Digest Week 7 Michaelmas Term 2018

MT18, Week 7 (19 November — 25 November)

If you have entries for the weekly Digest, they must be received by Wednesday midday of the week before the event. Please send information to admin@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

Note that if no location is given, the event will take place in the Radcliffe Humanities Building on Woodstock Rd, OX2 6GG.

Notices - Events taking place elsewhere in the University and beyond

POP-Grunch 1.15-2.45pm, Seminar Room, Philosophy Faculty 

Speaker: Patrick Duerr

Title:To Pembroke With Love: Against Functionalism about Gravitational Energy

Abstract:The present paper revisits the debate between realists about gravitational energy in GR, who opine that gravitational energy can be said to meaningfully exist in GR, and anti-realists/eliminativists, who deny this. I re-assess the arguments underpinning Hoefer’s seminal eliminativist stance, and those of their realist detractors’ responses. A more circumspect reading of the former is proffered that discloses where the so far not fully appreciated, real challenges lie for realism about gravitational energy. I subsequently turn to Lam and Read’s recent proposals for such a realism. Their arguments are critically examined. Special attention is devoted to the adequacy of their appeals to functionalism, imported from the philosophy of mind. I finally outline how Ashtekar et al.’s recent asymptotics research programme promises to re-invigorate the debate.


Oliver Smithies LecturesNormativity and Rationality in Economic Analysis of Law: Two Critiques | 5:00pm, Massey Room, Balliol College 

Prof Bruce Chapman (Toronto): 'Moral Consensus, Rights, and Efficiency in the Economic Analysis of Law'  

For more information, please visit the website 


The Oxford Kant Colloquium 5.00- 6:30pm, Merton College, St Alban's Quad, Room 4.2b

Presentations on Kantian Topics

If you intend to participate please email Christopher Benzenberg


Epistemology and Language Reading Group | 5.30 - 7.00pm, Meeting Room 4, Philosophy Faculty 

Reading Ofra Magidor's 'Conditional Acceptance

If you intend to participate please email Matthew Hewson or James Kirpatrick

Metaphysics Reading Group 11am -12:30pm, Oriel College

If you intend to participate please email Katherine Hong


Oliver Smithies Lectures | Normativity and Rationality in Economic Analysis of Law: Two Critiques | 5:00pm, Massey Room, Balliol College 

Prof Bruce Chapman (Toronto): 'Private Rationality and Public Reasonableness: The Rational Interactor in Economics and Law'  

Followed by a drinks reception

For more information, please visit the website 

Summa Contra Gentiles | Reading, Commentary and Translation Group 1:00 - 2:00pm, Blackfriars Hall, Front Seminar Room

This term the focus of the group will be on Aquinas' understanding of the relationship between body and soul in the Summa Contra Gentiles Part Two, Questions 49 -101, in the Marietti manuscript.

If you would like to join, or have any questions, please contact Sean Costello


Information and Biographical Skills Workshop | 3:30 - 5:00pm, Colin Matthew Room 

This session is intended for 3rd and 4th year students in joint schools for:

  • Computer Science and Philosophy
  • Physics and Philosophy
  • Maths and Philosophy

If any 2nd/3rd year students from any of the other joint schools would like to come, they are welcome. 

Please email ptfl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk if you would like to attend, giving your potential topic of interest, or simply turn up on the day!


Seminar Series on Reproducibility and Open Research | 4.30-6.00pm, All Souls College: Old Library

Jenny Molloy (University of Cambridge): ‘Open Science and the Bioeconomy

All are welcome; refreshments will be provided.


Merton Research Event 'The Structure of Belief' Ralph Wedgwood (USC) 4:30 - 6:30pm,  John Roberts Room, Merton College 


When faced with an issue, we often ask ourselves the question: How should we think about this issue? What beliefs or opinions we should have about it? One branch of epistemology – the theory of rational belief – studies the general principles that explain what the right answers to such questions are. But in order to articulate such principles, we need to know what the options are – that is, which sorts of beliefs or opinions are available. Traditionally, there are two models of belief or opinion that epistemologists have relied on here. On one model, the beliefs that you now have just consist of a body of propositions. On the second model, the beliefs that you now have consist of your subjective probability function. It will be argued here that neither of these models is fit for purpose. An alternative model of belief will be suggested to take their place.

The event will be followed by a wine reception

All are welcome, please email Matthew Hewson or Sebastian Liu 


Feminism: Being a Woman and.... | Intersectional Discussion Group 18:00 - 19:30pm, Ryle Room

Please contact the organisers to be put on the mailing list to receive the weekly readings 

Please email either Chiara Martini, CM Lim, Alesia Preite or Maya Krishnan

Graduate Women's Lunch | 12:00 - 2:00pm, Mary Somerville Room, Somerville College 

The Graduate Women's Officer, Dr Natalia Waights Hickman, and the Graduate Women's Representative, Milena Bartholain, warmly invite all female philosophers to join them for a light lunch. 

For catering purposes, please email if you are planning on attending.


Graduate Ancient Philosophy Work in Progress Harry Alanen 2:00pm, Somerville Lodge

GAPWiP is a regular meeting of postgraduates and early career researchers to discuss work in progress prior to the Ancient Philosophy Seminar, each week is led by someone who presents their work, followed by a discussion.

All postgraduates in philosophy are welcome to attend and contribute to discussion.


Vagueness Reading Group Higher-Order Vagueness III 17:00 - 19:00pm, Ertegun House

Bacon, A. (MS) 'Vagueness at Every Order', Manuscript 

If you intend to participate please email Alex Roberts or Annina Loets