The 2017 Buenos Aires Workshop on the Philosophy of Cognitive Science in Argentina will be held on November 22nd-24th. It is organised by Liza Skidelsky, Sabrina Haimovici, and their colleagues at UBA-CONICET. The program of the conference is on its website, available here. Ruth Byrne will give a keynote talk at the conference on November 23rd.
An international meeting to honour Juan Garcia-Madruga was held at UNED in Madrid, November 3rd-4th. Isabel Orenes gave a talk on ‘The comprehension of affirmative and negative counterfactual conditionals’ (Orenes, García-Madruga, Espino & Byrne) and Ruth Byrne gave a talk on ‘The suppression of inferences from counterfactual conditionals’ (Byrne & Espino). The full program is available here.
Dr Orlando Espino from the University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain visited the lab in October (9th-13th) to design further experiments on epistemic updating in the mental representation of counterfactual conditionals.
Sergio Moreno from the University of Granada has published experiments he carried out while he was a visiting academic at the lab, in the following article:
Moreno-Rios, S., & Byrne, R.M.J. (2017). Inferences from disclosures about the truth and falsity of expert testimony. Thinking & Reasoning. In press. doi:10.1080/13546783.2017.1378724
CiMeC celebrated its 10 year anniversary on 19th-20th October in Rovereto, with a set of talks by invited speakers which included one on “Counterfactual Reasoning” by Ruth Byrne. The program is available here.
Shane Timmons presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society in London in July 2017 on ‘Counterfactual thoughts and judgments about morally good actions’ (Timmons & Byrne).
Mary Parkinson has published a third paper from her PhD:
Parkinson, M., & Byrne, R. M. (2017). Counterfactual and semi-factual thoughts in moral judgements about failed attempts to harm. Thinking & Reasoning, in press. The abstract of the paper is as follows:
People judge that an individual who attempts to harm someone but fails should be blamed and punished more when they imagine how things could have turned out worse, compared to when they imagine how things could have turned out the same, or when they think only about what happened. This moral counterfactual amplification effect occurs when people believe the protagonist had no reason for the attempt to harm, and not when the protagonist had a reason, as Experiment 1 shows. It occurs for intentional failed attempts to harm and also for accidental near-misses, as Experiment 2 shows, but not for failed attempts in which the harm occurs anyway by another cause, for both general judgments about the event and specific judgments about the individual’s actions, as Experiments 3 and 4 show. The implications for understanding the role of counterfactual thoughts in moral judgement are discussed.