Knowledge, value and evolution in Prague

Posted on December 2, 2009


Recently returned from the Knowledge, Value and Evolution conference in Prague. Given that one of the organisers is an old friend of mine and that three of the four key-speakers had been key-speakers at the Kazimierz workshops, it was something of a social get-together for me. Listening to the various talks I have found once again that the way a lot of people do philosophy now brings out in me exactly the same kinds of reactions that I had seen Werner Callebaut having. What is more, I no longer try to hold back as much in expressing these reactions as I might have previously. On the other hand, I probably do not express my reservations in quite the same straight-forward way that Werner often does. More’s the pity, perhaps.

My own talk was a discussion of the ways in which supernatural beliefs can be protected against coming into conflict with evidence and the implications this has for their function. I tried to aim this version of the talk at issues that philosophers are traditionally most concerned with. My talk was almost the last in the meeting and everyone was tired so the discussion afterwards was half-hearted. Still, I did get a couple of good questions that I had actually previously considered and was, thus, able to give thought out answers to. I am not sure to what degree I got the questions I did because I was dealing with a mostly philosophical audience and to what degree it was because of the way that I presented the material.