Celebrating Yirmiyahu Yovel @ Wolff Conference Room, D1103
Mar 29 – Mar 30 all-day

The Philosophy Department of The New School for Social Research invites you to a conference in honor of the life and work of Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy Yirmiyahu Yovel.

The conference will be on March 29th and 30th in the Wolff Conference Room, D1103, 6 E 16th Street.

Celebrating Yirmiyahu Yovel

Friday, March 29th

Chair: Richard J. Bernstein

9 AM – 11 AM: Agnes Heller “The Other Within”

11 AM – 1 PM: Jay Bernstein “Yovel and Hegel’s Phenomenology


2 PM – 4 PM: James Dodd “The Historical Antinomy”

4PM – 6PM: Jonathan Yovel “Normativity as a Poetic Quality”


Saturday, March 30th

Chari: Dmitri Nikulin

9 AM – 11 AM: Joel Whitebook “Immanence, Finitude, and Emancipation: A Psychoanalytic Perspective”

11 AM – 1 PM: Omri Boehm “Immanence, Knowledge, and Immortality: Spinoza’s Ethics as an Inversion of the Biblical Fall”


2 PM – 4 PM: Chiara Bottici “Marrano of Reason”

4 PM – 6 PM: Eli Friedlander “On the Different Ways to the Highest Good”

Rutgers-Columbia Undergraduate Philosophy Conference @ Rutgers Philosophy Dept
Apr 6 all-day
Rutgers-Columbia Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
Saturday, April 06, 2019, 09:30am – 06:00pm
Location Rutgers Philosophy Department, 106 Somerset St, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
Rutgers Epistemology Conference 2019 @ Hyatt Regency, Conference rm. BC
May 3 – May 4 all-day

The REC is a pre-read conference. The papers will be made available on April 15.

Friday, May 3, 2019

1:30 – 3:15 pm

    Alex Byrne (MIT)

    Chair: TBD

Coffee Break

3:45 – 5:30 pm

    Susanna Rinard (Harvard)

    Chair: TBD


7:30 – 9:15 pm

    Jonathan Kvanvig (Washington University St Louis)

    Chair: TBD

Reception 9:30 – 11:00 PM

Saturday, May 4, 2019

9:30 – 11:15 am

    Anil Gupta (University of Pittsburgh)

    Chair: TBD

Coffee Break

11:45 – 1:30 pm      Winner of the Young Epistemologist Prize


    Chair: TBD


2:45 – 4:30 pm

    Maria Lasonen-Aarnio (University of Helsinki)

    Chair: TBD


Heather Battaly (University of Connecticut)

John Bengson (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Annalisa Coliva (University of California Irvine)

Thomas Kelly (Princeton)


Chris Copan, Andy Egan, Megan Feeney, Peter Klein, Matthew McGrath, Susanna Schellenberg, Ernie Sosa

The REC is a pre-read conference, so papers are to be read in advance. There is no registration fee for the conference, but please notify Megan Feeney, the conference manager, if you plan to attend by sending an email to If you wish to participate in the meals, please send a check made out to “Rutgers University” to Megan Feeney by April 15 ($80 if you are a faculty member or a postdoc; $60 if you are a graduate student or an undergraduate): Megan Feeney; Rutgers Epistemology Conference; 106 Somerset St, 5th Floor; New Brunswick, NJ 08901.

Hannah Arendt and Reiner Schurmann Annual Symposium in Political Philosophy “Varieties of Intentionality” @ Theresa Lang Center, I202, New School
May 10 – May 11 all-day

Conference Schedule

Friday May 10

  • 1pm: Rachel Goodman (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
    Introductory Overview

    1:30pm: Jake Quilty-Dunn (University of Oxford)
    On Elisabeth Camp’s “Putting Thoughts to Work”

    4:30pm: John Kulvicki (Darmouth College)
    On Jacob Beck’s “Perception is Analog”

Saturday May 11

  • 1pm: Jacob Beck (York University)
    On Jake Quilty-Dunn’s “Perceptual Pluralism”

    4pm: Elisabeth Camp (Rutgers University)
    On John Kulvicki’s “Modeling the Meanings of Pictures”

The Five Essential Readings for the Conference

The conference is predicated on the assumption that everyone in attendance will have read all five of these essays:

Some Helpful Background Readings

Here are ten additional readings that help to fill in some of the background to the topics that will be discussed at the conference. Those new to these topics might start with the Kulvicki, Camp, and Giardino and Greenberg readings, and then move on to the others.

