Upcoming Conferences

Workshop on Vagueness via Nonclassical Logics

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir La vague 1879

17-20 December 2014
Muniment Room,
Level 4, Lobby B (Southern Vestibule)
Quadrangle A14,
University Place
University of Sydney, Australia
Click here for map

There is widespread agreement that adequate models of the semantics of vague language and of reasoning with vague information cannot be developed within the confines of classical logic. There is less agreement over which nonclassical logic is best suited for handling vagueness and indeed over whether just one logical framework is sufficient to accommodate all vagueness related phenomena. This workshop will bring together researchers working on these issues in philosophy, logic, mathematics and computer science–with special (but not exclusive) focus on approaches that appeal to degrees of truth and fuzzy logics.

Timetable and Abstracts

Click here to download the timetable and abstracts (PDF)

Organisation

Programme Committee:

  • Nick Smith, University of Sydney
  • Francesco Paoli, University of Cagliari
  • Chris Fermüller, Technical University of Vienna

Local organizer:
Nick Smith, University of Sydney

Submission

Please submit an abstract to Nick Smith
The selected abstracts will be made available electronically.

Important dates
  • Submission deadline: 15 October 2014
  • Notification of acceptance: 31 October 2014
  • Workshop: 17–20 December 2014

Recent conferences

Principles in Early Modern Thought

Engraved word map by Leonhard Euler

27–29 August 2014

Speakers:

  • Professor Peter Anstey (Sydney)
  • Mr Joe Campbell QC (Sydney)
  • Professor James Franklin (UNSW)
  • Professor Daniel Garber (Princeton)
  • Professor Michael LeBuffe (Otago)
  • Professor William R. Newman (Indiana)
  • Professor Sophie Roux (ENS, Paris)
  • Professor Kiyoshi Shimokawa (Gakushuin, Tokyo)
  • Dr Alberto Vanzo (Warwick)
  • Ms Kirsten Walsh (Otago)

Colloquium Sponsors
This colloquium forms part of Professor Peter Anstey’s ARC Future Fellowship project on ‘The nature and status of principles in early modern philosophy’. It is sponsored by the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

Colloquium Organisers
Professor Peter Anstey and Professor Stephen Gaukroger


Rocks, Bones and Ruins: Evidence in Historical Science

University of Sydney, May 8-9 2014

Convened by the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science

Historical science is sometimes carried out under poor epistemic conditions: there is a dearth of direct evidence for theories about the deep past, as the downstream effects of many past events are scattered and degraded. Some philosophers and scientists are sceptical about our ability to uncover facts about the deep past, and yet, in the face of epistemic deprivation, historical scientists produce (at least sometimes) well-supported theories and hypotheses. This suggests that philosophers have underestimated the ingenuity of historical scientists. By incorporating approaches and evidence from a wide variety of disciplines, taking surrogative approaches such as analogous reasoning and modelling, and by weaving complex, interdependent explanations, they extend our reach into the past. The aim of this workshop is to extend our models of historical confirmation by considering two broad questions: (1) How should we understand evidence in the historical sciences? (2) How should this affect our optimism or otherwise about scientists’ abilities to uncover historical facts?

Click here for more information


Australasian Philosophy Postgraduate Conference

wisdom: reid highsmith

22-24 April 2014
On behalf of the Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP), the University of Sydney hosted the 2014 Australasian Postgraduate Philosophy Conference (APPC) from the 22nd to the 24th of April. These conferences are designed to bring together postgraduate philosophy students giving them the opportunity to present and discuss papers in all areas of philosophy.

Keynote Speakers

  • Professor Raimond Gaita
  • Dr. Catherine Legg

Workshops
There were also two workshops by Professor Stephen Hetherington, the editor of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy.


Nature and Culture in German Romanticism and Idealism

Friedrich, Woman before the setting sun

UNSW Australia and the University of Sydney
12-14 March, 2014


The last two decades can be described as witness to a genuine revival of interest in German romantic and idealist philosophy. Philosophers working in a variety of areas have embraced the ideas of the romantics and idealists, disentangling them from false or misunderstood legacies, and reexamining them in light of contemporary debates. This conference aims to advance this significant historical and philosophical research, by investigating the two most central themes in German idealist and romantic philosophy: nature and culture and their interdependence.

Precisely because of the interdisciplinary character of romanticism and idealism, the conference approaches the two movements from a number of related angles. In the first instance, the goal is to consider how various thinkers from the romantic era conceived nature and culture, and sought to harmonize the sphere of the natural sciences (Naturwissenschaften) and the sphere of the humanities (Geisteswissenschaften), which, only some fifty years later, became fully separated. In addition, the conference seeks to investigate the interdisciplinary conception of “Geist” developed during that time, which today can be translated into “mind” as well as its various externalizations as “society,” “arts,” “institutions,” and “culture.” In these two ways, the conference will explore the uniqueness of the romantic and idealist views, and consider their potential significance for contemporary debates.

