Science versus Common Sense?

February 25, 2016 - February 27, 2016
Abraham Kuyper Center, VU University Amsterdam


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Keynote speakers:

Noah Lemos
College of William and Mary
Duncan Pritchard
University of Edinburgh
Russ Shafer-Landau
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Katia Vavova
Mount Holyoke College

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Conference Theme
This conference seeks to address the nature, limits, and value of common sense, especially in relation and possibly in contrast to science and scientific knowledge.

It is often claimed that science debunks common sense: much of our naïve physics, chemistry, and biology has been replaced by superior scientifically informed accounts of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena. In recent years, various bits of our commonsensical self-understanding as free, rational, moral, and self-knowing beings has also come under attack from science. Various kinds of scientific debunking arguments are flourishing.

At the same time, it seems obvious that we cannot do without common sense. Arguably, science and the scientific method itself was built on, and continues to depend on, common sense and common sense still plays an important role as a touchstone in much philosophical theorizing.

All of this raises questions about the nature of common sense, its relation to science and philosophy, and its tenability in the face of various kinds of attacks from science and philosophy.

Organizing Committee
Rik Peels
Jeroen de Ridder
Irma Verlaan
René van Woudenberg

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January 31, 2016, 4:00am CET

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