University of Pittsburgh

Karen R. Zwier

I hold a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh and am currently a part-time adjunct professor in the department of Philosophy and Religion at Drake University. I have broad research interests in philosophical and scientific methodology as well as metaphysics of science. My research is largely concerned with questions about how—and if—metaphysical claims are engaged by empirical scientific methods. Some of my specific areas of research include philosophy of causation, history and philosophy of physics and chemistry, ancient philosophy of nature, and science and religion. In all of the philosophical questions that I address in my work, I attempt to integrate ideas from the history of philosophy and cases from the history of science into my treatment.

Degree Education

Ph.D. History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh (2014)

Dissertation: "Interventionist Causation in Physical Science" [Click for abstract]

Committee:

Sandra Mitchell (Advisor, University of Pittsburgh, HPS)

John Norton (University of Pittsburgh, HPS)

James Woodward (University of Pittsburgh, HPS)

Mark Wilson (University of Pittsburgh, Philosophy)

Robert Batterman (University of Pittsburgh, Philosophy)

M.A. Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh (2011)

B.S. Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006)
B.A. Philosophy, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2006)

Non-Degree Education

Facoltà di Filosofia, Pontificia Università Lateranense (2003-2005)

Publications

2013. "An Epistemology of Causal Inference from Experiment." Philosophy of Science 80(5): 660-671.

2012. "The Status of Laws of Nature in the Philosophy of Leibniz." Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 85: 149-160.

2011. "Dalton’s Chemical Atoms versus Duhem's Chemical Equivalents." Philosophy of Science 78(5): 842-853.

2011. "John Dalton's Puzzles: From Meteorology to Chemistry." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42(1): 58-66.

Presentations

"Interventionist Causation in Chemical Thermodynamics." Twenty-Fourth Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association: Chicago, Illinois, 6-9 November 2014.

"An Epistemology of Causal Inference from Experiment." Twenty-Third Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association: San Diego, California, 15-17 November 2012.

"Experiment as Test of Causal Claims: A History." Ninth Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the History Of Philosophy Of Science: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 21-24 June 2012.

"The Status of Laws of Nature in the Philosophy of Leibniz." Eighty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: St. Louis University, St Louis, Missouri, 27-30 October 2011.

"Experiment as Source and Test of Causal Content in Science." PSX2 (2nd International Workshop on the Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation): University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany, 21-22 October 2011.

"Dalton's Chemical Atoms vs. Duhem's Chemical Equivalents." Twenty-Second Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association: Montréal, Quebec, 4-6 November 2010.

"Aristotle on Spontaneous Generation." Understanding the Methodology at Work in Generation of Animals: Fifth Pittsburgh/London Workshop on Aristotle’s Generation of Animals: University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, 25-27 May 2010.

"Aristotle's Practical Syllogism: Putting Human Deliberation into Action." Thought and Action in Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition: Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 16-18 June 2009.

"Aristotle's Syllogism on the Basis of a Hypothesis." 105th Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 27-30 December 2008.

"John Dalton: From Puzzles to Chemistry by Way of Meteorology." 2008 History of Science Society Conference: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 6-9 November 2008.

"Aristotle on Spontaneous Generation." Aristotle, Ethics, and Science: A Conference and Graduate Student Workshop: St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4-5 October 2008.

"The Causal Markov Condition: Should You Choose to Accept It?" Causality and Probability in the Sciences (CAPITS 2008): University of Kent, Canterbury, UK, 10-12 September 2008.