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::: center home >> events >> annual lecture series >> lectures 2014-15

55th Annual Lecture Series, 2014-15

Meaning, Minds, and Models
Colin Allen
Indiana University
Friday, 19 September 2014, 3:30 pm
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract:  A recurring but minority view in the philosophy of cognitive science (e.g. Churchland 1979; Matthews 2007) holds that the propositional specification of mental content is akin to assignment of numbers to measurable phenomena such as temperature where the relationships among values are significant but not the actual numbers assigned.  I will articulate and attempt to defend a version of this view that locates mental content within a general framework of modeling approaches to empirical phenomena, and I will consider the consequences of this view as against the standard view that treats the syntactic vehicles of mental contents as the cogs in cognitive mechanisms.

“Near a Contradiction”: Unconscious Thought and the Rise of Scientific Psychology, 1700-1900
Alison Simmons
Harvard University, Department of Philosophy
Friday, 24 October 2014, 3:30 pm
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract:  In the 17th and 18th centuries, consciousness reigned as the mark of the mental:  all and only thoughts (mental states) are conscious.  Leibniz was a rare exception, explicitly arguing in favor of the existence of unconscious thought.  By the middle of the 19th century, however, there was genuine debate concerning the mark of the mental.  Many took up the Leibnizian position that the mental comes in two flavors:  conscious and unconscious. Whereas Locke, at the turn of the 18th century, could dismiss the idea of unconscious mental states with a mere “tis near a contradiction,” 19th century defenders of the conscious mark had to argue for it.  This talk explores three questions:  (a) what are the arguments offered on each side of the debate?  (b) what is at stake in the debate? and (c) what effect does the debate have on conceptions of the mental itself? 
(Truth in advertising:  the debate I’m interested in falls outside the domain of psychoanalysis; it lies instead among those trying to define a scientific and empirical psychology.) 

The Rationality of Science in Relation to its History
Sherri Roush
University of California, Berkeley, Department of Philosophy
Friday, 14 November 2014, 3:30 pm
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: TBA

Computational Causal Discovery
Richard Scheines
Carnegie Mellon University, Department of Philosophy
Friday, 23 January 2015, 3:30 pm
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: TBA

On Defining Climate and Climate Change
Charlotte Werndl
University of Salzburg, Department of Philosophy
Friday, 27 February 2015, 3:30 pm
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: TBA

"Natural Content Information": The Kind of Information that Serves Cognition
Ruth Millikan
University of Connecticut, Department of Philosophy
Friday, 17 April 2015, 3:30 pm
817R Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: TBA


The Annual Lecture Series is hosted by the Center for Philosophy of Science.

Generous financial support for this lecture series has been provided by
the Harvey & Leslie Wagner Endowment.      

Revised 9/25/14 - Copyright 2012