Welcome to the Sydney philosophy seminars!

To the right is a mini calendar; it contains locked down and confirmed seminars. Just because a Wednesday is empty at some point, doesn't mean it isn't almost locked down though!

I have set the calendars by default to "agenda" view. Click "look for more", and keep clicking until the list of seminars is as long as you want. By clicking on the month or week tabs on the top right of the calendar you can switch to a traditional calendar view.

All Wednesday seminars will be in The Muniment Room on Wednesdays at 1 PM. Current Projects seminars on Thursdays in the Muniment Room at 3PM. Info on conferences and other seminars is available at their respective sites.

Below you will find blog posts which contain some information and announcements, and also discussion of seminars.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Multiple calendars now here on UsydSeminars

There are now three calendars being served to this page.

The gold entries are departmental seminars, the green entries are current projects seminars and the purple entries are philosophy conferences and workshops organized by the University of Sydney. It may be a couple of days before the current projects and conference entries will reflect all that we have planned for you!


Saturday, 13 June 2009

Alexander Bird's talk last Wednesday

I enjoyed Alexander's talk last Wed, so I thought I'd try out the discussion feature of this blog with some comments about a side-issue that came up: his objections to the idea that objects are essentially members of the natural kind of which they are actually members. The idea is that a sample of gold is essentially gold; it can't cease to be gold without ceasing to exist, and that very same thing couldn't be anything other than gold.

We had some compelling examples to the contrary; the decay of Barium to Cesium for one. A sample of Barium changes very little when it becomes Cesium. It loses only a tiny part of its mass. Surely the thing still exists, it's just that it's now a member of a different kind.

This example and all the other ones were examples of something persisting but as a member of a different kind. One thought is that if you are a four-dimensionalist, a persisting thing is just a fusion of temporal parts -- so it's not obvious why it can't be a fusion of things that are themselves members of various kinds. The persistence criteria for objects are usually causal ones -- each later temporal part has to be caused in the right way by the earlier one -- and in all of Alex's examples, this was plausibly the case despite the earlier being a member of a different kind that the later.

But none of that, I think, bears on the question of whether the minimal entities -- the smallest temporal parts themselves -- are essentially members of the kind that they are members of. While, as a matter of fact, I don't think that they are, I think that a defender of that doctrine who is a four dimensionalist ought think that it applies only at the fundamental level. So a particular atom-temporal-part of Barium couldn't be the very same thing without being Barium (in nearby worlds where decay happened earlier that atom-slice doesn't exist, but a Cesium one does)

So I guess I think we need an independent argument for the modal claims as applied to the temporal parts.


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP