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::: center home >> events >> conferences >> 2016-17 >> pluralism

Scientific Knowledge Under Pluralism

31 March - 1 April 2017
Center for Philosophy of Science
817 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA USA




Pluralism – about scientific methods, modeling, theorizing, explanation, and perspective – has drawn significant recent attention. This conference aims to consider not the fact of pluralism in scientific practice, but the consequences of pluralism for scientific knowledge. Pluralists often contend that scientific knowledge is irreducibly plural: that pluralism is not merely characteristic of the developing state of knowledge in some domain, but that pluralistic knowledge is, in principle, all there is; that the contrasting ideal of ultimately combining perspectives and unifying knowledge is somehow confused. But what picture of knowledge does this offer instead? Is it compatible with realist hopes of describing a mind-independent world, or must it be understood in a pragmatic, or neo-Kantian, or constructivist way? Some pluralist allusions to incommensurable approaches, theories, and models suggest the latter. On this view, can pluralism avoid collapsing into relativism about scientific knowledge? The aim of the conference is to target and clarify the epistemological implications of pluralism.

Agnes Bolinska, University of Pittsburgh
Anjan Chakravartty, University of Notre Dame
Mazviita Chirimuuta, University of Pittsburgh
Sandra Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh

The Center for Philosophy of Science











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