Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Three talks at Bilkent, 15-18 February

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John Shaheen
Department of Philosophy
University of Gent
Is Metaphysical Explanation Only Metaphorically Explanatory?

DATE: Monday 15 February 2016
TIME: 16:40-18:30
PLACE: G-160

Abstract: In this talk, I will present evidence of a systematic ambiguity in our explanatory terminology, as well as my preferred account of that ambiguity: the causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation. I will then discuss how that account explains the attraction of grounding skepticism. I will close by considering whether, in addition, it can be the basis of a convincing argument for grounding skepticism.

Adam Murray 
Department of Philosophy
University of Toronto

Modal Dependence

DATE: Thu 16 February 2016
TIME: 15:40-17:30
PLACE: G-160


Abstract: It is typically supposed that metaphysical possibility and necessity are the broadest, or most unrestricted, forms of (genuine) possibility and necessity there are. But not all metaphysical necessities are created equal: we should distinguish between merely actual metaphysical necessity, on the one hand, and absolute metaphysical necessity, on the other. In this talk, I explain why this distinction is important, and show how it may be modeled using the resources of two-dimensional modal semantics.

Dan Waxman
Department of Philosophy
New York University

The Epistemic Status of Consistency Claims

DATE: Thu 18 February 2016
TIME: 15:40-17:30
PLACE: G-160


Our best mathematical theories (e.g. arithmetic, analysis, and set theory) are consistent — or, at least, so we typically think. But, on reflection, it is not at all obvious how we are justified in taking them to be so. My aim in this talk is to explore the epistemic status of consistency claims. To that end I will critically consider two routes to justification in consistency: one which involves deriving the fact that a theory is consistent from the fact that it is true, and another which infers that consistency is the best explanation of the lack of discovered inconsistencies in our theories and their applicability outside of mathematics. I will then go on to propose a conceivability-based account, according to which we obtain justification in a theory’s consistency by possessing a conception of a structure which satisfies it.


Written by István Aranyosi

February 13, 2016 at 1:19 pm

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