Visiting Speakers

March 17-18

The 2017 Walter Murray Lecture

Jessica Wilson 
(Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto)

Public Lecture:

"The Question of Metaphysics"

Friday, March 17, 3:30 – 5:00 PM
Edwards School of Busniess (ESB) Room 103

Abstract: I address the question of whether there is any role for metaphysics to play on which it is both non-redundant and capable of genuinely illuminating whatever subject matter is at issue. I first argue that metaphysical methodology itself obliges metaphysicians to take this question seriously. I then argue that the currently popular “hands-off” conception of metaphysical theorizing is unable to provide a satisfactory answer to the question of metaphysics. Third, I present my preferred “embedded” conception of metaphysics, and say why it makes good sense of metaphysics as a non-redundant discipline, capable of producing intelligible and illuminating results.


"Free Will and Quantum Indeterminacy"
Friday, March 17, 10:00 – 12:00
Arts 1007 

"Metaphysical Emergence"
Saturday, March 18, 10:00 – 12:00
Arts 1007

Friday, November 18

Marie-Ève Morin 
(Department of Philosophy, University of Alberta)

"Merleau-Ponty, Speculative Realism, and the 'Outside'" 

Friday, November 18th 
3:30 PM 
STM Room 1002

Friday, October 7

Nicolas Fillion
(Department of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University) 

"The unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics from the numerical analysis point of view" 

Abstract: Researchers in all disciplines face methodological challenges that arise from the necessity of constructing models that contain idealizations, simplifications, abstractions, etc. in order to be able to explain and predict the behaviour of the systems they study. However, outside of applied mathematics, there is a rather shallow understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of the (circumstantial) success of those descriptive gambits. In this rather philosophical talk, I will try to explain how backward error analysis--a method to assess computational error that has become central in numerical analysis--could be used to articulate a framework to solve questions that are important in other fields, and ultimately shed light on Wigner's famous puzzle about the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in science.

Friday, October 7th,
3:30 PM
Edwards School of Business (ESB), Room 3. 

Hosted by the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the Department of Philosophy.

Department Colloquia

Fridays, 3:30 - 5:00
All talks in Edwards School of Business (ESB) Room 12 unless otherwise noted

ESB is wheelchair accessible [Accessibility map, PDF] 

Sep. 16 Emer O'Hagan “Humility as a Moral Perspective”
Sep. 30 Susan Dieleman “Is Democracy the Best Way to Get at the Truth?”
Oct. 21 Peter Alward "Rogues or Lovers: Value Maximizing Interpretations of Withnail and I."
Nov. 25 Paul Simard-Smith "Can Deep Disagreements Be Rationally Resolved?"
Jan. 27 Will Buschert "The Right to be Forgotten: A Philosophical Reconstruction"
Feb. 17  Derek Postnikoff

"Math and Margaritas: Extraneity in Mathematical Metaphors"

Mar. 3 Pierre-François Noppen

"Suffering and Negativity: Adorno on the Foundations of Normativity" in ESB Room 12