Philosophy Visiting Speaker Series

Philosophy Visiting Speaker Series
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Karim Thebault (Bristol)

‘Universal Reasoning’

Abstract: The general form of inference whereby we justify a novel mode of inductive reasoning by appeal to coherence with one or more distinct modes of inductive reasoning might reasonably be described as inductive triangulation. Consider, for example, the following inference: the properties of observed spatially distant electrons resemble the properties of observed local electrons, so all unobserved electrons will resemble observed electrons. Here a mode of inductive reasoning towards uniformity of properties across observed and unobserved tokens of some type is reinforced by an independently established mode of inductive reasoning regarding spatial uniformity of observed tokens of that type. To what limits can the justification of novel forms of inductive reasoning via inductive triangulation be extended? In particular, can we support reasoning regarding the uniformity between different types via triangulation with other modes of inductive reasoning? And can such forms of universal reasoning ever be justifiably extended to unobserved types? In this paper we will consider the problem of justifying universal reasoning via inductive triangulation drawing on recent examples from analogue quantum simulation supported by the existence of non-thermal universality classes. This work extends the discussion of universal reasoning and inductive triangulation in the context of analogue black holes provided in (Evans and Thébault 2020) and builds on the framework for the analysis of universality arguments developed in (Gryb, Palacios, & Thébault 2020). 

Evans, P. W., & Thébault , K. P. (2020). On the limits of experimental knowledge. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 378(2177), 20190235

Gryb, S., Palacios, P., & Thébault, K. P. (2020). On the universality of Hawking radiationThe British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. (Published Online)

For MS Teams link to the meeting, contact Federico Luzzi: f.luzzi@abdn.ac.uk

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