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Events

Naturalism, Supernaturalism, and Scientific Explanation

Date

12.10.2018

Time

14:00 - 15:00

Speaker

 - Prof Peter Harrison

Venue

Rm 4.36, 4/F,

Run Run Shaw Tower,

HKU, Pokfulam

Organiser

 - FaSCoRe, HKU

 - Department of History, HKU

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poster

Naturalism, in its most general sense, is the denial that there are any spiritual or supernatural entities. Some have suggested there is a good argument for naturalism based on the history of science: 
(1) Science proceeds on the basis of methodological naturalism, understood as a provisional bracketing out of supernaturalistic explanations;
(2) science conducted according to this strategy is highly successful; therefore,
(3) the original assumption (methodological naturalism) must be correct (ontological naturalism).

This argument is susceptible to two challenges, based on examples from the history of science:
first, our present natural-supernatural distinction is novel and past historical actors operated with a very different understanding the natural and supernatural;
second, there are past instances of successful science in which the supernatural was directly invoked.

About the speaker
Peter Harrison is an Australian Laureate Fellow and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Before coming to the University of Queensland he was the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford. He has published extensively in the field of intellectual history with a focus on the philosophical, scientific and religious thought of the early modern period, and has a particular interest in historical and contemporary relations between science and religion.

Related events

Prof Harrison will be involved in several events in October. These include
Round-table discussion on 10th October:
Beyond Barbour's Four Models.

Public lecture on 12th October:
Science and Religion: new perspectives on an old conflict.

October 2018

Mon
Tue
Wed
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Fri
Sat
Sun
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10
Beyond Barbour’s Four Models
10.10.2018, 15:00 - 16:00

Beyond Barbour’s Four Models

Seeking a more indigenously Asian framing of science and religion

More Information
11
12
Naturalism, Supernaturalism, and Scientific Explanation
12.10.2018, 14:00 - 15:00

Naturalism, Supernaturalism, and Scientific Explanation

More Information
12.10.2018, 19:30 - 21:00

Science and Religion

New perspectives on an old conflict

More Information
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The Source of the Conflict Thesis
22.10.2018, 15:30 - 17:00

The Source of the Conflict Thesis

Laws of Nature and Miracles in the Era of Victorian Scientific Naturalism:

More Information
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Of Apes and Artificial Minds
29.10.2018, 19:30 - 21:00

Of Apes and Artificial Minds

What does it mean to be human?

More Information
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Peaceful Science
30.10.2018, 13:00 - 14:00

Peaceful Science

Being a Christian and a Scientist

More Information
30.10.2018, 19:30 - 21:00

The Science and Theology of Adam and Eve

More Information
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