This past year brought a major change in our Center staffing. Carol Weber has been in charge of "technology" in the Center since August 2001. She has kept our visitors' computers running and connected to the internet. Our Center website has been her site and every page has benefited from her aesthetic sense. Carol found the attraction of the Early Retirement Program too powerful; this summer was her last with us.
Our new "Carol" is a Cheryl, that is, Cheryl Greer. While she has only been in her office a few weeks, we know we have found a worthy successor, both in her technical prowess and her keen abilities in design.
For more, see Farewell and Welcome.
This year we welcome Eric Hatleback as his replacement. He has only been in the office a few weeks, but Eric has already revealed great energies and powers. Who would have imagined a graduate student eager to get us to sort and clean out the accumulation of junk in the corners of our offices?!
This past year, we hosted twelve visitors in the Center in various capacities. Six of them came from the US, two from Germany, and one each from Canada (Japan), Hungary, Sweden, and Switzerland. Look here for full details.
There were two interesting experiments in the year.
His visit was a great success and has encouraged us to continue the senior program, but now without any restrictions on areas. On a personal level, Nils-Eric added something I especially appreciated. It was a liveliness and quirkiness that helps make the Center an interesting place to be.
Now that the term has passed, I cannot say if the experiment was a success or a failure. I'm not sure what the criteria are. But I can say that we all appreciated Michael's presence. He became one of the regular faces in our talks and around the table in our reading group meetings. He could be relied upon to produce insight from a different perspective. Philosophers have a lazy tendency to presume empirical matters, often without knowing. It is at that moment that Michael's face would brighten and he would announce "That can be put to experimental test!" For more see here.
Our year of visitors was distinctive in one final way. We have had visitors with children, but not in my experience this many. Uljana brought one, Ari and Soazig brought one and Gabor brought three. These small humans constrained the schedules of their parents in familiar ways; and these constraints filtered through to the rest of us.
The events of the year were distinctive in several ways.
In conjunction with the Departments of Philosophy and HPS, the Center is supporting a lecture series in honor of Wesley Salmon. Wes was a beloved member of our philosophical community. The strength of our admiration can be measured by the enthusiasm for the initiation of the series. The first lecture was held in September and was given by Elliott Sober.
When we plan our conferences, I am always asking for us to look out for groups of people who need to talk face to face, but who are not so talking. Our October conference on quantum field theory seemed to identify just such a division in the philosophers and physicists who work on quantum field theory. Now, finally the warring parties were pressed into the same room and compelled to speak to one another. In retrospect, we could have foreseen what happened. In war, there are no victors but only survivors. For more see here.
I've saved the best for last. Each four years, the internationally distributed fellowship of the Center gathers for a reunion conference, hosted by one of the past Fellows. This year, our host was Mehmet Elgin and the conference was held in Mugla in Turkey. It was a memorable event. How could it fail?! Around fifty past Fellows met again to exchange ideas and reconfirm friendships. Turkey simply is a fascinating country to visit. I was quite unprepared. It sits where all of Europe, Asia and the Middle East meet. It manages to be all of them and none of them at the same time. And Mehmet through hard work and foresight proved to be the perfect host. For more, see here.
Click on names in blue to visit each scholar's web page.
The Board of Officers is the central decision-making body of the Center. Its composition remains the same as last year's: Adolf Grünbaum and Nicholas Rescher (co-Chairs); John D. Norton (Director); and Robert Batterman, Peter Machamer, James Woodward (Associate Directors). These Officers are responsible for the major planning and decision making in the Center.
They are sometimes assisted by Resident Fellows who serve in various capacities, often on program committees for conferences. The Annual Lecture Series Committee was chaired by Giovanni Valente, Department of Philosophy and had members:
Robert Batterman, Department of Philosophy
Anil Gupta, Department of Philosophy
Edouard Machery, Department of HPS
Sandra Mitchell, Department of HPS
Peter Distelzweig, Departments HPS & Philosophy graduate student sponsor
John Norton, Department of HPS & Director, Center for Philosophy of Science
News from the Officers
1. Assisted by Thomas Kupka of Bremen, Germany, and by my Administrative Assistant, Leanne Longwill, I have finished the preparation of two volumes of my collected papers Philosophy of Science in Action, which have been under contract with Oxford University Press. I am adding a third volume of some of my lectures on psychology and psychoanalysis, including my 10 previously unpublished Gifford Lectures, presented at St. Andrews, Scotland in 1984-85. Presumably, all three will be published by Oxford University Press in New York.
The topics of these three volumes are:
Volume I: Scientific Rationality, the Human Condition, and 20th Century Cosmologies
Volume II: Philosophy of Physics, Time, and Space
Volume III: Lectures on Psychology and Psychoanalysis
2. I have been nominated for two major academic recognitions in Germany:
(a) The “Order of Merit” (German: “Bundesverdienstkreuz”), which is conferred by the Foreign Office of the German Federal Republic
(b) An honorary doctorate (“Doktor Honoris Causa”) from the University of Cologne
One of the year’s highlights was the award of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, presented in Pittsburgh On December 8, 2011 by Benno von Alvensleven, Germany’s Consul General in New York.
Another highlight has been my rediscovery of the 17th century machina deciphratoria of G. W. Leibniz —the very first cipher machine— a striking anticipation of the notorious Enigma machine of WWII fame. Now under reconstruction by Leibniz machine experts in Germany, this device is bound to figure centrally in my next annual report.
