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June 2017

Heather Dyke (LSE): “Experience of Passage in a Static World” (BSPS Lecture)

12 June 2017, 5:15 pm6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: The view that experience seems to tell us directly that time flows has long been accepted by both A-theorists and B-theorists in the philosophy of time. A-theorists take it as a powerful endorsement of their position, sometimes using it explicitly in an argument for their view, and other times more implicitly, as a kind of non-negotiable, experiential given. B-theorists…

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Anna Mahtani (LSE): “Betting scenarios and dilation”

14 June 2017, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBC   #LSEChoiceGroup

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Harvey Brown (Oxford): “QBism: the ineffable reality behind ‘participatory realism'”

15 June 2017, 4:30 pm6:00 pm
Radcliffe Humanities Lecture Room, Radcliffe Humanities Lecture Room, Woodstock Rd
Oxford, OX2 6GG United Kingdom
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Abstract: The recent philosophy of Quantum Bayesianism, or QBism, represents an attempt to solve the traditional puzzles in the foundations of quantum theory by denying the objective reality of the quantum state. Einstein had hoped to remove the spectre of nonlocality in the theory by also assigning an epistemic status to the quantum state, but his version of this doctrine was…

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José Díez (University of Barcelona): “Function and structure: A syncretic account of scientific representation”

16 June 2017, 5:00 pm6:30 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: TBA

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Matteo Plebani (University of Santiago de Compostela): “Sosein as a subject matter”

20 June 2017, 5:30 pm7:00 pm

Abstract: Drawing on recent work from Stephen Yablo and others on the notion of subject matter, I offer a new account of the notion of Sosein (Being-so) as a subject matter (or topic) and argue that in some cases Sosein might be independent from Sein (Being, Existence). The question whether numbers exist, for instance, is not part of the question…

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September 2017

John Worrall (LSE): “Placebo versus Active Controlled Clinical Trials: the FDA’s folly?”

27 September 2017, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Suppose that a treatment T for some medical condition C is already available and is universally recognized to be effective; and suppose that some new treatment T´ for that same condition C is under investigation. From the scientific point of view (that is, laying aside pragmatic issues such as, perhaps, the relative cost of the two treatments) there would, it seems, be no interest in testing the experimental treatment T´ against placebo. What the physician wants to know is whether T´ is better than (or, at any rate, at least as good as) the already-known-to-be-effective T not whether it is merely better than placebo. Accordingly, trials on T´ should, one would have thought, be “active-controlled” (meaning that those in the control group receive the active treatment T) rather than “placebo-controlled”. (There also seem to be clear ethical objections to conducting placebo-controlled trials in such a situation since those in the control group in such trials are knowingly given a treatment that is less effective than another available treatment.)

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Reasons, Rationality, and Intentional Agency

29 September 2017, 9:30 am30 September 2017, 6:45 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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This two-day interdisciplinary workshop will bring together philosophers, economists, and scholars from neighbouring disciplines to discuss issues ranging from new approaches to rational choice theory at one end of the spectrum to contributions concerning the metaphysics of intentionality and agency at the other. Further information is available on the conference webpage.

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October 2017

Is Post-modernism to Blame for Our Post-truth World? (the Forum)

2 October 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Did Derrida make us do it? Is our current situation the inevitable outcome of the intellectual adventuring of the twentieth century that critiqued grand narratives and challenged absolute truths? Or should we call upon the critical scepticism of post-modernism and post-structuralism with renewed vigour, to better see through the smoke and mirrors of contemporary culture? We ask what the relationship is between facts, alternative facts, and fiction, and explore the precarious status of truth in the twenty-first century.

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Daniel M. Hausman (Madison): “Is social science possible?” (Auguste Comte Memorial Lecture)

4 October 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, 99 Aldwych
London, WC2B 4JF United Kingdom
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Using economics as an example, this lecture addresses a perennial philosophical question that also occupied Auguste Comte: Can inquiries into social phenomena be sciences?

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Bridging the Gap: Scientific Imagination Meets Aesthetic Imagination

5 October 2017, 9:30 am6 October 2017, 6:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Why, how, and when do scientists imagine, and what epistemological roles does the imagination play in scientific progress? This conference aims to connect work on artistic and scientific imagination, and to advance our understanding of the epistemic and heuristic roles that imagination can play. Further information is available of the conference website.

