Abstract: Logic and Rationality; Disagreement and Evidence – Greg Restall
|

Abstract: Logic and Rationality; Disagreement and Evidence – Greg Restall

The resurgence of fact talk in political and public discourse — primarily seen in the rise of so-called “fact-checking” websites—is welcome phenomenon, but what does it signify, and why should we welcome it? I’ll attempt to explain how care and attention to talk of facts and reasons can play a vital role in our public discourse, even in the…

Philosophy of Science – What & Why?
| | | |

Philosophy of Science – What & Why?

Interview with John Wilkins: Every so often, somebody will attack the worth, role or relevance of philosophy on the internets, as I have discussed before. Occasionally it will be a scientist, who usually conflates philosophy with theology. This is as bad as someone assuming that because I do some philosophy I must have the Meaning…

Panel: The Demarcation Problem – What is Science, and What Isn’t Science?
|

Panel: The Demarcation Problem – What is Science, and What Isn’t Science?

The demarcation problem in the philosophy of science is about how to distinguish between science and nonscience, including between science, pseudoscience, other activities, and beliefs. The debate continues after over a century of dialogue among philosophers of science and scientists in various fields, and despite broad agreement on the basics of scientific method. For Popper,…

Life, Knowledge and Natural Selection – How Life (Scientifically) Designs its Future – Bill Hall
| |

Life, Knowledge and Natural Selection – How Life (Scientifically) Designs its Future – Bill Hall

Studies of the nature of life, evolutionary epistemology, anthropology and history of technology leads me reluctantly to the conclusion that Moore’s Law is taking us towards some kind of post-human singularity. The presentation explores fundamental aspects of life and knowledge, based on a fusion of Karl Popper’s (1972) evolutionary epistemology and Maturana and Varela’s (1980)…

The Shaky Foundations of Science: An Overview of the Big Issues – James Fodor
|

The Shaky Foundations of Science: An Overview of the Big Issues – James Fodor

Many people think about science in a fairly simplistic way: collect evidence, formulate a theory, test the theory. By this method, it is claimed, science can achieve objective, rational knowledge about the workings of reality. In this presentation I will question the validity of this understanding of science. I will consider some of the key…

Abstract: Skepticism and the Psychology of Magic – Ashley Barnett
| | |

Abstract: Skepticism and the Psychology of Magic – Ashley Barnett

Our brain’s simulation of the external world, our conscious experience, is often wrong. Optical illusions demonstrate how our perception of objects can be mistaken. Analogously, magic tricks are cognitive illusions that vividly illustrate how our perception and understanding of events can go awry.  Thanks to recent work by neuroscientists and psychologists we know under what…

Abstract – Science v Pseudoscience: What’s the Difference? – Kevin Korb

Abstract – Science v Pseudoscience: What’s the Difference? – Kevin Korb

Science has a certain common core, especially a reliance on empirical methods of assessing hypotheses. Pseudosciences have little in common but their negation: they are not science. They reject meaningful empirical assessment in some way or another. Popper proposed a clear demarcation criterion for Science v Rubbish: Falsifiability. However, his criterion has not stood the…

Abstract: Can Religion Accommodate Science and Must Science Accommodate Religion? – John Wilkins
|

Abstract: Can Religion Accommodate Science and Must Science Accommodate Religion? – John Wilkins

It is often said that some or all of science and religion conflict with each other, and that one must choose between them. In this talk John Wilkins will look at how science and religion interact, and show that the issues are more complex and subtle than often claimed. What is the relationship between religion…

Previous Conference a Success! Science, Technology & the Future
|

Previous Conference a Success! Science, Technology & the Future

Science, Technology & the Future was held on Nov 30 – Dec 1 2013, Melbourne Australia What will the future be like? Right now, the technologies that we use to understand the world are in the process of a major transformation. Almost every field of knowledge is generating vast quantities of data, requiring unprecedented computing…

A Conference on Philosophy of Science & Epistemology
|

A Conference on Philosophy of Science & Epistemology

Few could predict just how fast and dramatic the social, economic and political impacts of computer technology have been in out lifetimes. This Summer, leading scientists, inventors and philosophers will gather in Melbourne to discuss philosophy of science & epistemology. Previous conferences 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 each drew over a hundred local, interstate and…