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WMA Graduate Research Seminar, 2023/2024

Research seminar run in conjunction with the WMA Research Centre and open to all philosophy postgraduate students.
If you would like to receive email notifications about the seminar, please email h dot lerman at warwick dot ac dot uk
In Summer Term the seminar will take place on Wednesdays, weeks 4-7 and 9, at 14:00-16:00, in room S1.39.

In preparation for MindGrad we will dedicate the first 3 sessions to 3 papers by Matt Soteriou and the following 2 session to background reading for Lea Salje's talk.

Week 4: Matt Soteriou, ‘Determining the Future’ [pdf]

Week 5: Matt Soteriou, ‘The past made present: Mental time travel in episodic recollection’ [pdf]

Week 6: Matt Soteriou, ‘Waking Up and Being Conscious' [link]

Week 7: Eli Alshanetsky, Articulating a Thought, Introduction [link] and Chapter 2 'A Puzzle' [link]

Week 9: Alex Byrne, 'Knowing that I'm thinking' [link]


Previous Seminars

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PG Work in Progress Seminar

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Location: S2.77/MS Teams

Speaker: Toby Tricks (MPhil)

Title: Modelling the Mind: A Fictionalist Reading of Nietzsche’s Drive Psychology


Nietzche’s account of the drives is increasingly being recognised as central to his philosophical psychology; it is a problem, then, that it appears confused. A particularly prominent issue concerns Nietzsche’s characterisation of how the drives interact with one another: he often uses agential language which many take to commit him to the homunculus fallacy. I argue that this view is mistaken, because Nietzsche’s agential characterisations of the drives are fictions: as they aren’t meant to be true, he is able to sidestep fallacious homuncularism. We might worry that if many of the claims in Nietzsche’s drive psychology are fictional, then it can’t teach us much. That need not be the case, however: drawing on Catherine Elgin’s work in the epistemology of science, I argue that despite being fictional, Nietzsche’s account of the drives can still provide epistemic value and facilitate genuine cognitive achievement, in just the same way that scientific models do despite being idealised and distorted representations of reality. Acknowledging the fictional nature of much of Nietzsche’s drive talk I’ll further argue has an added bonus: it allows us to more fully appreciate the subtlety and power of his account of human psychology.

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