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Last modified 1 Jan 70
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Philosophy Program
RSSS, ANU
Metaphysics Day
Seminar Room D, Coombs Building, ANU
September 19, 2003


Friday 19 September is Metaphysics Day. Our speakers will be Daniel Nolan (University of St Andrews), L. A. Paul (University of Arizona and RSSS), and Denis Robinson (University of Auckland). Each speaker will give a presentation on a topic in metaphysics, after which there will be opportunity for discussion.

Program:

10:30-11:00 Coffee available in the Coombs tearoom
11:00-12:30 L. A. Paul (Arizona, RSSS)
"Change is Multiple Realization"

Abstract:
The problem of change arises from a clash between two compelling ideas: (i) identicals must be indiscernible and (ii) ordinary things can persist through a change of their properties. I argue that there is a better way of understanding the debate over change than has been previously considered. My view is that the problem of change is a version of a familiar problem in the philosophy of mind: the problem of the multiple realizability of the mental. Indeed, I shall argue that it is the same problem, applied across times in a world instead of across minds at a time, and that the same solution applies.
12:30-2:00 Lunch
2:00-3:30 Daniel Nolan (St Andrews)
"Balls and All"

Abstract:
This paper describes a plausible view of the nature of physical objects, their mereological connections to each other, and their relation to spacetime. As well as being parsimonious, the view provides a plausible context for denying all of the following:

(1) A theory that objects endure through time (and do not have temporal parts, as normally conceived) cannot assert the identity of an object and the space-time region it occupies.

(2) At least one of the family of mereological connections (part-whole, overlap etc.) is to be taken as primitive.

(3) Claims entirely in the language of quantifiers and identity and mereology are not semantically vague.

It is thus an example showing that the there are more options for the metaphysics of objects, spacetime and mereology than many metaphysicians ordinarily assume.
3:30-4:00 Afternoon Tea
4:00-5:30 Denis Robinson (Auckland)
"Contingent Identity and Some Byways of Counterpart Theory"
5:30 Post-workshop drinks

!!All Welcome!!

For more information contact Yuri Cath (yuricath@coombs.anu.edu.au) or Karen Riley (riley@coombs.anu.edu.au).