lundi 8 décembre 2014

Is There a Phenomenology of Agency? (M. Mylopoulos)

Conférence | Talk

(Carleton University and Institut Jean Nicod)

Is There a Phenomenology of Agency?

It is often held that, just as there is something it is like to smell a rose, taste chocolate, and hear a siren, there is something it is like to perform an action. In other words, a view to which many people are drawn is that there exists a phenomenology of agency. But while this is a common starting point for further theorizing, rarely is it critically examined on its own. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation. First, I clarify what theorists seem to have in mind when they claim that there is a distinctive, proprietary phenomenology of agency. Next, I canvass particular strategies for establishing that there is such a thing. To begin, I explain why introspection alone will not suffice for this task. Following this, I introduce and employ the socalled method of phenomenal contrast (cf. Siegel 2012), presenting contrasting pairs of cases, for which, in the one case, agentive phenomenology may seem to be present, and in the other, absent. I offer two types of skeptical response to such cases, which serve to block the inference to the best explanation that is required in order to establish the existence of agentive phenomenology on their basis. I then consider two further strategies for dealing with these skeptical responses. I label these the robust conceivability strategy (Horgan 2012) and the epistemic access strategy (cf. Goldman 1993; Pitt 2004). I argue that each of these fails to offer a satisfactory response to the skeptics, and therefore to give us good reason to believe that there is a phenomenology of agency. I conclude that skepticism about the existence of such phenomenology is alive and well. In the final section of the talk, I explain why, even given this result, all hope is not lost. I offer an account of conscious action that falls short of establishing that it is accompanied by any distinct, proprietary phenomenology, but arguably retains all the robust features of our awareness of ourselves as acting that theorists interested in this phenomenon set out to explain in the first place.

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Carleton University
Dunton Tower

mardi 25 novembre 2014

Freedom, Money, and Justice as Fairness (B. Neufeld)

Conférence | Talk

(University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

Freedom, Money, and Justice as Fairness

The first principle of John Rawls’s conception of ‘justice as fairness’ secures a set of ‘basic liberties’ equally for all citizens within the constitutional structure of society. The ‘worth’ of citizens’ basic liberties, however, may vary depending upon their wealth and income. Against Rawls, G. A. Cohen contends that an absence of money directly constrains citizens’ liberty, and not simply the worth of liberty. Cohen’s argument threatens a core feature of justice as fairness, as it is unclear why the parties within the ‘original position’ would endorse the lexical priority of the first principle over the ‘difference principle’ (which concerns the distribution of wealth and income in society) if both principles similarly shape the freedom enjoyed by citizens. In response to Cohen’s challenge, I advance five points. First, I explain that Rawls is concerned with the freedom of citizens to exercise their two ‘moral powers,’ their ‘sense of justice’ and their capacity for a ‘conception of the good,’ and not their overall ‘negative liberty.’ Second, with respect to citizens’ sense of justice, Rawls’s insistence that the ‘fair value’ of the political liberties be secured for all citizens inoculates this aspect of justice as fairness against Cohen’s challenge. Third, with respect to citizens’ second moral power, it is necessary to distinguish between its two aspects: (a) citizens’ capacity to form and revise their conceptions of the good, and (b) citizens’ capacity to pursue those conceptions. Fourth, clarifying the ‘basic needs principle’ within justice as fairness, including adding to it a right to adequate discretionary time, ensures that citizens will be roughly equally free to form and revise their conceptions of the good. Fifth, with respect to citizens’ freedom to pursue their conceptions of the good, Rawlsians should concede that the difference principle permits inequalities in this freedom, but minimizes them to the greatest feasible extent. I conclude that Cohen’s criticism of Rawls’s distinction between a liberty and its worth is not fatal to justice as fairness.

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Carleton University
River Building

The Justification of Statistical Decisions in Clinical Trials (R. Stanev)

Conférence | Talk

(Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and University of Ottawa Faculty of Medecine)

The Justification of Statistical Decisions in Clinical Trials

In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the proper conduct and monitoring of clinical trials. High on the agenda of clinical researchers is the inadequate reporting of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), including trials that are stopped early due to benefit, harm or futility. Despite efforts from regulatory agencies (e.g., Health Canada) issuing recommendations and guidance for both the conduct and reporting of RCTs, recent systematic reviews of RCTs show that top medical journals continue to publish trials without requiring authors to report sufficient details for readers to evaluate statistical decisions carefully.

