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Philosophy PhD student paper accepted for prestigious conference

Olivia Coombes will present her paper at the largest philosophy conference in the UK

Congratulations to philosophy PhD student Olivia Coombes whose paper has been accepted for the Postgraduate Session of the 2019 Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association.

2019 Joint Session | The Aristotelian Society

Her paper 'Time Travel and Ability' is one of only eight postgraduate student papers to be discussed at the prestigious conference.

Philosophy of time travel

Liv's PhD, supervised by Dr Alasdair Richmond and Dr Patrick Todd, focuses on the philosophy of time travel, looking at how traditional theories of free will are affected by the logical possibility of time travel.

Alasdair Richmond

Patrick Todd

One of the aims of the PhD is to explore traditional intuitions about ability and to try to formulate a new theory of ability which is consistent with the fact that you cannot change the past. Hence there are certain things a time traveller will always fail at (like killing their Grandfather) yet intuitively still maintain the ability. Most theories of ability focus on whether an agent will succeed, but Liv’s PhD is looking at when they have the skills required.

Rich history of philosophy study

First held in 1910, the Joint Session has taken place at nearly every major university in the UK and Ireland and has grown to become the largest gathering of philosophers in the country.

Philosophers previously featured in the conference include Professor Fiona Macpherson from the University of Glasgow, Professor John Hyman from University College London, and Edinburgh's own Dr Debbie Roberts.

I am honoured that I will be presenting my paper at one of the biggest philosophy conferences in the UK. As one of only eight postgraduates picked it is extremely exciting that my little paper on time travel has been recognised in this capacity. I hope that this makes the academic community excited about time travel and as a philosophical discipline

Liv CoombesPhD Philosophy student at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Public philosophy

Liv also wants to bridge the gap between philosophy and the public. She co-hosts a philosophy pop culture podcast with 4th-year Philosophy and Economics student Elliott Gruzin called Two Philosophers, One Podcast, No Problems.

Philosophy pop culture podcast takes off in student-staff partnership project

Two Philosophers, One Podcast, No Problems on Spotify

Two Philosophers, One Podcast, No Problems on iTunes