Online Seminar

Since October 2020, we’ve been running an online seminar series for philosophers in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad. It’s not just a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a recognition that transportation emissions (eg, from flying internationally) contribute to climate change.

At this stage, our meeting slot is Wednesdays, 11:30-13:00, fortnightly in the long run. (For conversion to your own time zone, click HERE.) Each seminar reserves ca 40 minutes for presentation, followed by a 5-minute break and 45 minutes for Q&A. We use Zoom as our videoconferencing app (free for personal use).

Announcements of future meetings will be posted below and sent out by email. If you’d like your address to be included in our seminar email list (and are not a member of NZAP), please message Marco. To attend, you need to be neither a Philosophy academic nor located in New Zealand — just someone who’s curious in / excited about philosophy.

We also look forward to your email if you’d like to present your philosophical work in this series (or know someone else who could / should do so). New Zealand is a (very) long way from most other places, so this represents a great avenue for philosophers abroad to talk to us about their ideas.

To help you navigate our online meetings, please take a minute and familiarise yourself with our audience tips and guidelines (download HERE).


Upcoming Seminars

To be announced here and by email soon 🙂


Past Seminars

21 October 2020, 11:30am
The Responsibility Account of Causal Attributions
Dr Justin Sytsma (Victoria University of Wellington)

There is now a great deal of evidence that norm violations impact people’s causal judgments. But it remains contentious how best to explain these findings. This includes that the primary explanations on offer differ with regard to how broad they take the phenomenon to be. In this talk, I detail how the explanations diverge with respect to the expected scope of the contexts in which the effect arises, the types of judgments at issue, and the range of norms involved. In doing so, I briefly summarize the current evidence favoring my preferred explanation – the responsibility account. I then add to the evidence, presenting the results of two preregistered studies that employ a novel method: participants were asked to rank order compound statements combining a causal attribution and a normative attribution.

Chair: Dr Dan Weijers (University of Waikato)

Video recording HERE (all rights reserved).

7 October 2020
Is Truth Primitive?
Dr Jeremy Wyatt (University of Waikato)

Primitivist theories of truth date back at least to the origins of analytic philosophy, being defended by Moore, Russell, and Frege. A number of contemporary philosophers have also defended primitivist truth theories, with Davidson’s and Sosa’s defenses probably being the best known. The most extensive development of primitivism, however, has been offered by Jamin Asay, who contends that the concept truth is primitive while the property truth is non-primitive yet insubstantial. In this talk, my primary aim will be to critically assess Asay’s primitivism. I’ll explain why his central arguments for primitivism are inconclusive and why the view itself is highly problematic. After defending these negative claims, I’ll suggest that the way forward for inquiry about truth is to move away from purely a priori investigations and towards a sort of inquiry which recognizes the critical role of empirical questions about the nature and acquisition of truth.

Chair: Dr Joe Ulatowski (University of Waikato)

Handout HERE.
Video recording HERE (all rights reserved).

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