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Programme of Events 2019-20


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Wed 20 May, '20
-
MAP Seminar
By Zoom

Speaker: Richard Moore

Title: Inequality in Times of Crisis

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further details

Thu 21 May, '20
-
'Working in Lockdown'
MS Teams

Tom Crowther and David Bather Woods will share a bit of their experience of how they have been managing under the lockdown conditions, and how they have been trying to change their working habits so that they can stay remotely productive. It would be really good to hear from students too and to hear about how you have been getting on; whether you have been finding things pretty straightforward, or finding things tough going. Everyone is welcome, and Tom and David want to hear from you all.

Thu 21 May, '20
-
Knowledge and Understanding Seminar
By Zoom

Speaker: Simon Wimmer (TU Dortmund)

Title: 'What if Knowledge and Belief Took Different Objects?'

Abstract​: Suppose one knows and believes that it is raining. What relation do one’s knowledge state and one’s belief state bear to each other? The aim of this paper is to explore what constraints on answering this question follow if knowledge is an attitude to a fact, whilst belief is not.

Fri 22 May, '20
-
Seminar by Zoom: 'The Unity of Knowledge' with Professor Katalin Farkas (CEU)
By Zoom

This is to announce that the seminar with Katalin Farkas (CEU) which was originally scheduled for April 16th has been **rescheduled** as a Zoom meeting.

Title: 'The Unity of Knowledge'

Speaker: Professor Katalin Farkas (CEU)

Abstract:
"English uses the same word, “know”, for knowing things, knowing that something is the case, and knowing how to do things. Many other languages distinguish among two or three of these types. Is the English word simply polysemous, or is there an insight here - is there a conception of knowledge that covers all three cases? One option has been to claim that the first and the third are in fact reducible to the second: all knowledge is knowledge of truth, and this gives knowledge a unity. This talks surveys alternative proposals for a unified conception of knowledge. On these proposals, objectual or practical knowledge is not reducible to factual knowledge, yet there is a broader conception of knowledge that covers both, or all three. For example, Linda Zagzebski claims that knowledge is cognitive contact with reality that arises from the exercise of an intellectual virtue. The contact can be direct contact with an object, or mediated contact with a fact through the awareness of a proposition. Other ideas about finding a common essence for objectual, factual and practical knowledge will be considered."
 
Format: Professor Farkas will give a talk, followed by a short break and then a Q&A. No previous reading is required. Please contact Lucy Campbell if you would like to register to join this event.

Fri 22 May, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 4: Truth, Assertion and Belief
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

Fri 29 May, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 5: Sincerity: Lying and Other Styles of Deceit
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

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).
Thu 4 Jun, '20
-
Knowledge and Understanding Seminar
By Zoom

Speaker: Richard Gipps (Oxford)

Title: 'On the Importance of Not Understanding the Patient'

Abstract​: "One kind of everyday understanding that we seek has to do with making sense of what someone’s getting at or on about with her initially opaque words or actions. The retrieval of such meaning is a mainstay of everyday life and an ambition that psychology often brings with it to the clinical setting – even when the thought there under consideration is psychotic. It’s also presupposed by such efforts at understanding, causally, why the patient thinks as she does as invoke the notion of a mistake or illusion: we can’t understand why someone makes a particular mistake unless we already understand something of its content. (The understanding here is captured by suggestions like: ‘Were I in her cognitive/perceptual/somatosensory/existential/environmental predicament, I’d come to that conclusion too’).
In this paper I suggest that certain theories of thought disorder, passivity experience and delusion – theories which hope to understand the patient by retrieving his speaker’s meaning – radically fail. They do so because they trade on an alienated conception of ordinary mental life which is itself only sustained by illusions of sense; they attempt to reduce delusion to illusion; and they fail the patient by evading the fact of, rather than meeting him in the midst of, his brokenness.
Despite the impossibility of retrieving speaker’s meaning from truly psychotic discourse, this does not render unavailable other forms of understanding (symbolic/motivational, neurological, situational etc.) of the psychotic subject. Even so, if we’re to achieve, with the psychotic subject, that (moral) form of understanding which can be said to be shown someone, we must first learn to avoid the temptation of attributing speaker’s or agent’s meaning to his psychotic words and acts. To this end this paper outlines what I’ll call an ‘apophatic’ (as opposed to a ‘cataphatic’) psychopathology. This ‘apophatic’ approach aims at understanding the patient not through positively understanding her words’ meaning but instead through understanding just why some of the things we’re most tempted to say of her fail her.
"​

Fri 5 Jun, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 6: Accuracy: A Sense of Reality
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

Thu 11 Jun, '20
-
'Still Working in Lockdown'
MS Teams

Hosted by Tom Crowther and David Bather Woods

Thu 11 Jun, '20
-
Knowledge and Understanding Seminar
By Zoom

Speaker: Johannes Roessler (Warwick)

