Emergence and demergence

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In the beginning of March, Stephen Mumford presented our paper ‘Emergence and Demergence’ at the Causal Powers and Social Science Conference 2016 at Yale University, organised by Philip Gorski (Yale) and Ruth Groff (St. Louis). Since the paper has already provoked a discussion, we thought it best to publish the presentation here. These ideas are still in its early stages and will be developed in more detail in an article. In the meantime, we welcome your feedback. Continue reading

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PhD course at NMBU on Causation in Science

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30 May – 10 June 2016, NMBU, limited spaces

Some of the chief goals of science are understanding, explanation, prediction and application in new technologies. Only if the world has some significant degree of constancy in what follows from what can these scientific activities be conducted with any purpose. But what is the source of such predictability and how does it operate? In many ways, this is a question that goes beyond science itself – beyond the data – and inevitably requires a philosophical approach. This course starts from the perspective that causation is the main foundation upon which science is based. Continue reading

Causal or Accidental Correlation – A Challenge for Science

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In a Philosophy Bites episode, John Worrall is interviewed about how trustworthy the experiments on which evidence-based medicine rests. Specifically, he discusses how suitable randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are for establishing causation. Continue reading

The Mumford-Anjum Official Statement of Authorship

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Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum. Photo: Kristine Løwe, NMBU

1. Why a statement?

Our writing partnership in philosophy began in 2007, when Anjum arrived at Nottingham as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Since then, we have written three books and around 40 papers together, which seems rare, especially in philosophy. We think it’s time to issue a statement about our writing partnership, for at least four reasons. Continue reading

How I stopped worrying about privacy and learned to love Twitter

This is an old post that I wrote before I had a blog. It is about my transformation from hating social media to loving it, and about who and what made me change my mind. Continue reading

“Good” or “bad” students?

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Universities tend to pride themselves in having “the best students” or the most “competitive programs”. An assumption is that this is achieved by keeping the acceptance rate as low as possible, only allowing those with top grades to enter the programs. Is this the best practice? Since I started teaching again last semester, I have thought more about how we judge the quality of our students when we say that they are “good” or “bad”. Continue reading