Buffalo Logic Colloquium

141 Park Hall, November 21, 4:00pm – 6:30pm

Institutionalizing Ante Rem Structuralism

Ante rem structuralism has been the focus of intense debate in the last twenty years and is subject to numerous challenges. Some of the greatest and most widely recognized challenges relate to what structures are, how ante rem structuralism differs from traditional platonism, whether ante rem structuralism can cope with structures that have nontrivial automorphisms, and whether places from distinct mathematical structures can be identified. I argue that the best way to respond to these challenges is to give up on realism and instead maintain that mathematical structures are institutional entities. I demonstrate that an institutional perspective on ante rem structuralism not only clarifies the metaphysics of mathematical structures but provides natural responses to all of the aforementioned challenges.

Julian Cole

2013 Dissertation Essay Contest

The Review of Metaphysics invites submissions for the 2013 Dissertation Essay Contest. The competition is open to all participants who have been awarded the Ph.D. degree in philosophy in the United States or Canada during 2013.

Entries must be a dissertation chapter or an essay based directly upon a dissertation.
Essays may be on any topic dealt with in the dissertation.
The author of the prize winning essay will receive $500.
It is expected that the winning essay will be published in The Review of Metaphysics.

Buffalo Logic Colloquium

November 7, 4pm, 141 Park Hall

Composition as Pattern

Steve Petersen, Niagara University Philosophy Department

Peter van Inwagen’s Special Composition Question asks when a bunch of things, together, compose a new thing. Here I propose an answer. The proposal fills in some of Daniel Dennett’s sketch in his (1991) paper, according to which, very roughly, the xx compose a y just in case the xx form an real pattern. Call the resulting answer Patternism.

For more information about Dr. Petersen’s work

Philosophy Conference: Spinoza, Judaism, and Politics

Speakers: Professors Steven Nadler, Zev Harvey, Richard A. Cohen, Alex Green

Wednesday, November 6, 12am – Thu, November 7, 12am

The conference is sponsored by the Institute of Jewish Thought and Heritage but don’t let that fool you, its a philosophy conference. Also, as you no doubt know, Steven Nadler is one of the world’s leading Spinoza scholars, we are very fortunate to have him. (How? I sent him an email, and he agreed to come! No, I don’t know him personally.) Also, Zev Harvey… a top name in medieval and early modern philosophy, again we are fortunate (but I know Zev, and he’ll be a Visiting Prof. at Columbia University in the fall, hence the invitation and acceptance). What can I say, I’ll (Richard Cohen) also be speaking (three published papers on Spinoza), and our (IJTH) newest faculty member (affiliated with philosophy, but hired into history): Alex Green, who has already published two papers on Spinoza as a graduate student!