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Faculty of Philosophy


Academic Year 2023-2


Academic Year 2022-23

Lent 2024

23/1/2024  Tim Button  

Title: Artefacts of representational choices

When we formulate theories, we make decisions about what to count as theoretically primitive and what to count as theoretically derivative. For example: when we are doing arithmetic, we might treat "+" as a primitive and we might define "<" in terms of "+". Metaphysicians might want to ask whether our decision---about what to treat as theoretically primitive (or derivative)---kept track of what is metaphysically primitive (or derivative). I doubt the question makes sense. To explain why, I'll offer some general considerations, a particular case study (about space), and a logical argument that you can't hope to avoid some artefacts of representational choices.


30/1/2024 Adham El Shazly

Title: Thinking Together

Philosophers often give the following advice: Think for yourself. In this talk I argue this is unhealthy: it takes two to think. In particular, I motivate the need for an epistemology of ‘thinking together’ and argue it cannot be subsumed under other projects within social-collective epistemology. To foreshadow, thinking together is a matter of perspectival alignment, sharing a way of looking at the world. This cannot be reduced to sharing beliefs or knowledge. I end by highlighting how this picture challenges core assumptions of standard epistemology.


06/2/2024 Anne Meylan

Title: The Zetetic Puzzle

Imagine a situation in which a subject has some good reasons for believing that p is true, but the subject also knows that she could obtain conclusive reasons as to whether p is the case if she investigated a little further. It seems that in this kind of situation, the subject in question must suspend judgement and acquire the additional reasons. As some authors have pointed out, this is an intuition that classical evidentialism has difficulty accounting for. In my paper, I attempt to account for this intuition by drawing on the distinction between synchronic and diachronic reasons to F. Briefly, the subject has a diachronic zetetic reason to suspend judgement in this kind of situation.


13/2/2024 Zofia Stemplowska

Title: Just Attention for the Dead

Some people get a lot of attention and some very little while alive. This popularity contest continues after we die. Current debates about commemoration focus on the problem of who is worthy of public commemoration and who is not. This matters, but knowing if someone or something is worthy of commemoration does not solve the problem of the scarcity of our commemorative attention. I will argue that whom we commemorate is a question of justice and I will focus in particular on the public commemorative attention that the living owe as a duty to the dead.


20/2/2024 Eric Mandelbaum

Title: The Best Game in Town: The Re-Emergence of the Language of Thought Hypothesis Across the Cognitive Sciences

What is the structure of thought? Many philosophers and cognitive scientists think we've moved past the language of thought (LoT). They believe that instead of symbolic, logical, abstract cognition, we can simply posit deep neural nets, associative models, sensory representations, embodied/extended/etc. cognition, or some other more fashionable approach. However, experimental evidence from the study of perception, infant and animal reasoning, automatic cognition in adults, and computational modeling tells a different story: the LoT hypothesis now enjoys more robust empirical support than ever before. In the course of defending this claim, I'll also outline six properties that are suggestive of an LoT. I'll go through one case study, focusing on implicit cognition, showing how acquisition and change conditions of implicit attitudes display their LoT structure. The presence and absence of these properties open up possibilities for taxonomizing differences in minds and mental processes in terms of their expressive power, thus giving us a guide for mapping the many languages of thought, both within and across species.


CANCELLED 27/2/2024 Facundo Rodriguez CANCELLED

Title: Between Persons: Kantian insights into the interpersonal domain



05/3/2024 Asa Burman

Title: Defining Social Power

Power is central to the social sciences, the humanities, and to understanding the political sphere. However, despite its significance, it has not been considered a central concept in analytic philosophy. To overcome this shortcoming, I turn to contemporary social ontology, where the concept of social power is gaining attention. I identify and define two types of social power: deontic and telic. Deontic powers are our institutional rights (positive deontic powers) and obligations (negative deontic powers), and they concern what we can demand of each other. By contrast, telic powers are about ideals or standards that we sometimes try to live up to and hold ourselves and other agents responsive to. Positive telic power is about being perceived as an exemplar of a kind, as a woman or citizen, i.e., as fulfilling the ideal of womanhood or citizenship. Negative telic power is about being perceived as failing to live up to the ideal, i.e., being perceived by other agents as substandard in relation to the ideal. Deontic and telic power can both reinforce and conflict with one another. I conclude by drawing out the features the two forms of power have in common and suggest a general definition of social power.


