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Condensed Matter

Philosophy Podcasts

Condensing recent work in metaphysics and the philosophy of science down to what matters. Hosted by Dr Sam Kimpton-Nye, research associate on the MetaScience project (ERC, Horizon 2020, grant agreement No 771509; www.metascience.xyz) at the Unversity of Bristol. Music: NaturesEye from Pixabay. Art: Francesca Smith

Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

Condensing recent work in metaphysics and the philosophy of science down to what matters. Hosted by Dr Sam Kimpton-Nye, research associate on the MetaScience project (ERC, Horizon 2020, grant agreement No 771509; www.metascience.xyz) at the Unversity of Bristol. Music: NaturesEye from Pixabay. Art: Francesca Smith

Twitter:

@KimptonNye

Language:

English


Episodes

36: "The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis", David Chalmers

7/19/2023
Recently, there has been frenzied interest in artificial intelligence and, in particular, in the issue of AI safety; there have been “open letters” signed by some of the biggest names in the tech business urging us to take seriously the existential threat posed by AI, and the UK government has just announced that it will convene the first global AI safety summit this autumn. But what is the threat here, exactly? There are risks associated with any new technology: fire burns, nuclear energy can be harnessed in bombs and social media algorithms threaten democracy. The so-called AI singularity is supposed to be at least on par with the absolute worst of these threats since, according to some, it has the real potential to wipe out all of humanity. Will there be a singularity? How should we negotiate a singularity and will it necessarily be a bad thing resulting in human extinction? Assuming the singularity doesn’t wipe out humanity, how can we integrate into a post-singularity world? Listen to find out! Here is a link to the paper. Support the show

Duration:00:23:47

35: "There is no measurement problem for Humeans", Chris Dorst

7/8/2023
The measurement problem highlights a deeply puzzling feature of quantum mechanics: nature seems to obey one law when not measured and a completely different law when measured. But how does nature "recognise" measurement contexts?! What explains these shifts in how nature operates? For the Humean about laws, i.e., one who maintains that nature unthinkingly acts and the laws describe, these issues lose their bite. So perhaps there just is no measurement problem for Humeans! But if true, does this count for or against Humeanism? Listen and decide! Here's a link to the paper See also this paper by Hicks and Schaffer for detail on derivative properties featuring in fundamental laws, an idea that features centrally in Dorst's discussion. Support the show

Duration:00:16:21

34: "The Limits of Modality", Sam Cowling

1/19/2023
This episode is about Sam Cowling's "The Limits of Modality" published in the Philosophical Quarterly in 2011. Are all true propositions either contingent or necessary? Cowling argues that if we want to understand the metaphysics of modality in terms of possible worlds we should maintain that certain true propositions are neither contingent nor necessary but just true simpliciter. Is this conceptually coherent? Have a listen and make up your mind! Here's a link to the paper. Support the show

Duration:00:13:45

33: "Biochemical Functions", Francesca Bellazzi (deep dive featuring the author!)

12/22/2022
In the episode, I talk with Francesca Bellazzi about her paper "Biochemical Functions", which is forthcoming in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. We discuss the distinction between functions and mere accidents, the peculiar puzzle posed by biochemical functions, evolutionary explanations, the relationship between science and philosophy and much more! Click here for the paper Click here for more about Francesca Click here for more about the MetaScience project Support the show

Duration:00:37:04

32: "Substance", Donnchadh O'Conaill (deep dive featuring the author!)

8/23/2022
In this episode, I ask Donnchadh O'Conaill about themes from his book "Substance" which is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press as part of the Cambridge Elements in Metaphysics series. We cover the roles in metaphysical theorising that substance plays, candidate examples of substance, the methodology of metaphysics and its relationship to science among other things. Click here for more about Donnchadh Click here for the Elements in Metaphysics Support the show

Duration:01:13:59

31: "Biological Individuality and the Foetus Problem", Will Morgan (deep dive featuring the author!)

7/26/2022
In this episode, I talk to my Bristol MetaScience colleague, Dr Will Morgan, about his recently published paper in which he argues that if we accept the physiological approach to biological individuality, it seems that a foetus never becomes the organism that is present after birth. This then raises the difficult question: what happens to the foetus? We also touch on the relevance of metaphysics to biology and to ethics. You can read the paper here Click here for more about Will Support the show

Duration:00:45:40

30: “How Skeptical is Quine’s “Modal Skepticism”?”, John Divers

7/5/2022
Was Quine really a modal sceptic--someone who thought that modality was unintelligible or paradoxical? Divers thinks he is better cast as a non-sceptical modal anti-realist. Here's a link to the paper: https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/122483/1/how%20Skeptical%3F.pdf Support the show

Duration:00:14:35

Ep. 29: "Modal Conventionalism", Ross Cameron

4/6/2022
The focus of this episode is Ross Cameron's "Modal Conventionalism" published in The Routledge Handbook of Modality in 2021. Here is a link to the paper, but these handbooks are insanely expensive, which I suppose is a good reason to do more episodes based on their chapters! Support the show

Duration:00:09:26

Ep. 28: "Panpsychism", Thomas Nagel (CM classic!)

