Consilience past events

In this series, a panel debates a topic with the aim of fostering interdisciplinary communication and mutual understanding. Emphasis will be placed on trying to identify common questions and on seeking to integrate knowledge from different areas of expertise.

On the Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in Science

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Thursday 1 May 2014, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE    

BryanRoberts 

Bryan Roberts|, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

 

MairiSakellariadou

 


Mairi Sakellariadou|, Professor of Theoretical Physics, King's College London   

 

Chair: Eleanor Knox|, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Department of Philosophy, King's College London

Galileo famously wrote that natural philosophy is ‘written in the language of mathematics’. Four hundred years later, the great physicist Eugene Wigner puzzled over why. Why is it that abstract pieces of mathematics, like an imaginary number, often later turn out to be surprisingly effective in describing concrete aspects of the natural world? In this event, philosopher of physics Bryan Roberts and theoretical physicist Mairi Sakellariadou commented on Wigner’s question, and then joined a discussion on the issue with philosopher of physics Eleanor Knox
 

The Ethics of the Cognitive Sciences:
What can the brain tell us about the mind?

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Monday 20 January 2014, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE   

RayDolan 

Ray Dolan|, Mary Kinross Professor of Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London   

 

PeterHacker(1)

 

Peter Hacker|, Emeritus Research Fellow, St John's College, University of Oxford  

 

NikolasRose

 

 
Nikolas Rose|, Professor of Sociology, King’s College London  

 

 

Chair: Tali Sharot|, Faculty Member and Director of the Affective Brain Lab, Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, UCL and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

In April President Obama unveiled the ‘BRAIN’ Initiative—‘a bold new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind’. What, if anything, can neuroscience teach us about the mind? Does understanding the biology of the brain help illuminate human emotions, social relationships, decision making, personality? This session brought together neuroscientists, sociologists and philosophers to debate these questions.

  

Measuring Happiness?

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Wednesday 15 January 2014, 6.30 – 8pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE   

PaulDolan

 

Paul Dolan|, Professor of Behavioural Science, LSE  

 

 

 ElaineFox

Elaine Fox|, Professor of Cognitive & Affective Psychology and Director of The Oxford Centre for Emotions and Affective Neuroscience, University of Oxford

 

 AndrewOswald   

 
Andrew Oswald|, Professor of Economics, Warwick University   

 

  BenPage  

 

Ben Page|, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI   

 


Chair: Tali Sharot|, Faculty Member and Director of the Affective Brain Lab, Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences, UCL and Forum for European Philosophy Fellow  

In 2010 Prime Minister David Cameron launched the ‘happiness index’ initiative, to calculate the wellbeing of the nation alongside financial data like GDP. The first reports regarding the nations’ happiness were published last year. What does it mean to measure happiness? Can it really be measured? If so, how? Is this a more meaningful indicator of the state of the nation than GDP? What have we learned about the happiness of UK citizens? This session brought together neuroscientists, psychologists and economists to discuss these issues. 

 

The Ethics of the Cognitive Sciences:

A series of events in which we invite speakers from different disciplines to discuss various ethical issues raised by recent developments in the cognitive sciences. The general aim of the series is to raise awareness of these issues, and to integrate knowledge from different areas of expertise.

Children’s Pathologies: how do we think about children’s mental health?

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Tuesday 19 November 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE  

Rachel Cooper|, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Lancaster University
Eileen Munro|, Professor of Social Policy, LSE
Emily Simonoff|, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, King’s College London  

Chair: Eamon McCrory|, Reader in Developmental Psychopathology, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, UCL  

The classification, identification and treatment of mental illnesses in children raises particular challenges. For example, what are the appropriate criteria for diagnosing children with a mental disorder? How can we avoid the risk of stigmatisation that some children and their families experience? What are the risks of not identifying mental illness in children and how does it impact on their well-being, self-esteem, academic attainment and social development? Is it true that there is an increased tendency towards medicalizing certain behaviours that might once have been seen as normal (if challenging)? To what extent is it possible to predict which children will experience deficits in physical, psychological and social development due to problematic parenting, and what are the implications for public policy decision making?

Privacy and Respect for Persons

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Wednesday 13 November 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE  

Roger Brownsword|, Professor of Law, King's College London
Sarah Edwards|, Senior Lecturer in Research Ethics and Governance, Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health, University College London
Sarah Richmond|, Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, University College London  

Chair: Bahador Bahrami|, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL  

The continuing development of brain imaging technologies is now bringing into reach the correlation of brain activity with psychological states and traits, such as personality traits, mental health vulnerabilities, (unconscious) preferences and desires, or truthfulness. At the same time, different groups, such as employers, advertisers, health insurers and the government, all have strong interests in the knowledge offered by the neurosciences. How concerned should we be about these developments, and how can we ensure the protection of our privacy and dignity?  

 

The Philosophy of Mental Illness

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Tuesday 7 May 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE 

Matthew Broome|, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Consultant Psychiatrist in Early Intervention, Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Warwick Medical School

Bonnie Evans|, Researcher, Centre for the Humanities and Health, King's College London

Tim Thornton|, Professor of Philosophy and Mental Health, University of Central Lancashire 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 

How should we think of mental illness? Can mental disorders be reduced to neurobiological disorders? This panel discussed these and related questions, such as whether the study of mental illness can teach us something about ‘normal’ cognition, how the classification and treatment of mental illness is related to broader societal issues, and questions relating to responsibility and morality in mental disorders. 

 

Is Multiculturalism Dead?

