University of Erfurt, Germany
Spring Term 2012
Dr. Carsten Held is a Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Universität Erfurt. He received most of his philosophy education at the Universität Freiburg, the former stamping ground of Husserl and Heidegger, but inexplicably developed an interest in philosophy of science. He wrote a dissertation, finished in 1996, on early interpretations of quantum mechanics, more precisely on the Bohr-Einstein debate. In 2002 he finished his Habilitation, with a thesis on Frege's philosophy of language, in particular his theory of simple predication. Both works follow a German tradition of tackling systematic questions through an exegesis of great dead philosophers.
Over the years, Carsten developed an interest in technical questions in the foundations of quantum mechanics. He wrote a series of papers arguing that the theory, for structural reasons, cannot be complete in the standard sense of the notion. He hopes to supplement this negative result with a proposal on how the standard completeness results should be interpreted. One point of departure here is the constistent histories approach. He has also become interested in the scientific realism debate, in particular in the question what best explains the predictive success of scientific theories. This is the project he will chiefly pursue during his time at Pitt.
He is married to Sylvia Held, a public health adviser. Counting in offspring from earlier relationships, they have six children, four of them grown. In their free time they try to improve their connection in Argentine Tango and hence look forward to the many milongas in Pittsburgh.