Click here for more information and registration


The Enlightenment and the Development of Philosophical Anthropology

Hoppius Anthropomorpha

The conference focuses on the development of various forms of anthropology in the second half of the eighteenth century, with a special focus on philosophical anthropology, as a distinct discipline that competed with metaphysics, both in scope and aim. The birth of philosophical anthropology in the mid-eighteenth century and its development well into the nineteenth signaled a fundamental shift – not only did it emphasize the historical character of thought, but it also sought to understand the human being in context, whether biological, cultural-historical, literary or psychological. For this reason, Odo Marquard has termed it one of the “three great epochal shifts” (alongside aesthetics and the philosophy of history) in the history of modern Europe. The main focus will be on the way in which various forms of anthropology, philosophical (Germany) but also medical (France) both contributed to and challenged the notion of “Enlightenment” in Europe. That the European Enlightenment was a contested ground is well known; however, the fact that anthropology played a fundamental role in its orientation remains an understudied topic. Many of the papers will focus on the role that Johann Gottfried Herder played in the development of philosophical anthropology, and in examining the debate between him and his former teacher, Immanuel Kant, this conference will be one of the first to address the ways in which philosophical anthropology developed in relation to the larger project of Enlightenment in Europe.

4-6 November 2013
University of Sydney, CCANESA Boardroom, Level 4, Madsen Building


Organisers:
Dalia Nassar, Philosophy Department
Anik Waldow, Philosophy Department
Stephen Gaukroger, History and Philosophy of Science Unit

Sponsors:
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Sydney Intellectual History Network
ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

Program

Monday, 4 November

9.15-10.30 Peter Anstey, Sydney: The Enlightenment natural history of man

10.30-10.45 Morning Tea

10.45-12.00 Charles Wolfe, Ghent: 'Whoever takes man as an object of study must expect to have man as an enemy': The tension between naturalism and anthropocentrism in La Mettrie and Diderot

12.00-1.15 Jennifer Milam, Sydney: Doggie Style: Rococo Representations of Interspecies Sensuality and the Pursuit of Volupté

Lunch

2.15-3.30 Stephen Gaukroger, Sydney: The demise of anthropological medicine: the challenges of experimental medicine and Mesmerism

Coffee

3.45-5.00 Ofer Gal, Sydney: Anthropology vs. metaphysics: Hobbes and Spinoza on the passions


Tuesday, 5 November

9.15-10.30 Daniela Helbig, Sydney: Self-positing: experimental subjects in Kant's thought and in scientific practice

10.30-10.45 Morning tea

10.45-12.00 Nigel DeSouza, Ottawa: Between Leibniz and Kant: the philosophical foundations of Herder's anthropology

12.00-13.15 Anik Waldow, Sydney: Natural history and the formation of the human being: Kant and Herder on active forces

Lunch

2.15-3.30 Dalia Nassar, Sydney: Kant and Herder on analogy

3.30-3.45 Coffee Break

3.45-5.00 Stefanie Buchenau, Paris: Herder. From comparative anatomy to philosophical anthropology.


Wednesday, 6 November

9.15-10.30 John Zammito, Rice: The Animal-Human Boundary and Anthropology: Herder between Reimarus and Tetens

10.30-10.45 Morning tea

10.45-12.00 Kristin Gjesdal, Temple: Hermeneutics and Anthropology in Herder's Early Thought

12.00-1.15 Gabriel Watts, Sydney: Herder’s theological anthropology

Lunch

2.15-3.30 Marion Heinz, Siegen: Cultural theory in Kant and Herder

3.30-3.45 Coffee

3.45-5.00 Michael Forster, Bonn: Herder’s anthropology and human rights


Past Conferences

Neo-Pragmatism: Truth and Justification

December 6–7, 2012
Co-Sponsored by SHAPE research seminar (Sydney) and Centre for the Study of Mind in Nature (Oslo)

Organizers: David Macarthur, Bjorn Ramberg.
Venue: S421, Main Quad, University of Sydney

Synopsis
The aim of this conference will be to explore the latest neo-pragmatist approaches in epistemology with a central focus on the debate between Hilary Putnam and Richard Rorty – the two fathers of neo-pragmatism – on the nature of truth and justification and their relationship. Key questions that we will pursue include: What is the most fruitful non-essentialist approach to truth? Is truth the goal of inquiry? In what sense is truth a norm of inquiry (if at all)? What is the connection between truth and justification if we are to avoid the mistake of identifying the two with each other? What is the relation between justification and a community of inquirers (believers)?

