Monthly Archives: March 2017

Tongji University, Shanghai — Nietzsche Seminar with Manuel Dries

Dr Manuel Dries is currently a Visiting Professor at Tongji University, Shanghai. The Shanghai Nietzsche Colloquium at Tongji University will devote two sessions to his paper ‘Memento Mori, Memento Vivere: Nietzsche on History, Embodiment, and Value in his Untimely Mediation II.’

Access the announcement in English and Chinese is available here. Download as PDF here: 尼采讨论班·Shanghai Nietzsche Colloquium.

School of Humanities
Department of Philosophy & Academy of European Cultures
Tongji University
1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092

Date and time:
Session 1: 30 March 2017, 4-6 pm
Session 2: 06 April 2017, 4-6 pm

Yuntong Lou 221

The event is hosted by Professor Sun Zhouxing, Professor Zhao Qianfan, and Dr Helmut Heit.


Perception Day

On March 24th 2017, we held a Research Day on the theme of perception. In the morning, our own Derek Matravers spoke on ‘Visualising Representations’…

Summary: When we visualise a tree, do we imagine seeing a tree, or just imagine the visual appearance of a tree? This esoteric question (the ‘dependency thesis’) has been much debated to the neglect of another possibility: that sometimes, although certainly not all the time, when we visualise a tree we imagine (or imagine seeing) a visual representation of a tree. This paper considers the motivation for making this suggestion, and its plausibility.

…and in the afternoon, Louise Richardson (University of York) gave a talk on ‘Smelling Sweetness’…

Summary: There are a number of obstacles to thinking that we can smell – olfactorily perceive – properties such as sweetness and saltiness. The most serious of these is the role of learning in their aetiology, which has suggested to some that what we might think of as ‘smelling sweetness’ is in fact a form of smell-taste synaesthesia. I argue that the claim that sweetness can be smelled is defensible, and that accepting it does not require taking on any controversial assumptions.

Philosophy Research Seminar: Neil Sinhababu, 5th April 2017

All are welcome to the following Philosophy Research Seminar.

Neil Sinhababu, National University of Singapore
‘A Reliable Route from Is to Ought’

Time: 5th April, 2.00pm to 4.00pm
Place: Meeting Room 5, Wilson A, Open University (Walton Hall Campus)
Contact: Derek Matravers

Abstract: I present a strategy by which moral knowledge can be derived from non-moral knowledge, using insights from reliabilist epistemology. The strategy begins by discovering which cognitive processes generate which moral and nonmoral beliefs. We can then assess the reliability of these cognitive processes for moral belief formation by considering to what extent they produce true belief on non-moral issues, and by checking whether they produce contradictory moral beliefs in different people. By retaining reliably caused beliefs and abandoning unreliably caused ones, we can move closer to moral truth. No normative ethical assumptions are required.

David Roden talking in Stockholm, Dundee, etc.

David Roden (Associate Lecturer and Honorary Associate) is giving a number of talks in the UK and beyond this spring. As well as talks delivered to the Dundee Philosophy Department on 17 Feb 2017 and the Sonic Acts festival in Amsterdam on 25 Feb 2017, he gave a public lecture and masterclass in Aarhus, Denmark, 9-10 March 2017.

It’s not too late to see him if you are anywhere near Stockholm in 1-2 April 2017, where he is participating at “The Other Thing” arts event organised by the choreographer Siegmar Zacaharias.

Role Ethics Network (March 22 workshop)

Alex Barber and Sean Cordell are running an AHRC funded project, the Role Ethics Network, with a number of events over 18 months involving academics from across the globe. The rationale of the project is that social roles – our occupancy and performance of them – shape our ethical lives in ways that have not been fully appreciated or understood. Full details are on the project website.

The next is a workshop in Manchester on March 22, at which Alex will deliver a paper on a puzzle about wellbeing: wellbeing is an individualist notion (it equates to that which is good for a particular person), and achievement is an ingredient of wellbeing, but achievement is often collective rather than individual (just think about orchestral performance). Alex argues that thinking about the fulfillingness of role occupancy and role performance can help dissolve the tension.

Upcoming talks and a publication by Cristina Chimisso

Cristina Chimisso will be a keynote speaker at the conference on ‘Bachelard today: Bachelard and contemporary philosophy’ at Leuven University (Belgium), 24-25 April 2017 . The title of her talk is ‘History, chemistry and knowledge’.

She is also talking at the annual conference of the British Society for the History of Philosophy (University of Sheffield, 6-8 April 2017), contributing a paper called ‘Philosophy and history of science: Hélène Metzger on anachronism’ as part of the panel that she organised on ‘History, philosophy and science in French epistemology’.

In March she’ll be giving a graduate seminar at the University of Milan, as she has recently done at the Universities of Cambridge and of Paris I (Sorbonne).

The second edition of the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, for which she has written a new entry ‘Bachelard, Gaston’, is now on-line. Her OU page has more on her research and publications.