12/3/2024 Paul Billingham

Title: Online Public Shaming and the Case for Regulating Social Media Platforms

Online public shaming—the practice of using the Internet to criticise perceived moral transgressions and transgressors—is commonplace. And much of it is wrongful. Its targets often suffer disproportionate harms and face abuse, doxing, and other forms of impermissible treatment. One question this raises is what should be done in response to the prevalence of wrongful public shaming online. This paper offers one part of an answer to this question. It argues that there is a compelling case for social media platforms themselves to be active in tackling wrongful online public shaming, as well as for government regulation of these platforms to stimulate such activity. The paper makes a positive case for this claim and responds to several objections.


Michaelmas 2023

10/10/23    Finnur Dellsén (University of Iceland)
Title: Abduction: The Glory and Scandal of Philosophy?
Abstract: C.D. Broad referred to inductive reasoning as "the glory of science and the scandal of philosophy“. Broad‘s point was that while scientists routinely use various forms of inductive reasoning, philosophers have not yet provided any convincing justification for doing so. I suggest that an analogous claim is true of abductive reasoning in philosophy: while philosophers routinely use abductive reasoning, e.g. Inference to the Best Explanation, we philosophers have not yet provided any convincing justification for doing so. In particular, I discuss four problems that arise for abductive reasoning in philosophy: (i) all available explanatory hypotheses may be false; (ii) there may be multiple similarly-plausible rival explanations which undermine each other; (iii) the ‘evidence’ to be explained may be false or uncertain; and (iv) we may have no way to estimate whether the ‘explanatory virtues’ are truth-conducive. In response to these problems, I argue that we should reconceive of the structure of abductive reasoning in philosophy so that, in most cases, it licenses a substantially more modest type of conclusion than it has previously been thought to do.


17/10/23    Inkeri Koskinen (University of Helsinki)
Title: Trust, reliance, and objectivity (collaboration with Alison Wylie)
Abstract: In recent philosophical work on objectivity the notion is typically understood to have numerous different meanings, many of which have to do with trust: when we call something objective, we say that we can trust it. In this paper we develop an account of objectivity that centers attention on questions of human agency.  We identify tensions in trust-based conceptions of objectivity, and argue that they reflect shifting perspectives on the nature and role of human agency in assessing objectivity. Specific conceptions of objectivity arise in response to specific threats to objectivity; our assessments of objectivity are closely tied to the kinds of errors or failures to which human agents are prone (individually or collectively) that are salient in a particular context of practice. At the same time human agents are also understood to be capable of ensuring objectivity, if they can be trusted to act in ways that avoid, mitigate or correct these errors or failures. We cannot fully avoid relationships of trust in science or in the many other important contexts where objectivity is a central notion. But trust needs to be managed and controlled; it is precisely when we find that such control is needed that we start to use the language of objectivity.


24/10/23    David Enoch (University of Oxford)
Title: Why Isn’t (Pure) Epistemic Autonomy of Value?
Abstract: TBD


31/10/23    Jessica Leech (King's College London)
Title: Persistence without essence
Abstract: Questions of persistence and change are central to metaphysics. What changes can an object survive? What changes would destroy of an object? What determines the conditions for persistence and survival for different kinds of things? There is almost always a role for sortal or essential properties to play in theories of persistence, albeit in different ways. But I’m suspicious of many of the claims about sortal properties and essential properties on which so many accounts of persistence conditions rest. I want to think through what persistence looks like if we don’t help ourselves to these assumptions. I will argue that giving these assumptions more scrutiny uncovers a deep and difficult problem when it comes to identity facts, and their relation to qualitative facts.


07/11/23    Ofra Magidor (University of Oxford)
Title: Property Versatility
Abstract: I will present some key ideas from a book I’m currently co-authoring with David Liebesman: Copredication and Property Versatility. Most familiar properties are versatile: there are many different ways to have the same property. For example, a light-blue object and a dark-blue object can both have the property of being blue, even if they have it in different ways. Our key claim is that this observation should be extended: many properties are far more versatile than theorists typically take them to be. I’ll show this insight can be incredibly fruitful in addressing a wide range of philosophical issues including the puzzle of copredication, the semantics of generics, and the metaphysics of repeatable artworks.


