Research Seminar in Epistemology and Philosophy of Science
This research seminar is a forum for all members of TiLPS with research interests in epistemology or philosophy of science to present and discuss their work. Sometimes we also have a guest speaker or discuss a recently published article. Master students and Research Master students may take this research seminar for credit. Please contact Matteo Colombo for more information. Papers for discussion and some background reading will be available from this website at least one week in advance.
Thursday, 13 October 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: CZ 118
Speaker: Naftali Weinberger (TiLPS)
Title: Mechanisms Without Mechanistic Explanation
Abstract: Some recent accounts of constitutive relevance have identified mechanism components with entities that are causal intermediates between the input and output of a mechanism. I argue that on such accounts there is no distinctive form of mechanistic explanation. Nevertheless, the entities that these accounts call ‘components’ do play an explanatory role. Studying causal intermediates linking X and Y provides knowledge of the counterfactual conditions under which X will continue to bring about Y. This explanatory role does not depend on whether these variables count as components. The question of whether there are distinctively mechanistic explanations remains open.
Thursday, 20 October 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: DZ 10
Speaker: Sander Verhaegh (TiLPS)
Title: The Development and Reception of Quine’s Naturalism
Abstract: During the past few decades, a shift has occurred in how philosophers conceive of the relation between science and philosophy. A great number of analytic philosophers have adopted what is commonly called a naturalistic approach, arguing that their inquiries ought to be in some sense continuous with science. Where early analytic philosophers often relied on a sharp distinction between science and philosophy, many philosophers today follow W. V. Quine in his seminal rejection of this distinction as well as his reconstruction of their discipline in naturalistic terms.
Despite his influence on the contemporary metaphilosophical scene, however, the historical development and reception of Quine’s naturalism has never been systematically studied. In this paper, I reconstruct the development and reception of Quine’s ideas on the relation between science and philosophy. Scrutinizing both his published work as well as unpublished papers, correspondence, and notebooks, I examine Quine’s development in the first decades of his career (1930-1950) as well as the reception of his ideas in the 1950s and 1960s.
Thursday, 27 October 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: DZ 10
Speaker: Félipe Romero (TiLPS)
Title: Novelty versus Replicability: Virtues and Vices in the Reward System of Science
Abstract: The reward system of science is the priority rule: The first scientist making a novel discovery is rewarded with prestige while second runners get nothing (Merton 1957). Using rational choice models, Kitcher (1990) and Strevens (2003, 2011) defend the priority rule arguing that it incentivizes an efficient division of cognitive labor. I argue that their assessment overlooks the fact that the priority rule discourages replication, an important concern in practice, as shown by recent replicability controversies. My analysis reveals that the priority rule is more vicious than virtuous, and leads us to reject Kitcher and Strevens’ contention that a priority-based reward system is normatively desirable for science.
Thursday, 10 November 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: WZ 202
Speaker: Erik Nyberg
Thursday, 24 November 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: DZ 10
Speaker: Thomas Boyer-Kassem (TiLPS)
Thursday, 8 December 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: DZ 10
Speaker: Silvia Ivani (TiLPS)
Title and abstract: t.b.a.
Thursday, 15 September 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: Cultuurtuin - Esplanade Building
Speaker: Seamus Bradley (TiLPS)
Title: Fleshing out the "levels" argument for compatibilism about chance and determinism
Abstract: There is a prima facie tension between
the claims that the world is deterministic and that the world contains
non-trivial chances. One kind of response to this incompatibilist view is to
argue that the world can be deterministic at one level and still be chancy at
another level. Beyond giving examples of levels that instantiate this duality,
proponents of this 'levels-compatibilism' don't say much about what
levels are, or what the hierarchical structure of these levels is. This talk
presents some initial attempts at trying to flesh out what
levels-compatibilists might mean by their levels talk.
Thursday, 29 September 2016, 12:45 - 14:00
Room: Cobbenhagen Building - CZ 118
Speaker: Michal Sikorski (TiLPS)