Centre for Reasoning

Multi-disciplinary research relating to reasoning, inference and method




From 2 June. Seminars on Evidence, Mechanisms, and Causality. 2-4pm on Tuesdays. Contact Veli-Pekka Parkkinen to be added to the mailing list for these seminars.

26-27 June 2015. Conference: Aesthetics, Normativity and Reasons.

25-26 June 2015. Conference: Epistemic Consequentialism - Problems and Prospects.

16 June 2015. Jason Konek (Bristol) - Epistemic Conservativity and Imprecise Credence. Evidence seminars, 1-2.30pm Gulbenkian seminar room CGUS.

9 June 2015. Chris Blunt (LSE) - Philosophical and historical frameworks for the analysis of hierarchies of evidence in Evidence-Based Medicine. Evidence seminars, 1-2.30pm Gulbenkian seminar room CGUS.

14 May 2015. Pascal Engel - Logical reasons. Laurence Goldstein memorial conference. 9.30-11am.

12 May 2015. Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - Are model organisms concrete theoretical models? Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 2-3.30pm, Gulbenkian seminar room CGUS.

20-24 April 2015. Conference: Combining probability and logic (progic 2015), including a Spring School (20-21 April) which will provide introductory lectures.

30-31 March 2015. Conference: The Fourth Reasoning Club Conference, University of Manchester.

25 March 2015. Arvid Bave - The Syntactic-Function Conception of Contents. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 1-2.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

17 March 2015.Florian Steinberger (Birkbeck) - What it might mean for logic to be normative. Philosophy seminars. 11-1, KS15.

11 March 2015. Erik van Aken - Causality, Relativism, and Projectivism: Why no Fictionalism? Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 1-2.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

4 March - 1 April 2015. Lubomira Radoilska: Practical Reasoning. Philosophy Department graduate seminars. Wednesdays 11-1 in DS8.

This series of seminars will explore a mode of reasoning aimed at bringing about some change in the world instead of discovering something about it. In particular, we will look at how being concerned with action rather than explanation or prediction distinguishes practical from theoretical modes of reasoning. Furthermore, we will consider deliberation, the centrepiece of practical reasoning, as it applies not only to individual agents but also to groups and institutions. By the end of the seminars, participants will have acquired knowledge and critical understanding of core issues in the theories of rationality and action, including: norms of practical reasoning, reasons for actions, and forms of practical irrationality, such as indecision, procrastination, and weakness of will. 

25 February 2015. Michael Wilde - The factivity of evidence. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 1-2.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

24 February 2015. Phyllis Illari (UCL) - Understanding mechanistic explanations. Philosophy seminars. 11-1, KS15.

18 February 2015. Simon Blackburn (Cambridge) - Can there be a science of human nature? Philosophy seminars. 4-6pm, Maths Lecture Theatre.

11 February 2015. Edward Kanterian - Philosophy and Mathematics: Patterns of Reasoning in Lullus, Descartes, Leibniz, Frege and Compositional Semantics. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 1-2.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

28 January 2015. Juergen Landes - Evidence aggregation, decision making, hierarchy, CHiP - in some order. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 1-2.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

16-17 January 2015. The Fact/Value distinction: a conference on philosophical method, Eliot Lecture Theatre 2.

8-9 January 2015. EBM+ Workshop. Woolf seminar room 5.

4 December 2014 - 5 February 2015. Peter Hacker: Wittgenstein's Tractatus. Philosophy Department graduate seminars. Thursdays, 11-1 in R.Cl.15 (December) then KS17 (January & February).

3 December 2014. Jeffrey Dunn (DePauw) - Epistemic Free Riding. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 2-3.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

1 December 2014. Thorsten Altenkirch (Nottingham): Homotopy Type Theory. Computing Seminars. 4pm, Computing SW101.

19 November 2014. David Corfield: Whatever Happened to the Philosophy of Geometry? Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 2-3.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

12 November - 10 December 2014. Jon Williamson: The problems of induction. Philosophy Department graduate seminars. Wednesdays 11-1 in R.Cl.21.

Inductive reasoning is used to draw predictions on the basis of past observations. In these seminars we will tackle two problems of induction. The first is Hume's problem: how can one justify induction? The problem here is that any justification seems to be circular. The second problem is: what is the logic of induction? The problem here is that past attempts to specify a logic of induction seem to fail for one reason or other. Teaching will comprise (i) introductory lectures on induction, together with (ii) reading Colin Howson's "Hume's Problem"(OUP, 2000).

5 November 2014. Darrell Rowbottom (Lingnan, Hong Kong): The 'Changing Places' Model of Identification in Game Theory. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 2-3.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

If one cares about one’s opponent in a game – if one identifies with one’s opponent – then this may affect how one ought to play. But how should we treat this in game theory? I will present a novel, 'changing places', model of identification; the key insight is to introduce probabilities for outcomes to be swapped when games conclude. First, I will argue that this model is superior to its main rival, the ‘pooled resources’ view, in treating some multiplayer games. Second, I will illustrate how the model can easily handle the intuitively plausible notion that identification comes in degrees. Third, I will employ the model to derive general results for a variety of games, including the Stag Hunt and the Battle of the Sexes. This talk builds on an article, 'Identification in Games: Changing Places', published in Erkenntnis 77(2) (2012) [doi: 10.1007/s10670-011-9357-0].

22 October. Jon Williamson: Some challenges for systems medicine. Theoretical Reasoning seminars. 2-3.30pm, Darwin seminar room 7.

