- Once again, we are pleased to open this month’s post with job news. Yann Benetreau-Dupin accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh for 2016-2017. Alkistis Elliott-Graves will be a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of Social Sciences (TINT) at the University of Helsinki. Best wishes to both of these members in their wonderful appointments!
- This month, the Rotman Institute was a co-sponsor of PhilMiLCog — the 14th annual graduate conference in philosophy of mind, language, and cognition, held on May 19-21. Tim Bayne, one of the keynote speakers, delivered a talk titled Seeing the Mean: Ensemble Coding, Phenomenal Overflow and the Grand Illusion Hypothesis. Conference organizers included Jaclyn Lanthier, Job Morales, Blake Nespica, Derek Oswick, Jamie Shaw, and Jody Tomchinsen. Congratulations to all of them on a successful conference!
- The 85th annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences began during the final weekend of this month. Twenty three Rotman members, including faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and alumni, participated in the congress — taking part in sessions organized by the Canadian Philosophical Association, Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics, and Canadian Society for the Study of Practical Ethics. (View a full listing of Rotman member sessions at Congress 2016.)
Beyond PhilMilCog and Congress 2016, Rotman members have been featured in the media, given invited talks, presented at conferences, and had new publications. News and updates for May are listed below in alphabetical order.
- Gillian Barker will give a talk titled From Co-opting to Co-controlling: Biological Leverage as a Bridge between Development and Ecology on June 15th at the University of Bordeaux at the workshop 30 Years After the Dialectical Biologist: New Frontiers in Ecological Developmental Biology and Microbiota-Host Co-Construction.
- Samantha Brennan will give a talk titled Wellbeing and Autonomy: The Balancing Act of Children’s Rights, at the conference Children’s Rights: origins, normativity, transformations and prospects taking place at Linköping University on June 6-9. About three decades after the introduction of the United Nations Convention on The Rights of the Child, children’s rights have to a certain extent gained hegemonic status in policy making and a wide range of social and political practices on children and childhood. This conference brings together scholars from various disciplines to address the historical origins, the normative foundations, transformations and prospects of children’s rights. What will such inquiries implicate for current political challenges and child related policies and how can it critically engage with the current focus on implementation of children’s rights?
- The debate over the determination and evaluation of decision making capacity regarding end of life decisions is now in front of parliament, and is an issue that affects all Canadians. The science behind this issue is the focus of a new publication by Louis Charland and Kyoko Wada (with co-author Trudo Lemmens) in the Journal of Ethics in Mental Health, titled Decision-Making Capacity to Consent to Medical Assistance in Dying for Persons with Mental Disorders. The publication was recently featured in a press release by Western Media Relations.
- An op-ed by Tracy De Boer, titled Verdict did not acquit misconceptions, was published in Western News on May 13. In the article, De Boer discusses the Ghomeshi decision, and examines how our misconceptions about sexual assault impact the criminal justice system.
- On May 27, Yousuf Hasan presented Quine’s Flight from ‘Analyticity’: Reassessing his Attacks on Carnap’s Analytic/Synthetic Distinction at the 5th annual University of Calgary graduate philosophy conference: Logic and Language. He will present at The Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado on June 18th.
- Henrik Lagerlund co-authored an op-ed, titled Carrying on with wayward sons, that was published in the London Free Press on May 13. In the article, Lagerlund and co-author Erika Simpson (of Western’s Department of Political Science) argue that with their brains not maturing until their mid-20s, it’s time to use a different approach to life and learning with our young men.
- Alida Liberman published an article titled Reconsidering Resolutions in the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
- Elina Pechlivanidi and Stathis Psillos co-authored a paper in PhilSci titled What powers are not.
- On May 4, an episode of CBC Ideas from the Trenches, titled The Open Mind, featured Andrew Peterson. From the CBC: New scientific tools are opening windows into what goes on inside another person’s mind. People who’d once have been judged ‘vegetative’ or ‘lacking awareness’, might now be able to show they’re ‘still there’, and ultimately communicate with the outside world through a brain scan. Philosophy PhD student Andrew Peterson is embedded with scientists at the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University and considers the ethical and moral questions emerging from this cutting edge research.
- On April 22, John Thorp gave a talk titled “Aristotle’s clivus naturae” at the III International Congress of Greek Philosophy, hosted by the Iberian Society of Greek Philosophy in Lisbon, Portugal.
- John Thorp presented “L’organisation de la nature chez Aristote: échelle ou pente?”, to the Annual Congress of the Classical Association of Canada in Quebec City, on May 11-13.
- Jamie Shaw published an articled titled Pluralism, Pragmatism and Functional Explanations in Kairos. Journal of Philosophy & Science.
- The Introduction to the Journal of Global Ethics symposium on Peter Singer, The Most Good You Can Do, by Anthony Skelton, is available in pre-print. It summarizes the main features of effective altruism in the context of Singer’s work on the moral demands of global poverty and some recent criticisms of effective altruism. The symposium contains contributions by Anthony Skelton, Violetta Igneski, Tracy Isaacs and Peter Singer.
- On June 10, Catherine Stinson will give a talk titled Grounding Inferences from Model Organisms at the First Principles in Science: Their Epistemic Status and Justification conference, hosted by the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy.
- Catherine Stinson will give a talk titled Mechanistic and Mathematical Explanation Unified at the Mechanistic Integration and Unification in Cognitive Science conference in Warsaw, on June 24th.
Pictured above: Rotman member Louis Charland (photo courtesy of Western Media Relations)