Realism and Emergence in the Philosophy of Science
During this weekend school we will consider metaphysics and its relation to science. We will be considering whether we need metaphysics at all, and if so why. One view is that the two types of enquiry are needed to guide and constrain each other – the two are components of a complete understanding of the world. We will also look at the notions of ‘dependence’ and ‘emergence’. One area of philosophy where such notions might do important work is in accounting for the relationship between the mental and the physical. We will consider different accounts of metaphysical dependence and emergence, and how they might be used to clarify the debate. There will be plenty of opportunity to socialise and to question the speakers.
SATURDAY 10 MARCH 2018
2.45pm Course Registration
3.00pm What is metaphysics and what should it be?
4.30pm Tea / coffee
5.00pm Metaphysics and science: two’s company
6.30pm Break / bar open
8.15pm- Emergence and dependence within and without physics
9.30pm JAMES LADYMAN
SUNDAY 11 MARCH 2018
8.15am Breakfast (residents only)
9.30am Metaphysical dependence and the mental
10.45am Coffee / tea
11.15am Q & A
Questions directed by MARIANNE TALBOT
12.30pm Break / bar open
2.00pm Course disperses
Cameron, R. (2008). Turtles All the Way Down: Regress, Priority and Fundamentality. The
Philosophical Quarterly, 58(230), 1-14.
Humphrey, P & Bedau, M (eds): Emergence: Contemporary Readings in Philosophy and
Science (Bradford Books) MIT Press, 2008
Kim, J., Mind in a Physical World, 2000 MIT Press
Ladyman, J & Ross, Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalised (2007) Oxford University Press.
Raven, M. (2015). Ground. Philosophy Compass, 10(5), 322-333.
Rosen, G. (2010). Metaphysical dependence: Grounding and reduction. In B. Hale, & A.
Hoffman, Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology (pp. 109-136). Oxford: Oxford
Schaffer, J. (2004). Two Conceptions of Sparse Properties. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 85,
Schaffer, J. (2009). On What Grounds What. In D. Chalmers, D. Manley, & R. Wasserman,
Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology (pp. 347-383). Oxford: Oxford
Wilson, J. (2016). Grounding-based Formulations of Physicalism. Topoi, 1-18.
Wilson, J. (2016). The Question of Metaphysics. The Philosophers Magazine(74), 90-96.
Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.
Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.
All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.
Unfortunately it is not yet possible to book twin room accommodation online, so if you wish to book a twin room, please send in your completed enrolment form or contact the Day & Weekend Events Office, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuition (includes tea/coffee): £77.00
Baguette Sunday: £4.70
Dinner Saturday evening: £19.00
Single B&B Saturday Night: £75.85
Single Room Only Saturday Night: £64.85
Sunday Lunch: £13.50
Twin B&B Saturday Night Per Person: £54.35
If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.
If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.
Dr James Ladyman
studied pure mathematics and philosophy at the University of York, and then took a masters in history and philosophy of science and mathematics at King’s College London. He completed his PhD, on the semantic approach to scientific theories and structural realism, under the supervision of Steven French at the University of Leeds. He has been assistant, deputy and co-editor of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and honorary secretary of the British Society for the Philosophy of Science. He was profiled in THE for his role in the campaign against the introduction of the assessmet of the so-called ‘impact’ of academic research. He has published many articles largely in philosophy of mathematics, physics and science, and is the author of Understanding Philosophy of Science, and (with Don Ross) Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalised. He is professor of philosophy at the University of Bristol and co-editor of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
Ms Marianne Talbot
Director of Studies
Marianne Talbot B.A., B.Phil., has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education since 2001. She has written several of Oxford’s popular short online courses on Philosophy, and her podcasts (notably on critical reasoning) have been downloaded over 5 million times. Marianne specialises in logic, ethics and the philosophy of mind. The topic of knowledge is her particular current interest.
Dr Naomi Thompson
is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of Southampton. She is also part of a team recently awarded a grant from the Swedish Foundation for Arts and Social Sciences to work on a three-year project entitled Metaphysical Explanation and hosted by the University of Gothenburg. Her interests are primarily in metaphysics, where she has published papers about natural properties, grounding, and explanation. She also sometimes writes about philosophy of fiction. Before coming to Southampton she held a Kit Fine postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Hamburg in Germany. Her PhD thesis (University of Birmingham) is entitled Structuring Reality, and in it Naomi defends an antirealist account of metaphysical structure.
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