That’s all for past and recent news. We have a few interesting upcoming events.
Heather Douglas and I will both be participating at the upcoming Canadian Association for American Studies conference here in Kitchener-Waterloo. The conference them is “Total Money Makeover”$: Culture and the Economization of Everything.” My talk is “The Cold-Blooded Economist is a Dangerous Figure”; the talk will touch on the way rational choice theory elides the distinctions we draw i in the way we regard our preferences. Heather will be speaking on “Science Advisors and the Problem of Loyalty during the Nixon Administration.”
Heather is also presenting next week at the Science and Society Conference at the University of Ottawa.
Nick Ray says, “I am giving a talk as part of the PHYS 10 Colloquium. “Mach, Newton, Empiricism and Spacetime”: Here’s the abstract: “There is a received view of Ernst Mach’s contributions to physics, and it is a tale of two cities. In the first city, the City of Theory, Mach was cited as one of the main intellectual influences for Einstein’s discovery of both special and general relativity. In the second city, the City of Method, Mach has been much maligned for arguing vigorously against fairly common (and arguably necessary) modes of scientific theorizing—especially regarding the development of concepts not reducible to experience and the search for deep, Planck-like explanations of nature.I think both cities (and the received view they comprise) are on shaky foundations. I will argue that the development of special relativity would have been hampered had Einstein actually applied Machian principles of conceptual analysis, and that Mach’s significance for modern physics comes rather from his critique of classical mechanics—one that applies Newton’s own empirical standard for physical theorizing, not some “abusive”, anti-theoretical, and overly reductive notion of empirical adequacy. We have much to learn about how to argue against entire theoretical frameworks in physics if we closely examine Mach’s mature criticism of Newtonian Absolute Space.” Details: Tuesday October 22, 2013, 11:30-12:30, Physics 145.
As always, I hope everyone is doing well, and thanks for reading!