Why Chance Matters

Just saw the following event announced on PHILOS-L. Anyone know the speaker?

*****

Why Chance Matters
with Prof. Mauricio Suárez
(Complutense University of Madrid & UCL)

Tue 12 April, 18.00 (drinks from 17.45)
@The Conservatory, Bloomsbury Publishing
50 Bedford Square, London.

Organised by UH Philosophy & Bloomsbury Philosophy

Free entry- all welcome – no booking required.
Please arrive early to secure a seat and enjoy a drink on us!

Facebook group for the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/463239327215030/

Abstract

Chance has been raising intellectual passions at least since the concept of probability emerged firmly in the 17th century, in connection with both evidence in jurisprudence and regularities in so-called “games of chance”. Probabilistic thinking soon spread everywhere: from actuarial science to population statistics, from the calculus of expectations to decision theory, from measures of experimental error to quantum mechanics. Ideas of pure chance and randomness infected general culture and even the arts. Yet, there have been many attempts to deny the reality of chance. Those in denial have typically tried to explain away chance in terms of something else, something less “fickle”, “elusive” or “ephemeral”. But there is deep disagreement as to what that something else may be. Objectivists aim to analyse chance in terms of proportions in real or virtual populations. Subjectivists aim to analyse it away as a feature of the architecture of cognition – such as information, or partial degree of belief. Yet none of these denials of chance seems to apply across the board and, as I show, they are all subject to important conceptual objections anyway. I conclude that chance matters, not only to many areas of philosophy but also to social policy, and how we conduct our lives in general.

Bio

Mauricio Suárez is a philosopher of science with research interests in the philosophy of probability and causality, the history and philosophy of quantum physics, modelling and idealization, and the aesthetics of scientific representation. In recent years he has been articulating a novel pragmatist account of propensities or probabilistic dispositions as explanatory posits of theory. Suárez is a tenured professor at Madrid’s Complutense University, and a research associate at both UCL and the LSE. In the past he held positions at Oxford, St Andrews, Bristol and Northwestern Universities, and was a regular visiting scholar at Harvard’s Philosophy Department between 2007 and 2011.

https://www.ucm.es/dpto_logica/mauricio_suarez

https://www.facebook.com/WhyPhilosophyMatters
https://twitter.com/WhyPhilMatters

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