Current Visitors

 

Norihito Sakamoto

Norihito Sakamoto is an associate professor at the Tokyo University of Science. His current interest is in a class of acceptable social evaluation methods with variable populations. He analyzes some possibility and impossibility results that are deeply rooted in well-known dilemmas in population ethics. Moreover, he revisits traditional egalitarianism, prioritarianism, and sufficientarianism in the distributive justice theory, and examines some logical relationships of these normative principles and how they should be defined. He is also greatly interested in the history and philosophy of poverty and the evolutionary origins of moral and discriminatory behavior in the human species. He tries to analyze moral norms and their compatibility, as well as moral sentiments that appear to have biological origins, in order to build a better society.

Dates of visit: June 2022 – August 2024

Email: n-sakamoto@rs.tus.ac.jp 

Research Project

Practical Evaluation Methods Using Efficient and Equitable Social Welfare Orderings

Norihito’s research project aims to provide reasonable and practical methods for the following three issues through axiomatic and normative analysis.

(i) Acceptable Social Welfare Orderings with Variable Populations

He characterizes a class of acceptable SWOs with variable populations and proposes some practical applications for comparing international income or wealth. Moreover, he shows some possibility/ impossibility results by revisiting classical dilemmas in population ethics.

(ii) Reexamination of Classical Normative Concepts and Ideas

He classifies and scrutinizes some classical concepts of normative ideas such as egalitarianism, sufficientarianism, responsibility, liberalism, etc. Moreover, he shows some logical relationships among these ideas.

 

Satoshi Nakada

Satoshi Nakada is a junior associate professor at the Tokyo University of Science. His current research interest is in a wide class of institutional designs. In particular, he considers normatively reasonable social welfare orderings and allocation rules incorporating and compromising some conflicting principles by the theoretical tools of welfare economics, social choice theory, and cooperative game theory.

Dates of visit: June 2022 – August 2024

Email: S.Nakada@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

Social Decision Making and Allocations with Multiple Criteria

Satoshi’s research project aims to construct reasonable social decision criteria and allocation rules for economic resources in societies by taking trade-offs among various criteria into account. In particular, he is trying to consider the following problems.

(i) Constructing Social Welfare Orderings.

He characterizes a class of acceptable SWOs combining normative criteria such as utilitarianism, leximin, and sufficientarianism.

(ii) Constructing Allocation rules.

He characterizes the allocation rules that incorporate and compromise seemingly contracting principles: marginalism and egalitarianism.

 

Cristian Soto

Cristian Soto is associate professor at the Departamento de Filosofía, Universidad de Chile, and a Newton International Fellow for the British Academy based at the CPNSS, LSE (2022-2024). He works on philosophy of science and metaphysics, with a special focus on the history and philosophy of laws of nature, metaphysics of science, different approaches to scientific realism and empiricism, scientific pluralism, and some early-modern HPS. He is a founding member of the Chilean Society for the Philosophy of Science(www.sochific.cl), and director of the Grupo de Estudios de Filosofía de las Ciencias at the Universidad de Chile. While at the LSE, he will be looking into the intertwining of physical laws, modelling, and the application of mathematics. Further information is available on www.csoto.cl

Dates of visit: July 2022 – June 2024

Email: c.soto1@lse.ac.uk  

Research Project

Physical Laws and The Application of Mathematics

This investigation addresses the problem of the effectiveness of mathematics in the articulation of physical laws. Since Eugene Wigner’s (1960) landmark statement of the problem, scientists, philosophers, and historians of science have reflected on whether mathematics’ effectiveness had to be deemed unreasonable after all.

One aspect of our research is this. We bring together two fields of research, namely: the history and philosophy of laws of nature, and the recent philosophy of applied mathematics, the latter including issues concerning modelling, representation, abstraction, and idealisation. From this perspective, the project has three main goals: first, to develop a philosophical framework for understanding the various contributions of mathematics to physical laws; second, to provide an analysis of nomic modality that accounts for the contribution of both physics and mathematics to the modal space of possibilities and necessities informed by physical laws; and third, to examine the distinction between mathematical and physical structures in physical laws.

