57 episodes

Mathematical Philosophy - the application of logical and mathematical methods in philosophy - is about to experience a tremendous boom in various areas of philosophy. At the new Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, which is funded mostly by the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, philosophical research will be carried out mathematically, that is, by means of methods that are very close to those used by the scientists.
The purpose of doing philosophy in this way is not to reduce philosophy to mathematics or to natural science in any sense; rather mathematics is applied in order to derive philosophical conclusions from philosophical assumptions, just as in physics mathematical methods are used to derive physical predictions from physical laws.
Nor is the idea of mathematical philosophy to dismiss any of the ancient questions of philosophy as irrelevant or senseless: although modern mathematical philosophy owes a lot to the heritage of the Vienna and Berlin Circles of Logical Empiricism, unlike the Logical Empiricists most mathematical philosophers today are driven by the same traditional questions about truth, knowledge, rationality, the nature of objects, morality, and the like, which were driving the classical philosophers, and no area of traditional philosophy is taken to be intrinsically misguided or confused anymore. It is just that some of the traditional questions of philosophy can be made much clearer and much more precise in logical-mathematical terms, for some of these questions answers can be given by means of mathematical proofs or models, and on this basis new and more concrete philosophical questions emerge. This may then lead to philosophical progress, and ultimately that is the goal of the Center.

MCMP – Logic Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

    • Philosophy

Mathematical Philosophy - the application of logical and mathematical methods in philosophy - is about to experience a tremendous boom in various areas of philosophy. At the new Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, which is funded mostly by the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, philosophical research will be carried out mathematically, that is, by means of methods that are very close to those used by the scientists.
The purpose of doing philosophy in this way is not to reduce philosophy to mathematics or to natural science in any sense; rather mathematics is applied in order to derive philosophical conclusions from philosophical assumptions, just as in physics mathematical methods are used to derive physical predictions from physical laws.
Nor is the idea of mathematical philosophy to dismiss any of the ancient questions of philosophy as irrelevant or senseless: although modern mathematical philosophy owes a lot to the heritage of the Vienna and Berlin Circles of Logical Empiricism, unlike the Logical Empiricists most mathematical philosophers today are driven by the same traditional questions about truth, knowledge, rationality, the nature of objects, morality, and the like, which were driving the classical philosophers, and no area of traditional philosophy is taken to be intrinsically misguided or confused anymore. It is just that some of the traditional questions of philosophy can be made much clearer and much more precise in logical-mathematical terms, for some of these questions answers can be given by means of mathematical proofs or models, and on this basis new and more concrete philosophical questions emerge. This may then lead to philosophical progress, and ultimately that is the goal of the Center.

    • video
    Prioritizing Epistemic Arguments for Justice in the Academy

    Prioritizing Epistemic Arguments for Justice in the Academy

    Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students 2015, Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo) gives the evening lecture at the Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students (26 July - 1 Agusut, 2015) titled "Prioritizing Epistemic Arguments for Justice in the Academy". Abstract: White women, and men and women who are members of some racialized groups are underrepresented in many areas of academic research. In addition to the ethical benefits of addressing this problem and improving diversity within our research communities, I have argued that there are also positive epistemic outcomes of this work. In other words, I have argued that improving diversity generally results in better research. In this paper I explore the relationship between these ethical and epistemic approaches, and conclude that significant ethical benefits arise from focusing on epistemic arguments for improving diversity in our universities.

    • 59 min
    • video
    Context-dependence and the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

    Context-dependence and the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface

    Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students 2015, Isidora Stojanovic (Jean Nicod Institute Paris) gives a lecture (first session) at the Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students (26 July - 1 Agusut, 2015) titled "Context-dependence and the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface". Abstract: Context-dependence is ubiquitous not only in language, but in cognition and action more generally. In the first part of the course, we shall introduce two basic tools from formal semantics (and pragmatics) that help understanding how the truth of a statement may depend on the context: on the one hand, the notion of presupposition, and on the other, possible world semantics, with its extensions and applications to modality, tense and doxastic expressions. In the second part, we shall use these tools to address a range of issues at the semantics-pragmatics interface, such as the relationship between alethic, deontic and epistemic modals, or the context-sensitivity of knowledge attributions and belief reports.

