Ethics and Explanation 2013: Explanation in Mathematics and Ethics

University of Nottingham, 18th-19th January 2013

The aim of the conference is to investigate: (i) the connections between indispensability-type arguments in mathematics and ethics; (ii) connections between evolutionary debunking-style arguments in mathematics and ethics and (iii) more generally, other connections between the two areas that touch on the issue of explanation.

Conference talks, registration information, and more details are below the fold.

Conference talks:

  • Andrew Aberdein & Alison Pease (Edinburgh):“An Empirical Investigation into Explanation in Mathematical Conversations"

    • Comments by James Andow (Nottingham)
  •  Alan Baker (Swarthmore College): “Non-Optional Projects: Mathematical and Ethical”
    • Comments by Debbie Roberts (York)
  • Justin Clarke-Doane (Monash): “What is the Benacerraf Problem?”
    • Comments by Folke Tersman (Uppsala University)
  • Mark Colyvan (Sydney): “The Ins and Outs of Mathematical Explanation”
    • Comments by Michaela M. McSweeney (Princeton)
  • Helen De Cruz (Leuven/Oxford): "What can animal numerical cognition tell us about mathematical realism?"
    • Comments by Sorin Costreie (University of Bucharest)
  • Mary Leng (York): "Taking Morality Mathematically"
    • Comments by TBA
  • David Liggins (Manchester): “Multiple Realization and Expressive Power in Mathematics and Ethics”
    • Comments by Robert Knowles (Manchester)
  • Hallvard Lillehammer (Cambridge): “An Assumption of Extreme Significance: Ross and Moore on Ethics and the Moral Sciences’’
    • Comments by TBA
  • Juha Saatsi (Leeds): “On Mathematics’ ‘Indispensable Explanatory Role’”
    • Comments by Stephen Mumford (Nottingham)

Additional information including programme and abstracts can be found on the conference website here: and on Philevents:

To register please click here: (a small number of student bursaries are available to cover up to 50% of the conference and accommodation fees only, offered on a first come first served basis. To apply for a student bursary please contact Dr. Neil Sinclair)

This conference is the opening event for a three-year AHRC funded project entitled “From Explanation to Ethics and Back Again” (some details here: If you’d like to be included on the project mailing list (information on project progress and various project-related events) please email:

This conference is supported by the AHRC, the Mind Association, and the Aristotelian Society.

2 Replies to “Ethics and Explanation 2013: Explanation in Mathematics and Ethics

  1. This looks great.
    I hereby renew my plea to organizers to announce these things earlier. Probably very few of us who live in North America would travel to Nottingham for a conference, but you increase the chance by letting us know months in advance rather than weeks.

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