Philosophy Symposium


Centre for Philosophy and the Future of Humanity
Peking University



Autumn Semester 2020
2020 秋季学期

Wednesdays 12:10 – 13:00
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Room B114

星期三 12:10 – 13:00

Han Linhe 韩林合

11 Nov / 11月11日
Han Linhe 韩林合

后期维特根斯坦所做出的最为独特的哲学贡献是将理由与原因严格地区别开来。正是基于这个区分,他对遵守规则现象及语言现象的本性做出了独特的说明。此区分不仅在维特根斯坦后期哲学中居于核心的位置,而且也在当代哲学特别是道德哲学和行动哲学的讨论中占有着一个非常重要的位置。在我看来,维特根斯坦是哲学史上第一个明确地做出这种区别的哲学家。不过,这个断言与一些哲学史家的观点相背。比如,著名康德专家艾利森(Henry E. Allison)声称,康德在其著名的理知因致性学说或自由学说中就已经做出了——至少应该做出了——维特根斯坦意义上的理由与原因之分。我认为这种解读是错误的。

The presentation will be in Chinese. Below are translations of the title and the abstract.

Title: 'Does Kant make the distinction of reason and cause?'
Abstract: One of the most important philosophical contributions made by the later Wittgenstein is to distinguish reason from cause. On the basis of this distinction, he discussed the rule-following and the nature of language. This distinction plays a central role not only in Wittgenstein's philosophy, but also in contemporary discussions on issues in moral philosophy and philosophy of action. On mine mind, Wittgenstein is the first philosopher in history who makes the distinction. But some philosophers don't think so. For example, Allison, one of the most important experts in Kant, claims that Kant already made, or at least should have made, this distinction in his doctrine of intelligible causation. I shall argue that this is a completely wrong interpretation of Kant's doctrine.

25 Nov / 11月25日
Chi Zeyu 池泽钰
'Event Dependence and Determinism'

History consists of a chain or web of particular events which are causally dependent on one another in a complicated way. There is an intuitive sense that history thus understood is contingent: numerous things could have been otherwise so that we don’t get the exact chain or web making up our actual history. What does the intuition tell us about the dependence relation between particular historical events? The counterfactual analysis of dependence doesn’t seem to do us any good here. Nor is the regularity model that it sets to replace of any help here. (Nor is the covering law model of explanation for this matter, given the obvious reason that history, like medicine, concerns itself with particular causal chains or webs.) A better alternative, I argue, is to accept indeterministic dependence between events. The proposal has an implication for our thinking of the determinism thesis in the free will literature: there is little reason to believe that determinism accurately describes the relation between particular events once we accept that (most? all?) dependence between historical events is genuinely indeterministic.

Chi Zeyu 池泽钰

Lu Qiaoying

9 Dec / 12月9日
Lu Qiaoying 陆俏颖
'目的论语义信息与温和的基因决定论 '


The presentation will be in Chinese. Below are a translation of the title and an abstract.

Title: 'Teleosemantic information and a moderate version of genetic determinism'
Abstract: According to modern biology, a biological trait or phenotype is produced by the interaction between genes and the environment. However, the intuition of genetic determinism (that genes determine phenotypes) is still lingering. My talk will defend a moderate version of genetic determinism by analyzing the gene concept in terms of information. There are two distinct meanings of information, namely, correlational information and semantic information. From a purely developmental perspective, a gene carries correlational information about the phenotype such that the genes do not have a fundamentally unique role compared to environmental factors. While from the evolutionary perspective, a gene carries teleosemantic information encoded by natural selection in the past such that it currently presupposes a corresponding phenotype. This presupposition relation underlies our intuition that genes, in a weak sense, 'determine' the phenotype.

23 Dec / 12月23日
Julius Schönherr
'Doxastic Justification as Control'

In this talk, I will argue, first, that doxastic justification does not have a basing requirement; i.e. sometimes a belief is doxastically justified although it is not based on a reason. And yet, second, both notions – basing and doxastic justification – are intimately related: a belief is justified as long as it is under the appropriate control of a reason. Such control, in turn, requires (among other things) that a belief that is not presently based on a reason would, in the relevant circumstances, be based on it. In the final section of my talk, I will suggest that my account has exciting consequences when applied to other rationally evaluable attitudes such as the emotions.

Registration QR
Julius Schönherr


A standard session is centred around a question, or a small set of questions, which a speaker proposes for discussion. Speakers aim to make their presentation brief yet accessible. Anyone interested is warmly invited to attend and talk some philosophy together in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Lunch will be provided. It is recommended that those who wish to eat during the presentation arrive a few minutes early. After each session, there will be coffee, tea and other refreshments.



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CHI Zeyu 池泽钰 [email protected]
Sebastian Sunday (王小塞) [email protected]

Administrative support

Carrie Liu 刘枫林

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