianism and prioritarianism.  He plans to substantiate three theses:  First, the advertised merits of prioritarianism are widely overestimated.  Second, there are many more cases than usually expected where two positions would send different (often opposite) normative signals concerning the justice of a particular distributive profile or change.  And finally, when it comes to its credential as a robust form of distributive pluralism, prioritarianism faces serious problems.

 

Thomas Ferretti

After completing a BA (2009) and MA (2011) in Philosophy at Université de Montréal (Canada), Thomas Ferretti received his PhD in Philosophy from Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) in October 2016. Thomas specialises in contemporary political philosophy, theories of justice and economic ethics. He am currently an FRQSC postdoctoral fellow (2016-2018) (Quebec’s Research Fund). Thomas started his postdoctoral research project and taught business ethics at the University of Toronto (2016-2017). As a postdoctoral fellow at the LSE (2017-2018), he will focus on what justice requires in terms of financial regulation. 

Dates of visit: 17 October 2017 – 16 October 2018

Email: t.ferretti@lse.ac.uk   

Research Project

Justice requires egalitarian organizations: The case of financial risks

The way our public institutions regulate economic organizations has an important impact on the distribution of resources. This project focuses on what liberal egalitarian theories of justice require in terms of the regulation of economic organizations in various sectors of the economy. During my PhD at Université catholique de Louvain, I investigated whether public institutions should promote worker cooperatives. In the first year of my postdoctoral research at the University of Toronto, I studied the case of the collaborative economy and investigated whether public institutions should promote specific kinds of collaborative platforms. This year at the LSE, I investigate what justice requires in terms of the regulation of finance organizations, and more specifically in terms of the management of financial risks. 

 

Katherine Furman

Katherine is a philosophy lecturer at University College Cork, where she directs the MA in Health and Society. Previously she was a Postdoctoral Research Associate on the Knowledge for Use project at Durham University. She received her PhD in Philosophy from the London School of Economics in 2016. Her research interests are in Philosophy of Science, Epistemology and Ethics, especially in the context of health policy cases.

Dates of visit: August 2017 – July 2018

Email: katherine.furman@durham.ac.uk

Research Project

During her time at CPNSS, Katherine will focus on whether causal claims can be made about single cases (or a small number of cases). In particular, whether ‘model cases’ can be used to assess an intervention’s success in situations where RCTs (Randomised Control Trials) are not appropriate. This has implications for two distinct but related areas of academic debate. The first is the methodological debate over the evidential dominance of RCTs for testing the success of interventions. The second is the philosophical debate over what kinds of evidence are required for causal inference. Both of these issues will be examined in the context of the ongoing Greater Manchester Project, as part of the Knowledge for Use project.

 

Wenceslao Gonzalez

Wenceslao J. Gonzalez is Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science (University of A Coruña). He is a Full Member of the Académie International de Philosophie des Sciences/International Academy for Philosophy of Sciences. He has been a Team Leader of the European Science Foundation program entitled “The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective” (2008-2013). He has been named a Distinguished Researcher by the Main National University of San Marcos in Lima (Peru). He is a member of the National Committee for Evaluation of the Scientific Activity (CNEAI) of Spain.

Gonzalez has been a visiting researcher at the Universities of St. Andrews, Münster, London (LSE, CPNSS), and Pittsburgh, where he has been a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science. He has given lectures at the Universities of Pittsburgh, Stanford, Quebec in Montreal, Helsinki, and Nevada at Reno as well as the Czech Academy of Sciences. The conferences in which he has participated include those organized by the Universities of Uppsala, New South Wales, Bologna, Canterbury (NZ), Vienna, Beijing, Harvard and Boston. He is the director of the Center for Research in Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of A Coruña, where he organizes every year a conference on Contemporary Philosophy and Methodology of Science.

His publications include monographs such as Philosophico-Methodological Analysis of Prediction and its Role in Economics (Springer, 2015) and the edition of 40 volumes on philosophy of science and technology. Among them are Philosophy and Methodology of Economics (1998); Lakatos's Philosophy Today (2001); Science, Technology and Society: A Philosophical Perspective (2005); Contemporary Perspectives in the Philosophy and Methodology of Science (2006); Conceptual Revolutions: From Cognitive Science to Medicine (2011); Scientific Realism and Democratic Society: The Philosophy of Philip Kitcher (2011); Bas van Fraassen’s Approach to Representation and Models in Science (2014); New Perspectives on Technology, Values, and Ethics: Theoretical and Practical (2015); The Limits of Science: An Analysis from “Barriers” to “Confines” (2016); and Artificial Intelligence and Contemporary Society: The Role of Information (2017); and Philosophy of Psychology: Causality and Psychological Subject. New Reflections on James Woodward’s Contribution, Walter de Gruyter, Boston/Berlín, 2018. Wenceslao J. Gonzalez is the editor of the Gallaecia Series: Studies in Contemporary Philosophy and Methodology of Science and co-editor of the European Studies in the Philosophy of Science, published by Springer.

Dates if visit: 2 July – 1 September 2018

Email: wencglez@udc.es

Research Project

Analysis of Complexity in Communication Sciences: A Study of Structural and Dynamic Complexity in the case of the Internet

Research on complexity in the communication sciences requires paying attention to various key aspects. a) Entitatively, they are dual sciences: they have a social component and an artificial dimension. b) They are applied sciences and the application of these sciences in the contexts of use affects the development of these disciplines. c) They posses a structural and a dynamic side, which leads to diverse forms of complexity. d) Epistemological and ontological factors are relevant, but there are also semantic, logic, methodological, axiological and ethical ones. e) The Interent exemplifies all this. It adds an important ingredient: ICTs, which are the support that enables the transmission of contents and a mediation for the contents themselves.