3/16/2022
The focus of this episode is Thomas Nagel’s “Panpsychism”, published by Cambridge University Press in his “Mortal Questions” anthology. This isn’t a recent paper, it was first published in 1979. But it is a nice, sober, discussion of panpsychism that makes quite clear a relatively sensible motivation for the view as well as what is involved in its denial. This all makes for a nice change to some of the rather heated public debates of the issue nowadays. So, call this a Condensed Matter classic. Maybe I’ll do more of these in future because I definitely think there are plenty of older papers out there that are worth revisiting in this format. Link to the paper: https://philpapers.org/rec/NAGP Support the show

Duration:00:09:25

Ep. 27: “Modal dispositionalism and necessary perfect masks”, Barbara Vetter and Ralf Busse

2/2/2022
Support the show on Patreon to gain instant access to searchable, comment-on-able PDF scripts of all solo episodes! Your support will help to defray hosting and equipment costs and is very much appreciated. The focus of this episode is “Modal dispositionalism and necessary perfect masks”, by Barbara Vetter and Ralf Busse, forthcoming in Analysis. Link to the paper: https://academic.oup.com/analysis/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/analys/anab061/6511667?redirectedFrom=fulltext You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:11:36

Ep. 26: "An Apology for Naturalized Metaphysics", James Ladyman (deep dive featuring the author!)

1/26/2022
Support the show on Patreon to gain instant access to searchable, comment-on-able PDF scripts of all solo episodes! Your support will help to defray hosting and equipment costs and is very much appreciated. For this episode, I’m joined by Professor James Ladyman to discuss his paper "An Apology for Naturalized Metaphysics", published in 2017 by Oxford University Press in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science edited by Matthew Slater and Zanja Yudell. James is professor of philosophy at the University of Bristol. We discuss the nature of truth, disagreement in metaphysics and in science, conceptual conservatism and innovation, breaking free from the manifest image and much more. Link to the paper: https://philpapers.org/rec/LADAAF More about James: https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/persons/james-a-c-ladyman If you enjoyed the show, please rate and review it on your favourite app so more people can find it. You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:49:22

Ep. 25 "The Governing Conception of Laws", Nina Emery (deep dive featuring the author!)

12/22/2021
For this episode, I’m joined by Professor Nina Emery to discuss her paper “The Governing Conception of Laws", forthcoming in Ergo. Nina is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Mount Holyoak College. Nina is also the president-elect of the society for the metaphysics of science. Link to the paper: https://philarchive.org/archive/EMETGC More about Nina: http://www.ninaemery.org/ The Society for the Metaphysics of Science: https://socmetsci.org/ If you enjoyed the show, please rate and review it on your favourite app so more people can find it. You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:48:25

Ep. 24: “Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics”, Elizabeth Barnes

12/15/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You'll also now get access to PDF scripts of the solo episodes! You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:09:52

Ep. 23: "Governing Without a Fundamental Direction of Time", Chen and Goldstein

12/1/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You'll also now get access to PDF scripts of the solo episodes! You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:11:48

Ep. 22: "Aristotelian Supervenience", John Heil

11/3/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You'll also now get access to PDF scripts of the solo episodes! You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:11:24

Episode 21: "Causal Content and Global Laws: Grounding Modality in Experimental Practice", Jenann Ismael

10/27/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You'll also now get access to PDF scripts of the solo episodes! You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:10:22

Episode 20: "Disagreement in Metaphysics", Timothy WIlliamson

10/20/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. I'm also thinking about what else I can offer Patreon supporters, so support the show and you'll be first to know! You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:12:24

Episode 19: "Realism Without Parochialism", Phillip Bricker

10/13/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:10:53

Episode 18: "Metaphysics After Carnap: the Ghost Who Walks?", Huw Price

10/6/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:13:32

Episode 17: "Social kinds are essentially mind-dependent", Rebecca Mason

9/29/2021
Click here for the article. If you are enjoying Condensed Matter, please consider supporting the show on Patreon. In recognition of your support, you'll get the opportunity to suggest articles and guests for future episodes. You can carry on the discussion on Twitter and there's even an Instagram page. Thanks for listening! Support the show

Duration:00:11:05