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[演講公告] 10/30 (一) 法語區魯汶大學科學哲學學者演講


The Causal Structure of Natural Selection
Charles H. Pence
Recent arguments concerning the nature of causation in evolutionary theory, now often known as the debate between the “causalist” and “statisticalist” positions, have involved answers to a variety of independent questions – definitions of key evolutionary concepts like natural selection, fitness, and genetic drift; causation in multi-level systems; or the nature of evolutionary explanations, among others. Drawing on a recently published Cambridge Element, I will offer a way to disentangle one set of these questions surrounding the causal structure of natural selection. Doing so allows us to clearly reconstruct the approach that some of these major competing interpretations of evolutionary theory have to this causal structure, highlighting particular features of philosophical interest within each. Further, those features concern general problems of importance to metaphysicians and philosophers of science alike.
Physical possibilities from the Lagrangian point of view
Alexandre Guay
Natural modalities are often analysed from an abstract point of view where they are associated with putative laws of nature. However, the way possibilities are represented in physics is more complex. Lagrangian mechanics, for instance, involves two different layers of modalities: kinematical and dynamical possibilities. This paper examines the status of these two layers, both in the classical and quantum case. The quantum case is particularly problematic: we identify four possible interpretive options. The upshot is that a close inspection of the way possibilities are represented in physics could lead to new ways of thinking about natural modalities.