14/11/23    John Dupré (University of Exeter)
Title: Human Individuals and Human Kinds: A Process View
Abstract: I have argued for some time that biological Individuals, including humans, should be seen as processes rather than substances or things. This has implications both for understanding the boundaries in time and space of the human individual, and for the nature of the kinds into which we tend to sort humans—notably races and sex and gender. In this talk I shall briefly explain the process view of life, and outline some of these implications for basic questions about human beings.


21/11/23    Julia Borcherding (University of Cambridge)
Title: TBD
Abstract: TBD


28/11/23    Pablo Hubacher Haerle (University of Cambridge)
Title: Philosophical Pathologies and the Point of Inquiry
Abstract: Some people experiencing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are engaged in excessive worries about specific questions; they are inquirers. It is widely accepted in psychiatry that there is something deeply irrational about these sorts of anxious worries. However, the proposed accounts of what makes such worries irrational aren’t convincing. I argue for a novel answer based on a new norm for inquiry: the Success Norm for Inquiry. I show how this norm falls out of attractive positions in theory of action, metaepistemology and the debate about the constitutive aim of inquiry. Not only does the Success Norm help to see what’s irrational about OCD- or GAD-worries, it also, I suggest, affords us a new reply to the philosophical sceptic.

This will take place at Sidgwick Hall in Newnham College.


Michaelmas 2022

11/10/22    Sophia Dandelet (University of Cambridge)
Title: Permissivism, arbitrariness, and accuracy
Abstract: According to naive permissivism, whether a belief state is epistemically permitted depends only on the believer’s evidence. According to standards permissivism, by contrast, whether a belief state is epistemically permitted depends both on the believer’s evidence and on her epistemic standards. Despite the theoretical costs that attend the more sophisticated view—not least of which is the explanatory burden of saying what, exactly, epistemic standards are—some permissivists have embraced it in order to avoid the so-called arbitrariness objection. But I will argue that the additions that define the more sophisticated view are neither necessary nor sufficient for addressing worries about arbitrariness. The upshot is that if we are going to be permissivists, we might as well be naive ones. I will also suggest that we revisit some of the assumptions that lie behind the arbitrariness objection.


18/10/22    Adrian Alsmith (King’s College London)
Title: Unmistaken: imaginative perception and illusion
Abstract: In imaginative perception, objects of perception are experienced in accordance with what one imagines at the time. Through constrained mental imagery we can experience properties of an object that are beyond our direct perceptual contact, and through understanding a perceived object's relation to a fiction we can experience it as something it is not. In this talk, I will argue that many cases which are often described as illusory are more perspicuously described as forms of imaginative perception. I consider three kinds of case: illusory body sensations in distal touch, multisensory body illusions, and plausibility illusions in virtual reality. I argue that these cases can be distinguished from cases in which we are straightforwardly mistaken, to the extent that they involve either constrained mental imagery, richer forms of imagination structured by understanding fictional context, or both. My hope is that by removing the blanket term 'illusion' from our description of such cases, we can better see the underlying complex of cognitive processes they involve.


25/10/22    Alex Fisher (University of Cambridge)
Title: Virtual Reality as Fictional or Real
Abstract: It is controversial whether virtual reality is fictional or real. Virtual realists argue that objects in virtual reality are genuinely real – they exist, have causal powers, and so on. Virtual fictionalists claim that engagement with virtual reality involves the imagination, hence virtual objects are merely fictional and do not exist. I argue that virtual realism is undermotivated.

First, an apparent major difference between virtual realism and virtual fictionalism – whether or not we imagine in engaging with virtual reality – comes to nothing. The form of belief that the virtual realist advocates instead is functionally identical to imagination. Second, virtual realism purports to have greater explanatory power due to its increased ontology. Yet a key case meant to demonstrate this – our reaction to traumatic events such as sexual assault in virtual reality – can be equally explained by the virtual fictionalist. Consequently, virtual realism's distinctive mental state is unremarkable, and its additional ontology redundant.


01/11/22    Mona Simion (University of Glasgow)
Title: Evidence, Defeat, and Permissible Suspension
Abstract: It is controversial whether virtual reality is fictional or real. Virtual realists argue that objects in virtual reality are genuinely real – they exist, have causal powers, and so on. Virtual fictionalists claim that engagement with virtual reality involves the imagination, hence virtual objects are merely fictional and do not exist. I argue that virtual realism is undermotivated.