6 December

8.45-9.00 tea/coffee

9.00-10.30 Barry Allen (McMaster, Canada) – “Disepistemology”

10.30-10.45 tea/coffee

10.45-12.15 Nicholas Kompridis (Western Sydney) - "Critique, Justification, and World-Disclosure: On Forms of Philosophy and Philosophy's Image of Itself"

12.15-1.45 lunch

1.45-3.15 Bjorn Ramberg (Oslo, Norway) – “Rorty on Truth and Justification: A s Stab at a Defense.”

3.15-3.30 tea/coffee

3.30-5.00 Paul Redding (Sydney) – "Pragmatism, Idealism and the Modal Menace: Rorty, Brandom and Truths about Photons"

5.00-6.30 David Macarthur (Sydney) – “Price, Rorty & the Unimaginability of Truth’s Evolution”

7 December

  • 8.45-9.00 tea/coffee
  • 9.00-10.30 Cathy Legg (Waikato, NZ) – “Semiotic Platonic Realism”
  • 10.30-10.45 tea/coffee
  • 10.45-12.15 Gary Ebbs (Indiana, USA) – “Entitlement at the Limits of
    Doubt”
  • 12.15-1.45 lunch
  • 1.45-3.15 Massimo Dell’Utri (Sassari, Italy) – “The Realist Wager: Challenging Rorty on His Home Ground".”
  • 3.15-3.30 tea/coffee
  • 3.30-5.00 Jonathan Knowles (NTNU, Norway) – “The World Well Lost Twice Over”
  • 5.00-6.30 Ramón Del Castillo (UNED, Spain) – tba

Download Conference Timetable
Download Conference Flyer

Contact information:
Dr David Macarthur
P +61-2-9351-3193
E

Themes from Cavell

Sponsored by the SHAPE seminar and research group

The McRae Room, Quadrangle Building A14
University of Sydney
Mon 27- Tue 28 February, 2012
.

Still from

Stanley Cavell (b.1926-) is an uncategorisable American philosopher who is indispensable for anyone who wishes to think fruitfully about why philosophy matters to us, or who is uncomfortable about having to stand on one side or other of the analytic/continental divide, or who wishes to give reflections on art and aesthetics and culture a more central role in their philosophical thinking. In this conference we shall explore themes from across Cavell's vast and wide-ranging writings: from his radical re-thinking of the problematic of skepticism in the context of a ground-breaking reading of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations, and the fruitfulness of his conception of the ordinary and the related concept of acknowledgement, and his defence of the procedures of ordinary language philosophy, to his influential readings of Hollywood cinema of the 1930s-1940s and his articulation of a form of moral perfectionism.

Speakers Included

  • Nikolas Kompridis (UWS),
  • David Macarthur (Sydney),
  • Jennifer McMahon (UAdel.),
  • Andrew Norris (UC, Santa Barbara),
  • Paul Patton (UNSW),
  • Robert Sinnerbrink (UMacq.),
  • Paul Thom (Sydney)
  • Stephen White (Tufts),
  • Greg Strom (Sydney).

Download Conference Program

For more information please contact the Conference organiser:
Dr David Macarthur

Room S412, Quadrangle A14
Ph +61-2-9351 3193
Fax +61-2-9351 6660

The Sublime: A Re-Evaluation

Sponsored by the SHAPE seminar and research group
Freidrich

21-22 February, 2011
The Refectory, Quadrangle Building
University of Sydney


This is the first conference sponsored by SHAPE (Social, Historical, Aesthetic, Political and Environmental Philosophy), a group dedicated to explorations in the philosophy of value broadly conceived. This conference brings together members of the Philosophy Dept at Sydney University who have a research interest in aesthetics with new and interesting voices from overseas who are involved with the SHAPE group.

The topic of the sublime, which was one of most widely discussed matters in C18 aesthetics, has received scant attention in Anglo-American philosophy, at least when compared with beauty. And when we turn to Kant scholarship we find the same asymmetrical treatment ? despite the fact that, for Kant, the sublime is akin to the beautiful in so far as it involves the disinterested response that he saw as central to aesthetic experience. But recently there has been a revival of interest in the sublime stimulated in large part by its apparently embracing various stimulating paradoxes (e.g. taking pleasure in pain; gaining insights by way of an apprehension of limitation; the understanding in a fraught relation with the imagination). In this conference we aim to re-examine the sublime and its importance for aesthetic experience and our appreciation of art.