    • 1 hr 12 min
    • video
    Introduction to Networks

    Introduction to Networks

    Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students 2015, Kevin Zollman (CMU) gives a lecture (first session) at the Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students (26 July - 1 Agusut, 2015) titled "Introduction to Networks". Abstract: Social networks have become a central feature of the scientific study of social behavior and have been imported into philosophical discussions – like ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of science – where social behavior is important. In ethics, scholars have asked what effect social networks might have on the evolution and maintenance of different ethical norms like fairness, cooperation, and altruism. As epistemologists have begun to take the social nature of knowledge more seriously, they too have begun to ask about how networks might influence the way knowledge is generated and transmitted. Finally, in philosophy of science scholars have asked how incorporating networks might change scientific theory, and how networks of scientists might come to learn about the world. This course will introduce students to the basics of social networks, some of the uses of social networks in philosophy, and how to understand and analyze networks for original research. Because some of the analysis of social networks requires the use of computer simulation, this course will also teach students how to use the computational tool NetLogo for analyzing networks. No prior knowledge of programing is expected.

    • 1 hr 16 min
    • video
    Attitudes in Epistemology: Belief vs. Credence

    Attitudes in Epistemology: Belief vs. Credence

    Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students 2015, Julia Staffel (Washington University in St. Louis) gives a lecture (first session) at the Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students (26 July - 1 Agusut, 2015) titled "Attitudes in Epistemology: Belief vs. Credence". Abstract: This lecture stream is intended to be an introduction to some central topics in formal epistemology. Formal epistemology is a relatively recent branch of epistemology, which uses formal tools such as logic and probability theory in order to answer questions about the nature of rational belief. An important feature that distinguishes formal epistemology from traditional epistemology is not just its use of formal tools, but also its understanding of the nature of belief. Traditional epistemology tends to focus almost exclusively on what is called ‘outright belief’, where the options considered are just belief, disbelief, or suspension of judgment. By contrast, it is widely accepted among formal epistemologists that this conception of belief is too coarse-grained to capture the rich nature of our doxastic attitudes. They posit that humans also have degrees of belief, or credences, which can take any value between full certainty that something is true, and certainty that it is false. The shift in focus towards degrees of belief has generated a rich research program, parts of which integrate with issues in traditional epistemology, and parts of which are specific to the debate about degrees of belief. Important questions in the field are for example: How are degrees of belief related to outright beliefs? What constraints are there on rational degrees of belief, and how can they be defended? How can we adequately represent degrees of belief in a formal framework? How do ideal epistemological norms bear on what non-ideal agents like us ought to believe? The results of these debates are relevant for many areas of philosophy besides epistemology, such as philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and practical reasoning.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    • video
    Theory of Graded Consequence

    Theory of Graded Consequence

    Colloquium Mathematical Philosophy, Mihir K. Charaborty (Kolkata) gives a talk at the MCMP Colloquium (9 July, 2015) titled "Theory of Graded Consequence".

    • 1 hr 7 min
    • video
    Connective Meanings in Beall and Restall's Logical Pluralism

    Connective Meanings in Beall and Restall's Logical Pluralism

    Colloquium Mathematical Philosophy, Teresa Kouri (Ohio State) gives a talk at the MCMP Colloquium (21 May, 2015) titled "Connective Meanings in Beall and Restall's Logical Pluralism". Abstract: I will show that there is a problem with the meanings of the connectives as presented in Beall and Restall's Logical Pluralism. In their system, they claim that $\neg$ in constructive logic and $\neg$ in relevant logic are one and the same. I show this cannot be, given how they have defined the meaning of a logical connective. I suggest that this type of problem is typical of a certain way of thinking about the meanings of connectives, and gesture towards an alternate route to logical pluralism which does not encounter such problems.

    • 45 min

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