Meetup type: moderated discussion
Discussion basis: the articles and videos shared below. Attendees are expected to have read/viewed all or most material below before the meetup.
- Philosophy v science: which can answer the big questions of life?
Philosopher Julian Baggini fears that, as we learn more and more about the universe, scientists are becoming increasingly determined to stamp their mark on other disciplines. Here, he challenges theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss over 'mission creep' among his peers.
- Neuroscience vs philosophy: Taking aim at free will
Quote: "The practical effects of demolishing free will are hard to predict. Biological determinism doesn't hold up as a defence in law. Legal scholars aren't ready to ditch the principle of personal responsibility. 'The law has to be based on the idea that people are responsible for their actions, except in exceptional circumstances,' says Nicholas Mackintosh, director of a project on neuroscience and the law run by the Royal Society in London. ... 'Perhaps, denying free will simply provides the ultimate excuse to behave as one likes,' Vohs and Schooler suggested."
- Can Physics and Philosophy Get Along?
Quote: "At every turn, the philosopher concludes, there are laws of nature, and the laws always apply to some physical “stuff” (particles, fields, whatever) that is governed by the laws. In no case, then, does something really come from nothing ... Precisely because science deals with only what can be known, direct or indirectly, by sense experience, it cannot answer the question of whether there is anything — for example, consciousness, morality, beauty or God — that is not entirely knowable by sense experience. To show that there is nothing beyond sense experience, we would need philosophical arguments, not scientific experiments."
- Oxford Think Week 2011, Peter Atkins and Stephen Law (and briefly Richard Dawkins) discuss whether science alone can answer our questions. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6)
Meetup charge: free, but attendees should order something for themselves from the restaurant. You can order from the self-service in the upstairs when you arrive or during our meetup.
Group's policy on RSVPs: Every member is expected to respect their RSVP for each event and keep it up to date. Two instances of non-respect of the RSVP will lead to the member being removed from the group.