Networking and Careers Night

Date and Time: 18 March 2015, 5-7 pm
Location: Ralph Campbell Lounge, BV380

On Wednesday, March 18, the Academic Advising & Career Centre and the Department of Philosophy are co-hosting a Networking Night. We are inviting three professionals who graduated in Philosophy from UTSC. They are

Rob Wulkan, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Jason Shankaran, Police Detective, Homocide
Andrea Annis, Squad Digital Account Manager

The goal is to give Philosophy students insights into transition to professional life. The time and place for the event are as follows:

Date and Time: March 18, 5-7 pm
Location: Ralph Campbell Lounge, BV380

To register, go to cln.utoronto.ca using your UTORid>Select
Events&Workshops>Select Scarborough calendar. Then simply click on the
event to register.

Philosophy Networking Night Poster


Mind Night

Monday February 9th 2015 from 5pm to 7pm in MW 130.

It is a collaborative discussion between Philosophy and Psychology representatives on the connection between the mind and the brain and other issues that help clarify this distinction (or lack of distinction).
Each panelist will be invited to give a brief introduction to their thoughts about the mind-brain issue and to discuss and answer questions about this and related topics.

Is the mind-brain connection issue an important issue?

What other questions rest on this issue?

Representing Philosophy will be Professor William Seager
Representing Psychology will be Professor Michael Inzlicht

Media from the event:

Mind Night Full Audio


“On Proper Names” – Imogen Dickie, Guest Speaker

March 12, 2015 – 5-7pm in the Philosophy portable (PO102)

A new account of reference-fixing for proper names

How can we make sense of proper names, like Darth Vader and Beyoncé?

Imogen will motivate a principle connecting accounts of reference with accounts of justification, and use it to develop an account of what makes a proper name (like ‘Bertrand Russell’ or ‘Latvia’) a name for a particular thing.


How Far Can We Trust Our Intuitions?

(This is a Handout for an APS Discussion Night on Intuition.)

How Far Can We Trust Our Intuitions?

  • The “invisible gorilla” and selective attention

Our Dangerous Intuitions (Christopher Chabris):

  • We think that we pay attention to more than we actually do. How does this effect driving?  And submarine captains?
  • We attach too much significance to confidence and those who are confident, though more skeptical assessments can be more accurate. How does this effect our opinion of weather forecasters?  Or of eye witnesses?
  • Our memory can play tricks on us in many ways:
    • Episodic memory can be reshaped by words
    • Flashbulb memories are no more accurate than normal memories, yet we place more confidence on them, e.g. challenger explosion

Decision Making:

  • Mental Heuristics & Snap Judgements
    • Thumb tacks & candle task
  • Learned Associations
    • Stereotyping, Racism
    • Anchoring and Adjustment Bias
  • Don’t Trust Your Gut,” (Harvard Business Review, May 2003):
    • Intuition is never good at exploring alternatives. It is not helpful when seeking out original solutions.
    • Intuition is good for making decisions when the current situation resembles a previous one, but not when the circumstances are very different.

Philosophical Underpinnings:

  • Are intuitions just beliefs?
  • Or, in some cases, the tendencies that make certain beliefs attractive to us, that ‘move’ us in the direction of accepting certain propositions without taking us all the way to acceptance
  • Or, a sui generis (of its own kind) occurrent propositional attitude. “S—intellectually—seems true” IFF it is a rational intuition
  • Are they just really tricky to use?
    • Does everyone have the same intuition?
    • Given vs. Learned intuitions?

Intuitions as evidence:

  • To say that the intuition that pis treated as evidence might be to claim that the fact that a person has an intuition is taken to serve as some kind of evidence (the intuiting) or it might be to claim that the propositional content of the intuition (the intuited) is treated as the evidence.
  • Reliability: [P] We have good reason to think that there is no explanation of why our intuitions are reliable.
  • [C] We are not justified in believing p on the basis of the intuition that p.

Moral Decisions:

  • The Transplant Case (Thomson 1976):

Suppose that you are a transplant surgeon and that you now have five patients, each in need of a different organ in order to prevent imminent and certain death. You also have a suitable donor in your hospital for a routine check-up. If you were to involuntarily take her organs and transplant them into the needy five, you are certain to bring about her death but also to prevent the death of the five.

Transplant Intuition: It is not morally permissible to take the organs of the one in order to save the five.

Act Utilitarian Theory of Morality: Action A is morally right IFF A maximizes well-being.

  • Dan Ariely & Behavioural Economics

Ethical Intuitionism:

  • the view that some moral truths can be known non-inferentially (i.e., known without one needing to infer them from other truths one believes) ///    Can they?

Philosophy Meet and Greet

When: Wednesday, September 10.2014, 6-8 pm ___ Where: Philosophy Hall, Portable 102

About the Event: 

Plenty of conversation and good times were had at the, well catered, Philosophy Meet and Greet, the first official event of the 2014-15 for the APS. The event took place in Philosophy Hall (Portable 102), and it was quite well attended. Professors Phil Kremer, Karolina Huebner, Sonia Sedivy, Kelin Emmett, and Benj Hellie were in attendance along with philosophy students from all years of study and the APS team.

Everyone looks forward to a year full of events and learning !


Discussion Night: Monty Python

When: Wednesday, October.8.2014, 6-8 pm ___ Where: MW 110

About the Event: 

Monty Python and Philosophy Night explored the underlying ideas that continue to make Monty Python hilarious and philosophically relevant.  Much of the humor in Monty Python makes use of absurdity and the unexpected or the “now for something completely different” approach, which sets the stage for them to tackle nearly any topic in a fun way.  In their work Monty Python continuously challenges capitalism,  power structures, authority, modern and early (Roman) governmental institutions,  early religious institutions,  as well as our own concepts of knowledge, rationality, argument, and expectation.  Their work also directly references and makes humorous philosophy.

Here is a picture of our event, hope to see more of you next time ! 😉

Monty Python and Philosophy


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