Symposia and Lectures



Spring 2024 Colloquium Series:


February 16, 2024

Simon Huttegger 

Professor of Logic & Philosophy of Science, University of California Irvine

Location: Miner 225

"Bayesian Randomness"

Joint work with Sean Walsh (UCLA) and Francesca Zaffora Blando (CMU)
In this talk, we pursue two goals. First, we develop a Bayesian perspective on algorithmic randomness: a branch of computability theory concerned with characterizing the notion of a sequence displaying no effectively detectable patterns. Second, we argue that taking a Bayesian point of view on randomness leads to new insights for Bayesian epistemology, more specifically, for two pillars of Bayesian epistemology: convergence to the truth and merging of opinions. In particular, adopting such a perspective reveals that, for computable Bayesian agents, the sequences of observations, or data streams, along which convergence to the truth and merging of opinions occur are uniformly characterizable in an informative way: they are the algorithmically random data streams.

March 1, 2024

Marina DiMarco 

Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religion & Health Sciences, Northeastern University

Location: Miner 225

"Biological Sex Eliminativism"

Joint work with Aja Watkins (
The concept of biological sex guides research, clinical practice, science funding policy, and contemporary political discourse. In many such contexts, this concept is understood to mean that sex categories such as “male” and “female” crosscut other forms of biological categorization, such as species. We argue that there is no coherent definition of biological sex that applies to all sexually reproducing organisms in a consistent or useful way, and that there are shortcomings or gaps in existing pluralist accounts of sex. Furthermore, there are serious social and epistemic costs to using “biological sex” in place of more specific alternatives. Because of this, biologists and philosophers of science should consider eliminativism about the concept of biological sex. That is, we should consider eliminating the concept of biological sex from large swaths of biological practice and philosophical theorizing.

Sex eliminativism is worth taking seriously, and it can play important roles in philosophical debate and biological practice, even for those who remain skeptical. The methodological consequences of sex eliminativism are compatible with best practices for inquiry in the biological and biomedical sciences, with inclusive approaches to the study of sex and gender, and with feminist philosophical and methodological recommendations. Taking eliminativism seriously reveals important disagreement about the work that a concept of biological sex should do, and imposes a contrastive burden on would-be rivals.

April 19, 2024

Axel Seeman 

Professor of Philosophy, Bentley University

Location: Miner 225

Loneliness, Social Connection, and Joint Know-How

It is often suggested that the experience of loneliness is or involves the sense of not being appropriately connected to others. The question then arises how to spell out this interpersonal connection. One option is to think of it in emotional terms. This option runs counter to the view that emotions are plausibly ascribed to individuals. Another option is to think of the interpersonal connections whose felt absence may result in loneliness as consisting in the exercise of a shared kind of practical knowledge. People connect by way of skillfully doing things together and these joint activities help constitute the relationships whose failure can make them feel alone. I suggest that the notion of joint know-how gives substance to the idea that certain interactive relations between people and the environment constitute their socio-cognitive home in the world. Loneliness then turns out to be the experience of the absence or loss of this home.



Annual Hugo Bedau Memorial Lecture 

April 5, 2024

Randall L. Kennedy 

Michael R. Klein Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Location: Braker 001

Reflecting on 70 Years of Brown v Board of Education