Title: 'Self-Understanding'

Abstract​: "Intentional agents seem to have a distinctive ‘first-personal’ way of knowing what they are doing (Anscombe’s ‘practical knowledge’) as well as, connectedly, a distinctive ‘first-personal’ way of understanding why they are doing it, in terms of their practical reasons. In this talk I consider a puzzle generated by two further plausible suggestions: traits of character play an essential (if perhaps implicit) role in reason-giving explanations of intentional actions; but we have no first-person knowledge of our character. I won’t try to solve the puzzle, merely to get a better understanding of it (drawing on work by Hursthouse, Kant, and Montaigne)."​

Fri 12 Jun, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 7: What Was Wrong with Minos?
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

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.

Fri 19 Jun, '20 - Sat 20 Jun, '20
10am - 6pm
POSTPONED: New Date TBC: Blood on the Leaves and Blood at the Roots: Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjections Across Disciplines

Runs from Friday, June 19 to Saturday, June 20.

This event will be re-scheduled for a future date.

Fri 19 Jun, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 8: From Sincerity to Authenticity
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

Wed 24 Jun, '20
-
MAP Seminar
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Dr Irene Dal Poz (Warwick)

Title: 'Women in Philosophy in a Time of Crisis'

Please contact Giulia Lorenzo for details on how to join.

Fri 26 Jun, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 9: Truthfulness, Liberalism and Critique
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

Tue 30 Jun, '20
-
MAP Summer Online Short Story Reading Group: 'Race and Fiction'
By Zoom

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further information

Fri 3 Jul, '20
-
Truth and Truthfulness Webinar: Chapter 10: Making Sense and Endnote: The Vocabulary of Truth - An Example
By Zoom

Text: 'Truth and Truthfulness' by Bernard Williams (2002)

Tue 7 Jul, '20 - Thu 9 Jul, '20
All-day
Online Colloquium: 'The Ends of Autonomy'
By Zoom

Runs from Tuesday, July 07 to Thursday, July 09.

Tuesday 7 July

 

20.00 Christopher Watkin (Monash), Welcome and introduction

 

20.15 Ali Alizadeh (Monash), ‘La liberté guide nos pas’: the dialectic of freedom in a French revolutionary poem

 

20.35 Nick Hewlett (Warwick), Karl Marx and the concept of freedom

 

20.55 Questions and discussion

 

21.10 Keynote 1: Peter Hallward (Kingston), A law unto ourselves: autonomy as mass sovereignty

 

21.50 Questions and discussion

 

22.10 Serhat Tutkal (National University of Colombia), Autonomy against authoritarian neoliberalism: the removal of Kurdish mayors in Turkey

 

22.30 Taylor Lau (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), Against the economic view of time in the workplace: the claim to free time

 

22.50 Kayte Stokoe (Birmingham), Crip autonomy and external limitations

 

23.10 Alex Corcos (Warwick), UK Higher Education in 'A Century for Foxes’: or, a case study in the role of privilege and luck in establishing conditions for radical autonomy

 

23.30 Questions and discussion

 

23.50 Close

 

 

Wednesday 8 July

 

20.00 Keynote 2: Louise Amoore (Durham), Of autonomies and algorithms

 

20.40 Questions and discussion

 

21.00 Charlotte Heath-Kelly (Warwick), The extremist across history: changing relations of liberty, threat and detection

 

21.20 Oliver Davis (Warwick), Algorithmic governmentality and the Modern bureaucratic ideal: species of abstraction and autonomy

 

21.40 Simon Angus (Monash), How liberating is liberation technology?

 

22.00 Questions and discussion

 

22.15 Yurii Sheliazhenko (KROK), Informed autonomy: conceptualization of freedom in the digital age

 

22.35 Alesja Serada (Vaasa), Blockchain owns you: from cypherpunk to a self-sovereign identity

 

22.55 Ken Archer (independent scholar), Freedom, agency and the hermeneutics of technology

 

23.15 Questions and discussion

 

23.30 Close

 

 

Thursday 9 July

 

20.00 Nupur Patel (Oxford), Emancipating the female body: pudeur and Louise Labé’s expression of sexual desire in selected poetry

 

20.20 Felicity Chaplin (Monash), Freedom and autonomy in the post #MeToo world

 

20.40 Kirsty Alexander (Strathclyde), The biophilic threads in feminist visions of autonomy

 

21.00 Ji-Young Lee (Bristol and Copenhagen), Autonomy and assisted reproductive technologies

 

21.20 Questions and discussion

 

21.50 Trine Riel (independent scholar and artist, Copenhagen), To what end? Ascetics between renunciation and emancipation

 

22.10 Andrea Rossi (Koç), Pastoral power: on finitude and autonomy

 

