Wednesday, December 10, 2014

FALL 2014 Lectures Series (No.8):Aristotle’s view of causation

Date & Time: Friday, 12 Dec., 2-4 p.m.
Venue: Rm 202, Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences Education, NYMU

About the theme

Aristotle provides a compelling account of the metaphysics of powers but focuses little on how they act in combination[1]. Contemporary science, by contrast, is centrally concerned with nomological machines (often termed mechanisms): arrangements of features and powers whose repeat operation can rise to laws of nature. Nomological machines typically involve the simultaneous exercising of multiple powers, which we may take to be Aristotelian[2], so that the question of how such powers combine is central to modern science – but is unfortunately far from adequately answered.

The exercisings of some powers seem to be contributions to immediate changing, e.g. powers which result in forces, and perhaps (but perhaps not) the powers to heat / cool, to dissolve, or to chemically react. The exercisings of other powers are processes which take time, e.g. the power of a pendulum to swing, a cistern to produce a flush, a neuron to fire, or a glass to smash. I explore a range of examples featuring combinations of powers with each of these two sorts of timing: this suggests a diversity of case types of how powers combine (which should perhaps not surprise an adherent of the Stanford School). However, it seems that (often at least) the exercise of a power that occurs over time relies on structures within the machine to coordinate the relevant powers of the parts. For such time extended powers, it seems that we might reframe the question of how the exercising of powers combine, as a question concerning how the structures which license those powers combine in forming the machine arrangement. I explain how this approach might lead to a more unified account of how Aristotelian powers combine.

[1] In combinations other than correlate agent-patient powers, that is. For a good account of Aristotle’s metaphysics of powers see Anna Marmodoro’s The union of cause and effect in Aristotle (2007).
[2] Cartwright & Pemberton (2012), Aristotelian powers: without them, what would modern science do?

About the speaker

John Pemberton, Associate at the Centre for Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences at LSE

Change, powers, causation, arrangement, structure, laws

FALL 2014 Lectures Series (No.7):Physical vs. mathematical structures: is there a difference?

Date & Time: Wed, 10 Dec., 2-4 p.m.
Venue: Rm 242, Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences Education, NYMU

About the speaker

Alexandre Guay, 比利時 魯汶大學副教授,物理學哲學家

Philosophy of Physics, Ontology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Biology, History of Science, Philosophy of Science, Evolutionary Biology, Aristotle, Behavioral Ecology

Thursday, December 04, 2014

FALL 2014 Lectures Series (No.6):從西田哲學來看現象學的「超越」問題

Date & Time: Friday, 5 Dec., 2-4 p.m.
Venue: Rm 202, Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences Education, NYMU

About the theme


About the speaker

黃文宏,德國弗萊堡大學 哲學博士,清華大學 哲學研究所所長


Monday, December 01, 2014



時間:  2014/12/26 (五)   10:30-17:10

地點:  陽明大學 活動中心第二會議室




洪裕宏 Allen  Houng (陽明大學心智哲學研究所)


張立鴻Li-Hung Chang (國立陽明大學人文與社會教育中心)

嚴如玉Karen Yan (國立陽明大學心智哲學研究所)

Jonathon Hricko (中央研究院歐美研究所)

林映彤 Ying-Tung Lin  (德國古騰堡大學)

邱千蕙 Lynn Chiu (美國密蘇里大學哲學系)

簡芃 Emma Chien  (加拿大亞伯達大學哲學系)