Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Conference: Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science (Toronto, May 2011)

13-15 May 2011, University of Toronto

For a registration information and a tentative program, see:

The philosophy of science has an illustrious history of attraction and
antipathy towards metaphysics. The latter was famously exemplified in
the Logical Positivist contention that metaphysical questions are
meaningless, but in the wake of the demise of Positivism, metaphysics
has found its way back into the philosophy of science. Increasingly,
questions about the nature of natural laws, kinds, dispositions, and
so on have taken a metaphysical cast. The metaphysics of science
commands significant attention in contemporary philosophy.

While many philosophers embrace the increased contact between
metaphysics and the philosophy of science, others are wary. Should
science (and its philosophical study) lead us into doing metaphysics?
If so, which metaphysical issues are genuine and which are illusory,
and how might we tell? Such questions dovetail with similar soul-
searching in metaphysics proper (sometimes under the banner of "meta-
metaphysics", sometimes simply as methodology).

This conference will examine ground-level debates about metaphysics
within the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of biology, and
broader methodological questions about the role of metaphysics in the
philosophy of science. Participation is open and welcome from all
parties to these questions: from those who hold that metaphysics must
have a place within the philosophy of science, to those who hold it
should not.

Craig Callender (University of California, San Diego)
Anjan Chakravartty (University of Toronto)
Katherine Hawley (University of St. Andrews)
Jenann Ismael (University of Arizona)
James Ladyman (University of Bristol)
Kyle Stanford (University of California, Irvine)
Michael Strevens (New York University)
C. Kenneth Waters (University of Minnesota)
Robert Wilson (University of Alberta)

Chris Haufe (University of Chicago)
Matthew H. Slater (Bucknell University)
Zanja Yudell (California State University, Chico)

Please direct general conference inquiries to mpsc2011@gmail.com

Presented by the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science
and Technology, University of Toronto and the Fishbein Center for the
History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago