August 29, 2007

Expressivism, Pragmatism, and Representationalism

Busy conference season in Australia. Today ends the Evolution and Cooperation Conference at ANU, organized by Richard Joyce & Kim Sterelny.

Steve Downes (University of Utah); Christian List (LSE); Ben Kerr (University of Washington); Timothy Ketelaar (University of New Mexico); Matteo Mameli (Cambridge); Fiery Cushman (Harvard); Peter Godfrey-Smith (Harvard); Kai Spikerman (LSE); Brett Calcott (ANU)

Day 1 included Christian List, who had neat empirical data on the Condorcet jury theorem as applied to deliberative democracy. Another great talk was Fiery Cushman's, which included loads of data about our judgments regarding moral consequences and intentions. And there were others.

Ah, I took my first spin around the block on the left side of the road. It was at night, and some street signs were apparently missing, but overall the episode went down without a hitch. Driving on the left is easier than I thought. Just take everything you do with your left hemisphere and replace it with everything you do with your right hemisphere, and vice versa. The drive was in part preparation for my trip to Sydney for the Expressivism, Pragmatism and Representationalism conference, hosted by the Centre for Time. I didn't drive to Sydney (Chalmers and Fish took care of business), but I did get stuck with the honor of driving around to find a parking spot in Potts Point. No problemo, but I think i'll stay on my bicycle for a while.

Arrived during Simon Blackburns talk. He waxed broadly about the ins and outs of expressivism. Also caught Jamie Dreier's talk on the difference between irrealism and realism, and the pitfalls of trying to articulate said difference. This was also our 3 and a half year old daughter's first time attending philosophy talks. She had a blast. She wanted to know what order-of-explanation has to do with the reality of the subject matter. Will check out more talks tomorrow. Still don't know how long we are staying in the fabulous city, but won't be upset if we leave later rather than sooner.

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