If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Zed Adams at

Conference in Honor of Jerry Fodor @ Academic Building, Room 1180, Rutgers
May 16 – May 17 all-day

Thursday, May 16th

9:00-9:30 am Breakfast (Provided)
9:30-9:45 am Opening Remarks, James Swenson, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
9:45-10:45 am Session 1 – Tom Bever, “Foundational cognitive science themes that Jerry explored”
10:45-11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00 am – Noon Session 2 – Rochel Gelman, “Innate learning and beyond: The case of number”
Noon – 2:30 pm Lunch (Not provided, see below for options)
2:30-3:30 pm Session 3 – Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini“What Jerry and I got right about what Darwin got wrong”
3:30-3:45 pm Coffee Break
3:45-4:45 pm Session 4 – David Rosenthal“Fodor’s Representationalism”
4:45-5:45 pm Session 5 – Terry Horgan“Morphological content and chromatic illumination in belief fixation”
6:00 pm Dinner Reception Open to All (6th Floor WEST Wing of the Academic Building)


Friday, May 17th

9:00-9:15 am Breakfast (Provided)
9:15-10:15 am Session 6 – Louise Antony, “Not psychological, but not brutely causal either”
10:15-10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30-11:30 am Session 7 – Kevan Edwards“Fodor* on concepts, Frege’s Problem, and the division of explanatory labor”
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Session 8 – Eric Margolis, “Understanding concept nativism”
12:30-3:00 pm Lunch (Not provided, see below for options)
3:00-4:00 pm Session 9 – Susan Schneider, “Conscious machines? A sober-minded approach”
4:00-4:15 pm Coffee Break
4:15-5:15 pm Session 10 – Georges Rey, “Fodor’s mis-guided Quineanism”
5:15-6:15 pm Session 11 – Randy Gallistel“It’s numbers all the way down”
6:15-6:30 pm Closing Remarks


Space is limited, so if you plan to attend, please click here to RSVP.

Rutgers-Bristol Workshop on the Metaphysical Unity of Science @ Rutgers U, Newark. Conklin Hall 455
Jun 10 – Jun 11 all-day

Schedule – June 10th 

(Talks are aprox. 45 minutes with 30 minutes for Q&A)

9:00    Mazviita Chirimuuta, Emergence in Science & the Unity of Science

10:15  Joyce Havstad, TBA

12:00  Lunch, Marcus P&B.  Part of RUN and Newark’s Community Development.

2:00    Ricki Bliss, Fundamentality: From Epistemology to Metaphysics

3:15    Tuomas Tahko, Laws of Metaphysics for Essentialists


Schedule – June 11th 

9:00    Kelly Trodgon, Grounding and Explanatory Gaps

10:15  Stuart Glennan, Rethinking Mechanistic Constitution 

12:00  Lunch, Mercato Tomato Pie.

2:00    Alex Franklin,  How Do Levels Emerge?

3:15    Ken Aizawa, New Directions in Compositional Explanation: Two Cases Studies


Mazviita Chirimuuta – Emergence in Science & the Unity of Science

This paper considers the implications of recent accounts of emergent phenomena for the question of the unity of the sciences. I first offer a historical account of physicalism in its different guises since the mid 19th century. Two threads connecting these otherwise quite different views have been the rejection of emergent phenomena and the commitment to the unity of science. In section two I provide an exposition of emergence as presented in recent philosophy of science, where the key claim is that “parts behave differently in wholes”, based on the empirical finding of what Gillett (2016) calls “differential powers.” Gillett argues that the empirical evidence does not yet support the strong emergentist claim that there is downward causation or any other form of influence from the whole system to its constituent parts, but that such evidence might be obtained. In section 3 I propose instead that the question of whether or not the finding of differential powers is taken to provide overwhelming evidence for strong emergence depends on the further interpretation of differential powers, and ultimately on very broad metaphysical commitments. The interpretation of differential powers that is most resistant to objections from opponents of strong emergence involves a rejection of substance ontology, and hence the rejection of physicalism. Thus, as I conclude in section 4, philosophers should not wait in expectation for empirical results that will settle the question of whether or not there is strong emergence.  I offer a preliminary costs/benefits analysis of the different ontologies of differential powers, intended to aid the reader in their decision over the status of strong emergence. On the most radical interpretation, the usual physicalist conception of the unity of science must be rejected, while a different kind of metaphysical wholism stands in its place.

Joyce Havstad, TBC

Ricki Bliss – Fundamentality: from Epistemology to Metaphysics

In this talk, I explore what might follow for the metaphysics of fundamentality if we take seriously certain reasons to believe there is anything fundamental in the first place.

