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November 2017

The Politics of Mental Health (the Forum)

8 November, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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At the intersection of the personal and the political, we explore the relationship between mental health and economics, politics, and society at large. Is it even possible to distinguish between mental illness that derives from an individual’s physiology or childhood experience and that which has broader social or political causes? Why do particular mental illnesses appear to characterize certain eras? Could social change limit the spread of mental illness in contemporary society?

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Lakatos Award Lectures and Ceremony

9 November, 6:00 pm8:00 pm
Old Theatre, Old Building, London School of Economics, Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Lectures by the 2015 and 2016 Lakatos Award winners, Thomas Pradeu and Brian Epstein, followed by a public award ceremony.

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Biological Identity: An Expert Workshop

10 November, 10:00 am1:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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This half-day expert workshop will consider questions of biological identity with reference to Thomas Pradeu's book The Limits of the Self: Immunology and Biological Identity, winner of the 2015 Lakatos Award. It accompanies the Lakatos Award lecture on 9 November and is followed by The Ant Trap: An Expert Workshop. Further information is available on the conference webpage.

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The Ant Trap: An Expert Workshop

10 November, 2:00 pm5:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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This half-day workshop will explore some of the issues raised by Brian Epstein’s Lakatos Award winning book, The Ant Trap.  It accompanies the Lakatos Award lecture on 9 November and follows Biological Identity: An expert workshop on Thomas Pradeu’s book The Limits of the Self: Immunology and Biological Identity. Further information is available on the conference webpage.

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Adrian Boutel (LSE): “Can selection save the special sciences?”

14 November, 2:00 pm3:30 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: David Papineau (2009) has posed a dilemma for the Fodorian picture of causal laws in the special sciences, involving multiply-realised causes and effects. If the causes are genuinely physically diverse, then their production of a common effect is coincidental; but if they share relevant physical features, it is reducible. Papineau acknowledges that selection offers an answer to this puzzle:…

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Strong Feelings (the Forum)

14 November, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Does anger impede political progress or is it essential for change? Does love make us biased or is it the foundation of ethical thinking? Might shame alter not merely our perception of the world, but the very world itself? Reason is often contrasted with emotion, but what if emotion is essential for understanding traditional philosophical ideas? And how did we end up thinking that reason could ever do without emotion?

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Thomas Ferretti (LSE): “Rawls’ indexing problem: Which combination of social primary goods can maximize the freedom of the least well-off?”

15 November, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Rawls proposes that public institutions should maximize the freedom of the least well-off by distributing social primary goods. But if one can easily understand how to maximize one good like income, things get more difficult when it comes to maximizing the value of a bundle of many different goods. I will argue that, within the restricted settings of Rawls’…

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Otávio Bueno (University of Miami): “Weyl, Identity, Indiscernibility”

20 November, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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As part of his attempt to interpret the foundations of non-relativist quantum mechanics, Hermann Weyl developed a suggestive technique to accommodate aggregates of quantum particles while taking into account these particles’ apparent lack of identity (see Weyl , pp. 237-252, and Weyl ). The technique is suggestive in that it attempts to make sense of the putative restrictions on the applicability of identity in the quantum domain without changing either the underlying logic or the relevant set theory. In this paper, I reconstruct this technique and assess its feasibility, contrasting it with attempts to make sense of the foundations of non-relativist quantum mechanics by jettisoning identity entirely and revising both the underlying logic and the relevant set theory (French and Krause ). I argue that Weyl’s original approach has significant benefits.

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The Minds of Birds

20 November, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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What is it like to be a bird? What do they think and how do they feel? What can comparative psychology tell us about the intelligence of birds? And what can we learn about birds, and about ourselves, from our encounters with them? In this dialogue, world-leading comparative psychologist Nicola Clayton and author and naturalist Mark Cocker give us a bird’s eye view on the world, and consider how human thought and culture have been shaped by interaction with birds.

