Week 3: Law

How to give a strong presentation (second version)

Do not read, unless you are a weak speaker and a strong reader.

Prepare and practise your presentation thoroughly. Do not wing it.

Get the length right: For a standard colloquium or job talk, do not go more than 45-50 minutes.

Have an introduction and a conclusion. Be well organized.

Keep the level of detail appropriate for the audience.

Explain difficult claims and concepts clearly and thoroughly.

Use humour as appropriate.

Use effective visual aids: overheads, Powerpoint, handouts.

Engage your audience with eye contact and enthusiasm.

Listen carefully to understand questions and answer them fully but concisely.

Schedule of Faculty Talks

Jan. 24: Dave DeVidi, Rationality and Logic

Jan. 31: Brian Orend, Rationality and Human Rights

Feb. 7: Paul Thagard, Wisdom

Feb. 14: Joe Novack, Axiomatic systems in antiquity

Schedule of Student Talks

Feb. 28: Chapman, Martin, Sand, Sheehan (Mind)

Mar. 7: Finn, Pecoskie, Riarh, Toombs (Science)

Mar. 14: Bullen, Christelis, Dumsday, Heffernan (Knowledge)

Mar. 21: Kulic, Menken, Pollon, Stumpf (Action)

Rationality and Law

Possible areas of irrationality in law:

Sources of irrationality of judges and jurors

What makes a law irrational? Controversial examples:

What is the relation between rational laws and morality?

How do we determine what are the most rational legal institutions?

Readings for next week:

Extracts from "Belief Revision", by Peter Gardenfors and Hans Rott, in Handbook of Logic in Artificial Intelligence and Logic Programming (vol 4), Gabbay, Hoggen and Robinson, eds, Oxford: Clarendon, 1995. Available in the Philosophy Department office.

"On the Logic of Belief", by Newton C.A. da Costa and Steven French, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 49 (1989) 431--446.

"A Paraconsistent Theory of Belief Revision", by Edwin D. Mares, Erkenntnis 56 (2002) 229-246.

One-page essays are not required for all the remaining sessions. But class attendance and participation still matter.


PHIL 680b

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Jan. 16, 2006