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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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Wed 2 Nov, '22
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
S0.17/MS Teams

The Colloquium will be in-person, with an online option for those who can't be on campus. Please contact Andrew Cooper to receive the Link.

Speaker: Dirk Meyer (Oxford)

Talk: Dialectics in Chinese Philosophy As Seen From *Mìng xùn

Abstract: In this paper I shall look at the structure of dialectical argument in early China by reference to a recently obtained, fourth century manuscript text, titled *Mìng xùn. The text has a close counterpart in the received text Yì Zhōushū (Leftover Documents of Zhou). It is therefore generally understood as belonging the tradition of Shū (Documents), one of the core foundational classics of early China. I analyse the strategies bysq which meaning is produced in *Mìng xùn and suggest that the text develops the argument in a dialectic manner. In it, the philosophical premise seeks to test itself continuously to avoid becoming doctrine, and thus philosophically void. My choice of a Shū (Documents) text as an example of philosophically relevant meaning construction in early China challenges current methodology, which anachronistically considers -type literature (the Masters) as a disciplinary equivalent to Philosophy in ancient Greece. I argue that since philosophically relevant activities are a non-disciplinary praxis in early China, the articulations of this praxis are also not genre specific but found across the foundational literary texts of China.

Wed 23 Nov, '22
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
S0.17/MS Teams

Guest Speaker: Béatrice Longuenesse (NYU)

Talk: 'Conflicting logics of the mind: Lessons from Kant and Freud.

Professor Longuenesse is visiting the Department while giving the Isaiah Berlin lectures in Oxford. Her talk at Warwick will be the first lecture from the series.

 

Wed 18 Jan, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
S0.17/online

Guest Speaker: Robert Simpson (UCL)

Speaker: Robert Simpson (UCL)

Talk: The Chilling Effect and the Heating Effect

 Abstract: Chilling Effects occur when a restriction on speech deters lawful speech, because of people’s uncertainty about the risks of incurring costs related to the restriction. I propose that, contrary to an orthodox account of this phenomenon, individual-level deterrence of speech sometimes intensifies discourse, at the group-level, rather than suppressing or subduing it. The deterrence of lawful speech may, somewhat counterintuitively, trigger a Heating Effect. This hypothesis offers us a promising (partial) explanation of the relentlessness of public debate on topics for which there is, simultaneously, evidence of people self-censoring, for fear of running afoul of speech restrictions. It also helps to identify and rectify two shortcomings in existing theoretical accounts of the Chilling Effect – in how they (i) explain the relation between individual- and group-level discursive phenomena, and (ii) characterize the distinctive objectionability of inadvertent speech deterrence.

Wed 8 Feb, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
S0.17/online

Speaker: Ian James Kidd (Nottingham)

Talk: Philosophical Misanthropy

Abstract: This paper rejects the standard model of misanthropy as hatred of humankind and offers an alternative. I propose that misanthropy be understood as a negative, critical verdict on the collective moral condition and performance of humankind. The misanthrope sees humankind as suffused with a variety of failings that are entrenched and ubiquitous. Such a verdict can be expressed - emotionally, and practically - in a range of stances, of which four are prominent across the Western, Indian, and Chinese traditions. I describe this pluralistic conception of misanthropy, explain these four misanthropic stances, and conclude by noting a predicament in which certain misanthropes can find themselves.

 

 

Best,

 

Andrew

 

Wed 8 Mar, '23
-
WMA Talk
S0.17

Guest Speaker: Giulia Martina’s (University of Tübingen)

Title: “Smelling Things”, which was co-written with Matt Nudds.

Giulia is a former Warwick PhD student and currently a post-doc at the University of Tübingen. She recently had a very nice paper on smell accepted in Mind and Language (https://doi.org/10.1111/mila.12440).

Wed 10 May, '23
-
CANCELLED: Philosophy Department Colloquium

Guest Speaker: Matt Boyle (Chicago)

Wed 24 May, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
TBC

Guest Speaker: Joseph Schear (Oxford)

Wed 14 Jun, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
TBC

Guest Speaker: Ursula Coope (Oxford)

Wed 11 Oct, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - Rory Madden (UCL)
TBC
Wed 1 Nov, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - Robyn Waller (Sussex)
TBC
Wed 22 Nov, '23
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - Joachim Aufderheide (KCL)
S0.19

Abstract

All of Aristotle’s ethical writings allocate a central place to theoretical philosophical thinking (theōria). Noting the differences both in detail and in spirit, scholars have speculated about the treatises’ relative composition and Aristotle’s philosophical development more generally. However, any kind of judgement about the relationship between these texts requires an account of the place and role of theōria in each text taken on its own.

Setting aside the well-known account of the Nicomachean Ethics, I provide such an account for the Protrepticus, the Eudemian Ethics, and the Magna Moralia by considering two questions: 1) What is theōria? And 2) What role does theōria play in the ethical theory of each of these treatises? I argue that the treatises agree broadly on what theōria is. It belongs to theoretical philosophy and has to do with knowledge of causes, nature, and truth. The EE and the MM do not say much about the nature of theōria; the Protrepticus proves to be more informative because it aims at putting the contemplative way of life on the map — in contrast to a more practical approach, associated with Isocrates.

Of the three texts, the Protrepticus has most to say about the nature of theōria. It presents theōria as the contemplation of nature and truth, understood as knowledge of causes. I shall argue that this knowledge is purely theoretical, despite the argument in ch. 10 that theōria provides the greatest benefit for human beings. The other two treatises, operating with a similar conception of theōria, also maintain a firm distinction between practical and theoretical knowledge. However, both argue, in different ways, that we cannot fully understand practical virtue without considering theōria because the former is for the sake of the latter. In the course of explaining how each of the treatises subordinates practical to theoretical wisdom, I shall argue that the EE widens the remit of theoretical thinking to include some aspects of politics, whereas the MM operates with a less developed account that does not stress the importance of knowledge of causes.

Wed 17 Jan, '24
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - James Stazicker (KCL)
S0.18

Dear Colleagues,

 

You are warmly invited to the first Departmental Colloquium of Term 2, which will take place at 4pm, Wednesday 17 January, Room S0.18.

 

Speaker: James Staziker (KCL)

 

False measures in the science and philosophy of consciousness

 

According to a widespread contemporary view of the mind, consciousness plays less of a role than was traditionally assumed: much of perception, decision and action occurs independently of our conscious experiences. I will criticise one central line of scientific support for this view, which measures consciousness by a subject’s capacity to identify and discriminate their experiences and actions. This style of measurement underestimates consciousness, and is not justified even if we grant that, necessarily, subjects are aware of their own conscious experiences. In search of a better measure, I look to philosophical accounts of the first-order, demonstrative thoughts most immediately related to conscious perception and action. But here we find the same problem: our best philosophical account individuates these thoughts by subjects’ capacity to discriminate their experiences. I trace the problem to broadly Fregean criteria for individuating thoughts, propose a related solution, and discuss implications for the science of consciousness.

 

 

Their next colloquium will take place on 28 February with Kate Kirkpatrick on ’The Myth of Recognition in The Second Sex’.

 

I hope to see you on Wednesday!

 

Best,

 

Andrew

Wed 28 Feb, '24
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - Andrew Huddleston (Warwick)
S0.18

Andrew Huddleston will present a paper on Nietzsche with the title: ‘What is This Thing Amor Fati?’.

Wed 1 May, '24
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - Andrew Stephenson (Southampton)
TBC
Wed 12 Jun, '24
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium - Sarah Fine (Cambridge)
S0.18

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