Each year, Rotman Institute members organize and participate in reading and working groups exploring philosophical questions from a wide range of fields. Listed below are the groups organized for the 2019-20 academic year. Most groups continue to meet virtually. Learn more about each group, or join by inquiring with the group’s main contact person.

Lab Associates Basic Training

This program is for graduate students (primarily in philosophy) who want to acquire some basic knowledge of psychology and neuroscience, including experimental methods and data analysis. The goal is to place graduates of the program in a BMI lab to further their training in and ability to contribute to empirical research. Many graduates of the program have gone on to co-author scientific papers. This is highly recommended for any students with an interest in philosophy of science. Please contact Mike Anderson if interested in participating.

Introduction to Cognitive Studies (lab training course)

This training course is open to any grad student interested in philosophy of cognitive science and neuroscience. We will review the development of cognitive science from its beginnings to now. The aim is, as always, to acquire the skills to read that literature and to participate on those debates. The plan is to meet once per week on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM in the Rotman conference room. Please contact Vicente Raja if interested in participating.

Philosophy and Cognitive Science Reading Group

The Neurophilosophy Reading Group is open to anyone interested in the intersection between cognitive science and philosophy. This term the group will be meeting every Thursday at 2:00 pm in the Rotman conference room. Please contact Ed Baggs if interested in participating.

Philosophy of Physics Reading Group

The Philosophy of Physics Reading Group is made up of some faculty and graduate students in the philosophy of physics.  Most of the reading is quite technical, so either a good background in physics or mathematics or a willingness to acquire it is required to get the most out of the group.  In addition to more pure philosophy of physics, we sometimes read and discuss some history of physics that’s of relevance to the philosophical development of physics. This term we meet every other week on Mondays at 9:45 am, though there may be a skipped week or an additional meeting on what was to be an off-week at times.  Please contact Sona Ghosh if interested in participating.

Synthetic Biology and Philosophy Reading Group

This interdisciplinary reading group will meet once a month to discuss papers that address various philosophical issues arising in the context of synthetic biology. As of now, the plan is to meet on the last Tuesday of every month, in the Seminar Room of the Rotman Institute, from 2:30-3:30 pm. Please contact Eric Desjardins if interested in participating.

Well-being Reading Group

This group will meet 1 – 2 Tuesdays per month at 3:30 pm (please see calendar below for specific dates). The focus for this term will be papers on the topic of well-being and the shape of life. We will start with the reading by Michael Slote. If you work in normative ethics, broadly construed to include applied ethics, you are strongly encouraged to attend. Please contact Anthony Skelton if interested in participating.


The calendar below includes events that are colour-coded as follows: Rotman Speakers Series, Lectures & Dialogues (dark green); Rotman Member Events (light green); Philosophy Department Colloquium Series (red); Philosophy Department Member Events (pink); dates from Western Academic Term (purple).