First, an apparent major difference between virtual realism and virtual fictionalism – whether or not we imagine in engaging with virtual reality – comes to nothing. The form of belief that the virtual realist advocates instead is functionally identical to imagination. Second, virtual realism purports to have greater explanatory power due to its increased ontology. Yet a key case meant to demonstrate this – our reaction to traumatic events such as sexual assault in virtual reality – can be equally explained by the virtual fictionalist. Consequently, virtual realism's distinctive mental state is unremarkable, and its additional ontology redundant.


08/11/22    Laura Valentini (Ludwigs-Maximilians University Munich)
Speaker online
Title: Rethinking Moral Claim Rights
Abstract: There is much debate about what moral claim rights are. Underpinning this debate is the assumption that the purpose of claim rights is to designate a distinctive moral position that characterizes right-holders vis-à-vis duty-bearers. I argue that this assumption is mistaken. The idea of moral claim rights is instead associated, on the one hand, with a family of powers (e.g., to demand, waive, and enforce the performance of duties, and to seek compensation for their violation) and, on the other, with the justifications for conferring them on individuals. In short, claim rights designate different facets of what we might call “empowerment.” This is why, for structural reasons, no extensionally adequate definition of moral claim rights can capture a distinctive moral position: focusing on one such position (one facet of empowerment) will exclude others. I thus conclude that either the language of claim rights should be abandoned in moral theorizing or its purpose should be reconsidered.

15/11/22    Matthieu Queloz (University of Bern)
Title: Pragmatic Genealogy
Abstract: Though conceptual engineering is a forward-looking enterprise, the thought has been gaining traction that it should be guided by a prior understanding of the points or functions of our concepts. In this talk, I explore some of the motivations for this backward-looking enterprise of conceptual reverse-engineering, and I argue that there is an under-appreciated tradition which offers a methodologically controlled way of doing conceptual reverse-engineering: the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. I contend that pragmatic genealogy is particularly well suited to dealing with two kinds of conceptual practices in particular: those exhibiting what I call self-effacing functionality, and those that are historically inflected to such a degree that they lack a paradigm case displaying the practice’s connection to human needs. By enabling us to reverse-engineer the points of concepts even then, pragmatic genealogy earns its place in our methodological repertoire.


22/11/22    Paula Keller (University of Cambridge)
Title: Perceiving Oppression
Abstract: Social factors shape our intuitive interpretations of the social world. Accordingly, sexual harassment may be interpreted not as part of gender oppression, but as a compliment, as one’s own fault, perhaps because one was asking for it with one’s clothes, or as a merely personal misstep by some creep. Interpretations of this sort are stable, communally shared, and enforced, as I show using Elisabeth Camp’s work on characterisations. Given this stability, how it is possible that we can move away from these interpretations to more accurately perceiving sexual harassment as oppressive? Carmita Wood was able to undergo this shift. I use her example to analyse its possibility. A common answer to my question is that seeds of knowledge or kernels of accuracy are already contained in most experiences of oppression. Consciousness-raising can nurture and develop those into knowledge. I give an alternative explanation. The complexities of the world transcend our limited ways of interpreting it. This opens up hermeneutical gaps: situations unaccounted for by our established interpretive resources which constitute opportunities for accurately seeing oppression as oppressive. Miranda Fricker thinks of hermeneutical gaps as obstacles to knowledge and cases of epistemic injustice. I show that some such gaps can, however, be opportunities for knowledge.


29/11/22    Wouter Cohen (University of Cambridge)
Takes place in Barbara White Room (Newnham College)
Title: Appreciating music
Abstract: What role does our grasp of musical traditions play in our aesthetic appreciation of musical performances? In this talk, I first suggest that there are at least two ways of engaging with a performance of a work of music W: (i) we may listen to the performance simply as an extended sound-event and appreciate the harmonies, melodies, rhythms, and so on, and (ii) we may listen to the performance as a performance of W and appreciate it as an interpretation of the work. I then argue that the second way of engaging with music is, in practice, often only possible because we grasp the musical traditions that the work being performed is part of. I also argue that there are works of music where the second way of engaging is impossible unless one has already learned what the work requires of its performance. Finally, if there is time, I contrast my arguments to those of Kendall Walton in his landmark 'Categories of Art'.


