About Nicolas McGinnis

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So far Nicolas McGinnis has created 19 blog entries.

Life and Non-Life – Alex Manafu

Historically, most philosophers and scientists have thought about the distinction between life and non-life as an abrupt one. For vitalists like Driesch life was an irreducible phenomenon, which depended on a new type of force, one of a non-physical nature (an entelechy or a “vis essentialis”). For emergentists like Broad, life depended on the way [...]

2016-01-29T12:15:45-04:00March 13th, 2012|Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Science|

Rotman Institute Lecture Series: Nancy Cartwright (streaming video)

Dr. Nancy Cartwright will be the third annual Lecturer in Philosophy & Science, giving two talks: one on Thursday, March 8th beginning at 5pm EST ("Evidence, Argument and Mixed Methods"), and another on Friday, March 9th at 3:30 pm EST ( "Wiser Use of Social Science, Wiser Wishes, Wiser Policies"). Both talks will be streNintendo [...]

New Hires: Rotman CRC, Assistant Professor

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Stathis Psillos (University of Athens) has been nominated by Western as the Rotman Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in philosophy of science. His application will now go through the CRC peer review process. Dr. Psillos has made major contributions to philosophy of science, epistemology and metaphysics; served [...]

2016-01-29T12:16:59-04:00March 6th, 2012|Members, Rotman News|

BBC, journal ‘Nature’ criticize "muzzling" of Canadian scientists

The CBC reports on Nature's extraordinary editorial on the Harper government's control over scientific dissemination, policy which is starting to make headlines internationally as well. The full text of the editorial in Nature can be found here. The criticism is severe. As the articles notes, Researchers who once would have felt comfortable responding freely and [...]

2016-01-29T12:17:46-04:00March 2nd, 2012|Science and Society|

Philosophy and Combat Stress

An interview with Rotman Institute Doctoral Entrance Scholarship recipient Andrew Peterson Andrew Peterson is one of two recipients of the 2011/12 Rotman Institute of Philosophy Doctoral Entrance Scholarship. Valued at $10,000, these scholarship assist some of the strongest doctoral candidates entering their study at Western with support for their innovative research in philosophy and science. [...]

Evidence and Governance (and Nietzsche)

I’ve been thinking more about the intersection of science and politics, somewhat unsure how to broach such a broad topic. The question I’m pondering is: why conflict? Why not smooth integration of scientific consensus into the decision-making process? Large, unwieldy question. Now the advice typically given in such a situation is to choose a specific [...]

2016-01-29T12:19:57-04:00February 16th, 2012|Science and Society|

Science & Values Link round-up — Nic McGinnis

Jesse Prinz (CUNY) asks "Why Are Men So Violent?" in Psychology Today, suggesting the answer is to be found in historical, and not biological, factors. (As a follow-up, I recommend Corey Robin's piece on arch-libertarian Ludwig von Mises' views of gender.) The journal Nature has a fascinating series of articles on the ethical and scientific [...]

2016-01-29T12:20:41-04:00February 16th, 2012|Climate Change, Science and Society|

The Elsevier Boycott, Academic Publishing and the Future of Copyright – Nicholas McGinnis

Predatory pricing practices and support of draconian copyright 'reforms' have led to a boycott of academic publisher Elsevier, boycott which has been gathering a significant amount of momentum: about 3,000 academics have pledged to neither publish, referee, or do editorial work for journals associated with Elsevier (this article from the Guardian offers further background). The [...]

2016-07-19T15:54:53-04:00February 2nd, 2012|Education|

On Being Engaged – Nicholas McGinnis

‘Nothing is required for this Enlightenment,’ Kant wrote in 1784, ‘except freedom … the freedom to use reason publicly in all matters.’ A philosophy blog could do worse than adopt such a motto: for Kant, the ‘Enlightenment’ was, after all, not a new set of dogmas to replace the old, but a dawning courage to [...]

2018-04-11T15:02:28-04:00January 31st, 2012|Rotman News|