27 november: Understanding without objectivity

Studium Generale van Wageningen Universiteit organiseert drie avonden rondom mijn boek Don’t Be Fooled: A Philosophy of Common Sense.

Tweede avond: Understanding without objectivity

Human experience always involves both objective and subjective features. Science does not feel comfortable with the presence of subjective features and has designed a multitude of sophisticated methodologies to remove the subjective character from our truth claims. Mathematical language seems most promising in that respect as it may even be claimed to be the language of the universe, a language that is anchored in reality and not in human understanding. This creates an interesting and unsuspected problem for human beings: how to learn to speak this mathematical language and can we do so by forgetting, or overcoming, any bond to our natural mother tongue. If not, what happens in our intrinsically social attempts to translate between ordinary understanding and mathematical modelling.

Overkoepeld idee: The Force of Common Sense

What is our common sense worth in times of fake-news, Brexit and viral going anti-vaccination? You can’t be an expert in everything, but can we rely then without worries on our common sense? How to stand firm against an army of experts and at the same time defend your own expertise? Can we defend both science and common sense? In these lectures Jan Bransen (Radboud University) will explore the importance of a range of questions that might not be best reformulated so as to make them appropriate for a scientific approach, but that nevertheless deserve each person’s serious, systematic and intellectual attention.