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March 2017

Craig Callender (UCSD): “Pouring A Little Cold Water on Black Hole Thermodynamics”

16 March, 6:00 am7:30 pm
KCL, king's college london, strand campus
London, United Kingdom
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Abstract: Black hole thermodynamics (BHT) is regarded as one of the deepest clues we have to a quantum theory of gravity. It motivates scores of proposals in the field, from the thought that the world is a hologram to calculations in string theory. The rationale for BHT playing this important role, and for much of BHT itself, originates in the…

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Nora Boyd (Pittsburgh): “Daedal Data: The Problem of Empirical Adequacy”

20 March, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Whatever else our theories about the natural world are, they ought to be consistent with the evidence produced by our interactions with it – our theories ought to be at least empirically adequate. This is the minimal commitment of empiricism. Yet the central notions of evidence and empirical adequacy have not been satisfactorily elucidated. Prominent accounts of evidence treat it as detachable from the manner in which it was produced. However, considered as detached results, the corpus of empirical evidence appears to be contradictory and discontinuous. Empirically derived parameter values evolve, sometimes radically, over time and the very concepts used to interpret evidence change between epistemic contexts. It would be a fool’s errand to try to make our theories adequate with respect to evidence in this sense. In this talk, I lay the groundwork for a new empiricist philosophy of science by furnishing a non-detached characterization of evidence and an epistemology of empirical adequacy appropriate to it. I illustrate these accounts using case studies from astrophysics and cosmology, including observations of the Hulse-Taylor pulsar, historical observations of supernovae, and the history of measurements of the Hubble parameter.

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May 2017

Casey D. McCoy (Edinburgh): TBC

8 May, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBC Casey D. McCoy is a teaching fellow and a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Edinburgh.   #SigmaClub

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Eleanor Knox (KCL): TBC

22 May, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBC Dr Eleanor Knox is a Lecturer in Philosophy at King's College London.   #SigmaClub

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June 2017

Michael Stoeltzner (U South Carolina): TBC

5 June, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBC Michael Stoeltzner is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Carolina.

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