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Tuesday 19 March 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE  

CecileLaborde 

Cécile Laborde|, Professor of Political Theory, University College London  

 

 TariqModood

 

Tariq Modood|, Professor of Sociology, Politics and Public Policy and founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, University of Bristol    

 

 AnnePhillips

 

Anne Phillips|, Director of the Gender Institute, Professor of Political and Gender Theory, LSE Gender Institute and Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science, Government Department, LSE   

 

Chair: Catherine Audard|, Visiting Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE and Chair of the Forum for European Philosophy  

Since 9/11 and the rising threat of djihadism, we have witnessed a dramatic change in the treatment of cultural and religious minorities in Europe, a major shift from a language of multiculturalism to one of civic integration. However, if the centralized and culturally homogeneous nation-state is a thing of the past, what are the alternatives? 

 

On Shame

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Thursday 21 February 2013, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Phil_Hutchinson

 

Phil Hutchinson|, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

 VasudeviReddy

 

Vasudevi Reddy|, Professor of Developmental and Cultural Psychology, Centre for Situated Action and Communication, University of Portsmouth

 

JonathanWebber 


Jonathan Webber|
, Reader in Philosophy, Cardiff University  

 

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy 

Shame is often depicted as playing a socially negative role. But might it also play an important positive role in our moral psychology, and for a flourishing political community? Is shame a source of self-knowledge, and a spur to transformative action, as Sartre and Beauvoir suggest? How important are other people to one’s feeling of shame? And how should we think about the developmental origins of shame? 

 

The Creative Mind

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Tuesday 27 November 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

MargaretBoden


Margaret Boden|
, Research Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Sussex, and Fellow of the British Academy 



GregoryCurrie




Gregory Currie|, Professor of Philosophy, University of Nottingham 

 

 

NicholasRoyle



Nicholas Royle|, Professor of English, University of Sussex

 

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Creativity is among the most treasured human traits, and many of us admire and strive for more creativity in our lives. But what exactly constitutes creativity, and how is it possible? Is creative thinking something that can be learned? Can it be modelled on computers? And if so, what can we learn from such modelling? This panel discussed these and related questions from the perspectives of philosophy, literature and cognitive science.

Genesis: The Origins of Humanity

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|Monday 30 April 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

RuthMace|


Ruth Mace|
, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, University College London

CatherineRowett|




Catherine Rowett|
, Professor of Philosophy, University of East Anglia


VolkerSommer


Volker Sommer|
, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology,
University College London






Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

What does it mean to be human? What are the origins of humanity, and what distinguishes us from non-human animals? This panel discussed these and related questions from the perspectives of philosophy and evolutionary anthropology.

 

Neuroscience, Responsibility and the Law

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Tuesday 14 February 2012, 6.30 – 8pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE


Roger Brownsword
Roger Brownsword|, Professor of Law, King's College London

 

Neil Levy



Neil Levy|, Deputy Director (Research), the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and Head of Neuroethics, Florey Neuroscience Institutes, University of Melbourne

 

Sir Michael Rutter



Sir Michael Rutter|, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

 

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

The prospects for our understanding of the brain and the development of psychopathologies are steadily increasing. What does this mean for the way we think about criminality and responsibility? Could developments in the neurosciences change our understanding of morality? Could they lead to changes in our legal system? If so, what might these changes look like? 

 

The Evolution of Morality

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Tuesday 22 November 2011, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

JasonAlexander

 


Jason McKenzie Alexander|
, Reader in Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, LSE

 

 

 Photo of Keith Jensen 

Keith Jensen|, Lecturer in Comparative and Developmental Psychology, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London

 

Photo of Andrew Pinsent

 

Andrew Pinsent|, Research Director, Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, University of Oxford 

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

Humans can act morally, even though they do not always do so. But what generates this moral capability? How much is it part of our basic biology, appearing in other animals and during our early development? How is it socialised? Is it reasoned, emotional, or does it derive from some other source entirely?  

 

The Fabric of Our Social World

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Monday 13 June 2011, 6.30 – 8pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

  Chris Frith

Chris Frith|, Emeritus Professor of Psychology,
Welcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging,
UCL and Niels Bohr Visiting Professor,
arhus University

 

 Alex Gillespie

Alex Gillespie|, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology,
University of Stirling

  



 

Dermot Moran

 

Dermot Moran|, Professor of Philosophy,
University College Dublin

 

 

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

How do we understand and relate to others? This panel explored how we create our world through shared experience. Drawing on neuroscience, philosophy and social psychology, the speakers examined different forms of social interaction, their cultural and societal role, and their psychological and physiological bases. 

 

Animal Minds

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Monday 21 February 2011, 6.30 – 8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Nicola Clayton|, Professor of Comparative Cognition, University of Cambridge; Fellow of the Royal Society and Scientific Advisor in the Rambert Dance Company

Erica Fudge|, Professor of English Studies, School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde

Gregory Radick|, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

What do we know about the minds of animals and the evolution of intelligence? This panel discussion provided historical and contemporary views on animal cognition and considered the challenges facing a multidisciplinary scientific field such as the study of animal minds.

 

Freedom and Agency

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Thursday 4 November 2010, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, LSE

Patrick Haggard, Professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and in the Department of Psychology, University College London; Group Leader of the Action and Body Research Group

Amber Jacobs|, Lecturer, Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London

Thomas Pink|, Professor of Philosophy, King's College London.

Chair: Kristina Musholt|, LSE Fellow, Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Deputy Director of the Forum for European Philosophy

The debate about human freedom concerns the power we have to determine for ourselves how we act. It is a problem about nature and the place of humans within nature - do we have any powers or capacities that are radically different from those of other animals? Is freedom part of human nature? And it is a problem about morality - does morality require us to possess such powers? And how can freedom be both a human power and a human right?

 

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