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Programme of Events 2020-21


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Thu 8 Oct, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: John Hyman (UCL)

Title: 'Knowledge and Belief'

Tue 13 Oct, '20
-
CRPLA Reading Group: Philosophy in a Time of Crisis
Wed 14 Oct, '20
-
Biopolitics Reading Group II
Webinar

Introduction: Biopolitics After Foucault

Led by Daniele Lorenzini

Thu 15 Oct, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Eva Rafetseder (Stirling)

Title: TBC

Wed 21 Oct, '20
-
Biopolitics Reading Group II
Webinar

Biopolitics and the Corona Virus: Tim Christiaens (Ku Leuven)

Thu 22 Oct, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Simon Wimmer (TU Dortmund)

Title: 'Lessons from Ryle?'

Fri 23 Oct, '20
-
Postgraduate Professional Development Workshop
By Zoom

Programme

2.00 – 2.30 Literature search skills and tools (Kate Courage, Academic Support Librarian)

2.30 – 3.00 Planning your MA (Johannes Roessler)

3.15 – 3.45 Planning your PhD/MPhil (Johannes Roessler)

3.45 – 4.15 Applying for PhD programmes and scholarships (Peter Poellner)

The first session is for everyone, the second session is for MA students only, the third session for PhD and MPhil students only, the fourth session is for anyone who is contemplating a scholarship application (not just MA students but also, potentially, first-year MPhil or PhD students).

 Later in the term there will be another meeting specifically on writing essays and theses. Please contact Johannes Roessler for further information.

Tue 27 Oct, '20
-
CRPLA Reading Group: Philosophy in a Time of Crisis
Wed 28 Oct, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Michael Hardimon (UC, San Diego)

Title: 'How to Disentangle Race and Racism'

Thu 29 Oct, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Eylem Õzaltun (Koç University)

Title: 'What is the Moral of Davidson's Carbon Copier? Towards an Anscombean Account of Practical Knowledge'

Fri 30 Oct, '20
-
Evolutionary Pragmatics Forum
By Zoom

‘Pragmatics-First’ Approaches to Animal Communication and the Evolution of Language

Dorit Bar-On, University of Connecticut;

Director, Expression, Communication, and Origins of MeaningResearch Group (ECOM)

Recent discussions of animal communication and the evolution of language have advocated a ‘pragmatics-first’ approach to the subject. Seyfarth & Cheney (2017), for example, propose that “animal communication constitutes a rich pragmatic system” and that “the ubiquity of pragmatics, … suggest[s] that, as language evolved, semantics and syntax were built upon a foundation of sophisticated pragmatic inference”. I begin by distinguishing two different notions of pragmatics advocates of the ‘pragmatics-first’ approach have implicitly relied on (cf. Bar-On and Moore, 2018). On the first, Carnapian notion, pragmatic phenomena are those that involve context-dependent determination of the content or significance of an utterance or signal. On the second, Gricean notion, pragmatic phenomena involve reliance on speakers’ communicative intentions and their decipherment by their hearers. I use the distinction, first, to evaluate a recent formal linguistic analysis of monkey calls, due to Schlenker et al. (e.g. 2014, 2016a,b), which explains the derivation of call meanings through a form of pragmatic enrichment. And, second, I use the distinction to motivate the need for an ‘intermediary pragmatics’ that, I argue, applies only to a subset of animal communicative behaviors, and would allow us to reconceive the significance of animal communication for our understanding of the evolution of language.

Please contact Richard Moore for further information.

Wed 4 Nov, '20
-
Philosophy Society: Festival of Philosophy 2020
MS Teams

Guest Speakers: Benjamin Ferguson (Warwick) and Simon May (KCL)

Title: 'On Love'

Wed 4 Nov, '20
-
Biopolitics Reading Group II
Webinar

Death in Biopolitics: Ege Selin Islekel (Fordham University)

Thu 5 Nov, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Paul Silva (University of Cologne)

Title: 'Knowledge, Belief, and the Possession of Reasons'

Abstract. Lottery cases, cases of naked statistical evidence, fine-tuning arguments, and profiling evidence can provide a thinker with evidence that ensures a high probability in some claim p. Yet it's widely believed that p's being very probable on one's evidence is insufficient for justified belief that p and therefore also insufficient for knowing that p. Accordingly, lottery cases (etc.) are cases where justified belief and knowledge are inaccessible. This lesson seems to naturally extend to fine-tuning arguments (for theism or a multiverse) as well as profiling cases.

In this paper I provide cases where one's evidence is "statistical" in a way that parallels lottery cases (etc.) but, shockingly, our intuitions are reversed: these parallel cases are cases where high probability justifies belief and holds the promise of knowledge. Existing accounts of what goes wrong in cases of "merely statistical evidence" cannot explain the justificatory asymmetry between the parallel cases of statistical evidence. I examine two explanations. One builds on insights from Timothy Williamson. Another builds on insights from David Lewis. Lessons are drawn about the flaws and limitations of fine-tuning arguments as well as a certain class of arguments for the existence of moral encroachment on justification.

Thu 5 Nov, '20
-
Art and Mind Reading Group
MS Teams

Subject: Music

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further information.

