17.07.2023, 13:00 EET Tzvetan Moev (Duke University) - The Functional Approach to Causation
Venue: Sofia University, Rectorate Building, Room 63 (South Wing)
Abstract: Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation is influential yet controversial. Many philosophers reject it because it is circular (Strevens, 2007, 2008; Paul and Hall, 2013; Papineau, 2022a). However, they are more sympathetic towards Woodward’s more general approach towards causation. In contrast to a lot of earlier philosophical work on causation, this approach, known as the functional approach, emphasises actual scientific methods for causal inference and thinking about how we are using our theories of causation. The first aim of this paper is to break the link between Woodward’s interventionist theory and the functional approach and extract the functional approach. I then argue that the functional approach can stand on its own and show how we should think about it.
23.02.2022, 14:00 EET Plamen Chergarov - Reliabilsm and Systems Theory
Reliabilsm and Systems Theory Seminar by: Plamen Chergarov
Abstract: Traditionally, reliabilism is a project that aims to establish a credible process that guarantees true beliefs. This process has an epistemic status such that knowledge can be traced to the reliability of the main elements of the process. Systems theory provides us with a key understanding of the criteria by which we can determine whether knowledge is due to epistemic luck or is reliably achieved. The system is an interconnected set of elements that are coherently organized in a way, such that they achieve a certain result. Considering the reliability of the grounds for a belief as a system gives us the necessary points of reference, through which we can attribute different levels of accuracy of beliefs, as well as the limits of permissible error. In this sense, reliability is the result of the interaction of the elements within the system and whether the system manages to achieve "knowledge".
15.02.2021 Madelaine Angelova-Elchinova - Intuitions as the Demise of Normativity
Welcome to our next analytic seminar which will take place on 15.02.2021 in Zoom. ZOOM LINK: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2989443886?pwd=QVNkUy9ybXBFbkNSczJGemFwU1BTUT09 Meeting ID: 298 944 3886 Passcode: 277M0v
Intuitions as the Demise of Normativity (In English) Seminar by: Madelaine Angelova-Elchinova
Abstract: As successfully showed by Herman Cappelen, intuition-talk occupies a serious portion of philosophical research, both in first-order, as well as in second-order philosophy. The majority of arguments against intuition-talk can be regarded as an attack against the tool itself (e.g. against the instrument ‘philosophical intuition’). Most of them are either representing an attempt to undermine the credibility of intuitions – thus, their function to provide proper justification, or they are focusing on the mere nature of intuitions. In my talk, I hope to expose one very different way in which intuition methodology may come up short. I am going to argue that even if there is nothing wrong with the tool itself, relying on intuition-talk and intuition methodology is incompatible with normativity. Such claim has an advantage, because it is more modest than the attack against intuitions as the central tool of intuition methodology. In the same time, it is a weaker claim because in leaves open the possibility that philosophy is not a normative discipline. However, I am still going to insinuate that leaving normativity behind in favour of intuition-talk can have destructive consequences and that it can probably render philosophy a quite futile exercise of sharing one`s private intuitions. In the beginning of my talk, I am going to introduce a very broad definition of ‘normativism’. Different versions of normativе claims can and do come with wide range of variation. Nevertheless, an argument in favour of a broader metaphilosophical claim concerning the incompatibility of intuition-talk and normativity requires the exposure of ‘the core’ of normativism. Therefore, the second task of my talk will be to analyze how philosophical intuitions are related to normativity. I will use a definition of philosophical intuitions that I have provided in a previous paper. Also, I will try to account for the methodological role that intuitions are supposed to play in philosophy, by reviewing the role they play in two particular domains – moral theory and theories of justification. What is going to be of interest here, is that intuitions are often used as a stepping stone for the construal of different normative claim. The relation between intuition-talk and such normative claims will be carefully examined. Thus, in the last portion of my talk I am going to show that there is indeed a tension between our understanding of intuitions and our understanding of normativity. My aim is to show that even if such a discrepancy may seem quite obvious and trivial, it is still what makes intuition methodology incompatible with normativism. Key words: first-order philosophy, intuitions, normativity, justification
06.12.2016 Ivan Ivanov - "An Externalist Account of Hallucination"
Welcome to our next analytic seminar on 6 Dec. 2016, Sofia University, Hall 2: An Externalist Account of Hallucination (In English) Seminar by: Ivan Ivanov
Abstract: Naive realists have tended to combine their externalist account of the sensory character of perception with an internalist account of the character of matching hallucinations. This combination makes nave realism vulnerable to the so-called ‘reverse causal argument’ (Martin 2004), in response to which most naive realists have adopted an epistemic conception of the character of hallucination in terms of introspective indiscriminability from genuine perceptual awareness. I suggest that the more straightforward and less problematic response to the argument is to adopt a minimal externalist account of hallucination. First, the problem posed by the reverse causal argument seems to reemerge even under the epistemic variety of internalism. Second, there turns out to be no good argument against the minimal externalist account of hallucination. Third, the putative constitutive role played by external factors with regard to the character of perceptual episodes suggests a similar constitutive role for external factors in the case of matching hallucinatory episodes.