Final 2012 reading group meetings and RIP lecture


The fourth and fifth meetings of the reading group on A. W. Moore’s The Evolution of Modern Metaphysics took place on Monday, 25 November from 3.30 to 5pm and, respectively, on Wednesday, 12 December from 4.30 to 6pm, both in CM1.24 (Claus Moser Research Centre, Keele University).

As promised, I recorded the discussions and I post them here: Meeting 4, Part 1, 2 and 3, and Meeting 5, Part 1 and 2.

Meeting 4: The meeting began with a presentation of Chapter 3 (Leibniz: Metaphysics in the Service of Theodicy), given by Jonathan Head. In addition to Jonathan and me, participants included Victoria Door, Stephen Leach, Philippe Blenkiron and Lavinia Udrea.

Meeting 5: The meeting began with a presentation of Chapter 4 (Hume: Metaphysics Committed to the Flames?), which was offered by Lavinia Udrea. Other participants included Victoria Door, Stephen Leach, Philippe Blenkiron, Jonathan Head, Lavinia Udrea and Adnan Mhidin.

For the next meeting, we will focus on Chapter 5, Kant: The Possibility, Scope and Limits of Metaphysics. The day, time and place for the next meeting, as well as the name of the participant who will do the introductory presentation, will be posted here before long.

If you would like to join this reading group, either to attend meetings or to contribute virtually through this blog, email me at: s.baiasu[at] or simply post a comment.

The final 2012 Royal Institute of Philosophy Invited Lecture was given by Lilian O’Brien, from University College Cork, on 27 November. The title of her talk was ‘Beyond Psychologism and Anti-psychologism’ and an abstract follows:

Everyday action explanation – the explanation of action in terms of the agent’s reasons – is central to mutual understanding and our social life more generally. Two broad camps have emerged in the debate about how to characterise this kind of explanation: Psychologism and Anti-psychologism. Psychologists take reasons, and hence, what is referred to in the explanans of an action explanation, to be psychological states, such as desire-belief pairs. Anti-psychologists are a more inchoate group, but on one prominent view reasons are ‘normative states of affairs’ – states of affairs in the world such as a child’s hunger (explaining why I gave her food) or a beautiful painting (why I bought it, etc.). I take the dispute between Psychologists and Anti-psychologists over action explanation as my pivot: are psychological states or something like normative states of affairs doing the explanatory work in action explanation? My main claim is that neither kind of view is correct and that the contents of the psychological states of the agent explain – the contents are explanatory by being inputs to a simulated deliberation that the exapainer engages in.

The Royal Institute of Philosophy invited Lecture series will resume on 5 February 2013, Further information will be posted here in due course.

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.