Tuomas Tahko – Laws of Metaphysics for Essentialists

There is a line of thought gathering momentum which suggests that just like causal laws govern causation, there needs to be something in metaphysics that governs metaphysical relations. Such laws of metaphysics would be counterfactual-supporting general principles that are responsible for the explanatory force of metaphysical explanations. There are various suggestions about how such principles could be understood. They could be based on what Kelly Trogdon calls grounding-mechanical explanations, where the role that grounding mechanisms play in certain metaphysical explanations mirrors the role that causal mechanisms play in certain scientific explanations. Another approach, by Jonathan Schaffer, claims to be neutral regarding grounding or essences (although he does commit to the idea that metaphysical explanation is ‘backed’ by grounding relations). In this paper I will assess these suggestions and argue that for those willing to invoke essences, there is a more promising route available: the unificatory role of metaphysical explanation may be accounted for in terms of natural kind essences.

Kelly Trogdon – Grounding and Explanatory Gaps

 Physicalism is the thesis that all mental facts are ultimately grounded by physical facts. There is an explanatory gap between the mental and physical, and many see this as posing a challenge to physicalism. Jonathan Schaffer (2017) disagrees, arguing that standard grounding connections involve explanatory gaps as a matter of course. I begin by arguing that Schaffer and others mischaracterize the explanatory gap between the mental and physical—it chiefly concerns what I call cognitive significance rather than priori implication or related notions. The upshot is that standard grounding connections normally don’t involve explanatory gaps. Then I consider two grounding-theoretic proposals about how to close explanatory gaps in the relevant sense, one involving structural equations (Schaffer 2017) and the other mechanisms (Trogdon 2018). While each of these proposals seeks to illuminate grounding connections, I argue that neither is helpful in closing the explanatory gap between the mental and physical.  

Stuart Glennan – Rethinking Mechanistic Constitution


The relationship between a mechanisms and its working parts is known as mechanistic constitution.   In this paper we review the history of the mechanistic constitution debate, starting with Salmon’s original account, and we  explain what we take to be the proper lessons to be drawn from the extensive literature surrounding Craver’s mutual manipulability account.  Based on our analysis, we argue that much of the difficulty in understanding the mechanistic constitution relation arises from a failure to recognize two different forms of mechanistic constitution — corresponding to two different kinds of relationships between a mechanism and the phenomenon for which it is  responsible.  First, when mechanisms produce phenomena, the mechanism’s parts are diachronic stages of the process by which entities act to produce the phenomenon.  Second, when mechanisms underlie some phenomenon, the phenomenon is a activity of a whole system, and the mechanism’s parts are those of the working entities that synchronically give rise to the phenomenon.  Attending to these different kinds of constitutive  relations will clarify the circumstances under which mechanistic phenomena can be said to occur at different levels.

Alex Franklin – How Do Levels Emerge?

 Levels terminology is employed throughout scientific discourse, and is crucial to the formulation of various debates in the philosophy of science. In this talk, I argue that all levels are, to some degree, autonomous. Building on this, I claim that higher levels may be understood as both emergent from and reducible to lower levels. I cash out this account of levels with a case study. Nerve signals are on a higher level than the individual ionic motions across the neuronal membrane; this is (at least in part) because the nerve signals are autonomous from such motions. In order to understand the instantiation of these levels we ought to identify the mechanisms at the lower level which give rise to such autonomy. In this case we can do so: the gated ion channels and pumps underwrite the autonomy of the higher level.

Ken Aizawa – New Directions in Compositional Explanation: Two Cases Studies

The most familiar approach to scientific compositional explanations is that adopted by the so-called “New Mechanists”. This approach focuses on compositional explanations of processes of wholes in terms of processes of their parts. In addition, the approach focuses on the use of so-called “interlevel interventions” as the means by which compositional relations are investigated. By contrast, on the approach I adopt, we see that there are compositional explanations of individuals in terms of their parts and properties of individuals in terms of the properties of their parts. In addition, I draw attention to the use of abductive methods in investigations of compositional relations. I illustrate my approach by use of Robert Hooke’s microscopic investigations of the cork and the development of the theory of the action potential.

How To Be An Anti-Capitalist in the 21st Century: A Conference in Memory of Erik Olin Wright @ Wolff Conference Room
Sep 26 all-day

ERIK OLIN WRIGHT spent the last years of his life thinking about ways to challenge and transform capitalist societies. He distilled his thinking in a book, How to Be an Anti-Capitalist in the 21st Century (Verso, 2019). The symposium is designed to launch a debate about the strengths and weaknesses of Wright’s approach. We seek to both honor our colleague’s memory and assure that his ideas become part of current discussions of socialism and socialist strategy. The event will consist of three panels during the day and an evening session that will include tributes to Wright and a keynote by his friend, Ira Katznelson.