For more information please contact the Conference organiser:
Dr David Macarthur

Room S412, Quadrangle A14
Ph +61-2-9351 3193
Fax +61-2-9351 6660

Keep up to date with this conference on the SOPHIstry blog

The Rise of Empiricism

6 – 7 September, 2010
Darlington Centre,
Institute Building boardroom

Empiricism is often regarded as the characterising feature of modern scientific method, and, in those approaches to psychology and the social and economic sciences that seek to model themselves on successful scientific practice in the physical and life sciences, it often acts as a model of good practice. Yet what is advocated is a very simplified model in which a rarefied notion of method as value-free inquiry is presented as the essence of empiricism. The failings of such a conception have long been evident, but the motivations behind the various forms of empiricism have remained obscure. The conference will explore new avenues to the original form of empiricism and show how it was able to directly engage questions of value in a novel and revealing way, and how its connection with ‘hard’ sciences was not merely to provide a methodological gloss on these, but went to the core of what scientific explanation consisted in.

Speakers

  • Peter Anstey (Otago University)
  • Millicent Churcher (Sydney University)
  • Stephen Gaukroger (Sydney University)
  • Peter Kail (Oxford University)
  • Rhodri Lewis (Oxford University)
  • David Macarthur (Sydney University)
  • Liam Semler (Sydney University)
  • Dejan Simko (Sydney University)
  • Alberto Vanzo (Otago University)
  • Anik Waldow (Sydney University)
  • Charles Wolfe (Sydney University)

Contact

Dr. Anik Waldow
Lecturer
Department of Philosophy, SOPHI
University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Telephone: +61 2 91141245
Fax: +61 2 9351 3918
Email:


Religion and Post-Kantian Research Cluster Conference

Hegel and Religion

University of Sydney, Australia
14 – 15 September, 2010

Sponsored by the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney.

Hegel occupies a critical position within the history of modern Western attitudes to God and religion. Traditionally, Hegel's philosophy had been regarded as an expression, perhaps the last and most luxuriant, of the world-view that inextricably linked orthodox theological and metaphysical notions. However, according to some more recent interpretations, Hegel's "absolute idealism" should be thought of as advancing the spirit of Kant's critical project beyond the problems of the "letter" within which it had been expressed. The conference aims at addressing various issues related to Hegel’s account of religion, and at showing the relevance of Hegel’s approach for contemporary debates over religion.

Confirmed Keynote speakers:

  • Stephen Houlgate (University of Warwick, UK)
  • Maurizio Pagano (University of Eastern Piedmont, Italy)
  • Paul Redding (University of Sydney, Australia)

Further information

For further information, or enquiries, please contact
Professor Paul Redding
or Dr Paolo Diego Bubbio .

For further information about the Religion and Post-Kantian Philosophy Research Cluster, see: the Research Cluster website


New Horizons in Political Philosophy 2009

Annual Australian Postgraduate Conference

26-27 November 2009
University of Sydney

Enter the conference website


Persons by Convention

December 16-18, 2008
The Refectory, Main Quad, The University of Sydney.

Some things in the world are perfectly real, but not perhaps instances of natural kinds. Corporations, nations, swimming pools are all rightly so called because of sets of conventional practices in which they are involved. Could persons fall into this category? In the last decade or so a number of theorists have argued so. This conference focuses on the state of this debate–both exploring new ways to make sense of the idea, and new stumbling blocks to its progress.

Contact:
Michael Slezak
Russellian Society
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Main Quad, A14
University of Sydney, NSW 2006

Persons by Convention

Violence and the Post-Colonial Welfare State in France and Australia

October 18, 2007
Department of Philosophy and Department of Sociology
The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2006

The guiding hypothesis of this workshop is that there are fruitful and
currently underdeveloped connections to be made between two groups of
scholars: those whose work relates to the violence occurring in
indigenous communities in Australia and those with expertise on
violence as it manifests in immigrant communities in France. We
anticipate that the comparative approach to the topic will provide an
innovative and stimulating avenue to explore highly significant (and
politically charged) issues of contemporary violence and
responsibility in the post-colonial welfare state.

Contact:

Russellian Society
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Main Quad, A14
University of Sydney, NSW 2006


Norms and Analysis - From Personal Identity to the Rationality of Desire

Department of Philosophy, University of Sydney
26-28 June 2007

There is a picture of the world which is disenchanted – a world that contains only the ingredients of the natural sciences, with no mention of norms; no reasons to govern desires or obligations. But some of the objects in this world – one case is persons – seem to have among their persistence conditions norms and reasons. Is there a way to reconcile these pictures? Can we reconstruct reasons in an austere world? This conference explores these themes.

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Spinoza, politico-theology and the notion of authority, July 2006

On the 18th of July 2006 The Department of Philosphy hosted Spinoza, politico-theology and the notion of authority at St Paul’s College, University of Sydney speakers included Moira Gatens (University of Sydney), Stephen Gaukroger (University of Sydney), Jonathan Israel (Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton), Susan James (Birkbeck College, University of London), Genevieve Lloyd (Sydney), Theo Verbeek (University of Utrecht).

Papers for the Conference (click on name to download paper):

Click here for more information about the Program of History