"Blameworthy Machines: Neuroscience and Human Free Will."

The YRT Team announces the next Faculty Roundtable at Yale to be held the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.  The topic will be presented by Peter Tse and John Pittard.  They will provide context for the faculty participants to consider some of the lessons that can be learned from the ongoing research into the human person and the neuronal architecture of the brain. 


Peter Ulric Tse is a cognitive neuroscientist and Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College.  He studied physics and math as an undergraduate at Dartmouth and then received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Harvard under Patrick Cavanagh and Ken Nakayama in 1998. He then did a post-doc with Nikos Logothetis at the Max Plank Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen, Germany before returning to Dartmouth to teach in 2001.  He has worked on various areas of cognitive science including human vision, memory and imagination.  His 2013 book, The Neural Basis of Free Will, focused on the question of mental causation, in particular the proposition that mental events (and information in general, as in genetics) can be downwardly causal even though realized in, or supervenient upon, physical events.  He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014.


John Pittard is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religion with dual appointment to the Yale Philosophy Department and the Yale Divinity School.  He studied economics as an undergraduate at Harvard, picked up an M.Div. degree at Princeton Theological Seminary and defended his PhD in Philosophy at Yale in 2013.  He specializes in epistemology and the philosophy of religion. Much of his current research is focused on questions concerning the epistemic significance of disagreement with informed and intelligent interlocutors. He has published articles in The Philosophical QuarterlyThe Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and Oxford Studies in Epistemology. He also has a chapter in Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution (published by Oxford University Press) and a coauthored piece forthcoming in Mind.  



The Faculty Roundtable is sponsored by the Rivendell Institute at Yale University.