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The Forum is open to everyone, including students, visitors, and faculty members from all departments and institutes!

The 60 minute lecture is followed by a 10 minute break and a 30-60 minute discussion. The language of presentation is English or Hungarian.


The scope of the Forum includes all aspects of theoretical philosophy, including:

  • logic and philosophy of formal sciences
  • philosophy of science
  • modern metaphysics
  • epistemology
  • philosophy of language
  • problems in history of philosophy and history of science, relevant to the above topics
  • particular issues in natural and social sciences, important for the discourses in the main scope of the Forum.



4 November (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Zsolt Ziegler
  Department of Philosophy and History of Science
Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Moral Responsibility, Compatibilism, Incompatibilism, Determinism, Indeterminism, Control
This paper introduces a new theory of moral responsibility that does not rely on any concept of human control. It is referred to as the ‘theory of relational responsibility' because it claims that, in order for a person to be responsible, she has to act in a certain type of situation that needs to be such that there is at least one relevantly similar situation in which the agent (be she the same person or not) refrains from performing the action that was executed in the original case. Person A cannot be held responsible for doing what she does if no person (including herself) refrains from performing that action in a relevantly similar situation. The theory is neutral regarding the truth of determinism and indeterminism, that is beneficial for two reasons. First, it provides a unified conceptual framework with a unique relational schema for attributing responsibility. Second, it is acceptable to both determinists and indeterminists, as relational responsibility requires the world to be neither deterministic nor indeterministic, and thus any concept of agency—be it compatibilist or libertarian—is compatible with it. One’s understanding of determinism shapes the possible set of views one can take regarding control, and there is no account of control that could be held simultaneously by both compatibilists and incompatibilists. In order to avoid the conflict between the two positions, the relational theory of responsibility aims to provide an account of responsibility with no reference to the notion of control.

11 November (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Tomas Veloz
  Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Canada
Toward a Quantum Theory of Cognition: History, Development and Perspectives
Information processing at a conceptual level is considered to be one of the hardest challenges in Cognitive Science. In particular, a number of studies in behavioral research have shown that humans process concepts in a way that is incompatible with traditional frameworks such as classical probability and fuzzy set theory.  Recently, this incompatibility has been shown to occur at a deep structural level, and mathematical schemes founded on quantum structures have been proposed as alternative modeling frameworks. The quantum approach allows to faithfully model a number of non-classical deviations observed in experimental data. Moreover, it shows that genuine quantum theoretical notions, such as contextuality, superposition, emergence and entanglement, are interesting epistemic tools to understand and represent hard problems in Artificial Intelligence. In this talk, we identify the limitations of traditional frameworks to handle some important cognitive tasks, introduce the fundamentals of this quantum cognitive approach, and present some remarkable applications.

Related links (updated: 19 November 2015)

18 November (Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Gergely Székely
  Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Budapest
Principle of Relativity, Isotropy and Homogeneity (Reloaded)
This talk is a self-contained continuation of Judit X. Madarász's TPF talk "Principle of Relativity, Isotropy and Homogeneity". We will start from the same point, namely the tension between a claim in Rindler's book [2] and a construction in paper [1], but we proceed differently and offer a different resolution for the apparent contradiction.
Rindler claims that "the principle of relativity is equivalent to the isotropy (of space) and the homogeneity (of space and time)" [2., p.40]. Contrary to this claim there is a construction of an anisotropic extension of the standard model of special relativity which still satisfies the principle of relativity [1., construction proving Theorem 2]. Of course, the contradiction is only apparent as something else is meant by 'the principle of relativity' in [1] and in [2], even the mathematical language of the two frameworks are different. 

Still, these examples show that there are (at least) two inequivalent formulation of the principle of relativity. It seems natural to ask which formulation is the 'true one'?

Since the principle of relativity is an informal idea and ideas can clearly be formulated several different ways, the right question is not which formulation is the 'true one', but how do the different formulations are related to one another. 

We will use a logic based axiomatic framework of the Andréka--Németi group and Rindler's distinctions between inertial frames and inertial coordinate systems to investigate the connection between these two versions of the principle of relativity. We will see that the principle of relativity in [2] is understood for coordinate systems and the construction in [1] satisfies the principle of relativity understood for reference frames.

Based on Galileo's ship argument, we will also argue that the original intuition behind the principle of relativity is better reflected if we formulate it for reference frames only.
[1] H. Andréka, J. X. Madarász, I. Németi, M. Stannett and G. Székely.
Faster than light motion does not imply time travel
Classical and Quantum Gravity 31:(9) Paper 095005. 11 pp. (2014).
[2] W. Rindler. Relativity: Special, General, and Cosmological.
Oxford University Press (2001).

Postponed to 17 February 2016

25 November
(Wednesday) 5:00 PM  Room 226
Márta Ujvári
  Institute of Sociology and Social Policy
Corvinus University, Budapest
Haecceitas Napjainkban és Duns Scotusnál: Tulajdonság vagy Entitás?
(Haecceity Today and with Duns Scotus: Property or Entity?)
A mai domináns filozófiai felfogás a haecceitást sajátos, nem-kvalitatív tulajdonságnak tekinti. Funkciója tehát az, hogy nem-kvalitatív módon biztosítsa a konkrét individuumok világokon át való azonosságát. Scotus számára ellenben a haecceitas az individuális különbséget nyújtó entitas positiva, aminek köszönhetően a dolog nem pusztán a specifikus természetének példánya. A történeti és a mai nézetek eltérnek egymástól az ontológiai hátterük tekintetében is. Ezeket figyelembe vesszük a nézetek előnyeinek és hátrányainak mérlegelésekor. Közös vonásokat is fogunk azonban találni. Javaslatom alapvetően az, hogy egyik nézet sem támasztja alá azt, hogy a haecceitas valamiféle egyedi lényeg lenne.