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Events

April 17th, 2017

  • Image preview 3:30pm: “What’s A Definition in Biology?” Richard Boyd, Cornell University
    According to the ‘homeostatic property cluster’ conception many categories in biology and other sciences are defined by naturally occurring property clusters and their underlying clustering mechanisms.  The HPC conception has been challenged on the grounds that it doesn’t accord with actual definitional practices in biology and that it fails to account for the role of phylogeny in defining biological taxa.  A response is developed that focuses on (1) the role of published ‘definitions’ in the sciences and (2) the relationship between philosophy of science and the (other) sciences.

April 21st, 2017

  • 3:30pm: “Berkeley on the Heterogeneity of the Senses”, Honors Thesis Presented by Bridger Ehli


    In his Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision, George Berkeley presents a revolutionary theory of visual perception. Central to this theory is what scholars have dubbed the “Heterogeneity Thesis,” which Berkeley calls the “main part and pillar” of his theory. This thesis is often interpreted as the claim that there are no common sensibles––that the sensible qualities we touch, for example, are not the sensible qualities we see. On the face of it, the thesis appears to be false, or at least to depart from common sense: we think we often see and touch the same quality or the same object. The aim of this paper is not to defend the Heterogeneity Thesis but to answer a series of questions: what is the Heterogeneity Thesis, what role does it play in Berkeley’s theory of perceptual experience, and why did he view it as the main part and pillar of his theory? I argue that Berkeley adopts several versions of the Heterogeneity Thesis, and that each version plays a crucial role in Berkeley’s story of how we navigate a spatial world, visually.


News

  • Image preview
    September 18
    Professor Ozan Varol will speak at Cornell Law School on his forthcoming book, The Democratic Coup d’État.
  • Image preview
    January 15
    With a series of events, including a talk by renowned journalist and civil rights activist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and take part in Black History Month.
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