Pázmány P. sétány 1/A
Budapest, Hungary
Phone/Fax: (36-1) 372 2924
The web site of the seminar: 
Philosophy of Science Seminar
Room 6.54 (6th floor)  Monday 4:00 PM


 7 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54 Language of presentation: English
René Voltz
Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg

 Platonism in modern physics
Since Galileo, modern physics can be envisaged as progressing following a Platonic program: explore the world beyond sensory appearances, with ideas and theories based on the existence of unchanging physical laws that are expressible in mathematics. In the search of unified theories and the "dreams of a final theory", contemporary physics expresses more than ever the Platonic tendencies: it basically admits the reality of intelligible forms, representations of generalized symmetries, which convince via their "beauty"besides the necessary verifications of their empirical consequences.

The importance of Platonic inspirations during the successive conceptual mutations which mark the History of physics was recognized by the most creative actors. Representative examples are discussed in the presentation.

 14 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54 
Béla Lukács
Research Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics
Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Lélektudományok müvelöi közt hivei vannak azon álláspontnak, hogy idöben VISSZAFELÉ terjedö hatások léteznek (habár csak rövid idötartamra), söt, hogy ezeket statisztikailag ki is lehet mutatni (pl. pszichológiai mérésekkel). A természettudományoktól a gondolat általában idegen.
Megmutatom azonban, hogy a retro folyamatok az általános relativitáselméletbe beleférnek.
A "naiv" általános relativitáselméletben (+++- szignatúra) az ilyen folyamatok kivételes helyek közelében lehetségesek, oksági paradoxonokra ill. a szabad akarat nemlétére vezetnek. Ezzel szemben BIZONYOS magasabb dimenziójú téridökben a retro folyamat általános, és oksági paradoxonokra ill. a szabad akarat nemlétére vezet.
Hogy a jelenség van-e, az a lélektudományokra tartozik egyelöre.

 21 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54 
Tamás Rudas
Department of Statistics, Institute of Sociology, Eötvös University, Budapest

 Measurement and modelling of association in contingency tables
Association between two variables is defined in the talk as the information in their joint distribution not present in the univariate distributions. Therefore, a measure of association, together with the marginal distributions, has to parameterize the joint distribution and has to be variationally independent from the marginals. These requirements point to the odds ratio as the only appropriate measure of association.

For higher dimensional contingency tables, a possible generalization is the system of conditional odds ratios. The conditional odds ratios, on an ascending class of subsets, are variationally independent from the marginal distributions on the complement descending class and together parameterize the joint distribution. Depending on the class of subsets used, one obtains a flexible class of parametereizations that can be used to model the conditional association structure. The models obtained by assuming lack of conditional association on an ascending class of subsets are of the log-linear type.

 28 October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54 
Douwe Draaisma
Heymans Institute, Univerity of Groningen

 The tracks of thought: metaphors of memory
There has always been an intimate link between human memory and the means invented to record knowledge independently of that memory. From Plato's wax tablet to holography and computers, artificial memories have supported, relieved and occasionally replaced natural memory. Over the centuries these artificial memories have also shaped our views of remembering and forgetting, providing the terms and concepts with which we have reflected on our own memory. After a general introduction on the theme of metaphor and memory, I will demonstrate my analysis by the case of 'panoramic memory', the experience sometimes reported by persons in sudden mortal danger of seeing a rapid sequence of visual scenes from their childhood 'flash before their eyes like a movie'. A brief history of  metaphorical descriptions of this sensation from the period before the invention of film will make clear just how metaphors may lay down the tracks of our thoughts.

Douwe Draaisma's book, METAFORAMASINA, has been recently published in Hungarian translation.

The 60-minute lecture is followed by a 10-minute break. Then we hold a 30-60-minute discussion. The language of the presentation is indicated in the following way:
English, except if all participants speak Hungarian
The participants may comment on the talks and are encouraged to initiate discussion through the Internet. The comments  should be written in the language of the presentation.

The organizer of the seminar: László E. Szabó (email: leszabo@hps.elte.hu)