November 2019 Member News & Updates

2020-01-09T10:03:53-05:00December 10th, 2019|Members|

We’d like to begin this post by congratulating Adam Woodcox who successfully defended his doctoral thesis, titled “Modes of Argumentation in Aristotle’s Natural Science”, on November 19 (supervised by Devin Henry). Well done, Adam!

Please also join us in congratulating Andrew Chater who just started a new postdoc at Trent University as part of the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network. And finally, we’d like to extend our congratulations to Michael Cuffaro. Michael was awarded a Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers which he’ll serve over three years at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. We wish Andrew and Michael the best of luck in these exciting new chapters!

The institute’s annual public library lecture series took place this month. This year’s series, titled “Evidence & Belief in the Age of Mass Information“, featured engaging talks by Cailin O’Connor, Maya Goldenberg, Diane O’Leary, and Wayne Myrvold. The series was a success with each talk captivating a large audience. Along with her library talk, Cailin O’Connor held a work in progress seminar during her visit. The seminar focused on her paper, “Measuring Conventionality”, in which she argues that conventions are better thought of as coming in degrees of arbitrariness, even though they are usually treated as univocal.

A successful workshop titled “Philosophical Issues in Research Ethics” was put together by Rotman members Charles Weijer, Cory Goldstein, and Jess Du Toit. The workshop brought together leading scholars in the field. It built on the success of the two-day workshop held at Carnegie Mellon University in November 2018. The workshop helped create a high-level forum for exchange of ideas among philosophers working on problems in research ethics, aiming to foster a community of like-minded scholars, and provide opportunities for senior trainees and junior faculty to be mentored by senior faculty.

All other news from our members is listed below in alphabetical order.

Jonathan Bowen gave a talk entitled ‘A Gibsonian Approach to Perceiving Purposive Behaviour’ at the Expression, Communication, and Origins of Meaning (ECOM) Inaugural Graduate Conference at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut on November 16. Jonathan also presented a paper entitled ‘How is Sophistry Possible?’ at the 13th Annual Western Michigan University Graduate Student Philosophy Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 23.

A book co-authored by Andrew Chater titled “Governing Complexity in the Arctic from Rutledge” just came out. On November 15, Andrew spoke at the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States biennial conference. His talk was titled “Interrogating the Varying Arctic Policies of Canada and Russia”. He also has a chapter in a new edited collection that came out on November 4. The chapter is called “An Evaluation of the Security Relationship between Canada and Greenland.” The book is called The North American Arctic: Themes in Regional Security and it is edited by Dwayne Menezes and Heather Nicol, from UCL Press.

Cory Goldstein and The Ethics of Pragmatic Trials research team have several recent publications: “It does not matter whether research interventions are usual care“, “A stepwise approach to ethically assess pragmatic cluster randomized trials: implications for informed consent for suicide prevention implementation research“, and “The ethical challenges raised in the design and conduct of pragmatic trials: an interview study with key stakeholders”. 

Yousuf Hasan was a guest at Gradcast, a radio show hosted by graduate students at Western University, on November 26. He discussed his research on 20th century history and philosophy of science. You can listen to the 30 minute discussion here.

Harshita Jaiprakash presented a paper entitled ‘Individual and Collective Agency: Motivations for Action’ at the 13th Annual Western Michigan University Graduate Student Philosophy Conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan on November 23.

Carolyn McLeod was a panelist at an event in Ottawa titled “Time to Attach: Providing Equitable Support for Adoptive, Kin and Customary Care Families in Their First Year“. The event involved public policy, and non-academic partners including non-profit and industry.

Diane O’Leary was a featured speaker and panelist at the Patient Summit sponsored by the Society to Improve Diagnostic Medicine in Washington DC on November 9.  She then presented during the Society’s annual Diagnostic Error in Medicine conference on November 11.  In addition, she has been invited to be a featured speaker at a workshop on Consciousness and Medical Ethics at Rice University in February, based on a paper called “From mind to morality: The value of consciousness in medicine”.

Maxwell Smith hosted a 2-day CIHR-funded meeting in Toronto on November 7th and 8th titled “Equitable AI in Public Health“. The event brought together AI scientists, public health scholars, and members of the public to share their perspectives on how artificial intelligence can be, and ought to be, harnessed in public health in order to address health inequities. There were keynote talks from Rumi Chunara (NYU, USA), Bernd Stahl (De Montfort Unviersity, UK), and Andreas Reis (World Health Organization, Switzerland), and had over 150 participants. The event was supported by Western’s Health Ethics, Law, & Policy (HELP) Lab, the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion (CRHESI), the World Health Organization, the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Joint Centre for Bioethics, Compute Ontario, and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. A report will be produced that identifies key research priorities and questions that emerged from the event.

Arthur Sullivan just had a book come out. The book is titled “Sensations, Thoughts, Language: Essays in Honor of Brian Loar“.

Francesca Vidotto commented on the paper on spacetime emergence in LQG by Joshua Norton at the Fifth Annual Conference of the Society for the Metaphysics of Science (SMS) held at the University of Toronto on November 7-9.

Chris Viger has a new publication “The philosopher’s paradox: How to make a coherent decision in the Newcomb Problem”.


Pictured above: Cailin O’Connor presenting the first talk of the library lecture series, “The Misinformation Age”; Eric Desjardins introducing Wayne Myrvold before he delivered the final talk of our library lecture series; The PIRE 2019 workshop attendees; Francesca Vidotto at the conference of the society for the Metaphysics of Science at U of T; Yousuf Hasan talking about his research at the Gradcast radio show. 

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