Orthodox quantum theory tells us that properties of quantum systems are represented by self-adjoint operators, and that two properties are incompatible just in case their respective operators do not commute. We present a puzzle for this orthodoxy, pinpointing the exact assumptions at play. Our solution to the puzzle specifically challenges the assumption that non-commuting operators represent in compatible properties. Instead, they represent incompatible levels of specification of determinates for a single determinable. This solution yields insight into the nature of so-called quantum indeterminacy and demonstrates a new and fruitful application of the determinable-determinate relation in quantum theory.
The workshop ‘Explaining Cancer’ is happening next Tuesday (1st November) at London School of Economics, which among other excellent speakers features our very own Sowerby Professor Elselijn Kingma. Read more below or visit LSE’s event page here.
Anya Plutynski is the winner of the 2021 Lakatos Award for her book Explaining Cancer. Finding Order in Disorder (OUP 2018). To engage fully with the winner’s work, we organise an expert workshop on the day of the Award Lecture. The workshop features four talks by experts on the cancer research who engage with themes from Plutynski’s book.
Date and Place: 1 November 2022, Lakatos Building, Room LAK2.06
Organiser: Roman Frigg
13.30 – 13.50 Anya Plutynski (Washington University in St. Louis): Précis of Explaining Cancer
13.50 – 14.40 Samir Okasha (University of Bristol): Cancer, Causality and Evolution: some reflections on Anya Plutynski’s Understanding Cancer.
14.40 – 15.30 Lucie Laplane (Sorbonne Paris I): Where does Philosophy of Cancer stand?
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break
16.00 – 16.50 Elselijn Kingma (King’s College London): Cancer, screening, and the concepts of health and disease
16.50 – 17.40 Carl Cranor (UC Riverside): Varieties of Scientific Evidence for Policies”
The 2022 Annual Sowerby Lecture will be given on Thursday the 3rd of November, 6pm by Professor Hanna Pickard (Johns Hopkins University) on the Puzzle of Addiction. The lecture will be on the 8th Floor of Bush House and will be followed by a drinks reception. Find out more and register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/438551067047.
The Annual Lecture is preceded by a two-day workshop focusing on the Puzzle of Addiction and other aspects of Hanna Pickard’s work, with speakers including Richard Holton, Owen Flanagan, and Ellen Fridland. See the full schedule below, or find out more and register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/427893179017
On Friday 28th October from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in the Anatomy Museum, KCL Minorities and Philosophy is hosting a panel on Diversity and Inclusion in Academic Philosophy!
We will be joined by current members of the department Dr Jessica Leech, Dr James Stazicker, Dr Alexander Franklin and GTA Chiara Zucchelli, along with KCL Alumnus Naomi Snow and anti-racist activist Annabelle Woghiren. Dr Jessica Leech is the Arts and Humanities Diversity and Inclusion Representative, and Dr Alexander Franklin teaches the ‘Philosophy of Race’ Module, assisted by Chiara, who founded the Phi Magazine in 2018. Naomi was funded to write a research project on ‘decolonising the Philosophy curriculum’ whilst an undergraduate, and Annabelle has consulted with social enterprises and public institutions on race equality, along with maintaining an education and community platform of over 115,000 on social media.
We’ll be asking questions like, ‘why is diversity important to academic philosophy, other than equal opportunity?’ and ‘why does diversity among Philosophy students dip at graduate level?’
Is it right to save your friend over a stranger? If the bedrock of morality is impartiality and love is essential partial (and favouring) – is Love immoral? When you are dreaming are you also sleeping? What if you are lucidly dreaming – aware that you are in a dreamworld and communicating with a sleep scientist in the ‘real’ world – are you dreaming and awake? Solve the puzzles with an expert guide – book your seat today.
What is ‘euphoria’ and, perhaps more intriguingly, what is it for? On one account it is a sense of perfect harmony, individuality, and purity, accompanied by a feeling of extreme wellbeing that connects us to the heavenly realm. On another, it’s an exquisite dissimulation of the self.
But what does this really mean and how might the paintings in the National Gallery help us understand it and its relevance to our lives today? And how are artists representing euphoria in contemporary work?
Philosopher, journalist and the author of over 20 books Julian Baggini is joined by Joachim Aufderheide, Reader in Philosophy, King’s College London; Vanessa Brassey, co-director of the Centre for Philosophy and Art; Siobhán Jolley, the Ahmanson Fellow in Religion and Art at the National Gallery; and artist Sikelela Owen to debate these questions.
Joachim Aufderheide is a Reader in the Philosophy Department at King’s College London. He specialises in ancient Greek philosophy, but has a serious side-interest in Buddhist philosophy. Two questions in particular have held his attention: What role does pleasure play in a good life? And what contribution does contemplation make to a life lived well? He has published on Plato’s and Aristotle’s answers to these questions, but also enjoys tracing them through the history of philosophy.
Dr Julian Baggini is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books including ‘The Godless Gospel’, ‘How The World Thinks’, ‘The Virtues of the Table’ and ‘The Ego Trick’ (all Granta), ‘The Edge of Reason’ (Yale University Press) and, most recently, ‘The Great Guide: What David Hume Can Teach Us about Being Human and Living Well’ (Princeton University Press). He has been Academic Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent.
Vanessa Brassey is co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Art at Kings College London. The Centre is a major multi-disciplinary initiative whose aim is to bring together academics, artists, curators and gallerists to explore the connections between philosophy, theory and the visual arts. As well as an academic philosopher, she is a figurative painter whose work explores emotion and perception.
Siobhán Jolley is the Ahmanson Fellow in Religion and Art at the National Gallery. She completed her PhD at the University of Manchester in 2021. Her broad research interests include the work of female artists, the reception of biblical women and the New Testament, and feminist approaches. She has taught at the University of Manchester, Liverpool Hope University and Cliff College in Religions and Theology and Art History and Cultural Practices.
Sikelela Owen is an artist who lives and works in London. Her work is made up predominately of loose figure paintings, drawings, and prints of friends, family, and people of interest. She holds a PG Diploma from the Royal Academy Schools and her work was featured in the 2015 Thames and Hudson publication ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’. Owen has exhibited nationally and internationally, was an Abbey Fellow at the British School at Rome in 2019 and she has worked with the charity Hospital Rooms.
King’s College London’s Department of Philosophy is very pleased to announce that recordings from the Mark Sainsbury Fest of the Annual Lecture by Dorothy Edgington (‘Two Kinds of Indeterminacy’) and of Mark’s Lecture (‘Boundarylessness’) are now available at the event webpage (https://marksainsburyfest.wixsite.com/event), as well as below:
You can also see photos of the event by photographer Victoria Goodman in this previous post!
This article is part of the Agoraseries, a collaboration between the New Statesman and Aaron James Wendland. Wendland is Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy at King’s College, London and a Senior Research Fellow at Massey College, Toronto. He tweets @aj_wendland.