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Invasive Species (the Forum)

10 October 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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From parakeets to grey squirrels, signal crayfish to Japanese knotweed, with the help of human beings, non-native species have adeptly squawked, crawled, and rooted themselves in unfamiliar ecosystems. Should we welcome these invaders as a sign of cross-species cosmopolitanism or attempt to remove them? Are some non-native species friends and others foes? When does conservation become ‘green xenophobia’ (Fred Pearce)?…

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Jake Nebel (NYU): “An Intrapersonal Addition Paradox”

11 October 2017, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: I present a new problem for those of us who wish to avoid Parfit's repugnant conclusion. The problem is an intrapersonal, risky analogue of Parfit's mere addition paradox. I present the problem, consider and reject some solutions, and conclude by stating my preferred solution. The problem is important for three reasons. First, it highlights new conditions at least one of…

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Digital Selves (the Forum)

17 October 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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How does our ubiquitous digital culture affect our sense of self? Is the self distorted, or do we now possess an invigorating digital selfdom? Should we revise our philosophical conceptions of the self in the light of social media? Our panel of writers, artists, and political theorists explore what happens to memory, emotion, and thought in the age of Google.

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LSE PhD Student Session: Nicolas Cote & David Kinney

18 October 2017, 5:30 pm7:00 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Nicolas Cote (LSE): “Weakness of Will and the Measurement of Freedom” Abstract: Weakness of will often seems to get in the way of free choice. In a wide range of situations, ranging from serious cases of depression and drug addiction to more mundane cases of weakness of will, it is clear that deficiencies of willpower make certain courses of actions…

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Parallel Universes (the Forum/BSPS Lecture)

23 October 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Is Schrödinger’s cat alive or dead? This thought experiment was devised to illustrate a fundamental puzzle in quantum mechanics. A radical solution is that the cat is both alive and dead, but in different, parallel universes. This is the ‘many-worlds interpretation’ of quantum mechanics and our panel of philosophers and physicists will discuss why it is controversial and its strange consequences.

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Owen Griffiths (LSE): “Isomorphism invariance and overgeneration”

24 October 2017, 2:00 pm3:30 pm
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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Abstract: The isomorphism invariance criterion of logical nature has much to commend it. It can be philosophically motivated by the thought that logic is distinctively general or topic neutral. It is capable of precise set-theoretic formulation. And it delivers a plausible extension of ‘logical constant’ which respects the intuitively clear cases. Despite its attractions, the criterion has recently come under…

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Alison Fernandes (Warwick): “Deliberative Approach to Causation” (joint meeting with the LJDM, held at UCL)

25 October 2017, 5:30 pm6:15 pm
UCL Psychology Dept., Room 313, Psychology Dept, UCL, 26 Bedford Way
London, WC1H 0AP United Kingdom
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Abstract: Fundamental physics makes no clear use of causal notions; it uses laws that operate in relevant respects in both temporal directions and that relate whole systems across times. But by relating causation to evidence, we can explain how causation fits in to a physical picture of the world and explain its temporal asymmetry. This paper presents a deliberative account…

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Quantum Investigations in Algebraic Approach: Opening Lecture and Reception

26 October 2017, 6:00 pm8:30 pm
5th Floor, Old Building, Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
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An opening lecture by Miklós Rédei, in advance of a one-day conference in his honour. Followed by a wine reception, in the Senior Common Room on the 5th floor of the Old Building (OLD) at LSE. Further information about the lecture and conference are available on the Conference Webpage.

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Quantum Investigations (Rédei-Fest)

27 October 2017
LAK 2.06, Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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A conference on the foundations of quantum theory, in honour of Professor Miklós Rédei. For more details, visit the Conference Webpage.

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Who Is a Refugee? (the Forum)

30 October 2017, 6:30 pm8:00 pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics
London, WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom
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Some people crossing borders are called refugees while others are not. But who is a refugee? What precisely is the relationship between migration and seeking refuge? Can we justify the distinction between refugees, migrants, and displaced people? Our panel discuss whether current legal definitions are need of modification, and if so, what should be altered and why.

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