Thursday, 2 February 2017, 16:45 - 18:00
Room: CZ 116
Speaker: Christine Straehle (University of Groningen)
Christine Straehle is Professor for Political Philosophy and Public Affairs at the Faculty of Philosophy. Her research interests are in political philosophy, ethics, questions of global justice, and conceptions of vulnerability and autonomy in moral philosophy. Before joining the University of Groningen, Straehle was Associate Professor of Ethics, Political and Social Philosophy in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa and in the Philosophy Department at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Straehle has received several fellowships and is a member of the Centre for PPE at the University, as well as a collaborator of the Centre de Recherche en Éthique (CRÉ) of the Université de Montréal and a research associate of the Global Justice Network based at the University of Frankfurt. In 2015-2016, she was John Stuart Mill Visiting Chair in Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Hamburg.
Title: Vulnerability, Rights and Social Deprivation in Migration Ethics
Friday, 31 March 2017, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: DZ 007
Speaker: Chiara Lisciandra (University of Groningen)
Title and abstract: t.b.a.
Thursday September 8th, 2016, 11:00 - 12:45
Speaker: Daniel Steel (British Columbia)
Title: Intergenerational Impartiality and Discounting the Future: Beyond the Prescriptivist versus Descriptivist Dichotomy
Monday October 17th, 2016, 16:45-18:00
Room: DZ 007 (Dante Building)
Speaker: James McAlllister (Leiden University)
Title: What Do Patterns in Empirical Data Tell Us about the Structure of the World
Abstract: In this paper, I shall discuss the relation between features of empirical data and structures in the world. I shall defend the following claims. Any empirical data set exhibits all possible patterns, each with a certain noise term. The magnitude and other properties of this noise term have no influence on the evidential status of a pattern: all patterns exhibited in empirical data constitute evidence of structures in the world. Furthermore, distinct patterns constitute evidence of distinct structures in the world. From these premises, it follows that the world must be regarded as containing all possible structures. In the remainder of the talk, I shall discuss the meaning and implications of the latter claim.
Tuesday November 15th, 2016, 16:45-18:00
Room: DZ 007 (Dante Building)
Speaker: Daniel Cohnitz (Utrecht University)
Title: Thought Experiments and the (Ir-)relevance of Intuitions in Philosophy
Abstract: A central topic in recent contributions to metaphilosophy is the role of intuitions in philosophy, especially their role as evidence for (or rather against) philosophical theories. Intuitions seem to play this role in conjunction with so-called "hypothetical cases" or "thought experiments". I will argue that appearances are misleading here. Even though hypothetical cases, in a broad sense of the notion, play some role in many areas of philosophy, this role isn't always the same. And for most of the roles I will identify, only one of them could give rise to the methodological worries about the evidential weight of intuitions, because only one of these roles has room for an evidential use of intuitions.
Thus, even if hypothetical cases are often considered in philosophy (for some purpose or other), the fact that we might be able to say something interesting and binding about one role that hypothetical cases play, doesn't mean that we have thereby said something interesting and binding about all areas of philosophy, or the dominant methodology, etc.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016, 15:45 - 18:00
Room: DZ 005
Speaker: Justin Sytsma (Victoria University of Wellington, NZ)
Title: Are religious philosophers less analytic?
Abstract: Some researchers in
philosophy of religion have charged that the sub-discipline exhibits a number
of features of poor health, prominently including that “partisanship is so
entrenched that most philosophers of religion, instead of being alarmed by it,
just take it for granted” (Draper and Nichols, 2013, 421). And researchers in
experimental philosophy of religion have presented empirical work that supports
this contention, arguing that it shows that confirmation bias plays a notable
role in the acceptance of natural theological arguments among philosophers (De
Cruz, 2014; Tobia, 2015; De Cruz and De Smedt, 2016). But while these studies
indicate that there is a correlation between religious belief and judgments
about natural theological arguments, they do not establish that causation runs
from belief to judgment as has been claimed. In this paper I offer an
alternative explanation, suggesting that thinking style is a plausible common
cause. I note that previous research has shown a significant negative
correlation between analytic thinking style and both religious belief and
religious engagement in the general population (Shenhav, Rand, and Greene,
2012; Gervaise and Norenzayan, 2012; Pennycook et al., 2012, 2013; Jack et al.,
2016). Further, other research has shown a significant positive correlation
between analytic thinking style and training in philosophy that is independent
of overall level of education (Livengood et al., 2010). Pulling these threads
together, I hypothesize that there is an especially strong correlation between
thinking style and religiosity among philosophers. This hypothesis is tested by
looking at a sample of 524 people with an advanced degree in philosophy. The
results support the hypothesis, showing a medium-large negative correlation
between analytic thinking style and religious engagement that is roughly twice
as strong as has been reported for the general population (r=-0.39 among men,
r=-0.34 among women). And the correlation is even stronger if we restrict to
Christian theists and non-theists (r=-0.61 among men, r=-0.62 among women).
New Year's Colloquium
Tuesday, 10 January 2017, 12:00 - 13:15
Room: DZ 004
Speaker: Harrie de Swart, Tilburg University (Professor emeritus)
Title: Most Votes Count? Frequently not!
Abstract: By asking voters to give an evaluation of the candidates instead of asking them to give their most preferred candidate or their ranking of the candidates, Balinski and Laraki made recently clear that Majority Rule in many cases makes the candidate with the worse evaluations the winner. They illustrate this also in the case of the most recent presidential elections in the USA.
Thursday, 17 January 2017, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: DZ 005
Speaker: Karolina Krzyzanowska (LMU Munich)
Title: The puzzle of missing-link conditionals
Abstract: It is a common intuition that the antecedent of an indicative conditional should be relevant for its consequent, that they should be somehow connected. However, only very few semantic theories of conditionals do justice to this intuition, while the majority tends to dismiss it as a pragmatic rather than a semantic phenomenon. Nevertheless, no one has offered a satisfactory pragmatic explanation of why conditionals such as “If dolphins cannot breathe under water, Berlin is the capital of Germany” strike us as odd. In my talk, I will discuss a seemingly plausible pragmatic account of the oddity of missing-link conditionals, and I will present the results of empirical investigations that may shed some new light on the semantics and pragmatics of indicative conditionals.