The 2017 Burman Lectures in Philosophy
Determinism, Time, and Totality
The 2017 Burman Lectures in Philosophy will be given by Jenann Ismael, University of Arizona.
Lecture I: Determinism and the Causal Order
Wednesday October 25, 13.15-15, hörsal F, Humanities Building
Abstract: Could a LaPlacean intelligence, given full information about the laws and the initial conditions of a deterministic universe, predict the decision of every other system in that universe? The common wisdom is: yes, and indeed, that is just what determinism means. But the possibility of counterpredictive devices - i.e., devices designed to act counter to any prediction of their behavior that is made known to them - seems to place limits on this predictive ability. I look at what those limits are, and what it teaches us about determinism.
Lecture II: Time and Transcendence
Thursday October 26, 13.15-15, hörsal F, Humanities Building
Abstract: The paradox of predictability forces us to drive a wedge between the on-the-ground causal order and a transcendent view of the world (a view from outside of space and time). The second lecture in the series explores the significance of the fact that determinism is not a feature of the on-the-ground causal order, but rather something that emerges from a transcendent view. This reveals a deep connection between the problem of fatalism and the problem of determinism, and suggests that they are both aspects of the problem of how to reconcile the transcendent vision of the universe with the view from within.
Lecture III: Totality
Friday October 27, 13.15-15, hörsal F, Humanitiets Building
Abstract: The notion of totality emerges in the first two lectures as a pivot point that turns an immanent view of the world into a transcendent view. In the last lecture, I will explore what we might call ‘the logic and the metaphysics’ of totality. I show how it is connected to a set of interesting philosophical problems (set theoretical paradoxes, grounding and truth-maker principles, disputes in cosmology). I raise questions that I hope will prompt some new interest in the topic. Finally, I bring the discussion back to the notion of human freedom and say something about how we should understand our little part of totality.
All interested are welcome to these lectures!
Arranged by: The Department of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies, Umeå University.
Previous Burman Lectures
Karen Bennett, Cornell University.
Making things Up
Lecture 1: Building
Lecture 2: Causing
Lecture 3: Relative Fundamentality
Elizabeth Anderson, Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the Department of Philosophy, University of Michigan.
Pragmatism in Ethics: Why and How
Lecture 1: Why Pragmatism?
Lecture 2: How to Be a Pragmatist 1: Correcting Moral Biases
Lecture 3: How to Be a Pragmatist 2: Experiments in Living
Michael Smith, McCosh Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University
What We Should Do and Why We Should Do It
Lecture 1: "The Standard Story of Action"
Lecture 2: "A Constitutivist Theory of Reasons"
Lecture 3: "A Case Study: The Reasons of Love"
David Chalmers, Australian National University and New York University
Structuralism, space, and skepticism
Lecture 1: Constructing the world
Lecture 2: Three puzzles about spatial experience
Lecture 3: The structuralist response to skepticism
Stephen Finlay, University of Southern California
Metaethics as a Confusion of Tongues
Lecture 1: Metaethics: Why and How?
Lecture 2: The Semantics of ”Ought”
Lecture 3: The Pragmatics of Normative Disagreement
Dag Prawitz, Stockholm University
Bevis, mening och sanning
Tim Crane, University of Cambridge
Problems of Being and Existence
Lecture 1: Existence, Being and Being-so
Lecture 2: Existence and Quantification Reconsidered
Lecture 3: The Singularity of Singular Thought
Jerry Fodor, Rutgers University
What Darwin Got Wrong
Lecture 1: What kind of theory is the Theory of Natural Selection?
Lecture 2: The problem about `selection-for`
Susanna Siegel, Harvard
The Nature of Visual Experience
Lecture 1: The varieties of perceptual intentionality
Lecture 2: The contents of visual experience
Alex Byrne, MIT
How do we know our own minds?
Lecture 1: Transparency and Self-Knowledge
Lecture 2: Knowing that I am thinking
Jonathan Dancy, University of Reading and University of Texas, Austin
Lecture 1: Reasons and Rationality
Lecture 2: Practical Reasoning and Inference
Ned Block, New York University
Consciousness and Neuroscience
Lecture 1: The Epistemological Problem of the Neuroscience of Consciousness
Lecture 2: How Empirical Evidence can be Relevant to the Mind-Body Problem
John Broome, Oxford
Wlodek Rabinowicz, Lund
Värde och passande attityder
Kevin Mulligan, Genève
Lecture 1: Essence, Logic and Ontology
Lecture 2: Foolishness and Cognitive Values
Hubert Dreyfus, Berkeley
Lecture 1: What is moral maturity? A Phenomenological Account Of The Development Of Ethical Expertise
Lecture 2: The primacy of the phenomenological over logical analysis: A Merleau-Pontian Critique of Searle's Account of Action and Social Reality
Herbert Hochberg, University of Texas, Austin
Lecture 1: A Simple Refutation of Mindless Materialism
Lecture 2: Universals, Particulars and the Logic of Predication
Susan Haack, University of Miami
The Science of Sociology and the Sociology of Science
Lecture 1: Social Science as Semiotic.
Lecture 2: Sociology of Science: The Sensible Program.
Howard Sobel, University of Toronto
Lecture 1: First causes: St. Thomas Aquinas's 'Second way'.
Lecture 2: Ultimate reasons if not first causes: Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz on 'the Ultimate Origination of Things'.
Ian Jarvie, York University
Science and the Open Society
David Kaplan, UCLA
What is Meaning: Notes toward a theory of Meaning as Use