This last weekend Buffalo hosted its annual x-Phi Conference. Helen De Cruz served as keynote, delivering a great talk on cognitive science/xPhi in philosophy of religion. Major take-aways: 1) phil of religion, more than other fields of philosophy, presently seems like an empty performance of group identity, where philosophers go to argue positions they, but not others, find forceful, 2) phil of religion, as many people understand it, is a fairly dull affair that could be more interesting, 3) phil of religion is a rich place for philosophers generally to find inspiration, and 4) phil of religion is dominated by Christian theists and their detractors (and is even more white and male than philosophy generally).
One of the interesting things I noticed at this conference vs. previous conferences is the incorporation in a number of talks of qualitative methods (e.g. semi-structured interviews) in presentations, in addition to survey methodologies. This led to some interesting conversations about these methods may (or may not) be helpful.
I’m in Corvalis, Oregon (go beavers!) this week attending the International Conference on Biological Ontology & Biocreative (ICBO) 2016. Highlights so far: Chris Daly’s talk on the work of the Prism Climate Group; Amanda Hicks and Bill Hogan’s workshop on social entities; and my workshop (co-chaired with Mathias Brochhausen) on institutional roles, deontic powers, and parthood axioms (paper tk). It has also been good to see the wealth of initiatives in developing evidence ontologies.
The Annual Buffalo Experimental Philosophy Conference kicked off yesterday with some great talks and an excellent poster session. I’m struck every year by the workshop-feel of the conference, a feeling that continues to persist despite the conference getting bigger than in previous years. I’m also happy to see many more talks in moral psychology alongside talks on epistemic modals and knowledge attribution. Thanks to all those who provided helpful feedback on my work on folk judgments concerning promises.
Catherine Nolan put together this fun poster for the Blameless Buffalo? Conference this upcoming Friday and Saturday at SUNY-Buffalo. I think the lying down position should have been reserved for outright fatalists, but I suppose I play that role from time to time.