In my talk, I present a systematic way of modeling and simulating interim decisions of RCTs. By taking an approach that is both general and rigorous, my proposal models and evaluates early stopping decisions of RCTs based on a clear and consistent set of criteria. The framework permits decision analysts to generate and answer 'what-if' questions by simulating alternate trial scenarios. I illustrate the framework with a case study of an RCT that was stopped early due to futility. This was a trial evaluating an intervention to prevent a brain-infection in HIV+ symptomatic individuals. 

Friday, November 28th, 2014

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall (55, Laurier East)
Room 8161

mardi 18 novembre 2014

Emotions and Agency (C. Tappolet)

Conférence | Talk

(Université de Montréal)

Emotions and Agency

What is the relationship between emotions and reasons? This question is central to the assessment of the common claim that emotions constitute a threat to the kind of agency that is often considered to be characteristic of human being, namely, autonomous agency. This is so because the capacity to respond to reasons is often thought to be essential to autonomous agency. The focus will be on cases of akratic actions caused by emotions that conflict with the agent's better judgement. I shall propose that even in such dysfunctional cases, we are able, under certain conditions, not only to track reasons but also to be reason-responsive when we act on our emotions.

Friday, November 21st, 2014

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall (55, Laurier East)
Room 8161

mardi 11 novembre 2014

The Monadology : A Conference in Honour of the text of 1714 and its Author, G. W. Leibniz

The Monadology

A Conference in Honour of the text of 1714
And its Author, G. W. Leibniz

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Simard 129
University of Ottawa


9: Graeme Hunter: “Leibniz Gets Spiritual: The Monadology in Context”

10: David Raynor: “Leibniz: Berkeley Freed of Paradox”

11: David Hyder: “Leibniz and Time”

12: Nigel DeSouza: “Leibniz and Herder on Analogy”


2:30: Laura Byrne: Is Descartes' God a Tyrant? Descartes and Leibniz on the Creation of the Eternal Truths

3:30 Hugh Hunter: “Leibniz, Berkeley, and the Miracle of Failure”

4:30: William Seager: “Leibniz, the “Mill” Argument and Panpsychism”


lundi 10 novembre 2014

Just Flourishing in the Interspecies Community (K. Wayne)

Conférence | Talk

(Queen's University)

Just Flourishing in the Interspecies Community

Domestic animals are deeply vulnerable to exploitation by humans. Their vulnerability to and dependence on humans, while variant in degree, is typically regarded as an essential and deliberate feature of their existence. Having few or no opportunities for living well independently of humans, domestic animals are now recognized by some scholars as being owed a robust form of membership in the mixed community. As a general approach to justice for domestic animals, what I will refer to as the membership model is both attractive and plausible. What it lacks is a satisfying account of just flourishing. Supplying such an account will require attention to variance in the capability of just flourishing among different kinds of beings, and the conflicting obligations that may arise from that variance. I argue that some difficulties with just flourishing result from what I refer to as the problem of harmful needs. Harmful needs, as I conceive of them, are essential to and reliably instantiated in certain forms of life; as such they may preclude the possibility for the mutually realized flourishing in which a good and just society consists. This leads me to claim, contra Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, that certain kinds of domestic animals may be legitimately excluded from membership. If this argument is correct, we are left with a serious ethical dilemma. Some of the domestic animals who we have brought into our community, and who are therefore owed distinctive obligations of care, cannot be included as members of a just interspecies community without jeopardizing the rights of other members. In a separate paper, I review and assess some of the possible responses to this dilemma; here I engage in the prior task of identifying the nature of the dilemma, and the sorts of ethical concepts and approaches we need to address it. I will argue in particular for an account of just flourishing and of harmful needs that is rooted in an ethical naturalist tradition. 

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Carleton University
River Building

jeudi 23 octobre 2014

Comment les Grecs ont-ils inventé la Nature? (A. Macé)

Conférence | Talk

(Université de Franche-Comté)

Comment les Grecs ont-ils inventé la Nature?

