Rotman Institute of Philosophy
Artist’s work a reminder of work to be done

Artist’s work a reminder of work to be done

On June 7, 2006, while on a lunch break as a special education instructor with the Thames Valley District School Board, Vanessa Zita Vanderidder was found dead along the side of her car. Or at least, that is what first responders pronounced her when they arrived on...

Kubrick’s AI nightmare, 50 years later

Kubrick’s AI nightmare, 50 years later

As David Bowman – the surviving crew member aboard the Discovery One spacecraft in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey – disassembles HAL 9000, the sentient computer pleads in an affectless, monotone voice: “I’m afraid, Dave.” “Dave, my mind is going. I can feel...

Signaling awareness in anaesthetized patients

Signaling awareness in anaesthetized patients

For every 1,000 patients undergoing surgery and receiving general anaesthesia, one or two will wake up during the procedure, unable to move, speak or otherwise indicate to doctors they are conscious and aware of what is happening. Western researchers who have already...

Professors’ feminist fitness blog named among top health influencers

Professors’ feminist fitness blog named among top health influencers

Feminist thinkers at Western are giving women in fitness a voice – and now, they’re receiving recognition for it, too. Western professors Tracy Isaacs and Samantha Brennan were recently nominated as one of OptiMYz magazine’s Top 100 Health Influencers. Their blog, Fit...

New chair embraces ‘meeting of minds’

New chair embraces ‘meeting of minds’

Tim Bayne’s research can be described as the flipside of Adrian Owen’s neuroscience coin. And that’s just one reason he’s here. “Adrian (Owen) and his collaborators are using neuroimaging to look at brain activity in (vegetative) patients, and what they’re really...

Davenport: Relation to Relativity

Davenport: Relation to Relativity

Dear Professor Christopher J Smeenk, I greatly enjoyed your short piece in Western News, Empty out the drawer: Following Einstein’s path to General Relativity, and those of your colleagues, in the section last month which marked the 100th anniversary of the...

Of Space, Time and The Mind

Of Space, Time and The Mind

A century ago this month, Albert Einstein achieved his long-sought theory of gravitation, the General Theory of Relativity, by publically debuting it during presentations to the Prussian Academy in November 1915. A seminal text, this paper led to a scientific...

Dice Capades: Einstein and quantum mechanics

Dice Capades: Einstein and quantum mechanics

Einstein has become such a cultural touchstone that the internet is full of dubiously sourced quotations attributed to him. One of the most famous usually appears as “I refuse to believe that God plays dice with the universe” – or more simply “God doesn’t play dice.”...

Celebrating Einstein

Celebrating Einstein

A popular picture of scientific revolutions, such as Einstein’s overthrow of Newtonian physics, paints them as involving something like a gestalt shift; they involve a sudden reorientation of the perspective through which we see the world. The perspective, through...

Relics of a life: Einstein museum exhibit brings an interactive twist

Relics of a life: Einstein museum exhibit brings an interactive twist

In December 2014, Stathis Psillos, former Rotman Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Science at Western, suggested the idea of Einstein @ Rotman, a series of events culminating with a museum exhibit with manuscripts related to Einstein’s theory of general...

Rotman Institute director building new bridges

Rotman Institute director building new bridges

Once people discover what philosophers are working on, Christopher Smeenk believes they’ll see that these scholars are exploring the fundamental questions of everyday life.

The Big Ideas Issue

The Big Ideas Issue

Join members of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy in this special edition of Western News as they offer up their BIG IDEAS on the questions you’ll be facing tomorrow – and beyond. Better we understand science, better we understand ourselves. By Stathis Psillos;...

Big Ideas: Working out ideas on fitness

Big Ideas: Working out ideas on fitness

While there has been a lot of feminist attention paid to the diet industry, and the tyranny of increasingly difficult-to-attain ideals of the feminine body, feminist scholars have done little analysis of fitness – the fitness industry, fitness culture and the...