Deodáth Zuh, postdoctoral fellow at our Institute will deliver a talk at this year's Dubrovnik Philosophy of Art Conference on the 25th of April. He will lecture on the problem of 'Art History without Theory'. The abstract of his talk can be downloaded here; the draft program of the conference is available here.

The Resarch Group for the History and Philosophy of Science, RCH HAS, cordially invites you to the upcoming talk of its seminar series:

Dr. Magdalena Malecka (University of Helsinki & CEU IAS):
"Economic Imperialism: Epistemic Advancement, Abuse of Power - Neither, Both, or More"

Date of the event: 17th April 2018., 17:00
Venue of the event: 4. Tóth Kálmán st., Budapest, 1097; 7th floor


‘So economics is an imperial science’ said proudly George Stigler – a key leader of the Chicago School of Economics. Economics’ fierce critics also call economics imperialistic – for them it is a serious accusation. But does it make sense at all – to use the metaphor of imperialism in order to account for scientific practices and relationships between scientific disciplines? I believe, it does.
My paper contributes to the debate on scientific imperialism and on economics imperialism. I propose the account of scientific imperialism (a modified and improved version of the idea published in Małecka, Lepenies 2018) and I show how it advances the recent discussion on economics imperialism.
The philosophy of science debate on scientific imperialism has revolved around the question of the permissibility of the application of scientific theories and methods outside the discipline in which they were initially introduced. My proposal builds upon Uskali Mäki’s notion of the imperialism of standing, as well as it accommodates the intuitions of some participants in the discussion that there is something normatively problematic about scientific imperialism. In my view, scientific imperialism is an activity that is related both to a certain view on the superiority of the expanding approach that is endorsed by its proponents (the epistemic aspect of my account), as well as to a power to affect standing of scientific approaches– the expanding approach is institutionally favoured and it gets higher standing in academic and non-academic contexts (the institutional aspect of my account)
I bring the account of scientific imperialism to analyse economics imperialism. In the debate on economics imperialism the different sides emphasize only certain aspects of an imperialistic scientific practice. The proponents of expansion of economics, ‘imperializers’, stress only the epistemic aspects of applying economics outside its domain. They claim that their approach is superior and progressive, as, for example, it enables unification. The critics mostly point out the abuse of the institutional power by economics expanding to other fields. Both aspects should be evaluated, however. Furthermore, it is important to understand, that even if we were able to see the epistemic advancement of applying a certain economic approach to the topics studied already within other research programmes, this wouldn’t make economics imperialism justified. The reason why we treat some applications of economic approaches as imperialistic is that their proponents violate the norms of scientific community that, according to Helen Longino, are conditions for objectivity in science.

Science Studies in Budapest 2 is the second workshop of a workshop series intending to bring together researchers in Budapest working on the history, philosophy and social studies of science and technology. At the one-day workshop researchers will present their ongoing research on various fields of science studies. Students and faculty from any institution are welcome to attend the event.

Date: June 5, 2018

Venue: Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre for the Humanities, Tóth Kálmán u. 4, Budapest, Seminar room (B.7.16)

Organizers: Gábor Hofer-Szabó (MTA) and Maria Kronfeldner (CEU)

Submission: We invite submissions for presentations on any topics related to science studies. Please send a 100 word abstract to Gábor Hofer-Szabó (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Deadline for submission is April 30, 2018. Decisions will be made by May 15, 2018.


The Lendület Morals and Science Research Group, RHC HAS, cordially invites you to the upcoming talk of its seminar series:

Prof. Paul Roth (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Does Language Exist?

Abstract: This talk is based on a combination of papers of mine that I am currently writing regarding the notion of meaning. I argue that philosophical skepticism about the existence of language famously articulated by Davidson—“there is no such thing as a language, not if a language is anything like what many philosophers and linguists have supposed”—presupposes and has its roots in Quine’s criticisms of Carnap’s views on linguistic frameworks. Specifically, I examine the conceptual and historical role within analytic philosophy of Carnap’s "Principle of Tolerance" in his account of linguistic frameworks, and reasons for Quine’s rejection of it. For if one sees, as does Quine, choices guided from the outset by pragmatic notions, then all so-called frameworks must be understood as post facto inventions by us. As a result, the thought that we can identify constraints on meaning, e.g., logic, proves philosophically misplaced and indeed idle.

Date: 29 March 2018, 4pm
Venue: 4 Tóth Kálmán st., 1097 Budapest; 7th floor

The CEU Department of Philosophy and the Institute of Philosophy, RCH HAS cordially invites you to the following talks of

Alfred R. Mele
(Florida State University)

Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Agents’ Histories

Date: 26 March, 17:30-19:00
Venue: Central European University, Nádor str. 15, Room 103.

Abstract: A common idea in the literature on free will and moral responsibility is that all that is needed for free action and for moral responsibility for an action is present in an agent’s internal condition at the time of action. Here, an agent’s internal condition at a time may be understood as something specified by the collection of all psychological truths about the agent at the time that are silent on how he came to be as he is at that time. I will argue that this idea should be rejected and, moreover, that it should be rejected both by compatibilists about free will and moral responsibility and by incompatibilist believers in free will and moral responsibility. Topics addressed include the bearing of various cases of manipulation on the assessment of the common idea at issue and how incompatibilist believers in free will and moral responsibility may plausibly deal with the problem of present luck.

Free Will and Neuroscience: Old and New

Date: 27 March, 16:00-17:30
Venue: Institute of Philosophy, Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Tóth Kálmán str. 4, Floor 7, Trapéz Room (B.7.16)

Abstract: A major source of scientific skepticism about free will is the belief that conscious decisions and intentions never play a role in producing corresponding actions. I present three serious problems encountered by any attempt to justify this belief by appealing to existing neuroscientific data. Experiments using three different kinds of technology are discussed: EEG, fMRI, and depth electrodes. I focus on three questions: When are decisions made (or intentions acquired) in the experiments at issue? When, in these experiments, is the point of no return reached for the featured overt actions? And can we properly generalize from the experimenters’ alleged findings to all decisions?

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