Descartes Lectures

7th René Descartes Lectures 2020

Pragmatic Naturalism: Progress in Science, Mathematics, and Values

Professor Philip Kitcher, Columbia University

14-16 October 2020

Tilburg University, The Netherlands

Every other year, a distinguished philosopher is invited to deliver a series of three lectures, the René Descartes Lectures, at the Tilburg Center for Moral Philosophy, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) of the University of Tilburg in The Netherlands.

In keeping with the mission of TiLPS, which is to advance understanding of the foundations of knowledge, reasoning and value in all their forms, the aim of the Descartes Lectures is to provide a forum for philosophers of science, logicians, ethicists, and scientists to engage with fundamental philosophical questions about contemporary scientific and societal challenges.

So far, the philosophers invited to deliver the René Descartes Lectures at Tilburg included: Linda Radzik on social punishment (2018), Heather Douglas on values in science (2016), Hannes Leitgeb on belief and credence (2014), Cristina Bicchieri on social norms (2012), Ian Hacking on objectivity and the practice of science (2010), and Huw Price on pragmatism and naturalism (2008).

In 2020, Professor Philip Kitcher (Columbia University, USA) will provide a detailed account of his views on progress in science, mathematics and value theory. Kitcher will deliver one lecture per day (abstracts here). Each lecture will be followed by an invited commentary, and a workshop related to the questions raised by the lectures. Professors Cheryl Misak (University of Toronto, Canada), Michela Massimi (University of Edinburgh, UK) and James Conant (Chicago University, USA; and Leipzig University, Germany) will comment on Kitcher’s lectures, and more researchers will present during the corresponding workshop.

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