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::: center home >> events >> lunchtime >> 2019-20 >> abstracts>> September

September 2019 Lunchtime Abstracts & Details

Did Leibniz Anticipate Gödel’s Incompleteness Proof?
Nicholas Rescher, U. of Pittsburgh
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
12:05 pm, 1117 Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Kurt Gödel felt sure that Leibniz had anticipated his monumental demonstration of the provability-incompleteness of axiomatic arithmetic. The paper seeks to clarify to what extent Gödel’s suspicions were correct.

What can Neuroimaging do for Psychology?
Adina Roskies, Sr. Visiting Fellow
Dartmouth University
Friday, September 13, 2019
12:05 pm, 1117 Cathedral of Learning
Abstract:  The colorful brain maps produced by neuroimaging have captured the popular imagination with the promise of yielding up the secrets of the mind. Some critics claim that the attention is misplaced: neuroimages cannot tell us anything of interest about our psychology. The lay public seems to believe, in contrast, that it will reveal almost anything, perhaps much more than we ought to be comfortable with. In this talk I will argue that both kinds of worries are misplaced, and will explore the epistemological constraints and limits of neuroimaging as well as its promise for understanding the mind.

The Emergence of the Covering Law Model and What We Might Learn from It

Fons Dewulf, Visiting Fellow
Ghent University
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
12:05 pm, 1117 Cathedral of Learning
Abstract:  Until 1948 scientific explanation was not a topic of interest in logical empiricist philosophy. After the publication of Hempel’s and Oppenheim’s “Studies in the Logic of Explanation” in 1948 it gradually became a major research interest in philosophy of science. In this presentation I reconstruct how Hempel came to be interested in explanation through his contact with American philosophers during the Second World War, notably Ernst Nagel, John Hospers and Charles Stevenson. I show how Hempel’s DN model of scientific explanation both originated in but also significantly diverged from the anti-explanatory understanding of scientific inquiry present in the writings of Carnap, Neurath and Frank, who were inspired by the work of Pierre Duhem and Ernst Mach. Hempel - I claim - broke with the positivist understanding of science in a significant way by conceiving explanation as an aim of science that is distinct from description. I focus on two central assumptions which guided Hempel’s shift in 1948 – assumptions which still shape the debate on scientific explanation today. First, Hempel assumes that there are explanations in science with a shared, uniform structure which can be articulated by the philosopher of science (the objectivist assumption). Second, Hempel believes that his philosophical articulation of scientific explanation should be descriptively adequate, i.e. it should account for and be constrained by cases identified as paradigmatic for the explanatory success of science (the descriptivist assumption). In the anti-explanatory tradition of Duhem and Mach both assumptions were put into question. Duhem and Mach argued that explanation was not an aim of scientific knowledge and that, consequently, there was no given uniform explanatory structure within science to be articulated by a philosopher. This entailed a non-explanatory interpretation of paradigmatic explanation-talk in (the history of) science. Instead of choosing which explanation-talk was exemplary and thus constrained a philosophical model of it, Duhem and Mach showed possible strategies to interpret such talk from an anti-explanatory perspective. I argue that Hempel’s work on explanation did not address the concerns from this anti-explanatory tradition properly, but instead glossed over them. Possibly, this also holds for most contemporary theories of scientific explanation which start from the objectivist and descriptivist assumptions.
Unifying the Scientific Concept of Self-Control: Self-Control as Task Hacking

Juan Pablo Bermudez, Visiting Fellow
U. Externado Colombia
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
12:05 pm, 1117 Cathedral of Learning
Abstract:  There are two apparently irreconcilable aspects of the scientific concept of self-control: the moment-to-moment state self-control and the stable trait of self-control. Deploying state self-control requires exerting cognitive effort, whereas the latter is linked with long-term wellbeing benefits but seems unrelated to cognitive effort. Are these two scientific constructs measuring the same thing? Or do they refer to different psychological phenomena? In this talk I propose the task-hacking view of self-control, which seeks to harmonize both aspects of the concept, make sense of the empirical literature, and help move the scientific study of self-control forward.






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