This workshop aims to investigate the rise and implications of seemingly teleological laws and principles of nature from the 17th century to the modern day.
It is a familiar story that natural teleology played an important role in Ancient and Medieval philosophy. Things were held to strive towards their natural place in the universe: Fire rises in order to reach the heavens, rocks fall in order to reach the center of the earth. Such explanatory appeals to ends, purposes, final causation and the general order of nature were largely contested with the birth of the mechanical philosophy...
Peter Railton (Michigan): First Steps Toward an Epistemology of Intuition in Ethics
Abstract: Appeals to intuition and intuitions have figured in philosophy at least since Socrates, and in the intervening millennia intuition and intuitions have been put to use for a variety of philosophical purposes, especially, in order to escape worries about regress in perception, thought, and action. Today, the method of appealing to intuitions in thought experiments has become central to many areas of philosophy—though there has been some dissent over...
Theodore A. Slaman (University of California Berkeley): Recursion Theory and Diophantine Approximation
Recursion Theory deals with the definability of sets, especially sets of natural numbers or equivalently real numbers. Diophantine Approximation deals with the approximation of real numbers by rational numbers, which can be viewed as a number theoretic form of definability. We will discuss connections between these areas.
The conference will bring together economists and philosophers to discuss normative issues at the boundary of the two disciplines. Presentations and discussions will be of broad interest to scholars in the social sciences and the humanities. We invite faculty members and graduate students with research interests in this area, as well as undergraduates and other interested scholars, to join us. For more information visit www.hbs.edu/faculty/conferences/2016-newe