22.30 Christopher Watkin (Monash), The critique of emancipatory reason

 

22.50 Questions and discussion

 

23.10 Close

 

 

Tue 7 Jul, '20
-
MAP Summer Online Short Story Reading Group: 'Race and Fiction'
By Zoom

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further information

Thu 9 Jul, '20
-
'Enquiry' Seminar Series
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: David Jenkins (Tel Aviv)

Title: 'Reasoning and Its Limits'

Reasoning and its limits

It is often argued that the extent to which it is not up to us how our reasoning unfolds undermines the natural idea that reasoning is a kind of action. I argue that the extent to which it is not up to us how our reasoning unfolds in fact fails to cast doubt on the idea that reasoning is a kind of action and instead reflects the kind of agential exercise which reasoning is. The limits to the extent to which it is up to us how our reasoning unfolds can in fact be explained via appeal to reasoning’s status as a kind of aim-directed action. This in turn paves the way for an explanation of how reasoning is a way for us to be active with respect to our attitudes.

Tue 14 Jul, '20
-
MAP Summer Online Short Story Reading Group: 'Race and Fiction'
By Zoom

Please contact Giulia Lorenzi for further information

Thu 16 Jul, '20
-
'Enquiry' Seminar Series
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Nishi Shah (Amherst College)

Title: 'John Stuart Mill's Neglected Argument for Free Speech'

Fri 24 Jul, '20
-
End of Year Celebration for Students
By Zoom

Contact David Bather Woods for further information.

Thu 30 Jul, '20
-
'Enquiry' Seminar Series
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: David Horst (Porto Alegre)

Title: Virtue, Skill and Epistemic Competence'

Abstract: Many virtue epistemologists conceive of epistemic competence on the model of skill—such as archery, playing baseball or chess­. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake: epistemic competences and skills are crucially and relevantly different kinds of capacities. This, I suggest, undermines the popular attempt to understand epistemic normativity as a mere special case of the sort of normativity familiar from skillful action. In fact, as I argue further, epistemic competences resemble virtues, rather than skills—a claim that is based on an important, but largely overlooked, distinction between virtue and skill, one that Aristotle highlights in the Nicomachean Ethics. The upshot is that virtue epistemology should indeed be based on virtue, not on skill.

Thu 6 Aug, '20
-
'Enquiry' Seminar Series
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Barnaby Walker (Warwick)

Title: Knowledge and the State of Nature

In Knowledge and the State of Nature Edward Craig presents a genealogy of the concept of knowledge. In this paper I argue that no genealogy of the concept of knowledge that starts from our need for true beliefs, like Craig’s, can succeed. This is for a reason identified by Williamson in a footnote of Knowledge and its Limits: namely, that there is no reason to regard the need for true belief as being more basic than the need for knowledge. I buttress the argument of Williamson’s footnote and show that contemporary defenders of genealogy have failed to grasp its significance for the prospects of genealogy. I conclude with some thoughts about the larger idea, exemplified by Craig’s genealogy, that reflection on the position of the enquirer is crucial for gaining a philosophical understanding of knowledge.

Mon 10 Aug, '20
-
RESCHEDULED FOR 17 AUGUST: 'Enquiry' Seminar Series
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Simon Wimmer (TU Dortmund)

Title: 'Cook Wilson's Inquiry Argument for the Indefinability of Knowledge'

Cook Wilson's Inquiry Argument for the Indefinability of Knowledge
Can knowledge be defined? In his (1926) Statement and Inference, John
Cook Wilson answers 'no' to this question. He offers two arguments for
his answer. The first turns on the claim that definitions of knowledge
will inevitably be circular; the second on the claim that we cannot even
inquire into what the definition of knowledge is. This paper focuses on
the second of these arguments. We attempt a detailed reconstruction of
the argument and survey what might be said in defense of its central
premises.
Thu 13 Aug, '20
-
'Enquiry' Seminar Series
By Zoom

Guest Speaker: Alex Geddes (Southampton)

Title: 'Suspending Judgement: A Corrective'

Mon 17 Aug, '20
-
'Enquiry' Seminar Series

Rescheduled from 10 August:

Guest Speaker: Simon Wimmer (TU Dortmund)

Title: 'Cook Wilson's Inquiry Argument for the Indefinability of Knowledge'

Cook Wilson's Inquiry Argument for the Indefinability of Knowledge
Can knowledge be defined? In his (1926) Statement and Inference, John
Cook Wilson answers 'no' to this question. He offers two arguments for
his answer. The first turns on the claim that definitions of knowledge
will inevitably be circular; the second on the claim that we cannot even
inquire into what the definition of knowledge is. This paper focuses on
the second of these arguments. We attempt a detailed reconstruction of
the argument and survey what might be said in defense of its central
premises.