Another aspect of our research advances a pluralist interpretation of scientific practices, one of whose core tenets within the framework of our project is this: physical laws need not be a central element in ontology, nor do they need to be equally present across epistemic practices. This will prove beneficial in various ways, especially since the talk of laws is not inane: it imposes a certain understanding of scientific practices (for example, some epistemic practices are successful at finding out about laws, whereas others are not), and a way to value their results (in particular, epistemic practices informing us about laws are somehow more important, and we should grant them priority because they provide what the Newtonian tradition considers genuine scientific knowledge). We cast doubt on this interpretation. We examine, indeed, whether we are currently writing the last chapter of the biography of laws, as Lorraine Daston’s framework for the biographical approach to scientific objects may suggest. Furthermore, laws may well be dispensed with in both ontology and scientific parlance, hence giving way to rather more egalitarian concepts and less demanding ontological presuppositions. For the latter points, we shall benefit from insights coming from both the history of science and the social studies of science. 

 

Samuel Freeman

Samuel Freeman works in social and political philosophy.  He is Professor of Philosophy and has taught at the University of Pennsylvania since 1985, the year he received a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard.  He has written books on Liberalism and Distributive Justice (2018)Justice and the Social Contract (2007), and on Rawls (2007, the Routledge Philosophers series).    He also edited The Cambridge Companion to Rawls (2003), as well as Rawls’s Collected Papers (1999) and Rawls’s Lectures in the History of Political Philosophy (2008).  

Dates of visit: January 2024 – June 2024

Email: s.freeman2@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

Freeman is currently completing a manuscript, Against Libertarianism, for a volume entitled Debating Libertarianism (OUP) and will write a critical response to his co-author’s (Jason Brennan’s) defence of that position. He also will write two papers, one on Relational Egalitarianism and the Just Savings Principle for a volume of papers on Samuel Scheffler’s works, the other on Rawls and the Social Contract tradition for an OUP volume.  Finally, Freeman plans to begin work on a 2nd edition of his 2007 book on Rawls in the Routledge Philosophers series.

 

Andrew Waters

Dr. Waters trained as a cognitive psychologist, obtaining a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Nottingham. His graduate work focused on cognitive processes in human expertise. After post-doctoral work at University College London he moved to the US where he has examined cognitive processes in psychopathology, including the addictions. Given recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, his current research includes comparing human and artificial expertise in a number of domains, including chess, where he is working with long-time collaborator and leader in the field of human expertise research, Dr. Fernand Gobet. 

Dates of visit: January - December 2024

Email: A.Waters1@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

Comparing Human and Artificial Expertise: Theoretical and Experimental Approaches

Recently there have been significant breakthroughs in understanding of human and machine expertise, to include the performance of AlphaZero in games, and, of course, the performance of large language models. Whether or not these programs are useful models of human expertise, their existence raises important questions about the relationship between human and machine expertise and how they can be most profitably deployed. In this project we will examine AlphaZero as a model of human expertise through theoretical analysis and through experimental work. We will also work on a book summarizing recent developments in expertise research in human and machine expertise.

 

Jianqin Zhang

Jianqin Zhang is an Associate Professor of philosophy of science at Jiaxing University. She is a director of the postgraduate courses about natural dialects. She is interested in the on the scientific ontology and the scientific epistemology. Now she is doing research mainly on the rational foundation of scientific knowledge.

Dates of visit: February - July 2024

Email: J.Zhang230@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

The Rational Foundation of Scientific Knowledge

Jianqin Zhang’s research is mainly to discuss about the necessity of an absolutely independent status of ontological existence to understand the reason and principle of scientific knowledge. From the epistemological view, most unobservable entities and mechanisms appeared, which made many scientists and philosophers reflect on the essence and existence of science following the development of some special fields of science. Then she will talk about the issue between scientific realism and scientific antirealism whether we should keep optimistic to the future of science. Contrary with the pessimistic inductivism, she will investigate the rational foundation of scientific knowledge strictly in order to have confidence in the progress of scientific development.

