Auto-experimentation: Essential, foolhardy, or both?
Brian L. Keeley (Pitzer College)

November 16, 2022, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Center of International Philosophy, Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai



Beijing Normal University

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Date: November 16th, 2022 - 11am China Standard Time

Speaker: Professor Brian L. Keeley, Pitzer College (US)

Title: Auto-experimentation: Essential, foolhardy, or both?

Abstract: In the history of science, scientists have sometimes chosen to perform experiments upon themselves. In jurisprudence, it’s famously said that “If you are your own lawyer, you have a fool for a client.” Is something parallel true of scientific investigators? The large number of Nobel Prizes in science awarded to work involving auto-experimentation would suggest not. But what are the epistemic features of auto-experimentation? When is it good practice and what are the potential (epistemic) dangers? In this talk, I will draw lessons from a variety of cases, but concentrate on those from medicine and the neurosciences.

Bio: Brian L. Keeley is Professor of Philosophy at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, where he also teaches in the Science, Technology & Society, Cognitive Science, and Neuroscience Programs. With research interests in both neurophilosophy and the study of conspiracy theories, he has edited a volume in the Cambridge University Press Contemporary Philosophy in Focus series on the work of Paul Churchland. He has also published over 40 articles, book chapters, and reviews on a range of topics including the philosophy of neuroscience, the nature of the senses, neuroethology, artificial life, the relationship of science to society, and the unusual epistemology of contemporary conspiracy theories.

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