Philosophy Progress Review Seminar

28 October 2022 2:00pm3:00pm

Routes to Relevant Logics - Guest Lecture Dr Shawn Standefer

28 October 2022 2:00pm
Relevant logics are a family of non-classical logics characterized by the behaviorof their implication connectives. They are characterized by the rejection of principles of irrelevance for their implication connectives. In the purely implicational fragment, this means rejection of the paradoxes of material implication. Unlike some other non-classical logics, such as intuitionistic logic, there are multiple philosophical views motivating relevant logics.

Decolonising the Colonial Archive: Learning to Read the Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science - Anna Johnston (SCA)

21 October 2022 12:00pm1:00pm
This paper conducts an experiment in reading Australia’s first scientific journal, taking seriously recent challenges to decolonise archives, including those of natural science.

“Mourning the Dead of the Great Escape: POWs, Grief, and the Memorial Vault of Stalag Luft III” - Dr. Kate Ariotti

14 October 2022 12:00pm1:00pm
On March 1944 seventy-six Allied prisoners of war (POWs) escaped from their German prison camp, Stalag Luft III. Nearly all were recaptured; fifty were later shot on Hitler's express order. In this paper, I focus on what happened in the period between the recapture of the POWs and the interment of their remains at Stalag Luft III. I will discuss the treatment of the escaper's bodies by German authorities, the dual narrative the grieving POW camp community composed to make sense of their comrades’ deaths, and their construction of a memorial vault to house the dead prisoner's remains. The paper reveals the deep emotional resonance of what came to be known as ‘the Great Escape’. It addresses a long-neglected aspect of the history of this infamous event of the Second World War and provides an example of some of the broader themes I am exploring in my ARC DECRA project: “Between Death and Commemoration: An Australian History of the War Corpse”.

Explanatory and Non-explanatory Proofs in Mathematics (Guest Lecturer Professor Mark Colyvan)

7 October 2022 2:00pm
In this talk I look at the contrast between explanatory and non-explanatory proofs in mathematics. This is done with the aim of shedding light on what distinguishes the explanatory proofs. I argue that there may be more than one notion of explanation in operation in mathematics: there does not seem to be a single account that ties together the different explanatory proofs.


23 September 2022 2:00pm
Shortly before the Second World War, Alan Turing invented the fundamental logical principles of the modern digital computer. Turing was, however, a misunderstood and relatively isolated figure, who made little attempt to communicate with the main centres of postwar computer development in the US. He generally received at best a minor mention in histories of the computer written in the 20th and early 21st centuries. All that changed in 2012, Turing’s centenary year, and he is now popularly regarded as the founding father of computer science. But an academic backlash has developed. ‘Turing deniers’ seek to show that Turing made no very significant contribution to the development of computers and computing. We examine the arguments of some leading Turing deniers.

South Asian Immigration and Religious Diversity, 1975 to present (HDR Progress Review) - Prabuddha Mukherjee

22 September 2022 1:00pm
"The existing literature on South Asian religions in Queensland highlights significant gaps in understanding the unique patterns of adaptation and role of religious institutions in society, as it collapses in locating South Asians as a single entity with various religious, cultural and, ethnic disparities, and neglects the study of other South Asian religions while discussing one. As a part of the Queensland Atlas of Religion (QAR) project, this study tries to locate South Asian religions in Brisbane and bring forth a unique story of religions, taking into account the lived experiences of the existing diaspora and its institutions.”

Controlling Political Competition: Lessons from Republican Rome? - Professor Emeritus Nathan Rosenstein (Ohio State University)

21 September 2022 5:00pm
Events over the past few years in the United States have brought the question of how to set limits on political competition into sharp relief. While 21st century America and the Roman Republic do not have a lot in common, they are alike in each having a government based on a system of open political competition. So, perhaps an understanding of how limits on competition were established and enforced in ancient Rome might have something to contribute to meeting the challenges facing our democracy today.

CAH Progress Review: Josephine Carroll-Walden - More Than Just Rome's Fashion Police

16 September 2022 4:00pm
The Empress Julia Soaemias, the mother of the Emperor Elagabalus, held leadership of the senaculum (‘the little Senate’), an assembly of elite Roman women, during her son’s reign. The Historia Augusta claims that Rome’s matrons were corrupted by Soaemias, who used this council for discussing and regulating women’s fashion. Consequently, modern scholars have dismissed the senaculum as a trivial and ineffective organisation. This paper will challenge this long-standing view.

Hui’an Women: Ethnicity and Femininity on the Edge of Han Chinese (HDR Progress Review) - Yuan Jing

16 September 2022 2:00pm
Positioned as a "newly-arrived" member at the edge of Han Chinses, Hui'an women are regarded as an anomaly among Han Chinese with their extended natal residence marriages, distinctive adornment styles, powerful and demanding same-sex networks, unusual gender labour patterns, peculiar beliefs and religions, and high frequency of mass suicides. This project explores how their femininity has been intertwined with ethnicity in history and current society, interacting with other groups to form the Hui'an women today, arguing that women's gender characteristics play an essential role in the process of ethnic confrontation and integration that distinguishes them from men.

CAH Progress Review: Kyla Duffy - Disgust, Lust, and Excess: Cosmetics and the 'Bad' Women of Roman Literature

9 September 2022 4:00pm
Anti-cosmetic sentiment was a prevalent feature of many pieces of Roman literature across a variety of genres including satire, comedy, poetry, love elegy, and moralising works. In the minds and opinions of many Roman authors cosmetics were a dangerous symbol, representative of deception, vanity, luxuria, excess, financial decadence, and sexual immorality. Cosmetics were perceived to be reflective of the inherent weakness of the female sex and their supposed ability to be easily corrupted. This paper will explore the anti-cosmetic sentiment that is apparent in Imperial period literature in order to understand the impact it had on the public presentation of Roman women. In doing so this paper aims to highlight the tension that existed between Roman ideals and the reality of everyday practices, and the resulting effect this had on representations of elite women in portraiture.

“The Phenomenology of Work” (HDR Progress Review) - Anton Chang

9 September 2022 1:30pm
Some hold that work is the ultimate expression of human nature. Work is said to give meaning to life and have moral value. Paid work is theoretically the central mechanism for the distribution of wealth and status in our industrial world, while unpaid work underpins our economy and silently supports our culture. But what exactly is it? How does work, work? To answer these questions, in this presentation, I will outline the phenomenological approach of my thesis, which aims to both frame and to situate the “everydayness” of work. I will also summarise my thesis, where I work through a series of literary, ethnographic “fictions”. These specific and detailed descriptions of work are set in the context of contemporary advanced industrial urban consumer society, focusing on contemporary anxieties around work. I hope my innovative method of combining literature, philosophy, and sociology produces original fiction that will “flesh out” my phenomenological description and our understanding of work.

Should the Batter Walk? Fairness and Ethical Decision-Making in the Sport of Cricket (HDR Progress Review) - Tony Cupitt

9 September 2022 11:00am
In cricket there is a moment when the batter has hit the ball, a fair catch has been taken, and the bowler appeals for the wicket. The batter faces a moment of ethical testing - should they give up their wicket by walking or stand their ground and wait for the umpire to make a decision that may be incorrect. I use this dilemma to examine the role of fair play in sport as professional practice.


2 September 2022 2:00pm
Presented by Prof. Dean Rickles

By contrast with older views of physics, some not unreasonable new approaches to quantum mechanics, known collectively as Participatory Realism, ascribe what appear to be cosmogonical powers to those putting questions to the world. This talk will describe some of these ideas and compare them with a range of other, much older, ideas. Lurking at the heart of all of these ideas is the view that we are capable of shaping the world to a degree not commonly understood.

Reading From the Lions' Den in Nairobi (Ed Conrad Memorial Lecture 2022)

1 September 2022 5:00pm7:00pm
This presentation makes the case for investigating the status and role of the Bible in African settings. It goes on to examine a queer contextual Bible reading in a contemporary African context, describing and reflecting on the process of reading the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den, then reimagining this story in dramatic form, together with a group of Ugandan LGBT refugees based in Nairobi, Kenya. Particular focus is placed on the motifs of the lions and the den, which for the refugees represent a variety of figures and situations of threat in either Uganda or Kenya. The presentation introduces some of the participants at the heart of this project, who are all connected to a community-based group called The Nature Network (TNN). Next, it describes the methodology that underlies engagement with the biblical story. Finally, it explores how life stories and shared experience combine with communal creativity to achieve liberatory and empowering results of striking originality. The analysis of the process and findings is framed in terms of a hermeneutics of trust, as contrasted with a hermeneutics of suspicion.

“Narrating the Metaphysics of Evolution: Twentieth-Century Australian Scientists and Histories of Evolutionary Science” - Joel Barnes (IASH)

26 August 2022 12:00pm1:00pm
This paper explores historical narratives of the metaphysics of evolutionary science, as advanced by researchers in the biological sciences in mid-twentieth-century Australia. As the historian of medicine Adrian Wilson has argued, from the scale of the literature review upwards, doing science entails writing history. Scientists construct ‘imagined pasts’ that frame the work they are engaged in, shaping the meanings embedded within it. Historical narratives implicitly or explicitly form part of the motivating and legitimating intellectual architecture of scientific practice.

“The Logic of Settler Colonialism and Ontoepistemic Injustice” (HDR Progress Review) - Kaitlin Smalley

26 August 2022 9:30am
In this presentation, I draw on the work of Aileen Moreton-Robinson, bell hooks, and Val Plumwood to argue that settler colonisation entails ontoepistemic injustice not only because it relies upon the dispossession and displacement of existing inhabitants to carry out its aims but due to the nature of the logic employed by settler colonisers to justify their actions – a logic which necessarily comes to influence the formation of settler colonial society, as well as generations of colonisers to continue to make decisions in service of the regime. To argue that this logic remains operational in contemporary Australian society, I contrast the government’s unprecedented action taken in the form of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (the NT Intervention) with their lack of action to shut Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

Festival Ware for Athenian Women - Friends of Antiquity Sunday Series Public Lecture by R.D. Milns Visiting Professor Amy Smith (University of Reading)

21 August 2022 2:00pm
Professor Smith considers the most abundant yet overlooked class of ancient Athenian ceramics, namely late black-figure vases (dating from the end of the 6th to the 5th centuries), as ‘festival ware’. She explains how these small to medium-sized vessels, produced en masse and decorated with images relevant to particular festivals, provide rare evidence of myths and traditions, especially ritual practice entailed in celebration of the gods at Athenian festivals.