Les Grecs de l'époque archaïque ne possédaient pas la représentation de la Nature au sens d'un vaste ensemble peuplé de vivants, de corps et d'éléments, terrestres, aquatiques et célestes, unifié par des lois et des principes communs. Pourtant, cette totalité unifiée apparaît bien à la fin de l'époque classique, chez Platon et Aristote. Il s'agira de présenter les catégories et les schèmes qui ont permis cette évolution progressive, à travers l'époque archaïque et classique, d'Homère à Hippocrate, en passant par les philosophes présocratiques. On verra ce faisant que la Nature, a son origine, n'est pas l'autre de la culture, de la technique ou de la société, mais que ces dimensions que nous lui opposons spontanément aujourd'hui en firent d'abord tout simplement partie. 

Vendredi, 07 novembre 2014

Université d'Ottawa
Pavillon Desmarais (55, Laurier East)
Salle 8161

Sites of Deliberation in Contemporary Electoral Systems (D. Weinstock)

Conférence | Talk

(University McGill)

Sites of Deliberation in Contemporary Electoral Systems: On the Deliberative Defence of some Unfashionable Political Institutions

I argue that if we are concerned with increasing the potential for deliberation during electoral campaigns in liberal democracies, we ought to reconsider the disdain which has been heaped by many political philosophers upon two unfashionable democratic institutions: the "First Past the Post" electoral system, and party discipline. FPP incentivizes the creation of broad parties, which are important sites of deliberation and compromise, and party discipline focusses the attention of voters on party platforms (rather than, say, on the personalities of candidates) by increasing the probability that a vote for party X will actually lead to the adoption of party X's platform.

Friday, October 31st, 2014

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall (55, Laurier East)
Room 8161

jeudi 16 octobre 2014

Pitfalls in the Constitution of Personhood (N.-F. Wagner)

Conférence | Talk

(Mind, Brain and Neuroethics Research Unit, University of Ottawa)

Pitfalls in the Constitution of Personhood

The concept of personhood is bogged down by the entanglement of three closely related questions. In this talk, I disentangle (1) the question of what defines personhood from (2) the question of whether personhood is a feature of the real world. This will then be detached from (3) the question of how personhood is ascribed to others. I argue that ignoring these dimensions conflates ontological and normative considerations as to what constitutes personhood. Particularly, widespread ‘cognitivist’ views are threatened by invalid inferences from normative premises to factual conclusions. I end with some preliminary remarks on how evidence from developmental psychology and social neuroscience may be of use in setting the stage for a more plausible view of personhood.

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Carleton University
River Building

Maritain, la pensée des Lumières, et la philosophie phénoménologique | Maritain, the Enlightenment, and Phenomenology

jeudi 2 octobre 2014

Rape : The Question of Experience (L.M. Alcoff)

Conférence | Talk

(Hunter College, CUNY Graduate Center)

Rape : The Question of Experience

This paper will explore the complications involved in decisively naming, and thus interpreting, experiences of sexual violation. The issues for survivors are twofold: how do we settle on an interpretation, a word, even, when we articulate experiences of sexual violation? And, can we imagine a discursive relativism at work in regard to such events? These questions obviously connect to more general epistemological questions about the nature of experience formation and the role that experience plays in our formation of knowledge. If our experiences are discursively and historically constituted, even in part, by the happenstance of the cultures we are born into, by what Foucault wonderfully called our historical a priori, how does this alter the epistemic status, and fruitfulness, of experience claims?

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Carleton University
Patterson Hall

Classiques des sciences sociales

Les « Classiques des sciences sociales » constituent une occasion de lire un ouvrage important en sciences sociales, qu'on a parfois lu en partie ou dont on a entendu parler, mais qu'on n'a souvent pas eu l'occasion de lire au complet. Les années passées, les « Classiques » ont ainsi permis de découvrir des ouvrages tels que L'Éthique protestante et l'esprit du capitalisme, de Max Weber, les Manuscrits de 1844, de Karl Marx, La condition de l'homme moderne, d'Hannah Arendt, La grande transformation, de Karl Polanyi, ou Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse, d'Émile Durkheim.

Cette année, deux ouvrages de Sigmund Freud, L'avenir d'une illusion et Malaise dans la civilisation, sont au programme. Il s'agit d'ouvrages qui, par les thèmes qu'ils abordent, sauront intéresser à la fois les sociologues, les politologues, les criminologues, les philosophes et les historiens. Après une brève présentation par les animateurs, la discussion est ouverte entre tous les participants. Que l'on fasse partie du corps professoral ou du corps étudiant, tout le monde est le bienvenu !

