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Uncommon Fare with Edward Hall

By Dean of Students Office
This is a past event.

Thursday, April 6, 2023 6pm to 8pm

Professor Edward Hall  black and white photo

Event Dates

Thursday, April 6, 2023 6pm to 8pm

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Professor Edward Hall works on a range of topics in metaphysics and epistemology that overlap with philosophy of science. Many of the questions he tries to answer are: Are there “fundamental” laws of nature? What are they – as distinct, say, from accidentally true generalizations, or the causal generalizations that seem to figure in the special sciences? Suppose it’s a truism that one of the central aims of scientific inquiry is to uncover the causal structure of our world (at many different time- and length-scales); what does “causal structure” need to mean, for this truism to be not merely true but illuminating? What are the varieties of probability, and can any of them be said to be properly “objective”? What would it take for one science to “reduce” to another? Must fundamental physics have an intelligible ontology – and if so, what does this constraint amount to? Is there any need for a conception of ‘metaphysical possibility’ that outstrips physical possibility? Can there be any basis for skepticism about unobservable structure that is not also, and equally, a basis for skepticism about unobserved structure? (And so on.) He firmly believes that philosophical discourse always goes better if the parties involved resolutely avoid any “burden-shifting” maneuvers, and that teaching always goes better if you bring cookies.

Apply now 

Applications for this event are open until 11:59 PM on Thursday, March 30, and are limited to students in the Class of 2026. Ten Harvard College first-year students will be selected to attend each dinner, and students must submit an application to be considered.

If you have questions about this event or the Uncommon Fare Program, please contact Garry Mitchell at firstyearfacstu@fas.harvard.edu

Event Details