Lent 2023

24/01/23    Sarah Paul (NYU Abu Dhabi)                
Title: Plan B Consistency
Abstract: We sometimes commit ourselves to the pursuit of a goal in the face of uncertainty that we will achieve it.  Even as we make our plans for how to succeed in such cases, it can be sensible at the same time to plan for failure – to make a plan B.  Does planning for two different, incompatible futures threaten the rational consistency of our web of practical commitments?  I’ll argue that on the right way of thinking about what a plan B is, and how it is related to one's plan A, there need be no strict inconsistency between primary plans and backup plans.  That said, we often do take certain kinds of backup planning to be in tension with wholehearted, sincere commitment to one's primary plan.  A fuller story of plan consistency is needed to capture the rational interplay between these different levels of planning and the degrees to which we are committed to a particular course of action.  My aim is to make headway on such an account.


31/01/23  [ONLINE]  Adrian Moore (University of Oxford) 
Title: Armchair Knowledge: Some Kantian Reflections
Abstract: In this talk I shall consider a puzzle associated with ‘armchair knowledge’, by which I mean knowledge that is not warranted by experience. The Kantian solution to this puzzle, namely transcendental idealism, is a view whereby some of what the subject has knowledge of has a form that depends on the subject.  After discussion of the scope and limits of this solution, I argue both that it is the only available solution when the armchair knowledge in question is synthetic and that it is incoherent, from which I conclude that there is no such thing as synthetic armchair knowledge.  But this is all on the assumption that the armchair knowledge in question is knowledge of what is necessary.  In the final section of the talk, if I have time to include it, I shall consider other solutions to the puzzle that may be available if the knowledge in question is knowledge of what is contingent.


07/02/23    Johanna Thoma (LSE)  
Title: Social Science, Policy and Democracy
Abstract: This paper argues that there is a neglected democratic challenge for policy-relevant social science that existing accounts of the reconciliation of science and democracy fail to address. It is widely acknowledged that policy-relevant social science is value-laden in a number of ways. To reconcile this with democracy, it has been proposed that the values that enter social science need to be democratically aligned or legitimated in some way to guard against a democratically problematic technocracy. But where the value judgements that need to be made are especially contentious, and persistent disagreement can be expected, this response may not address the danger of a kind of epistemic inequality that I will argue is also problematic on democratic grounds: the epistemic inequality that arises when social scientific results concerning matters of public interest are more relevant, usable and trustworthy for the subset of the population that shares the value judgements made in the research than for the subset of the population that doesn’t. A value pluralist approach, in contrast, can help ensure epistemic equality. I will thus argue that if and where greater value pluralism is feasible without undermining other important values, it is clearly desirable on democratic grounds. The measurement of value-laden social scientific indicators, such as measures of the cost of living or wellbeing, will serve as an example of a domain where greater pluralism is both especially desirable and feasible.   


14/02/23    - Cancelled

21/02/23    - Cancelled


28/02/23    - Sophie Dandelet (University of Cambridge)
Title: Epistemic rationality and the value of truth


07/03/23    Lori Watson (Washington University in St. Louis)
Title: On Subordination
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to try to offer some clarity about the concept of domination—what it does, how it works, and why it matters.  Ultimately, I argue in favor of a descriptive, non-normative conception of domination that is distinct from the concept of oppression.  Apart from the philosophical exercise of aiming to get our concepts clear, clarity about the distinction between domination and oppression is important for understanding cause and effect relationships.  Domination relations are certainty fertile ground for oppressive relations, practices, and institutions to take root, but the effect (oppression) is distinct from the causes, which are likely broader in some cases as well.


14/03/23    Philip Kitcher (Columbia University)

Title: The Theory of Scientific Explanation: An Obituary
Abstract:  Since C.G. Hempel's seminal articles on scientific explanation, many philosophers have followed his lead and hoped for a general theory of scientific explanation.  An exception is James Woodward, who explicitly focuses on one species of explanation (causal explanation).  I argue that this decision is wise.  For systematic reasons, the search for a fully general theory was always doomed.  To bring this out, I consider explanation in mathematics, and explanation in history, using my findings about these areas to expose difficulties in subsuming explanations in the natural sciences under a single shared pattern.