Les séances auront lieu au FSS5028, de 17h30 à 19h, aux dates suivantes:

2 octobre 2014
30 octobre 2014
13 novembre 2014
22 janvier 2014
5 mars 2014
26 mars 2014

On peut se procurer gratuitement les deux ouvrages en contactant Alexandre Cournoyer à l'adresse courriel ci-dessus indiquée.

Sociologie/Théologie chez Fernand Dumont : quelle articulation?

mardi 23 septembre 2014

Hermeneutic Fictionalism: A Guide for the Perplexed (G. Contessa)

Conférence | Talk

(Carleton University)

Hermeneutic Fictionalism: A Guide for the Perplexed

Hermeneutic fictionalism (about some class of entities (e.g.: numbers, propositions, possible  worlds, moral properties, or aesthetic properties)) is the view that ordinary speakers engage with sentences that seem to refer to or quantify over those entities analogously to how they engage with the contents of works of fiction—i.e. by participating in an elaborate pretence. One standard objection to hermeneutic fictionalism is that pretence is luminous (i.e. one cannot pretend without knowing one is pretending) and that ordinary speakers do not usually see themselves as engaging in pretence when engaging in the relevant discourse. In this paper, I will argue that, contrary to what is usually assumed, one can engage in pretence without being fully aware of that fact that one is doing so.

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Carleton University
River Building

mardi 16 septembre 2014

La vie et l’après-vie d’un chien : Diogène le cynique et sa tradition (M. Sirois)

C’est avec grand plaisir que le Département des Études anciennes et Sciences des religions vous invite à participer à :
Une conférence intitulée
La vie et l’après-vie d’un chien : Diogène le cynique et sa tradition

Université McGill

Diogène de Sinope est une figure évasive et difficile à cerner dans l’histoire de la philosophie.  La biographie et la doxographie de ce personnage haut en couleur sont obscurcies par leur quasi absence de témoignages contemporains, mais Diogène demeure un philosophe incoutournable bien qu’inusité.  La conférence mettra en relief quelques “faits” et abordera la question de la tradition (évidemment, et nécessairement, littéraire) de Diogène.  Entre Histoire et fiction, que peut-on réellement savoir de la vie et la pensée de Diogène?  Et comment peut-on caractériser la tradition par laquelle il nous est connu?

19 septembre 2014

Salle SMD 123
Pavillon Simard
Université d’Ottawa
60 University, Ottawa

Une colation légère sera servie

Pour plus de renseignements:
Geoffrey Greatrex : 613-562-5800 x. 5808 ou

Sandra Clark : 613-562-5800 x.1163 ou

jeudi 11 septembre 2014

Justification of Deduction and Induction (F. Huber)

Conférence | Talk

(University of Toronto)

Justification of Deduction and Induction

This talk will cover some, but not all parts of a rather lengthy paper. The latter's thesis is that we can justify induction deductively, and that we can justify deduction inductively. I will begin by presenting my preferred variant of Hume (1739; 1748)'s argument for the thesis that we cannot justify the principle of induction. Then I will criticize the responses the resulting problem of induction has received by Carnap (1963; 1968) and by Goodman (1954), as well as briefly praise Reichenbach (1938; 1940)'s approach. 
Some of these authors compare induction to deduction. Haack (1976) compares deduction to induction, and I will critically discuss her argument for the thesis that we cannot justify the principles of deduction next. In concluding I will defend the thesis that we can justify induction by deduction, and deduction by induction, and that we can do so in a non-circular way. Along the way I will show how we can understand deduction and induction as normative theories, and I will argue that there are only hypothetical, but no categorical imperatives.

Friday, September 19th, 2014

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall (55, Laurier East)
Room 8161

mercredi 10 septembre 2014

Hegel Workshop

Atelier | Workshop

Hegel's Logic

John Burbidge (Trent University – Emeritus), noted Hegel scholar (The Logic of Hegel’s Logic) and external examiner for Wesley Furlotte’s upcoming PhD thesis defence, has agreed to lead an informal discussion on Hegel’s Logic (his own experience with its challenges, solutions etc.)

