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The Tarner lectures are a series of public lectures in the philosophy of science given at Trinity College, Cambridge since 1916. Named after Mr Edward Tarner, the lecture addresses 'the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Relations or Want of Relations between the different Departments of Knowledge.' The inaugural lecture was given by Alfred North Whitehead in the autumn of 1919 and are published as his "The concept of nature."

Past Lectures

Full list of Past Tarner Lectures [1]

Year Speaker Lecture Title
1919 Dr Alfred North Whitehead The Concept of Nature
1923 Dr C. D. Broad The border-line between physics and psychology
1926 Hon. Bertrand Russell The analysis of matter
1929 Professor G.E. Moore Knowledge direct and indirect[2]
1931 Revd F. R. Tennant The relations between the different departments of knowledge
1935 Mr A.D. Ritchie The natural history of mind
1938 Sir Arthur Eddington The philosophy of physical science
1941 Dr Cecil Alec Mace Causality and mind
1946 Professor R. B. Braithwaite Laws of nature, probability, and scientific explanation
1947 Sir Edmund Whittaker The concepts of physics
1949 Professor Joseph Henry Woodger Biology and language
1953 Professor Gilbert Ryle Cross purposes between theories
1956 Professor Erwin Schrödinger (read by Professor J. Wisdom) The physical basis of consciousness
1960 Professor Carl Pantin The A sciences and the B sciences
1962 Mr H.A.C. Dobbs The concept of time
1965 Professor Hermann Bondi Assumption and myth in physical theory
1967 Professor Georg Henrik von Wright Time, Change and Contradiction
1970 Dr Gerd Buchdahl Science and rational structures[3]
1975 Professor William Kneale Grammar, logic, and arithmetic
1978 Professor Max Black[4] Models of rationality
1982 Professor E. O. Wilson Socio-biology and comparative social theory
1985 Professor Freeman Dyson Origins of life
1988 Sir Andrew Huxley Matter, life, evolution
1991 Professor Ian Hacking Kinds of people and kinds of things
1994 Professor Michael Redhead From physics to metaphysics
1996 Professor Martin J. S. Rudwick Constructing geohistory in the age of revolution
2000 Professor Simon Conway Morris Footsteps to eternity: the implications of evolution
2006 Professor Peter Galison Images, Objects, and the Scientific Self
2010 Professor Simon Schaffer When the stars threw down their spears: Histories of Astronomy and Empire
2012 Professor Sir Geoffrey Lloyd The ideals of inquiry: an ancient history
2019 Professor Elliott Sober Solving Problems in the Philosophy of Science by using (some simple ideas about) Probability


  1. ^ "Past Tarner Lectures". Trinity College Cambridge. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  2. ^ Cann, Kathleen (1995). Roser, A.; Börnke, F. (eds.). "The papers of George Edward Moore (1873–1958) Cambridge University Library". Wittgenstein Studien. 2: 13/41.
  3. ^ "Gerd Buchdahl Collection". Whipple Library. Box 25 # 48d. Retrieved 28 September 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ Garver, Newton. "Black, Max (1909–1988)". Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 28 September 2019 – via

Bibliography/Further Reading