Monthly Archives: September 2015

New publication from Cristina Chimisso

Cristina Chimisso’s article, ‘Narrative and epistemology: Georges Canguilhem’s concept of scientific ideology’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science has just been published online, and will be published in the hard-copy version of the journal this year.


In the late 1960s, Georges Canguilhem introduced the concept of ‘scientific ideology’. This concept had not played any role in his previous work, so why introduce it at all? This is the central question of my paper. Although it may seem a rather modest question, its answer in fact uncovers hidden tensions in the tradition of historical epistemology, in particular between its normative and descriptive aspects. The term ideology suggests the influence of Althusser’s and Foucault’s philosophies. However, I show the differences between Canguilhem’s concept of scientific ideology and Althusser’s and Foucault’s respective concepts of ideology. I argue that Canguilhem was in fact attempting to solve long-standing problems in the Continue reading


Is there anything wrong with violence in video games?

The Open University Branch of the Royal Institute of Philosophy: Is there anything wrong with violence in video games?
Cambridge, 14 October 2015

A discussion, chaired by Derek Matravers, with David Braben, Louise Hanson, and Jamie Rumbelow.
14th October, 5.00pm to 7.00pm.

Venue: Seminar Room, Number 1 Newnham Terrace, Darwin College, Cambridge (enter by the main door on Silver Street).

Entry is free, and all are welcome.

Any enquiries to Derek Matravers:

Seminar: Dr Chris Belshaw, 7 October 2015

Dr Chris Belshaw (Open University)
‘Death and extinction’

How should we feel about extinction in general, and human extinction in particular? There are important connections with death. The death of animals and plants can be bad for survivors, but only the death of persons is bad (often) for those who die. Species extinction, as such, is not bad for the members of that species, but if it brings about the disappearance of culture then our extinction is (very likely) bad for us. But isn’t death sometimes good? Indeed it is, and so (in a roughly parallel fashion) extinction