For full program and to RSVP please visit
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9:00 – 9:30 am | Welomc
William Milberg, The New School for Social Research
Magali Sarfatti-Larson, Temple University
9:30 – 11:30 am | Session 1: Conceptualizing Capitalism
Vivek Chibber, NYU
Stephanie Mudge, University of California, Davis
Michael Dawson, University of Chicago
Discussant: Gianpaolo Baiocchi, NYU
1:00 – 2:45 pm | Session 2: Oppositional discourses and strategies
Stephanie Luce, City University of New York
Glen Coulthard, University of British Columbia
Teresa Ghilarducci, The New School for Social Research
Discussant: Angela Harris, University of California, Davis
3:15 – 5:00 pm | Session 3: Socialism, Human Rights, and Sites of Contestation
Nancy Fraser, The New School for Social Research
Cesar Rodriguez-Garavito, University of los Andes
Sabeel Rahman, Brooklyn Law School
Discussant: TBA
7:00 – 8:00 pm | Remarks on E.O. Wright’s Legacy
Friends and colleagues of Erik Olin Wright will deliver
remarks on his legacy.
8:00 – 9:30 pm Keynote
Ira Katznelson, Columbia University


This event is co-sponsored by the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School for Social Research, and the journal, Politics & Society.


Philosophy of Probability Conference (Loewer) @ Seminar Room at Gateway Transit Building
Oct 24 – Oct 26 all-day

Ian Hacking wrote that probability is a Janus-faced concept with one face looking toward the world and the other toward the mind. The face looking toward the world is central to laws and explanations in physics (especially quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics) and the special sciences. The face looking toward the mind is central to epistemology and decision theory. This conference concerns both aspects and especially their relation to each other. What is probability that it possesses both aspects? This three-day conference will focus on answering this and related questions.

There is no registration fee and attendance is open to all; however, RSVP is required. Please RSVP here before Oct 15, if you plan to attend. All are welcome!

General information is available here.

Conference Organizers

Barry Loewer (Rutgers)
Denise Dykstra (Rutgers)

Invited Participants

David Albert (Columbia)
Valia Allori (NIU)
Katie Elliott (UCLA)
Ned Hall (Harvard)
Carl Hoefer (Barcelona)
Jenann Ismael (Columbia)
Christopher Meacham (Amherst)
Wayne Myrvold (Western)
Richard Pettigrew (Bristol)
Jack Spencer (MIT)

Schedule Overview

(A detailed schedule is available here.)

Thursday, October 24

  • 3:00 – 6:00: Metaphysics of Objective Probability: Ned Hall (Harvard); Jenann Ismael (Columbia).

Friday, October 25

  • 9:00 – 9:50: Breakfast in the philosophy department
  • 9:50 – 10:00: Welcome & Introductory Remarks (Barry Loewer)
  • 10:00 – 1:00: Chance: Katie Elliott (UCLA); Christopher Meacham (Amherst).
  • 1:00 – 2:30: Lunch
  • 2:30 – 5:30: Probabilities in the Special Sciences: Carl Hoefer (Barcelona); Wayne Myrvold (Western Ontario).

Saturday, October 26

  • 9:00 – 10:00: Breakfast in the philosophy department
  • 10:00 – 1:00: Chance-Credence Principles: Richard Pettigrew (Bristol); Jack Spencer (MIT).
  • 1:00 – 2:30: Lunch
  • 2:30 – 5:30: Typicality and the Statistical Postulate: David Albert (Columbia); Valia Allori (NIU).

Please contact the conference organizers ( if you have any questions.

Conference Poster

Symposium on Brian Cantwell Smith’s The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment (MIT Press, 2019) @ Kellen Auditorium, Room N101
Dec 6 all-day

Selected speakers:

Zed Adams

The New School

Brian Cantwell Smith

University of Toronto, St. George

Mazviita Chirimuuta

University of Pittsburgh
Rutgers-Columbia Undergraduate Philosophy Conference @ Rutgers Philosophy Dept
Apr 4 all-day

Call for papers:

All papers in English on philosophical topics are
invited. Papers should between 3,000-5,000 words,
include an abstract, and contain no identifying

Please submit papers by January 20th, 2019 to Include
name, institution, and title of paper in body of email.

Papers should feature significant original
scholarship beyond literature review or exegesis of
another author’s argument.