 

Nibaldo Lorca

Nibaldo Lorca has a bachelor's and master's degree in philosophy from the Universidad de Chile, both obtained under Professor Cristian Soto's guidance. Nowadays, he is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at the Pontífice Universidad Católica de Chile under the guidance of Professor Pablo Acuña. He has worked as a thesis collaborator of the post-doctoral FONDECYT project, as a teaching assistant in the course of Metaphysics in the bachelor's degree of philosophy at the Universidad de Chile (2019), and as a Professor in the course of Philosophy of Science at the Pontífice Universidad Católica de Chile (2023). Mr. Lorca specializes in philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, and epistemology, and he is currently working on representation and models in physical sciences.

Dates of visit: March - July 2024

Email: nplorca@uc.cl

Research Project

Highly Idealized Models and Epistemic Achievements: Models of the Atomic Nucleus

Science is an enterprise that studies the world using theories and different methods. In this labor, models are helpful to research and understand natural phenomena. Two questions are crucial to characterize models and their functions: What are models? Furthermore, How do we learn with them? The thesis will focus on how using models in scientific practice facilitates obtaining relevant epistemic achievements; in particular, the focus will be on issues related to the scientific understanding of physical phenomena through models. The work will take nuclear models in physics as study cases to illustrate how these models epistemically function in scientific practice.

 

Gong Zhichao

Gong Zhichao is a Ph.D. candidate from Shanxi University. His research interests are philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind, predicitve processing, etc.

Dates of visit: March - August 2024

Email: madradaist@163.com

Research Project

Philosophical Research on Artificial Mind's Challenge to Human Mind

Gong Zhichao aims to make a conceptual distinction between the human mind and an artificial mind. For example, what is artificial mind? How is artificial intelligence possible?

He will conduct a philosophical review from the perspective of artificial intelligence imitating the human mind. For example, can the problem of qualia and the difficulty of consciousness be solved in the field of artificial intelligence? Besides this, he will explore whether there is a cognitive paradigm that can unify the human mind and artificial mind? For example, computationalism, 4E cognition, and predictive processing theory.

 

Yukinori Iwata

Yukinori Iwata is a professor at Nishogakusha University and works in behavioral welfare economics. He has provided a microeconomic foundation for Joshua Greene’s (2013) modular myopia hypothesis to explain how people make moral judgments on the trolley problem. His current research interest focuses on the testable implications of cooperative behavior under simple Kantian equilibrium proposed by John Roemer (2019).

Dates of visit: March 2024 - March 2025

Email: Y.Iwata@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

Individual Moral Judgment and Normative Evaluation

The research question of Iwata’s project is what kind of cognitive mechanism people’s moral judgments follow and how to evaluate people’s actions and public policies based on their moral judgments. To achieve this goal, his project adopts a behavioral welfare economics approach in which normative implications are derived from people’s actual actions and judgments. His project does not aim to propose a moral principle that resolves real-world moral dilemmas. Rather, it aims to provide a prescription for people’s actions and public policies under the dilemmas. Iwata will write a book on welfare economics and moral psychology and complete three papers, one of which is on evaluating choice architecture under a policymaker’s dilemma.

 

Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. He focuses his research and writing on the intersection of philosophy of science and political philosophy. Currently, he is working on an account of values in science grounded in the idea of public reason. Before Penn, Jesse served in the U.S. Army and then worked in finance.

Dates of visit: March 2024 - March 2025

Email: J.Hamilton3@lse.ac.uk

Research Project

Public Reason and Values in Science

Public reason, which requires adopting rules justifiable to all under their authority, is essential for justice in liberal democracies. Given the role of science in rule formation, there is growing interest in connecting the idea of public reason to ongoing discussions about values in science. This project aims to tackle two foundational questions related to public reason and values in science: Should public reason regulate scientific research, and if so, in what ways? Does public reason impose duties on members of the scientific community? If so, what are the duties, and to whom do they apply?