Upcoming MAPS talks – Spring 2021

Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech)
4:30-6:30pm (ET), Wednesday, March 10
 
Title: Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How it (Still) Gets You Beyond the Statistics Wars
 
Abstract: High-profile failures of replication in the social and biological sciences underwrites a minimal requirement of evidence: If little or nothing has been done to rule out flaws in inferring a claim, then it has not passed a severe test. A claim is severely tested to the extent it has been subjected to and passes a test that probably would have found flaws, were they present. Many methods being advocated to reform statistical practice, I argue, do not stand up to severe scrutiny and are even in tension with successful strategies to improve replication. The minimal severe-testing requirement leads to reformulating statistical significance tests (and related methods) to avoid familiar criticisms and abuses. Viewing statistical inference as severe testing–whether or not you accept it–(still) offers a key to understand and get beyond today’s statistics wars.


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Carlo Rovelli (Aix-Marseille University)
4:30-6:30pm (ET), Tuesday, April 13
 
Title: The old fisherman mistake: the complex physical structures underpinning agency and free will
 
Abstract: The real processes that are commonly denoted “agency” and “free will” are natural phenomena. They can be accounted for in terms of current physics, but not in a straightforward manner.  They depend on several interconnected layers of approximations, structures and contingent facts, that are not easily disentangled.  Resolving them in this manner dissipates the apparent tension between their nature and current physics, unless we make the old fisherman mistake.
 
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All talks will take place over Zoom. All are welcome to attend!

If you are not on the MAPS mailing list and would like to receive the Zoom link for the talk, please email nyphilsci@gmail.com

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Talks cancelled for the remainder of the semester

Due to COVID-19, MAPS talks are cancelled for the remainder of the term. We are hopeful that we will be able to reschedule with the presenters for the Fall term.

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David Papineau: The Nature of Representation

David Papineau (King’s College London & CUNY)
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday March 3; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, New York, NY), room 5307.
 
Title: The Nature of Representation.
 
Abstract: Teleosemantics analyses representation in terms of evolutionary history. A standard objection is that swampman’s lack of evolutionary history doesn’t stop him representing. I have responded that teleosematics is an a posteriori thesis and so no more threatened by imaginary swampmen than water = H2O is threatened by XYZ. Peter Schulte has retorted that H2O may be the essence of water but evolutionary history isn’t the essence of representation. This talk will argue that, on a proper understanding of natural kinds, a posteriori essences, functional kinds, and representation, evolutionary history is indeed the essence of representation.
 
There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered.) If you have any other questions, please email denise.dykstra@rutgers.edu.

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Anthony Aguirre: Entropy in long-lived genuinely closed quantum systems

Anthony Aguirre (UCSC)
6:30-8:30pm Tuesday Feb 4; NYU Philosophy Department (5 Washington Place, New York, NY), 3rd floor seminar room
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Title: Entropy in long-lived genuinely closed quantum systems

Abstract: Physical systems are often considered “closed” or “isolated” as a convenient approximation.  But genuinely closed systems are possible, in some cases with unbounded duration.  Starting with definitions of the state space and coarse-graining of that space into “properties,” I’ll discuss several definitions of entropy, including a relatively new framework we have developed.  In the context of ultra-long-lived systems I’ll discuss equilibrium and large fluctuations away from it, including both simulations and some intriguing and perhaps counterintuitive analytic results.

There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered.) If you have any other questions, please email denise.dykstra@rutgers.edu. 

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MAPS Talks – Spring 2020

Anthony Aguirre (UCSC) – “Entropy in long-lived genuinely closed quantum systems”
6:30-8:30pm Tuesday Feb 4; NYU Philosophy Department (5 Washington Place), 3rd floor seminar room.

David Papineau (King’s College London & CUNY) – “The Nature of Representation”
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday March 3; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Jim Holt (Author of Why Does the World Exist?) – “Here, Now, Photon: Why Newton was closer to EM than Maudlin is”
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday April 7; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech)
4:30-6:30pm Tuesday April 28; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

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Christopher Weaver: In Praise of Clausius Entropy: Reassessing the Foundations of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics

Christopher Weaver (University of Illinois)
4:30-6:30pm Wednesday Nov 13; NYU Philosophy Department (5 Washington Place, New York, NY), room 202.

Title: In Praise of Clausius Entropy: Reassessing the Foundations of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics

Abstract: I will argue, pace a great many of my contemporaries, that there’s something right about Boltzmann’s attempt to ground the 2nd law of thermodynamics in deterministic time-reversal invariant classical dynamics, and that in order to appreciate what’s right about (what was at least at one time) Boltzmann’s explanatory project one has to fully apprehend the nature of (a) microphysical causal structure, (b) time-reversal invariance, and (c) the relationship between Boltzmann entropy and the work of Rudolf Clausius.

There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered.) If you have any other questions, please email denise.dykstra@rutgers.edu.

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Rutgers Conference on the Philosophy of Probability

On October 24-26, 2019, the Rutgers Philosophy Department will be holding a conference on the Philosophy of Probability. All are welcome to attend!