Easter 2023

02/05/23    Michael Ridge (University of Edinburgh)
Title: Playfulness as a Moral Virtue
Abstract: In this presentation, I argue that playfulness is a moral virtue. This might seem surprising, since playfulness is seen as frivolous, while morality is seen as serious, even profound.  What is worse, some paradigmatic forms of playfulness can even seem morally vicious – think of the playfulness of a trickster like Loki, for example.  Nonetheless, the idea has a lot more going for it than it might at first seem, or so I shall argue. I'll start by drawing on some of my previous work with an account of what play is to explain what playfulness as a character trait is. I then defend what I consider a plausible sufficient condition for a character trait's being a moral virtue.  With all these pieces in place I offer several considerations in favour of the idea that playfulness as I have characterized it is indeed a moral virtue - or, more cautiously, that for most people with a very basic level of moral integrity moral competence, playfulness is a moral virtue. If there is time, I will discuss what I consider the most powerful objections to this view and some possible directions for future research.

09/05/23    Jan Kandiyali    (Durham University)
Title: From Each According to Their Abilities
Abstract: In The Critique of the Gotha Programme, Karl Marx suggests that the higher phase of communism will be characterised by the principle: “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs!”. This principle is subject to conflicting interpretations. According to the moral interpretation, the principle states a moral duty to contribute (according to one’s abilities) and entitlement to receive (according to one’s needs). According to the descriptive interpretation, by contrast, the principle does not specify a moral duty to contribute but merely describes what a communist society will be like, where the dominant version of this interpretation—defended by G.A. Cohen—takes it to be describing a society of voluntary equality brought about by material abundance. In this paper, I criticise both interpretations.  I argue that the moral interpretation fails to provide a plausible interpretation of Marx. By contrast, I argue that Cohen’s interpretation provides a more plausible interpretation of Marx, but that his account of how the principle is possible—the so-called ‘technological fix’—renders Marx’s view untenable as an independent position. I provide an alternative interpretation of the communist principle. Central to my view is the idea that the principle provides a shorthand account of Marx’s view of good society. On this view, the good society is one that enables its members to produce from their abilities and for others’ needs. So, on the view I defend, the communist principle is made possible not via advances in technology but by each willingly providing for others. I argue that this interpretation accords with the texts and presents a distinctive view of the good society, avoiding the problems associated with Cohen’s interpretation. 

16/05/23    Emily Thomas (Durham University)
Title: From Unreal to Real Time: British Metaphysics 1880s-1920s
Abstract: Around the turn of the twentieth century, British metaphysics of time saw two major changes. First, from the 1870s to 1900s, philosophers became convinced time was unreal. Philosophers en masse denied the reality of time, from F. H. Bradley to J. M. E. McTaggart. Second, from the 1890s onwards, philosophers began to embrace time, developing newfangled theories. Samuel Alexander, Bertrand Russell, Victoria Welby, and F. C. S. Schiller conceived time as static. G. E. Moore, C. D. Broad, Arthur Eddington, Susan Stebbing, R. G. Collingwood conceived time as dynamic.  This broad-brush, big ideas paper asks, Why did these two changes occur? It explores the role of biological evolution, the spatialisation of time, and temporal psychology; and asks how the debates between static and dynamic theories got started.

23/05/23    Michael Freeden (University of Oxford)
Title: Political thinking: the flight from solidity
Abstract: Political thinking displays two contrasting versions of what constitutes political thought: an accumulation of textual essays and stipulations originating in culturally elitist circles, and generalized sets both of fleeting and more durable opinions, preferences and conceptualizations emanating from all segments of society. Their interpretative dimension is particularly subject to variations in collective memory, to cultural shifts, to the fluidity of conceptual morphology, and to navigating around silences.

Social memory is frequently manufactured and redesigned, prone to political intervention. Narratives are subject to endless contextual revision and disruption that either fracture or invent cohesiveness and continuity. The morphological approach profoundly challenges the notion of clear or fixed boundaries that reinforce binaries or hold them in an agonistic balance. In ordinary political language conceptual indeterminacy renders the striving for boundaries arbitrary, replacing it instead with mutating reconfigurations as typical spatial and temporal forms of political thinking. That fluidity normalizes a sensitivity to contingency. Finally, silences both enable and constrain social communication, traditions, and currents—e.g. tacit consent on the one hand or cultural taboos involving political correctness on the other. Those elusive silences may come and go, re-emerging emphatically, or vanishing without trace like black holes swallowing up their own evidence: marginalizing, eradicating, superimposing.  

Political thinking is a social activity, involving interaction that entails problems not only in producing but in transmitting, translating, and receiving or consuming the meaning of words. Any systematization will be transient, simplifying, and in danger of detaching the study of political thought from the ephemeral patterns and practices it contains.

30/05/23    Ronja Griep (University of Cambridge)
Title: tba
Abstract: tba