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    Liam Kofi Bright (LSE): “The Scientists Qua Scientist Makes No Assertion”

Liam Kofi Bright (LSE): “The Scientists Qua Scientist Makes No Assertion”

15 January 2019|

Liam Kofi Bright (LSE): “The Scientists Qua Scientist Makes No Assertion”

 

Assertions are, speaking roughly, descriptive statements which purport to describe some fact about the world. Philosophers have given a lot of attention to the idea that assertions come with special norms governing their behaviour. Frequently, in fact, philosophers claim that for something to count as an […]

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    Sabina Leonelli (Exeter): “Understanding Science from the Data Up”

Sabina Leonelli (Exeter): “Understanding Science from the Data Up”

26 October 2018|

 

Sabina Leonelli (Exeter): “Understanding Science from the Data Up”

We live in a data-rich world, and yet diverse views on what constitutes reliable knowledge are proliferating and science is losing credibility as a source of verifiable, empirically grounded understanding of the world. I argue that both the overriding importance attributed to big data and the increasing contestation of […]

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    Craig Callender (UC, San Diego): “The Flow of Time: Stitching the World Together”

Craig Callender (UC, San Diego): “The Flow of Time: Stitching the World Together”

26 October 2018|

 

Craig Callender (UC, San Diego): “The Flow of Time: Stitching the World Together”

As we navigate through life, we employ a model of time as flowing. Despite its importance to us, physics suggests that this conception of time is fundamentally flawed, dismissing it as an illusion. Before we can dismiss the flow, however, we need to explain the […]

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    John Worrall (LSE): “Evidence-Based Everything (but let’s do the basing properly)” (Exaugural Lecture)

John Worrall (LSE): “Evidence-Based Everything (but let’s do the basing properly)” (Exaugural Lecture)

19 October 2018|

 

John Worrall (LSE): “Evidence-Based Everything (but let’s do the basing properly)” (Exaugural Lecture)

Statements can be significant despite being “statements of the bleedin’ obvious”. The philosopher David Hume’s remark that “The rational man adjusts his beliefs to the evidence” falls exactly into this category. It is surely “bleedin’ obvious” that our views (and hence our policies) ought to be based […]

Matt Farr (Cambridge): “The C Theory of Time”

30 April 2018|

 

Matt Farr (Cambridge): “The C Theory of Time”

Does time have a direction? Intuitively, it does. After all, our experiences, our thoughts, even our scientific explanations of phenomena are time-directed: things evolve from earlier to later, and it would seem unnecessary and indeed odd to try to expunge such talk from our philosophical lexicon. Nevertheless, in this talk […]

John D. Norton (Pittsburgh): “The Infinite Lottery”

24 April 2018|

 

John D. Norton (Pittsburgh): “The Infinite Lottery”

An infinite lottery machine induces a non-standard inductive logic that turns out to be the same logic appropriate to a problem in inductive inference arising in present theories of eternal inflation.

John D. Norton is Distinguished Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, and author of the […]

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    Tudor M Baetu (Bristol): “Pain in Psychology, Biology and Medicine. Implications for Eliminativist and Physicalist Accounts” (BSPS Lecture)

Tudor M Baetu (Bristol): “Pain in Psychology, Biology and Medicine. Implications for Eliminativist and Physicalist Accounts” (BSPS Lecture)

12 March 2018|

 

Tudor M Baetu (Bristol): “Pain in Psychology, Biology and Medicine. Implications for Eliminativist and Physicalist Accounts” (BSPS Lecture)

An analysis of arguments for pain eliminativism reveals two significant points of divergence between assumptions underlying scientific research on pain and assumptions typically endorsed by physicalist accounts. The first concerns the status of the term ‘pain’, which is an […]

The Evolution of Altruism (the Forum)

24 February 2018|

 

The Evolution of Altruism (the Forum)

If evolution is a ‘struggle for existence’, why do we witness so much altruism in nature? From bacteria to baboons, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of organisms cooperating with one another. In the early 1960s, W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves, […]

Anna Alexandrova (Cambridge): “Defining Mental Health”

20 February 2018|

 

Anna Alexandrova (Cambridge): “Defining Mental Health”

Today mental health is a universally valued outcome. It is prioritised by governments, hospitals, schools, employers, charities. And yet mental health appears to be prized more as a label than as a concept, because remarkably for a state so uncontroversially prized, it has no accepted definition. In this talk based on joint […]

What Is It Really Like to Be a Bat? (the Forum)

14 February 2018|

 

What Is It Really Like to Be a Bat? (the Forum)

Are bats conscious, and how can we tell? What is it like to use sound to navigate? In a classic paper called “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?”, Thomas Nagel used the bat’s capacity for echolocation to introduce philosophical problems concerning conscious experience. But […]