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John Locke Lecture 2012
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John Locke Lectures

The John Locke Lectures are among the world's most distinguished lecture series in philosophy. This list of past lecturers shows that most of the greatest philosophers of the last half century have been Locke Lecturers. The series began in 1950, funded from the generous bequest of Henry Wilde.

Trinity Term 2016

Professor Ted Sider (Rutgers University)

'The Tools of Metaphysics and the Metaphysics of Science'

The Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford is pleased to announce the 2016 John Locke Lectures, to be given by Professor Ted Sider. The lectures will take place at 5pm on Wednesdays in weeks 3 to 8 of Trinity Term, or 11th May to 15th June inclusive, and will be given at the T S Eliot Lecture Theatre, Merton College, Oxford. (Please note: admissions to the Auditorium will be strictly limited to the seating capacity, without exception.) There will be a drinks reception after the first lecture.

Ted Sider


First-order metaphysical questions are sensitive to a second-order question, that of the appropriate concepts for framing first-order questions. It makes a big difference whether one views metaphysics through a modal lens, or through the lens of conceptual analysis, or through the lens of ground. These lectures will examine how the recent shift to concepts of fundamentality and ground affect a range of issues in the metaphysics of science, in particular “structuralist” positions: causal/nomic/dispositional essentialism, relationalism about quantities, mathematical structuralism, structural realism, qualitativism.

Lecture 1 (11th May - Week 3) Conceptual tools in metaphysics [Lecture Notes]

Lecture 2 (18th May - Week 4) Properties and laws [MP3]

Lecture 3 (25th May - Week 5) Quantitative properties [MP3]

Lecture 4 (1st June - Week 6) Individuals and structure [MP3]

Lecture 5 (8th June - Week 7) Individuals and structure (continued) [MP3]

Lecture 6 (15th June - Week 8) Theoretical equivalence [MP3]


The Faculty acknowledges the generous support of these lectures by Oxford University Press and All Souls College.

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