Cy Twombly

Current teaching

I am currently teaching as part of a new Environmental Risk Management course at Stockholm University. It is offered as part of a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences. 

My lectures are on the philosophy of risk and uncertainty, with an application to climate science. Here is a rough syllabus.

Lecture 1: Introduction to risk and uncertainty. What is risk? How does it connect with the concepts of uncertainty and probability? What does it mean to measure risk? Objective vs. subjective probability. Aleatory vs. epistemic uncertainty

Lecture 2: Introduction to decision theory. The idea of a “decision theory”. Expected utility theory as an example. Descriptive and normative decision theory. The role of uncertainty in decision-making. The role of values in decision making. Preferences and values. Representing preferences with utilities. Incomplete preferences, incomparability and hard choices.

Lecture 3: Uncertainty and values. Sources of uncertainty in science. Measurement and instrumentation. The role of statistics in science. Can science be free from values? Inductive risk. The role of values in risk assessments.

Lecture 4: Case study: model uncertainty in climate science. Sources and kinds of uncertainty in climate models. Robust results. Values in climate modelling.

Lecture 5: Policymaking with uncertainty. How do we quantify and communicate uncertainty? What will decision makers do with the information we give them? How to make decisions in the face of significant uncertainty.


    Past teaching

    2018/19 I taught Philosophy and Public Policy, for part of the course. 

    2017/18 I taught PH104: Formal methods of philosophical argumentation. 

    • Functions: A supplementary note on functions between sets, types of functions (injective, surjective, bijective) and function composition.

    2016/17 I taught PH101: Logic. 

    • Associated conditional: A note on why an inference is valid in truth-functional logic just in case its associated conditional is a tautology.
    • A proof of Cantor’s Theorem that the cardinality of a set is strictly less than the cardinality of its power set.

    Teaching experience

    • Graduate teaching assistant, Philosophy and public policy, 2018-19, London School of Economics
    • Graduate teaching assistant, Logic (introductory, undergraduate), 2016-18, London School of Economics
    • Teaching assistant, Modern Experimental Physics (experiment demonstrator, undergraduate), 2009-10, Wits University
    • Teacher, Advanced Mathematics (A-level equivalent, high school), 2008, Sacred Heart College Johannesburg