Jackie Sullivan: Understanding Mental Illness: Will a Single Explanatory Model Do?

Martha Bishop Community Room - Landon Library 167 Wortley Road, London, Ontario

ABSTRACT The medical model of mental illness is often characterized as assuming that mental illness is a disorder of the brain. In contrast, the biopsychosocial model allows for the possibility that mental illness is caused by a combination of biological, psychological and environmental causes. Which model is superior for understanding, explaining and treating mental illness? [...]

Chris Viger: Brains and Persons

Martha Bishop Community Room - Landon Library 167 Wortley Road, London, Ontario

ABSTRACT Is increasing knowledge of how our brains cause behaviour undermining the very conception of freedom that moral and legal responsibilities presuppose? Is our sense of ourselves as persons under assault from science? Must we rethink criminal responsibility? I present contemporary philosophical views of free will and question how they square with neuroscience. SPEAKER PROFILE [...]

Louis Charland: Why Neuroscience Needs “Passion”

Martha Bishop Community Room - Landon Library 167 Wortley Road, London, Ontario

ABSTRACT After a brief review of the history of affective neuroscience and the theoretical status of emotion in contemporary neuroscience, it will be argued that present day neuroscience suffers from a serious theoretical limitation that is largely due to its focus on short-term observation and reliance on laboratory measurement technologies that restrict it to the [...]

Panel Discussion: Responsible Robotics: Shaping a future with robots worth wanting

Wolf Performance Hall - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

ABSTRACT On the cusp of the robotics revolution we will now encounter robots in our day-to-day lives whether it's a robot to deliver our pizza or greet us in the shopping mall, or having a robot assist a surgeon perform a surgery. Not only will this powerful technology provide us with incredible benefits, relieving us [...]

Aimee van Wynsberghe: Robot Ethics: What is it and why should we care?

Stevenson & Hunt Room A - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

ABSTRACT The 21st century is predicted to be the century of service robots. Service robots differ from factory robots in that they function in unstructured and unpredictable human environments and will even co-operate with humans. They can already be found in: neighbourhood stores for greeting us; hospitals to help with surgeries, rehabilitation, or for the [...]

Aimee van Wynsberghe: The Ethics of Ethical Robots

Room 2202 - Spencer Engineering Building Spencer Engineering Building, Western University, London, Ontario

ABSTRACT Robots are no longer fuel for the imagination of science fiction writers; they are now a part of our personal and professional lives and will become increasingly so in the years to come. They are already a part of surgical procedures and are delivering sheets and medications throughout the hospital. They are becoming a [...]

Alison Gopnik: The Gardener and the Carpenter: What developmental science tells us about relations between parents and children.

Wolf Performance Hall - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

In this Rotman Lecture, co-sponsored with Western Alumni and the London Public Library, renowned author Alison Gopnik asks us to think about parenting as a relationship. ABSTRACT Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Yet the thing we call "parenting" is a surprisingly new invention. In the past thirty years, [...]

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

Wolf Performance Hall - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

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 [...]

Julian Savulescu: The Science and Ethics of Human Enhancement

Room 106 - Physics and Astronomy Building 1151 Richmond Street, London, Ontario

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 [...]

Panel Discussion: Canada Up in Smoke? Debating the Impact of Cannabis Legalization

Room 1200, Spencer Engineering Building Spencer Engineering Building, Western University, London, Ontario

EVENT DESCRIPTION The Society of Neuroscience Graduate Students at Western University is hosting an upcoming panel discussion on the legalization of cannabis, due to take effect in October. The event will include experts from a range of fields, exploring the medical, legal, and ethical considerations of the new policy. The Rotman Institute of Philosophy and [...]

Happiness and Well-Being: Philosophical Perspectives

Stevenson & Hunt Room A - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

EVENT DESCRIPTION Each year, the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy at Western University organize a public lecture series, co-sponsored with the London Public Library. The theme for this year's lecture series is happiness and well-being. The four speakers taking part in this year's series have expertise in a range of [...]

Lisa Feldman Barrett – Emotions: Facts vs. Fictions

Wolf Performance Hall - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

The 2019 Rotman Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, professor of psychology at Northeastern University, and author of "How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain". She delivered the 2017 TED Talk, "You aren’t at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them”, which was among the top [...]

Evidence & Belief in the Age of Mass Information

Stevenson & Hunt Room A - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

Perhaps at no other time in history has information been more widely & easily accessible. But how reliable is it? What do we do when confronted with fundamental disagreement about matters of social importance, including climate change and vaccination? Whom should we trust? Experts might help us. But who counts as an expert? Our [...]

Panel Discussion: Health, Equity, and Well-Being

Wolf Performance Hall - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

Although every citizen of Canada has access to publicly funded health insurance, not all Canadians enjoy the same level and quality of health.

CANCELLED: Samir Okasha — Evolution, Altruism and Selfishness

Wolf Performance Hall - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO THE EVOLVING COVID-19 SITUATION. PLEASE VISIT COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR THE CAMPUS COMMUNITY FOR MORE INFORMATION.   Are animals altruistic? From eusocial animals like ants & bees, to well-documented cases of humpback whales rescuing seals from orcas, there are numerous examples of what looks like altruism in nature. Among many bird and mammal [...]

Responsibilities to Others: 2020 Philosophy Lecture Series

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

Our attempts to deal with the effects of COVID-19 have revived significant interest in a question of enduring philosophical interest: what do we owe to each other?  This series of public lectures will examine our responsibilities (if any) to others. It will include discussions on the evolution of altruism, on the idea that both [...]

Race and Racism

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

In the past year and a half, race and racism have been at the forefront of many people’s minds because of widespread Black Lives Matter protests and the disproportionately negative impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on certain racialized communities. But the underlying phenomenon is not only recent. For centuries, racialized communities across [...]

Evan Thompson: Consciousness and Dreamless Sleep

Virtual (register for Zoom link)

ABSTRACT New research suggests that deep and dreamless sleep may not be a blackout state in which consciousness is absent, but instead a state in which various kinds of conscious states may occur. This lecture will present an overview of current thinking about sleep and consciousness from the perspectives of cognitive neuroscience, the science [...]

Ann-Sophie Barwich – The Cinderella of the Senses: Smell as a Window into Mind and Brain

Room 1170 - Western Interdisciplinary Research Building Western Interdisciplinary Research Building, London, Ontario

Join the Rotman Institute of Philosophy for a talk by Dr. Ann Sophie-Barwich related to her recent book, Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind (Harvard University Press, 2020). Pending changes due to the evolving COVID situation, this event is planned to be hybrid, with both in-person and virtual attendance options. Please see below [...]

Time and Memory: 2022 Annual Library Lecture Series (OCT 27: CANCELLED)

Stevenson & Hunt Room A - Central Library 251 Dundas St, London, Ontario

EVENT DESCRIPTION Each year, the Rotman Institute of Philosophy and the Department of Philosophy at Western University organize a public lecture series, co-sponsored with the London Public Library. The theme for this year's lecture series is time and memory. How do we experience and measure time or form memories of the past? Across a [...]