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Departmental Colloquium, 2019/2020

Colloquia take place from 4.15pm to 6:00pm in OC1.07 (Oculus Building) unless otherwise indicated. For further information, please contact Naomi Eilan (N.Eilan@warwick.ac.uk) or Barnaby Walker (B.J.Walker@warwick.ac.uk). Details of previous years’ colloquia can be found here.

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Fri 4 Oct, '19
Workshop on Expression and Self-Knowledge with Dorit Bar-On and Lucy Campbell

Expression and Self-knowledge

Warwick University, Friday 4th October 2019

Humanities H0.03

Programme

11.00 – 12.30
Lucy Campbell (Warwick)
‘Self-knowledge: expression without expressivism’

12.30 – 2.00

Dorit Bar-On (University of Connecticut)
‘No ‘How’ Privileged Self-Knowledge’

3.00 – 4.30

Cristina Borgoni (Bayreuth University)

‘Primitive forms of first-person authority and expressive capacities’

Wed 16 Oct, '19
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Ursula Renz (Klagenfurt)

Title: 'Socratic Self-Knowledge and the Concept of the Human Self: From Phenomenology to Metaphysics and Back Again'

Wed 30 Oct, '19
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Sameer Bajaj (Philosophy, Warwick)

Title: TBC

Wed 20 Nov, '19
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Sonia Sedivy (Toronto)

Title: 'Aesthetic Properties and Philosophy of Perception'

Wed 5 Feb, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Sophia Connell (Birkbeck)

Title: 'Aristotle on Animal Cognition: Contemporary Perspectives'

Wednesday 5 February 2020, 4.15pm-6pm, Room OC1.07, Oculus

Wed 26 Feb, '20
-
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Chris Janaway (Southampton)

Title: Schopenhauer

Wed 4 Mar, '20
-
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07, Oculus

Speaker: Sameer Bajaj

Title: TBC

Wed 11 Mar, '20
-
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium
Room OC1.07. Oculus Buildng

Speaker: Alan Millar (Stirling)

Title: TBC

Wed 13 May, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium: Richard Moore: 'The Communicative Foundations of Propositional Attitude Psychology'
By Zoom

Speaker: Richard Moore

The Communicative Foundations of Propositional Attitude Psychology

Abstract:

According to a widely held dogma, a developed propositional attitude psychology is a prerequisite of attributing communicative intent, and so a developmental prerequisite of natural language acquisition. This view is difficult to reconcile with developmental evidence, which shows not only that children do not develop propositional attitudes until they are four years old (e.g. Rakoczy 2017), but also that this development is parasitic upon natural language acquisition (de Villiers & de Villers 2000; Lohmann & Tomasello 2003; Low 2010), and that it recruits brain regions that do not exist in infancy (Grosse-Wiesmann et al. 2017). Against the received view, and building on my work on minimally Gricean communication (Moore 2017a), I sketch a developmental trajectory to show how propositional attitude psychology could be both invented and learned through communicative interaction. I finish by considering the conditions in which cultural tools for mental state representation might first have been developed in human history; and the extent to which our early human ancestors might have lacked propositional attitudes. The goal of the paper will not be to show that strong nativism about human mindreading must be false, but that there is no reason to take it for granted in considering the origins of the modern human mind.


Wed 3 Jun, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium: Carrie Figdor (University of Iowa)
By Zoom

Speaker: Carrie Figdor (University of Iowa)

Title: What could cognition be, if not human cognition?
Abstract: We have long thought about cognition from an anthropocentric perspective, where human cognition is treated as the standard for full-fledged capacities throughout the biological world. This makes no evolutionary sense. I will discuss the theoretical and methodological shifts away from this perspective in comparative research — shifts that lie behind recent discoveries of advanced cognition in many non-humans — and how these changes bear on the debate between those who see human and non-human cognition as continuous (a difference in degree) vs. those who see them as discontinuous (a difference in kind).
Wed 17 Jun, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
By Zoom

Speaker: Sameer Bajaj (Warwick)

Title: "Democratic Mandates and the Ethics of Representation."

Democratic Mandates and the Ethics of Representation

A day after the Tories achieved a decisive victory in the December 2019 British general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that he had received a “huge great stonking mandate” to get Brexit done and implement his domestic policy agenda. Whether or not what Johnson received is appropriately described as huge, great, or stonking, his statement reflects a more general idea that has wide currency in conventional democratic thought—namely, that larger electoral victories give representatives greater mandates to govern. Despite its important role in the practice of democratic politics, democratic theorists have paid little attention to the questions of whether larger electoral victories actually give representatives greater mandates to govern and, if so, what the moral implications of having a greater or lesser mandate are. My aim in this essay is to answer these questions and, in doing so, lay the groundwork for a normative theory of democratic mandates. I suggest that the key to answering the questions lies in understanding the relationship between two functions of democratic votes. Votes have a metaphysical function: they authorise representatives to govern. And votes have an expressive function: they express attitudes about the representatives they authorise. I defend what I call the dependence thesis: the content, size, and moral implications of a representative’s mandate depend on the attitudes expressed by the votes that generate the mandate. I then argue that, given certain ineliminable features of large-scale democratic politics, real-world democratic representatives are rarely in a position to justifiably claim greater mandates based on the size of their electoral victories.