Entries by Adam Ford

Peter Singer – Effective Altruism, Ethics & Utilitarianism

(originally posted here) Peter Singer discusses Effective Altruism, including Utilitarianism as a branch of Ethics. Talk was held as a joint event between the University of Melbourne Secular Society and Melbourne University Philosophy Community. Is philosophy, as a grounds to help decide how good an action is, something you spend time thinking about? Audio of […]

Abstract: Scientific and Engineering language within a General Theory of Discourse – Rohan McLeod

We have heard many different notions of what the words: science, philosophy and the term ‘philosophy of science’ mean. No doubt if we consult three different dictionaries we will discover three more., and if we consult Wikipedia yet another. I would hope that those of you more predisposed to enquiry than debate ;even those with […]

Abstract: The Revolutions of Scientific Structure – Colin Hales

“The Revolutions of Scientific Structure” reveals an empirically measured discovery, by science, about the natural world that is the human scientist. The book’s analysis places science at the cusp of a major developmental transformation caused by science targeting the impossible: the science of consciousness, which was started in the late 1980s by a science practice […]

Abstract: Logic and Rationality; Disagreement and Evidence – Greg Restall

The resurgence of fact talk in political and public discourse — primarily seen in the rise of so-called “fact-checking” websites—is welcome phenomenon, but what does it signify, and why should we welcome it? I’ll attempt to explain how care and attention to talk of facts and reasons can play a vital role in our public discourse, even in the […]

Philosophy of Science – What & Why?

Interview with John Wilkins:   See this post by John Wilkins at Evolving Thoughts: http://evolvingthoughts.net/2011/07/why-do-philosophy-of-science. Every so often, somebody will attack the worth, role or relevance of philosophy on the internets, as I have discussed before. Occasionally it will be a scientist, who usually conflates philosophy with theology. This is as bad as someone assuming […]

Panel: The Demarcation Problem – What is Science, and What Isn’t Science?

The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how to distinguish between science and nonscience, including between science, pseudoscience, other activities, and beliefs. The debate continues after over a century of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields, and despite broad agreement on the basics of scientific method. For Popper, […]

Abstract: Life, Knowledge and Natural Selection― How Life (Scientifically) Designs its Future – Bill Hall

Studies of the nature of life, evolutionary epistemology, anthropology and history of technology leads me reluctantly to the conclusion that Moore’s Law is taking us towards some kind of post-human singularity. The presentation explores fundamental aspects of life and knowledge, based on a fusion of Karl Popper’s (1972) evolutionary epistemology and Maturana and Varela’s (1980) […]

Abstract: The Shaky Foundations of Science: An Overview of the Big Issues – James Fodor

Many people think about science in a fairly simplistic way: collect evidence, formulate a theory, test the theory. By this method, it is claimed, science can achieve objective, rational knowledge about the workings of reality. In this presentation I will question the validity of this understanding of science. I will consider some of the key […]

Abstract: Skepticism and the Psychology of Magic – Ashley Barnett

Our brain’s simulation of the external world, our conscious experience, is often wrong. Optical illusions demonstrate how our perception of objects can be mistaken. Analogously, magic tricks are cognitive illusions that vividly illustrate how our perception and understanding of events can go awry.  Thanks to recent work by neuroscientists and psychologists we know under what […]