Anna Farennikova (Bristol) ‘Unexpected Prediction’

The next research seminar is on Wednesday March 2nd, where Anna Farennikova will be speaking on ‘Unexpected Perception’. Usual time and place of 4.15-5.45pm in Room 0.02, John Percival Building.


According to Bayesian approaches to perception, presence of bias optimizes perception. This raises a question about the cognitive status of perception of the unexpected. Perception of the unexpected occur when we encounter novel or atypical events. Because this form of perception is a result of invalid expectations, it might be treated as suboptimal: it decreases accuracy and amplifies uncertainty. I argue that we need to rethink the notion of optimality for the experiences of unexpected. Focusing on two forms of perception of the unexpected – experiences of change (noticing a new building on the way to work) and of absence (seeing an elephant vanish in a circus trick) – I explain the sense in which both can be understood as involving optimal decisions. I then explain why optimization is harder to achieve for the perception of absence than it is for the perception of change.


Research Seminar 10/02/2016 Rani Lill Anjum (NULS) ‘Evidence Based or Person Centered: An Ontological Debate’

The second research seminar for 2016 is on Wednesday February 10th, where Rani Lill Anjum will be speaking on ‘Evidence Based or Person Centered: An Ontological Debate’. Usual time and place of 4.15-5.45pm in Room 0.02, John Percival Building.

Abstract: Evidence based medicine (EBM) is under critical debate, and person centered healthcare (PCH) has been proposed as an improvement. But is PCH offered as a supplement or as a replacement of EBM? Prima facie PCH only concerns the practice of medicine, while the contended features of EBM also include methods and medical model. I here argue that there are good philosophical reasons to see PCH as a radical alternative to the existing medical paradigm of EBM, since the two seem committed to conflicting ontologies. This paper aims to make explicit some of the most fundamental assumptions that motivate EBM and PCH, respectively, in order to show that the choice between them ultimately comes down to ontological preference. While EBM has a solid foundation in Humeanism, PCH is more consistent with causal dispositionalism. I conclude that if there is a paradigmatic revolution on the way in medicine, it is first of all one of ontology.