Philosophy of Science

  • Permalink Gallery

    Science and policy in extremis: what can we learn from the UK’s initial response to COVID-19?

Science and policy in extremis: what can we learn from the UK’s initial response to COVID-19?

22 December 2020|

SAGE uses a set of assumptions called the “reasonable worst-case scenario” in its pandemic planning. In this post, Jonathan Birch looks at the group’s minutes and documents from early 2020 and argues that over-reliance on these assumptions led to costly delays.

What unfolded in the UK in the spring of 2020 was a national tragedy within the global tragedy […]

The mind-body problem

3 November 2020|

What’s really at stake in the mind-body debate? Jonathan Birch looks at some of the explanatory differences in approaches to the metaphysics of consciousness.

Ideally Value-Free Coronavirus Science

9 September 2020|

How does the role of scientist relate to the role of policy-maker? Philip Thonemann looks at coronavirus science, public policy and the value free ideal.

  • Permalink Gallery

    A Virus Is Not a Thing, Part 3: What virology can tell us about philosophy

A Virus Is Not a Thing, Part 3: What virology can tell us about philosophy

25 August 2020|

How can findings in virology help answer ontological questions of process and substance? In the final post in this series, Stephan Guttinger looks at viral life cycles and the role of intrinsic properties.

  • Permalink Vintage bat illustration on white backgroundGallery

    A Virus Is Not a Thing, Part 2: Do viruses jump? Process-thinking and the question of pandemics

A Virus Is Not a Thing, Part 2: Do viruses jump? Process-thinking and the question of pandemics

22 July 2020|

What happens when a virus crosses species? Stephan Guttinger looks at viral jumps and the origins of pandemics.

  • Permalink Gallery

    A Virus Is Not a Thing, Part 1: The case for a process view of viruses

A Virus Is Not a Thing, Part 1: The case for a process view of viruses

6 July 2020|

It seems natural to picture viruses as individual microscopic entities, but might there be another more accurate way to think about them? In the first of this three-part series, Stephan Guttinger presents the case for a process view of viruses.

  • Permalink Gallery

    The Naturalistic Case for Free Will, Part 3: Indeterminism as an Emergent Phenomenon

The Naturalistic Case for Free Will, Part 3: Indeterminism as an Emergent Phenomenon

21 November 2019|

Could the universe be deterministic at some levels and indeterministic at others? In the final post in this series, Christian List looks at micro and macro levels of description.

  • Permalink Gallery

    The Naturalistic Case for Free Will, Part 2: An Indispensability Argument

The Naturalistic Case for Free Will, Part 2: An Indispensability Argument

6 November 2019|

What are the requirements of free will, and how can we show that these requirements are met? In the second post in this series, Christian List proposes an indispensability argument for the existence of free will.

The Naturalistic Case for Free Will, Part 1: The Challenge

22 October 2019|

Is there space for free will within a scientific worldview? In the first of this three part series, Christian List looks at free will scepticism and outlines his own compatibalist response.

How do we know how to act together?

26 February 2019|

How are humans able to act cooperatively and why don’t we see such behaviour in other primates? Jonathan Birch looks at the concept of “joint know-how”.