Visiting Speakers

January 17 , 2011

Gregory Wheeler 
(New University of Lisbon, Portugal) 

"Tracking Confirmation and Association Through Causal Structure"

3:30 PM
THORV 105 

Abstract: Many philosophers of science have argued that a set of evidence that is "coherent" confirms a hypothesis which explains such coherence.  In this talk, we examine the relationships between probabilistic models of all three of these concepts: coherence, confirmation, and explanation. For coherence, we consider Shogenji's measure of association (deviation from independence). For confirmation, we consider several measures in the literature, and for explanation, we turn to Causal Bayes Nets and resort to causal structure and its constraint on probability. All else equal, we show that focused correlation (Wheeler 2009), which is the ratio of the coherence of evidence and the coherence of the evidence conditional on a hypothesis, tracks confirmation.  We then show that the causal structure of the evidence and hypothesis can put strong constraints on how coherence in the evidence does or does not translate into confirmation of the hypothesis. Our results suggest how to reset the discussion of Bayesian coherentism within formal epistemology, for once we control for the role that causal structure plays in probabilistic models of coherence, we can see that the impossibility results have a much more limited scope than generally noted. 

Co-sponsored with the U of S Department of Computer Science

March 7, 2011

Bob McDonald 
(Host of CBC's Quirks and Quarks

"What if Everything You Know is Wrong?" -- a lecture supported by the U of S Special Lecture Fund and various U of S departments (including, inter alia, Philosophy).

7:00 PM 
Neatby-Timlin Lecture Theatre (Arts 241)

March 11, 2011

Joe Boyle 
(Professor Emertius, University of Toronto, William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life, Princeton University)

"Moral Absolutism and the Principle of the Side Effect"

2:30 PM
Edwards School of Business Room 16 < Note change

March 25 - 26, 2011

John Greco 
(Saint Louis University)

Public Lecture:

"Hearing About God:  Testimony and the Rationality of Religious Belief"

Friday, March 25th, 2:30 PM 
Room 112, Edwards School of Business

Lecture 1:  

"A (Different) Virtue Epistemology"
Friday, March 25th, 9:30 AM, Arts 607

Lecture 2

"Testimonial Knowledge"
Saturday, March 26th, 10:00 AM, Arts 607

Department Colloquia

Fridays, 2:30 - 4:30
Arts 1008

Sep 24 Emer O'Hagan "Agents, Shmagents, and Constitutivism about Rational Norms" Postponed due to illness.
Oct 15 Peter Alward
(University of Lethbridge)
"Transparent Representation: Photography and the Art of Casting"
Nov 19 Karl Pfeifer "The Ugly Samaritan"
Jan 14 Eric Dayton "Ability, Luck, Counterfactuals: On Epistemic Agency"
Jan 28 Brian Zamulinski "Backing Blackstone: Rehabilitating the Declaratory Theory of the Common Law"
Feb 11 Tom Milne "Hegel and Human Rights: The Dialectic of Freedom"
in ESB Eoom 16