Graduate Conference
The Problems of Philosophy: Then and Now

Date: 29th – 30th June 2012


This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Bertrand Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy. Envisioned by him as an introductory text, Russell also used the work to propose a number of novel theses which, in tandem with other pioneering material he was producing during the same period, went on to leave an indelible mark on the development of analytic philosophy. To mark this anniversary, The Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience is convening its yearly graduate conference on the themes of The Problems of Philosophy: Then and Now. Papers will present contemporary work on any of the major themes in The Problems of Philosophy – but we will particularly welcome work on the nature of experience, perception and sense-datum theory, and on Russell or Russellian topics in general. We hope to promote fresh engagement with the problems discussed by Russell, and investigate the possibilities for useful dialogue between Russell’s approach to these issues and contemporary philosophy.


Most of the talks below are now available on iTunes.

Friday 29 June 2012
9.00 - 10.00 Registration, and Tea and Coffee
10.00 - 11.15 Keynote: Professor Professor Fiona Macpherson (Glasgow)
"Phenomenal Problems for Sense-Data Theory"
11.30 - 12.30 Andrew MacGregor (Glasgow)
"Sense-Data, Perceptual Variation and Acquaintance with the World"
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch (establishment TBA)
14.00 - 15.00 Mette Kristine Hansen (Bergen)
"There is nothing that it is like to think that p!"
15.00 - 16.00 Fatema Amijee (Texas at Austin)
"Knowledge by Acquaintance Revisited"
16.00 - 16.30 Tea and Coffee
16.30 - 17.30 Jamie Collin (Edinburgh)
"Being and the Existence - The Debate 100 Years On"
19.00 - 20.00 Wine reception at Glasgow City Chambers
20.15 - 23.00 Dinner (establishment TBA)
Saturday 30 June 2012
9.30 - 10.00 Coffee
10.00 - 11.15 Keynote: Dr. Fraser MacBride (Cambridge)
"Judgement and Sensible Appearance"
11.30 - 12.30 Blake Thompson (Virginia Tech)
"Begging the Question Against Phenomenalism"
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch (establishment TBA)
14.00 - 15.00 Sebastian Sanhueza (UCL)
"An Obviously Absurd Doctrine: Russell on Berkeley's Idealism"
15.00 - 16.00 Işik Sarihan (Central European University)
"What Makes Qualia "Mental"?"
16.00 - 16.30 Coffee
16.30 - 17.30 Michael McCourt (Northern Illinois)
"Worrying about Falsehood: Russell on the logical form of belief, 1903 to 1919 and beyond"

If you would like to attend the conference, please email Carole Baillie.
The conference fee is £15. This fee does not includes the conference lunch and dinner. The costs of these, which will be optional, will be confirmed.
Thanks to the Analysis Trust we have money to subsidise up to half the price of accommodation and the registration fee for delegates who live outside of the Glasgow area, who are not giving a paper to attend. If you would like to apply to us for some of this money please e-mail us explaining why you require this money and why your University or other grant sources cannot cover it.
The registration deadline is Friday, 22nd June.
In planning your trip to Glasgow you may find our list of accommodation near the University and the University of Glasgow Conference & Visitor Services website helpful. They offer a hotel booking service at a range of University approved properties throughout Glasgow and the website provides information about Glasgow, including travel advice and maps.

Conference Competition on Induction

One hundred pounds is offered to some registered participant of the conference who comes up with an unequivocally clear example of the problem of induction, as outlined by Russell in The Problems of Philosophy, published prior to the publication of that book. Other works by Russell don't count, though they would be of interest. Hume doesn't count either, though he is hardly unequivocal. The prize goes to the person who cites the piece published first, if there is more than one. And if more than one person mentions the earliest piece, the winner will be decided at random. The judges' decision is final. The judges are David Owen (University of Arizona, who proposed and is funding the competition), Dr Fraser MacBride (University of Cambridge, keynote speaker), and one of graduate organisers of the conference.

To submit an entry, please e-mail stating your name, institutional affiliation, a brief description of the example of the problem of induction, and the full reference details, including the specific page numbers within the work where induction is discussed. Please also e-mail a pdf or scanned copy of the work (if a shorter piece) or of the relevant pages (if a longer work).

Closing date by which entries should be received: 30 June 2012.

Funding and Organisation:

We are very grateful to the Mind Association,the Analysis Trust, The Bertrand Russell Society, and John Hopkins University Press the publishers of The Journal of the History of Philosophy, The Scots Philosophical Association, and the College of Arts Gradaute School of the University of Glasgow for providing funding for this conference.

Organisers: Carole Baillie and Ross Hetherington