We are a Working Group devoted to the discussion of historical and philosophical issues in symbolic logic, mathematics, and science. We meet on occasional Wednesday evenings for a talk and a lively discussion. The group is funded by the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities and the Department of Philosophy.

All members of the academic community are welcome to attend. We have regular participants in many different fields, including philosophy, mathematics, history of science, and psychology.

The group organizers are Lara Buchak (Philosophy), Wesley Holliday (Philosophy), John MacFarlane (Philosophy), Paolo Mancosu (Philosophy), and Seth Yalcin (Philosophy).

Our next event

September 23, 2015, 6-7:30 PM in 234 Moses Hall

Niels Skovgaard Olsen (University of Konstanz, Philosophy; University of Freiburg, Psychology)

Relevance, Reason Relations, and Conditionals

The purpose of this talk is to examine a philosophical framework for thinking about relevance, conditionals, and reason relations, which originates in the work of Wolfgang Spohn. Through two recent experiments, core claims of this framework were subjected to empirical testing utilizing new stimulus materials, which were developed especially for this task. Throughout history, the idea that there should somehow be a relationship between relevance and the meaning of conditionals has continued to capture the imagination of philosophers, but previous studies have failed to find supporting empirical evidence. Here the take-home message of the present talk will be that the reason might very well be that we have been looking in the wrong places.