Source : Wikipedia
Friday, September 19th, 2014

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Building
Room 9143

mardi 9 septembre 2014

lundi 12 mai 2014

The Philosophy of James of Viterbo

An International Workshop
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Canada
May 20-22, 2014

Source : Wikipedia

James of Viterbo was a master of theology at the University of Paris in the last decade of the thirteenth century. He was a contemporary of Godfrey of Fontaines, Giles of Rome, and Henry of Ghent, and was, like them, a major player in the philosophical and theological debates of his day. The Ottawa workshop will be the first international workshop entirely devoted to the thought of James of Viterbo. It will bring together some of the leading specialists in James scholarship and will cover all the major areas of his philosophical oeuvre, namely his philosophical theology, metaphysics, philosophy of nature, ethics, legal and political philosophy.

mercredi 26 mars 2014

Dépasser la métaphysique - au nom du Seigneur. Philosophie et théologie selon Jean-Luc Marion (T. Alferi)

Conférence | Talk

(Université de l'Ouest, Angers)

Dépasser la métaphysique - au nom du Seigneur. Philosophie et théologie selon Jean-Luc Marion

Jean-Luc Marion. (Source : Wikipedia)

Mardi, 15 avril, 2014

Collège universitaire dominicain
96 avenue Empress
Salle Albert-Le-Grand

Music & Philosophy (M. Allard/R.L.Gray)

Lecture – Conférence
 Maxime Allard o.p. 
Women and "Salvation" in Wagner's Operas
Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 6:45 p.m.
 Samedi le 29 mars 2014 à 18h45

    Rebecca Lynn Gray - Soprano
 Saturday, March 29th, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. 
Samedi le 29 mars 2014 à 19h30
Good times in the great company of Giuseppe Verdi, Samuel Barber,Georg Friedrich HandelJoaquín Turinaand Franz Peter Schubert.

Contemporary Dialogues with Ancient Thought | En dialogue avec la pensée ancienne

lundi 24 mars 2014

Bolzano's Theory of Collections : A Chapter in the history of Formal ontology (P. Rusnock)

Conférence | Talk

(University of Ottawa)

Bolzano's Theory of Collections : A Chapter in the history of Formal ontology

Source : Wikipedia

Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848) is now widely recognized for his prescient work in logic.  It is less well known that he was equally creative in the area Husserl called formal ontology.  His most important contribution there was his theory of collections [Inbegriffe], which received several different treatments in his published and unpublished writings, beginning with the of the Contributions to a Better-Grounded Presentation of Mathematics (1810), and continuing right through to the posthumously published Paradoxes of the Infinite (1851).  Bolzano's twentieth-century readers mostly tried to make sense of Bolzano's theory in terms of Cantor's set theory and Lesniewski's mereology.  But although Bolzano's theory has affinities with both of these better-known systems, it is different in its details, scope and approach.  My talk will give a general introduction to his mature theory of collections, discuss some of its applications,  and point towards some areas for future research.

Friday, March 28th, 2014

University of Ottawa
Desmarais Hall (55, Laurier East)
Room 8161

vendredi 21 mars 2014

From the 'Bankruptcy of Science' to the 'Death of Evidence': Science and its Value (S. Psillos)

ISSP Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Stathis Psillos

From the 'Bankruptcy of Science' to the 'Death of Evidence': Science and its Value
Dr. Stathis Psillos, Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy, Western University

Thursday, April 10, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Desmarais Building, University of Ottawa
55 Laurier Avenue East, Room 4101

Free. In English.
Reception to follow talk. 
"The 'war against science' is nothing new. The first 'bankruptcy of science' debate took place in France at the turn of the 20th century, was fuelled mostly by conservative public intellectuals, and brought evidence up for debate. Is history repeating itself now in Canada? The trend raises important questions: What were and are the key external and internal criticisms of science and evidence in particular? How are these tied to a particular image of science? What is needed to defend science and its claim to objectivity and truth?"

This event organized is in collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Situating Science Strategic Knowledge Cluster.

jeudi 13 mars 2014

Le Phédon ou les dernières heures de Socrate (C. Collobert)

Conférence | Talk

Série Les Trésors de la Bibliothèque

(Université d'Ottawa)

Le Phédon ou les dernières heures de Socrate

Buste de Socrate (Source : Wikipedia)

Jeudi 27 mars 2014

Université d'Ottawa
Pavillon Simard (60 Rue Université)