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Rutgers Conference on Philosophy of Probability
Location: Rutgers Philosophy Department; 106 Somerset St, 5th floor; New Brunswick, NJ
Oct 24 – 26, 2019

Conference Website: https://sites.rutgers.edu/laws-and-chance-project/probability-conference/

Invited Speakers: Ned Hall (Harvard); Jenann Ismael (Columbia); Katie Elliott (UCLA); Christopher Meacham (UMass Amherst); Carl Hoefer (Barcelona); Wayne Myrvold (Western Ontario); Richard Pettigrew (Bristol); Jack Spencer (MIT); Valia Allori (NIU); David Albert (Columbia)

Organizers: Barry Loewer (Rutgers); Denise Dykstra (Rutgers)

Schedule Overview (a detailed schedule, including talk titles and abstracts, is available here)

Thursday, Oct 24

  • 3:00 – 6:00 Topic: Metaphysics of Objective Probability (Ned Hall; Jenann Ismael)
  • 7:00 Conference Dinner (RSVP required)

Friday, Oct 25

  • 9:00 – 9:50 Coffee & Pastries
  • 9:50 – 10:00 Welcome & Introductory Remarks (Barry Loewer)
  • 10:00 – 1:00 Topic: Chance (Katie Elliott; Christopher Meacham)
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Break for lunch
  • 2:30 – 5:30 Topic: Probabilities in the Special Sciences (Carl Hoefer; Wayne Myrvold)
  • 6:30 Dinner (RSVP required)

Saturday, Oct 26

  • 9:00 – 10:00 Coffee & Pastries
  • 10:00 – 1:00 Topic: Chance-Credence Principles (Richard Pettigrew; Jack Spencer)
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Break for lunch
  • 2:30 – 5:30 Topic: Typicality and the Statistical Postulate (Valia Allori; David Albert)

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If you have any questions, please email denise.dykstra@rutgers.edu.

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CANCELLATION: Armin Schulz: Equilibrium Modeling in Economics: An Evolutionary Defense

This talk has been cancelled. We are working on rescheduling for a later date.

Armin Schulz (University of Kansas)
4:30-6:30pm Wednesday Oct 9; NYU Philosophy Department (5 Washington Place, New York, NY), room 202.


Title: Equilibrium Modeling in Economics: An Evolutionary Defense

Abstract: A traditional evolutionary economic criticism of mainstream economic analysis is that the latter is too strongly focused on equilibrium models and thus fails to do justice to the complex and dynamic nature of real economic systems. I here assess the plausibility of this criticism further. More specifically, I here seek to both determine whether it is true that the heavy reliance on equilibrium models in economics is problematic, and whether and how an appeal to evolutionary biology can prove useful towards answering this question (positively or negatively). To achieve this, I consider the discussion in evolutionary ecology surrounding the extent to which ecosystems can be expected to be stable, and analyze whether, when, and how insights from that discussion can be translated into the economic case. The upshot of this analysis will be the suggestion—countering the traditional evolutionary economic claims—that, in many cases, economic systems will be well analyzable with equilibrium models. In turn, this is due to the fact that, like ecosystems, economic systems plausibly often are “sorted” systems. However, I also show that the ways in which ecosystems and economic systems are sorted systems is very different. For this reason, I further make clear that whatever usefulness the appeal to evolutionary biology has in this context, it is only heuristic in nature. In this way, the present discussion also makes clearer the nature of cross-disciplinary heuristic support more generally.

There will be dinner after the talk. If you are interested, please send an email with “Dinner” in the heading to nyphilsci@gmail.com (please note that all are welcome, but only the speaker’s dinner will be covered.) If you have any other questions, please email denise.dykstra@rutgers.edu.

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Jeremy Butterfield: On Reductionism and Functionalism about Space and Time

Jeremy Butterfield (Cambridge)
4:30-6:30pm Monday Sept 9; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Title: On Reductionism and Functionalism about Space and Time.

Abstract: Various programmes and results in the philosophy/foundations of spacetime theories illustrate themes from reductionism and functionalism in general philosophy of science. I will focus on some programmes and results about how the physics of matter contributes to determining, or even determines, or even explains, chrono-geometry. I hope to say something about most of the following examples: in the philosophical literature, Robb (1914), and Mundy (1983); and in the physics literature: Barbour and Bertotti (1982); Hojman, Kuchar and Teitelboim (1976); Dull, Schuller et al. (2012, 2018); and Gomes & Shyam (2016).

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Michela Massimi: Exploratory models, laws and modality

Michela Massimi (Edinburgh)
2:30-4:30pm Thursday April 18; CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Ave, NYC), room 5307.

Title: Exploratory models, laws and modality.

Abstract: I analyse the exploratory function of two main modelling practices: targetless fictional models and hypothetical perspectival models. In both cases, I argue, modelers invite us to imagine or conceive something about the target system, which is either known to be non-existent (fictional models) or just hypothetical (in perspectival models). I clarify the kind of imagining or conceiving involved in each modelling practice, and I show how each—in its own right—delivers important modal knowledge. I illustrate these two kinds of exploratory models with Maxwell’s ether model and SUSY models at the LHC.

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