The axis of this investigation is the study of structural and dynamic complexity in the case of the Internet. Thus, the focus will be on two main aspects. a) Presence of factors of structural complexity in the Internet, looking at their limits. Simon’s contributions (sciences of the artificial and the web) and Rescher’s insights (complexity) may be useful here. b) To develop dynamic complexity in the case of the Internet, which Simon’s and Rescher’s ideas do not reach, but they can be articulated through the distinction between process, evolution and historicity (Gonzalez 2011), as suggested in Gonzalez and Arrojo (2015). These two aspects will to be enquired into on the Internet, observing their philosophico-methodological repercussion and its incidence on developing communication sciences as applied sciences of design.

 

Catherine Greene

Catherine Greene have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from LSE. After this she spent the next 15 years working in finance. Catherine returned to the LSE to do a Masters and PhD in the Philosophy of Social Science. Her thesis topic is laws in the social sciences. She also do some consulting for a number of financial firms.

Dates of visit: March 2017 – June 2019

Email: email@catherinegreene.co.uk 

Research Project

The philosophical assumptions of financial theory

I am currently researching a number of topics in the philosophy of finance, including the relationship between asset prices and valuation methodologies, the assumptions of behavioural finance, and the application of physics to finance.

 

Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Philosophy at The University of California, Davis.

Dates of visit: September 2017 – July 2019

Email: mhunter@ucdavis.edu

 

Réka Markovich

Réka Markovich, JD holds four positions in Hungary: she is assistant professor at the Department of Business Law at Budapest University of Technology and Economics; she is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Logic at Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), where she is also employed as a junior research fellow and a lecturer. She obtained her law degree at Pázmány Péter Catholic University (in 2005), also receiving there an M.A. in Communication (in 2007). She received her M.A. in Logic and Theory of Science at ELTE (in 2012). In the spring of 2017, she was a visiting research scholar at University of Edinburgh’s Law School. Her research focuses on deontic logic and other facets of the relations between logic and law; she is currently working on developing a formal representation of Hohfeldian fundamental legal conceptions.

Dates of visit: 21 September 2017 – 20 September 2018

Email: markovich.reka@yahoo.com

Research Project

Hohfeld’s analysis of the different types of rights and duties is highly influential in analytical legal theory. Yet a century later, the formalization of his theory remains, in various ways, unresolved. Réka Markovich has been developing her own uniform approach to formally representing Hohfeldian conceptions. Her starting point is David Makinson’s and Marek Sergot’s critique and comments on the theory of normative positions’ developed by Kanger and Lindahl. She aims, on the one hand, to provide solutions to what Sergot perceives as shortcomings or limitations of classical approaches. On the other hand, she incorporates various considerations from legal theory that she considers fundamental to formalizing law (as well as understanding, grasping what being law consists in). The formal system she has developed is based on state enforcement in the case of the claim-right’s group of rights and duties, and the power’s duty-generating potential in case of the power’s group. During her time at CPNSS, Réka Markovich will focus on developing a semantics that can be added to a syntax built up along the above lines using SDL and ET as axiomatic background systems.

 

Joe Mazor

Joe Mazor received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2009.  He has since been a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton’s Center for Human Values and at Stanford’s Center for Ethics in Society.  He was an LSE Fellow and a temporary assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic & Scientific Method. During his time at the CPNSS, he will work on projects related to natural resource property rights, the ethics of severe uncertainty, and the philosophy of welfare economics.

Dates of visit: 4 November 2016 – 30 September 2018

Email: j.m.mazor@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

On the Nature and Significance of Welfare Economics

A key project I will be working on at CPNSS is a book on the philosophy of welfare economics.  The book will develop a comprehensive critique of welfare economics as it is currently practiced.  In advancing this critique, the book has several key goals a) a careful explanation of the different welfare economics frameworks in use today, b) clear connections between contemporary scholarship in political philosophy and contemporary welfare economics, with a focus on the practical consequences of the philosophical debates for the field c) a critique of the welfare economic frameworks aimed at welfare economists, but accessible to anyone who has taken microeconomics at the undergraduate level.

 

Silvia Milano

Silvia received her PhD from the LSE in 2018, with a thesis on ‘De se beliefs and centred uncertainty’. Silvia’s current research focuses on the epistemology of de se beliefs. She also has research interests in ethics, and between 2014-2018, she worked as research assistant on the project ‘Population and Ethics’ at the FHI, Oxford. Starting from October 2018, she will be a Postdoc Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, with a project on the ethics of technology.

Dates of visit: 1 August 2018 – July 2019

Email: s.milano@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

De se beliefs, evidence and alienation

The research project that I will pursue during my visit at the CPNSS is aimed at developing a novel understanding of the nature of de se beliefs, evidence and alienation within Bayesian epistemology. Building on the results of my PhD dissertation, I advocate a shift to de se – or self-locating – propositions as the proper objects of belief.  This has important consequences for the way we understand what evidence is, and how we should model learning and experience within formal system such as the Bayesian framework. Moreover, reflecting on the nature of de se belief and evidence leads me to develop a novel understanding of what I call epistemic alienation.