ReferenceError: "department" is not defined.
Skip to main content

CHESS Seminar Series 2022/23 - FULL PROGRAMME

Staff and students are very welcome at the following events hosted by CHESS this academic year. For further information on all our events, including details on how to register, contact us at


Details Title Abstract
Olav Gjelsvik (University of Oslo)

11th October 2022 at 4:30pm

Venue: St Mary's College 

Intellectual Humility and Pareto Superiority It has recently been maintained (both by Anna Mathani and Tim Williamson) that there are general philosophical arguments in support of the claim that a concept like ex ante Pareto superiority cannot in general be well applied to the social world, and that this may have wide-ranging consequences in the philosophy of social science as it may concern all concepts whose applications presuppose that we can track individuals through changes. This talk will investigate this claim from the perspective that we should first investigate and analyze the best scientific practice concerning relevant matters. I shall argue that in this case the negative general philosophical claim cannot be legitimately made: Social scientists have seen the problem and adequate measures can be and have been taken.
Richard Vagnino (UCSD)

19th October 2022 at 4:30pm

Venue: PO004, Department of Philosophy

Leyden jars and magic squares: analogy use in early electrophysiology

Joseph D Martin (Durham University)

8th December 2022 at 3pm GMT

Venue: MHL224, DUBS


Ending ‘Science’ 


This seminar will be followed by Book Launch: Identifying Future-Proof Science - Durham University


‘Science’ is no longer useful. That is not to say that we shouldn’t value the intellectual outputs of the people commonly regarded as scientists—of course we should, in the right circumstances, keeping in mind that identifying those circumstances is fraught. Rather, the category of ‘science’ itself is no longer up to the challenges of the age. Science, through the twentieth century, became a powerful category. Like many powerful categories, it has grown larger and more diffuse as a growing range of practices has sought to borrow its prestige and gain access to the resources it commands. This talk highlights the institutional processes through which a peculiar notion of science has become entrenched and expounds on the consequences of that entrenchment for the suitability of ‘science’ as a category, in light of current global challenges.
Central to this discussion is the emergence of a critical incoherence in our contemporary notion of science: the growing number of methodologically distinct epistemic activities subsumed with in it on one hand, and the enduring myth of a singular scientific method on the other. This tension, I argue, is a confounding factor in current cultural conflicts over scientific expertise, from climate change to COVID, and that understanding its historical emergence therefore clears space for exploring new and more productive ways of organising epistemic labour.

Helen Longino (Stanford University)

Thursday 23rd March 2023 at 4:30pm

Venue: PO005, Department of Philosophy



Rosa Runhardt (Radboud University)

Tuesday 2nd May 2023 at 4:30pm

Venue: PO005, Department of Philosophy



Jacob Stegenga (University of Cambridge)

Thursday 18th May 20232 at 4:30pm

Venue: PO005, Department of Philosophy

Sisyphean science: why value freedom is worth pursuing (co-authored with Tarun Menon, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru)