SEPOS Work in Progress Session Thursday, April 23, 2020 2:30-4:30pm EDT, Zoom

Charlene Brecevic (Notre Dame)

“The Sex-Gender Distinction in Biomedical Research – A Response to Byrne and Bogardus”

Philosophers Alex Byrne and Tomás Bogardus have recently presented strong critiques of the sex/gender distinction, arguing that gender is a biological concept that is coextensive with sex. The questions to be asked, then, are whether or not a viable argument in favor of the sex/gender distinction can be put forth and, subsequently, whether medical researchers ought to maintain this commonly used distinction in practice. In this paper, I defend a positive answer to both questions.

This is a virtual meeting. If you would like to attend, please contact Ted Richards


SEPOS Work in Progress Session Thursday, April 30, 2020 2:30-4:30 EDT, Zoom

Ravi Dotan (Berkeley)

“Resistance to Evidence”

Sometimes people seem to resist evidence in the following sense: they are aware of something that merits changing their beliefs in certain ways and yet refuse to do it. We see it in public life when politicians and members of the general public resist evidence on topics such as climate change or vaccines. We see it in science when scientists refuse to give up on their (at least seemingly) hopeless research programs. We see it in religion, as philosophers of religion argue that resistance is a necessary component of faith. But what is happening when people resist evidence? And can it ever be rational? I argue that theorizing about resistance requires a social conception of evidence, on which evidence is constituted by proper group deliberation. Unlike other conceptions of evidence, social evidence explains why some cases of resistance are rational, or otherwise norm-conforming, while others aren’t. At the end of the paper, I briefly sketch how social evidence could also be used to address the Duhem-Quine problem and the problem of expert testimony.

This is a virtual meeting. If you would like to attend, please contact Ted Richards


MSU is proud to host the Public Engagement with Science: Defining and Measuring Success workshop, to be held September 10-12, 2020. For more information, please contact Heather Douglas, organizer of the conference.


SEPOS Visiting Speaker Friday, November 6, 2020 Time and place TBA

Don Howard (Professor of Philosophy, Notre Dame)

Title and abstract forthcoming


POSTPONED until summer 2021, more information forthcoming

MSU is proud to host the 8th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice, to be held July 7–10, 2020. Kevin Elliott, Chatherine Kendig, and Sean Valles are co-chairs of the local organizing committee. Robyn Bluhm, Heather Douglas, Greg Lusk, Michael O’Rourke, Robert Pennock and Isaac Record are also on the committee.