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Bryan Roberts (LSE): “The Mechanics of Markets”

22 November, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Many philosophers and economists have concluded that the models of economics and finance are strictly inaccurate. This paper argues on the contrary that techniques from physics, and especially classical mechanics, can be used to accurately represent the microdynamics of financial markets. I give a number of simple examples to illustrate this approach to econophysics to newcomers, and then propose a general Hamiltonian framework for quantitative finance from first principles.

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Roman Frigg (LSE): “How Models Work” (Inaugural Professorial Lecture)

23 November, 6:00 pm9:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Abstract: Models are crucial in many scientific contexts, and many investigations are carried out on models rather than on reality itself. How can models inform us about the properties of something beyond themselves? The answer is that they are representations of their respective target systems. But what does it mean for a model to represent something else? In this lecture I…

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Alisa Bokulich (Boston University): “Losing Sight of the Forest for the Ψ: A Call for a Successor to the Realism Question”

27 November, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Traditionally the realist project in quantum theory has taken one of two forms: First, defending one of many different possible interpretations of quantum theory as the one true depiction of reality. Second, defending what has been termed wavefunction realism, according to which ordinary space is an illusion and we in fact live in a 3N-dimensional configuration space, where N…

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Graham Oddie (U Colorado Boulder): “Cognitive value, accuracy and the vindication of epistemic norms”

28 November, 2:00 pm3:30 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: A number of philosophers have argued that certain epistemic norms can be justified by appeal to the fundamental value of truth or accuracy. In his recent monograph (Accuracy and the Laws of Credence, OUP 2016) Richard Pettigrew makes an impressive case for the comprehensive grounding of epistemology in the epistemic utility of accuracy together with standard principles of decision…

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Remco Heesen (Cambridge): “Statistical Biases in Peer Review”

29 November, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: Various biases are known to affect the peer review system, which is used to judge journal articles for their suitability for publication and grant proposals for their suitability for funding. These biases are generally attributed to cognitive biases held by individual peer reviewers. For example, gender bias in peer review is explained by the (explicit or implicit) gender bias…

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Sovereignty (the Forum)

29 November, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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The Brexit debate saw a revival in talk of ‘sovereignty’. But what exactly is it, and why is it so highly prized? What are its essential features and what are its limits? In a globalized world, is sovereignty something modern states can achieve? We will explore this elusive concept, and ask whether it is still a useful concept in the twenty-first century.

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December 2017

Foundations of Quantum Theory Book Workshop: Cats, Fleas and Symmetries

4 December
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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A workshop on Klaas Landsman's Open Access book, The Foundations of Quantum Theory, with talks by Klaas Landsman, Jeremy Butterfield and Bryan Roberts. For more information, visit the Workshop Website.

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Time Travel (the Forum)

5 December, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Born of science fiction, thinking about time travel has allowed us to visit possible and lost worlds, and rediscover the past through modern eyes. It also raises big puzzles: If you travelled back in time and killed your grandfather when he was a young man, would you still exist? Would changing the past mean you returned to a different present? What about travelling to the future? Two philosophers and a science fiction writer discuss time travel, and how thinking and writing about it has changed science and philosophy.

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LSE Philosophy Holiday Party 2017

5 December, 6:30 pm11:30 pm
The Venue, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, LSE, Houghton St
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Shake, Rattle 'n' Roll and raise money for Mind at the LSE Philosophy Holiday Party feat. The Critique of Pure Rhythm + Student DJs.

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Health and Disease: Can the Biostatistical Theory Be Defended? (CPNSS Symposium)

6 December, 1:00 pm4:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Featuring Christopher Boorse (University of Delaware), Daniel Hausman (University of Wisconsin-Madison & LSE) and Elselijn Kingma (Southampton University).

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Philosophy, Politics and Economics Conference in honour of Luc Bovens

7 December
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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On 7 December, this conference will bring together scholars from around the world to celebrate the work of Prof Bovens and his contributions to philosophy, politics and economics. Further info is available on the conference webpage.

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