Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sydney-Tilburg conference on The Future of Philosophy of Science

The conference below looks like a fun and exciting conference with a great theme. Nevertheless, looking over the program line-up, I think the Tilburg gang seem to have chosen a hotchpotch of high standard conference papers [including a good number of my new Ghent colleagues] rather that sticking to a focused conference theme. I think this is a missed opportunity. Because general philosophy of science needs some fresh thought.
Anyway, wish I could attend, but I'll be somewhere in the Finnish Arctic Circle for an early modern workshop--yeah, we Early Modernist have all the fun!

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Sydney-Tilburg conference on The Future of Philosophy of Science
Wednesday 14 - Friday 16 April 2010
Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS)
http://www.uvt.nl/tilps/FPS2010/
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Philosophy of science deals with the foundations and the methods of science. While the scope of philosophy of science is rather uncontroversial, there is considerable disagreement about its methodology. A look into the relevant journals reveals that there is a plurality of approaches. Some researchers use the traditional method of conceptual analysis, others engage in formal modeling, conduct case studies and – more recently – experiments, or consult the history of science in considerable detail. Despite the differences in these approaches, there also seem to be undeniable trends in our discipline, such as the increasing specialization, and the increasing co-operation with empirical scientists and policy makers. This conference will explore the future of philosophy of science. In particular, we are interested in how the different methods philosophers of science use relate to each other, whether they can fruitfully complement each other, and whether current trends allow predictions about the development of our field.
The program of the conference is now online. Please visit:
http://www.uvt.nl/tilps/FPS2010/program/
The invited speakers are Michael Friedman, Chris Hitchcock, Hannes Leitgeb and Samir Okasha. Contributed speakers include William Bechtel, Ronald Giere, Alfred Nordmann, Michael Stoeltzner, and Paul Teller.
The registration deadline is 15 March 2010.

6 comments:

  1. In case it wasn't clear, I was trying to link to this discussion of the conference:

    http://knowledgeandexperience.blogspot.com/2010/02/future-of-philosophy-of-science.html

    The missed opportunity here is not highlighting the excellent work of women in philosophy of science. (The problem is as much with the advertising as anything, as there are women on the program.)

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  2. While I can't do anything about the gender balance issue, I also noted somewhat haphazard, non-future-seeking character of the program. Indeed, my paper would appear to be among the non-theme-directed. But I do plan to use my time to explore some questions about how certain debates in the metaphysics of science fit in with some of the trends the organizers mention. Perhaps others are thinking along similar lines. . . .

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  3. Thanks for bringing this up, Eric. I would have preferred that they put the extended abstracts on the website, because then it would have been more obvious that my talk does want to discuss the future of PoS (and its 'political' turn).

    As concerns gender, I will be discussing the work of Helen Longino and Heather Douglas extensively.

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  4. @Matthew Brown: I don't quite understand. As you state yourself, women are well represented on the program. Unfortunately, we received few submissions engaging with feminist philosophy of science, so there are only few such talks on the program. However, I find it a pity to blame the organizers for what is just the present state of the community.

    @Matthew Slater: This is an issue we extensively discussed when preparing the conference. The problem is to bridge the gap between specialist work and showing new directions. Most of the talks will, as far as I can oversee, start from a special problem and then try to develop a general perspective regarding future research programs etc. (as Jeroen and you are planning to do it yourself).

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  5. @Jan: And yet, in advertising the conference, the organizers highlight the participation of several invited and contributed talks, all by men. Why not highlight the contributions of women as well? The organizers of the conference aren't responsible for the present state of the discipline, but they are entirely responsible for how many women participate in the conference, as well as for how those participants are (or aren't) featured in the advertisements. After all, this is a conference on "The Future of Philosophy of Science," not its present state.

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