16-17 October 2014. Conference: Knowledge in a digital world. Abode Hotel, Canterbury. To attend contact Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij by October 6.

Thursday, October 16
09:45 – 10:00: Coffee and Tea
10:00 – 10:15: Welcome
10:15 – 11:15: Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (Kent): “Epistemic Outsourcing and Autonomy”
11:20 – 12:20: Juergen Landes (Kent): “How an Objective Bayesian Integrates Data”
12:20 – 13:30: Lunch
13:30 – 14:30: Jon Williamson (Kent): “On the Principal Principle and the Concept of Admissibility”
14:30 – 15:00: Coffee and Tea
15:00 – 16:15: Thomas W. Simpson (Oxford): “Knowledge Transmission Online”

Friday, October 17
09:45 – 10:00: Coffee and Tea
10:00 – 11:00: George Masterton (Lund): “Improving on Jon’s Objective Bayesianism”
11:05 – 12:05: Laura Biron (Kent): “Intellectual ‘Property’ and the Challenge of the Digital”
12:05 – 13:15: Lunch
13:15 – 14:15: Ruth Hibbert (Kent): “Extended Cognition and Online Technologies: A Pluralist Approach”
14:15 – 14:45: Coffee and Tea
14:45 – 15:45: Paul Matthews (Bristol): “Consequentialist Social Epistemology and the Design of Online Knowledge Exchange”
15:50 – 17:00: Erik J. Olsson (Lund): “Google and the Wisdom of Crowds: Does PageRank Track Real Importance?”

14 October. Erik Olsson (Lund): Gettier and the Method of Explication: A 60 Year Old Solution to a 50 Year Old Problem. Philosophy Department seminars. 11am-1pm, Cornwallis seminar room 1.

1-29 October. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij: Justification and the Truth-Connection. Philosophy Department graduate seminars. Wednesdays 11-1 in R.Cl.21.

What is it for a belief to be justified? Internalists about justification think that this question can only be answered with reference to factors that are in some sense internal to the believer. So, for example, some internalists think that justification is a matter of what is accessible to you on introspection. Externalists deny this in some cases because they think that things like reliability is what matters for justification. In his recent book Justification and the Truth-Connection (OUP, 2012), Clayton Littlejohn suggests that recent work on epistemic value, reasons and norms enable us to bring this discussion to a close in favour of an unorthodox form of externalism. For these seminars, we'll have a look at what he has to say on the matter.

29 September - 15 December. Reading group: Philosophy of Psychiatry, Mondays 2-4pm, DS12 (Darwin). Contact David Corfield for further information.

From 26 June 2014. Homotopy Type Theory, Reading Group, CGUS Seminar Room. Contact Simon Thompson for further information.

26 June 2014. Reasons, Agency and Normativity, Southern Normativity Group workshop.

23-24 June 2014. Third Reasoning Club Conference.

16 June 2014. Adam Kubiak (Lublin): A frequentist solution to the stopping rule problem in the ecological realm, R.Rogers Rm, 11:00-12:30.

4-5 June 2014. Evidence workshop.

4 June 2014. Ben Curry (Kent): A Peircian Approach to Form and Meaning in Music, Aesthetics Research Centre Seminar, Lupino Screening Room, 4.30pm.

3 April 2014. John Wigglesworth (LSE), Theoretical Reasoning Seminar, CNWSr5, 12:30-14:00.

1 April 2014. James Studd (Oxford): Abstraction reconceived, Philosophy Department Seminar, CNWSr10, 12:00-14:00.

25 March 2014. ***CANCELLED*** Jeff Ketland (Oxford): Gauge Semantics for Quantified Modal Logic, Philosophy Department Seminar, CNWSr10, 12:00-14:00.

22 March 2014. Normativity Conference, Southern Normativity Group, 11.00-18:30.

20 March 2014. Leo Cheung (University of Hong Kong): Extended Cognition and Robust Virtue Epistemology, Theoretical Reasoning Seminar, CNWSr5, 12:30-14:00.

13 March - 29 May 2014. Michael Strevens' Tychomancy: Inferring Probability from Causal Structure, Reading Group, Rutherford E4.W1, 11:00-12.30. Contact: Juergen Landes for further information.

11 March 2014. Hykel Hosni (LSE & Pisa): Rethinking the norms of rational belief and decision, Philosophy Department Seminar, CNWSr10, 12:00-14:00.

10 March 2014. Ramana Kumar (University of Cambridge): A Verified Theorem Prover, Computing Seminar, Cornwallis South SW101, 16:00.

7 March 2014. David Corfield: Homotopy Type Theory, Mathematics Seminar, Maths LT, 15:00-16:00.

6 March 2014. Christian Wallmann (Salzburg): A Bayesian treatment of the Principal Principle, Theoretical Reasoning Seminar, CNWSr5, 12:30-14:00.

20 February 2014. Laurence Goldstein: Émile Borel’s Take on the Sorites, Theoretical Reasoning Seminar, CNWSr5, 12:30-14:00.

13 February 2014. Teddy Groves: Developing Carnapian inductive logic, Theoretical Reasoning Seminar, JS2, 12:30-14:00.

From 15 January 2014. Edwin Jaynes' Probability Theory, the Logic of Science, Reading Group, CGAN03b. Contact Jon Williamson for further information.




The centre is directed by David Corfield and Jon Williamson.




School of European Culture & Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NX

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 827785 or email the Centre for Reasoning

Last Updated: 15/06/2015