March 2018 Member News & Updates

The month of March was packed with Rotman speaker events! Over the course of the month we hosted Jenann Ismael, Ned Block, Stathis Psillos, Julian Savulescu, and Laura Franklin-Hall as part of our annual speaker series. We also hosted a public panel discussion at Wolf Hall that included Françoise Baylis, David Edgell, Julian Savulescu, and Anthony [...]

2018-07-19T12:46:42+00:00 April 4th, 2018|Members, Rotman News|

2nd annual Philosophical Photography Contest Winner

After launching a very successful photo contest last year, the Rotman Institute was honoured (and excited!) to hold our 2nd Annual Philosophical Photography Contest. As before, people were invited to submit photos that managed to capture an abstract philosophical concept in a creative way. This year we received submissions that tackled a range [...]

2018-03-27T15:06:54+00:00 March 26th, 2018|Rotman News|

Laura Franklin-Hall: The Animal Sexes as Queer Kinds

ABSTRACT Though biologists identify organisms as ‘male’ and ‘female’ across a broad range of animal species—in the pipefish, orb spider, quokka, and king quail—the particular traits enjoyed by males and females can vary tremendously. This diversity has led some to conclude that the trans-animal sexes—males, of whatever animal species, and females likewise—have “little or no [...]

2018-04-05T12:11:28+00:00 March 23rd, 2018|

Julian Savulescu: The Science and Ethics of Human Enhancement

ABSTRACT Scandal after scandal has revealed that sport has been experimenting with human enhancement on a massive scale. These are among the most high-profile cases. But in fact human enhancement technologies influence all aspects of life. From students and professionals taking modafinil to enhance cognition, focus and drive, to evidence that SSRIs (anti-depressants) affect moral [...]

2018-04-06T11:56:10+00:00 March 15th, 2018|

Panel Discussion – Editing the Human Genome: The Ethics of Moulding our Future

ABSTRACT The groundbreaking discovery of the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR allows scientists to precisely, efficiently, and cheaply modify the human genome. This may provide us with the power to cure disease and to unlock the secrets of early human development. It might, in the future, allow us to modify humans in directions that we now only [...]

2018-04-06T11:54:56+00:00 March 14th, 2018|

Stathis Psillos: From natures to laws of nature

ABSTRACT The key claim of this talk will be that the conception of nature as being governed by natural laws is thoroughly modern. It arose mostly in the natural philosophy of Rene Descartes and was meant to replace natural powers as principles of change and of connection among distinct existences. This new conception of laws of nature required the [...]

2018-03-29T13:07:17+00:00 March 8th, 2018|

Ned Block: How to think about the border between seeing and thinking?

ABSTRACT Seeing and thinking are of course different, but is there a fundamental basis for the difference and if so, what is it?  This talk will argue that perception is iconic in format and non-conceptual and non-propositional in content.  Further, this way of drawing the border between perception and cognition holds even if cognitive penetration [...]

2018-03-29T13:04:00+00:00 March 7th, 2018|

Jenann Ismael: The link between time, totality, and determinism (or why the problem of determinism is really the problem of fatalism)

ABSTRACT The problem of fatalism was around long before relativity, but gained affirmation in many peoples minds from Relativity. Relativistic theories confront us with a vision of the universe from a temporally transcendent standpoint, i.e., one that treats time as an internal parameter in the universe composed of events. The problem of determinism also had [...]

2018-03-29T11:55:35+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|

January 2018 Member News and Updates

This past month we hosted our first talk since moving into our new office space on campus in the Western Interdisciplinary Research Building. On January 25th, Dr. Gillian Crozier, an Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Canada Research Chair in Environment, Culture and Values at Laurentian University, presented a talk titled Revisiting the Social License [...]

2018-02-08T11:25:02+00:00 February 8th, 2018|Members, Rotman News|