Topic: The Science to Save Us from Philosophy of Science
Speaker: Prof. Ahti Pietarinen, Professor, University of Helsinki, Finland & Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Date: Monday, 30 June 2014
Time: 4:30pm-6:30pmVenue: Room 220, Fung King Hey BuildingDelivered in English
Are knowledge and belief pivotal in science, as contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science tends to assume? I defend the view that scientists are not primarily concerned with knowledge and that the methods of arriving at scientific hypotheses, models and scenarios does not commit us having stable beliefs about them.Instead, what drives scientific discovery is related to a kind of ignorance that scientists can cleverly exploit. Not an absence or negation of knowledge, ignorance is what is brought to the fore by retroductive (abductive) inferences, roughly characterised as reasoning from effects to causes. I argue that recent discoveries in sciences that coped with under-structured problem spaces testify the prevalence of retroductive logic in scientific discovery and its progress. This puts paid to the need of finding epistemic justification or confirmation to retroductive methodologies. A scientist, never frightened of the unknown unknowns, strives to advance the forefront of uncertainty, not that of belief or knowledge. Far from rendering science irrational, I conclude that catering well for the right conditions in which to cultivate such ignorance is a key to how uberous retroductive inferences (true guesses) can arise.
Key words: Retroduction; Peirce; Scientific discovery; Guessing; Fundamental uncertainty; Uberty, Ethics of Science.
Topic: In Defense of AnalyticitySpeaker: Dr. Haipeng Zhang, Department of Philosophy, CUHKDate: Monday, 9 June 2014Time: 4:30 – 6:30 pmVenue: Room 409, Fung King Hey BuildingAll are welcome
has criticized analyticity. To answer Quine’s challenge, Boghossian
distinguishes metaphysical analyticity and epistemological analyticity.
He argues that epistemological analyticity exists while metaphysical
analyticity does not. But, Timothy Williamson rejects epistemological
analyticity. In this seminar, I will defend both metaphysical
analyticity and epistemological analyticity. I will offer an original
argument to defend metaphysical analyticity.
The new argument holds
that metaphysical analyticity is true in virtue of concepts rather than
true in virtue of meanings. I will argue that analytic propositions are
about the logical relations of realities. And these logical relations
are the projections of our conceptual systems. So, the truth of analytic
statements is completely determined by the concepts they contain. That
is to say, what make an analytic statement true are concepts alone. And
then, I will defend epistemological analyticity by means of proposing a
new conception of analyticity – justificatory analyticity. I will show
that both Boghossian and Williamson’s definitions of epistemological
analyticity are improper. The proper conception of epistemological
analyticity should be justificatory analyticity.