Thu 12 Nov, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Alan Millar (Stirling)

Title: 'Detached Factual Knowledge'

Sat 14 Nov, '20
-
A Day of Philosophy Talks for Naomi Eilan
By Zoom

Programme

10.00am - Welcome

10.10am-11.10am - Quassim Cassam (Warwick): 'Extremism: A Philosophical Analysis'

11.10-11.20 - Break

11.20-12.20 - Bill Brewer (KCL): 'The Metaphysics of Perception and the Place of Consciousness in the Natural World'

12.20-12.30 - Break

12.30-1.30 - Adrian Moore (Oxford) 'The Possibility of Absolute Representations'

1.30-2.30 - LUNCH

2.30-3.30 - Matthew Soteriou (KCL): 'The First Person Perspective'

3.30-3.40 - Break

3.40-4.40 - M.G.F Martin (Oxford/Berkeley): Title TBC

Please contact Maria Corrado for further information.

Tue 17 Nov, '20
-
Philosophy Society: Festival of Philosophy 2020
MS Teams

Guest Speaker: Tom Sorrell

Title: 'The Ethics of COVID-19 Surveillance'

Wed 18 Nov, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Anton Ford (Chicago)

Title: 'The Objectification of Agency'

Thu 19 Nov, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Rachel Dudley (CEU)

Title; 'The Pragmatics of Knowing'

Abstract:

 "Children’s understanding of propositional attitude reports (and their understanding of others’ minds) has played a central role in the study of cognitive development for several decades. Over the years, an orthodox perspective emerged whereby children fail to understand attitude reports, with sources of difficulty being syntactic, semantic or even conceptual in nature. This orthodoxy has also been ported over into other fields such as epistemology and philosophy of mind. However, a wave of findings from new methods and analyses has cast this orthodoxy into doubt. These new findings suggest that even infants have a greater understanding of mental state concepts than we once suspected, and that the apparent difficulties in later childhood stem from pragmatic sources. Resolving the conflict between these new findings and the orthodox perspective is critical to understanding the development of children’s minds and their language faculties, but the debate is far from settled.

In this talk, I’ll discuss my research on children’s understanding of the attitude verbs "know" and "think" and how it relates to the broader conflict. While both verbs can be used to describe beliefs, there are subtle differences between them. As a factive verb, "know" only felicitously describes true beliefs about propositions which we take for granted. In contrast, the non-factive "think" can describe false beliefs or beliefs which we do not take for granted. Using a combination of behavioral methods and corpus analyses, I investigate how children come to master this subtle contrast. Results from this line of research highlight the importance of pragmatic cues to the language acquisition process, particularly from the different kinds of discourse moves that adults make in everyday conversation (e.g., I think it's time for bed, Do you know where my keys are?). Results also suggest that we are sensitive to related pragmatic factors even much later in development. Ultimately, this supports a broader picture where older children’s errors with attitude reports are pragmatic performance errors and not deeper conceptual or semantic errors, highlighting the need for more research on the interplay between semantic and pragmatic development in early development."

 

Thu 19 Nov, '20
-
Art and Mind Reading Group
MS Teams

Subject: Contemporary Visual Art

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further information.

Mon 23 Nov, '20
-
Philosophy Society: Festival of Philosophy 2020
MS Teams

Guest Speaker: Miguel de Beistegui (Warwick)

Title: 'Stupidity and Racism'

Tue 24 Nov, '20
-
CRPLA Reading Group: Philosophy in a Time of Crisis
Wed 25 Nov, '20
-
Biopolitics Reading Group II
Webinar

Biopolitics and the Changing Use of Statistics: Laurence Barry (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

Thu 26 Nov, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Johannes Roessler (Warwick)

Title: 'Perceptual Self-Knowledge and Doxastic Self-Determination'

Abstract. According to a widely held view of the nature of belief (which I label the Activity thesis, AT), beliefs belong to the ‘active side’ of the human mind. In this paper I explore a challenge to AT. I argue that reflection on the distinctive immediacy of perceptual knowledge, as we ordinarily understand it, puts pressure on an assumption informing AT, viz. that reasons for belief can always coherently be treated as a basis for ‘making up one’s mind’. Our best reasons for perceptual beliefs, I suggest, manifestly entail that we hold the belief they support, and so imply that our minds are already made up. (For example, one's best reason for believing that p may be 'I can see that p'.) I do not mean to suggest that perceptual beliefs should therefore be classified as belonging to the 'passive side' of the human mind. Rather, I think we should question the exhaustiveness (and perhaps usefulness) of the active vs passive distinction, as it has been employed in the philosophy of mind.

Thu 26 Nov, '20
-
Philosophy Society: Festival of Philosophy 2020
MS Teams

Guest Speaker: Angie Hobbs (Sheffield)

Title: 'Is Ancient Greek Philosophy Any Use in a Pandemic'

Wed 2 Dec, '20
-
Philosophy Department Colloquium
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Miriam Schoenfield (Austin, Texas)

Title: 'Can Bayesianism Accommodate Higher Order Defeat?'

Thu 3 Dec, '20
-
Knowledge and Belief Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Leda Berio (HHU, Düsseldorf)

Title: "Talking about Thinking: Language Acquisition and False Belief Reasoning"

Thu 3 Dec, '20
-
Art and Mind Reading Group
MS Teams

Subject: Literature

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further information.

Tue 8 Dec, '20
-
CRPLA Reading Group: Philosophy in a Time of Crisis