Colloquium Series: 2022-2023

Talks will be in the Danielsen Room, Rabb 338, unless otherwise noted. Events are updated throughout the semester. Please check back often.

Fall 2022

September 8, 2022

Berislav Marušić, is a Senior Lecturer of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh

His talk is titled,

"Interpersonal Reasoning"

He writes, "Anscombe famously said, 'It is an insult and it may be an injury not to be believed.' But what is it to believe someone? My aim is to show that understanding what it is to believe someone requires a conception of a distinctive kind of interpersonal reasoning. To do so, I develop an analogy between interpersonal reasoning and an Anscombean conception of practical reasoning. Drawing on the work of Richard Moran, I suggest that the distinctive ‘form’ of interpersonal reasoning is recognition. I furthermore argue that this is to be understood as a primarily logical, rather than epistemological point. In concluding, I explain why a notion of interpersonal reasoning makes available an ethics of thought and, specifically, an account of testimonial injustice."

Please note: this talk will be held from 11 AM to 1 PM in Rabb Graduate Center Room 338.

A Talk by Branden Fitelson, Northeastern University

October 21, 2022

Branden Fitelson is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University. Before teaching at Northeastern, Branden held teaching positions at Rutgers, UC-Berkeley, San José State, and Stanford and visiting positions at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at LMU-Munich (MCMP @ LMU) and the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam (ILLC @ UvA). Branden got his MA & PhD in philosophy from UW-Madison. Before entering philosophy, Branden studied math & physics at Wisconsin, and he worked as a research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a NASA contractor.
A Talk by Darien Pollock, Boston University

November 11, 2022

Darien Pollock, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Boston University, wrote his thesis, “Cultural Hegemony, Political Movements, and the Problem of Publicity” while completing his doctorate at Harvard University. He teaches courses in Ethics, Philosophy of Law, Political Theory, and the Philosophy of Race.

Spring 2023

A Talk by Kate Nolfi, University of Vermont

February 3, 2023

Kate Nolfi is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Vermont. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of epistemology, metaethics, and the philosophy of mind. Three questions guide her work. They are (1) what are beliefs? (2) what does it take to have beliefs that are justified, or to believe rationally? And, (3) why should we care about whether our beliefs are justified, or whether we believe in ways that are rational? Kate's research investigates these questions together, as inextricably interrelated and mutually informative.

Kate is also interested in the ethics of food - in particular, in whether and how the choices we make regarding what we eat reveal and perhaps even help to constitute our moral characters.

March 10, 2023

Tamar moved to MIT after teaching at Stanford from 2000-2015. She is interested in ethical theory, the history of ethics (especially Kant and the British Moralists), practical reasoning and human agency. Her recent book, Feeling Like It: a Theory of Inclination and Will (Oxford, 2021), develops a Kantian theory of inclination and its role in motivation.



April 28, 2023

Ned Hall is the Norman E. Vuilleumier Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. He writes, "I work on a range of topics in metaphysics and epistemology that overlap with philosophy of science. (Which is to say: the best topics in metaphysics and epistemology.) Are there “fundamental” laws of nature? What are they – as distinct, say, from accidentally true generalizations, or the causal generalizations that seem to figure in the special sciences? Suppose it’s a truism that one of the central aims of scientific inquiry is to uncover the causal structure of our world (at many different time- and length-scales); what does “causal structure” need to mean, for this truism to be not merely true but illuminating? What are the varieties of probability, and can any of them be said to be properly “objective”? What would it take for one science to “reduce” to another? Must fundamental physics have an intelligible ontology – and if so, what does this constraint amount to? Is there any need for a conception of ‘metaphysical possibility’ that outstrips physical possibility? Can there be any basis for skepticism about unobservable structure that is not also, and equally, a basis for skepticism about unobserved structure? (And so on.) I firmly believe that philosophical discourse always goes better if the parties involved resolutely avoid any “burden-shifting” maneuvers, and that teaching always goes better if you bring cookies."