Discover more from Reasonable People
Upcoming talks x2
Possibility Studies Network (2pm, Wednesday, 6th of Sept) and Consciousness Perspectives Forum (7.30pm, Monday, 18th of Sept)
I'll be giving an online talk for the Possibility Studies Network next Wednesday, 6th of September at 2pm UK time:
"Human reason and the expanding circle"
Abstract below, details on registering (free) here
Reasoning is associated with the worlds of facts and logic, a method in which possibilities are progressively eliminated, compelling us to accept The Way Things Are. In this talk I will argue for the generative, possibility-expanding, nature of reason and argumentation. Not just that they can work to increase possibility, surprise and discovery, but they must, by their nature. I will draw on studies in cultural evolution, the psychology of reasoning, and of group deliberation, which help us better understand the true, and optimism-inspiring, nature of reasoning.
There’ll be an update on research by myself and collaborators, and some more general thoughts about how we think when we think about human reason. The talk will be recorded, so if you can’t make it you can check back here and it will be put up when available.
I haven’t finished the slides, but they’re here if you want a sneak preview
“Free thought: can you ever be a truly independent thinker?”
Abstract below, details on registering here (£10.95)
Each of us feels that we freely choose our actions, yet we know that the world around us – including other minds – has a profound influence on us. How can we reconcile ideas of free will with the evidence on the many influences on human behaviour, from genes and culture to advertising and argument? In this talk I will review the evidence that we lack free will and argue that we have a kind of freedom worth wanting, one that is revealed by our connections to the wider world, not insulated from it.
The talk is followed by a discussion, so we’re scheduled for 1930 - 2130. I haven’t finished the slides for this either, but they will be available via this link when they are ready. I’ll be starting with the ideas sketched out in this piece for The Conversation, but leading on to recent studies we’ve been doing, and what I think they mean (much like I will be in the first, PSN, talk).
I like giving talks, even more when they are in person. Please get in touch if you’d like me to talk at your event .
I keep my list of talks here up to date, and I will announce any which are generally accessible on this list.