Two publications in response to my work have also been meaningful for me:
• Wenceslao González. La predicción scientifica desde H. Reichenbach a N. Rescher (Madrid: Editoral-Montesoros, 2011). [A study of prediction dealing extensively with the ideas of N.R.]
• The journal Ketab-e Mah-e Falsafeh (The Persian Monthly Philosophy Review) devoted (in 2011) an entire special issue devoted to NR and his work on Islamic logic and philosophy in the middle ages.
Moving on to my own publications, there is quite a lot of activity to report. The year has seen the appearance of three volumes of philosophical essays entitled *On the Nature of Philosophy,* *On Certainty,* and *Philosophical Episodes,* all published by Ontos in Frankfurt. And the same publishing house has issued a joint work, *Reflexivity*, co-authored with Patrick Grim of SUNY, Stony Brook. Additionally, the following articles have appeared:
• “What Einstein Wanted,” Logos & Episteme, vol. 2 (2011), pp. 233-252.
• “On the Improvability of the World,” The Review of Metaphysics, vol. 64 (2011), pp. 489-514.
• “Leibnizian Neo-Platonism and Rational Mechanics,” Questiones Disputatae, vol. 2 (2011), pp. 200-210.
• “Optimalism and the Rationality of the Real” in John F. Wippel (ed.), The Ultimate Why Question (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2011).
• “Authority,” Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity (Blackwells: Oxford, 2011), Chap. 7.
• “Aporetics in Nicolai Hartmann and Beyond” in Roberto Poli et. al. (eds.), The Philosophy of Nicolai Hartmann (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2011), pp. 53-72.
All in all, it has been a busy and productive year.
Peter Machamer was a co-editor of A. Raftopoulos and P. Machamer, eds. "Perception, Realism, and Reference", Cambridge University Press, April 2012. The volume includes a paper by Peter Machamer & Lisa Osbeck, "Action, Perception and Reference", pp. 142-160. (Raftopoulos and Osbeck are both former Center Fellows.)
John D. Norton
It's been a good year. I've developed my approach to approximations and idealization and especially how the difference matters when we take infinite limits. What was initially intended to be a pedagogic illustration, the case of reversible processes in thermodynamics, proves to be of foundational interest in its own right. (See "Infinite Idealizations.")
I've been pressing my critique of the thermodynamics of computations. One of its founding assumptions is that thermodynamically reversible processes can be carried out at molecular scales. A no go result shows that these efforts are fatally disrupted by thermal fluctuations. (See "The End of the Thermodynamics of Computation: A No Go Result.")
My paper with Bryan Roberts on Galileo and the law of fall has finally been published, after many woes. This paper and more can be found on my website.
Otherwise, I've been quite preoccupied writing a book on inductive inference that develops my material approach. I've now got chapters on analogy, simplicity and more.
This summer I once again managed to sail on the rivers around Pittsburgh's point and have blogged the results. I've even managed to connect the interest in sailing with academic work and have published "Paradoxes of Sailing" in Sailing: Philosophy for Everyone.
Center Staff News
Karen Kovalchick, Assistant Director
Yep, that’s right – it’s all about the DOGS!! Since many of you are familiar with Karen’s dogs, she wanted to share an update on them with you, accompanied by their “then” and “now” photos. Some of you who were here in the spring of 2002 met Gabe as a puppy when he occasionally accompanied Karen to work. He’s still just as sweet as he is handsome!
Gretel arrived as a Hurricane Katrina refugee. She has a certain amount of emotional “baggage” that prevents her from visiting the office. But those of you who have been to Karen’s house have met her. Unfortunately, it seems that every day is a bad hair day for Gretel…
The only other news from Karen is that she finally gave up her 10-year- old Jeep and bought a brand new Subaru Forester! Nice car, but it doesn’t merit a photo here.
Joyce McDonald, Administrative Assistant/Event Planner
Joyce was very busy at the start of term with the arrival of her second grandchild. Her daughter had a girl, Mira Rose, and “Grandma” kept two-year old Seth, just when the Center was at its busiest. Joyce shares that it was sad to see the Fellows leave in the Spring, but the new group is just as delightful.
Cheryl Greer, Administrative Assistant/Technology Manager
Cheryl joined the Center staff in August 2012 after spending the bulk of her prior career in the library field, both at the University of Pittsburgh and elsewhere. She and her husband Phil had a quiet 2012 topped by a fall trip to Ireland to mark a significant birthday. Cheryl is a card-carrying Yorkist who enjoys Medieval & Rennaissance history, old movies, and cooking. Cheryl and office-mate Eric Hatleback have the distinction of being the only members of the Center's staff who are not Dog People. Cheryl's cats Ed and Barrett appreciate that.
Eric Hatleback, Program Assistant
Eric joined the Center staff in August 2012. His 2012 was spent mostly on dissertation work, which nears completion as he finishes his path through the doctoral program in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. He is pleased to share his office with Cheryl; it is an oasis for those who prefer cats and the Green Bay Packers in an otherwise dry desert of Steelers fans and dog lovers.
The Center Community
Here I report news from the Center community. To find the specifics of papers and books mentioned, please visit the particular scholar's website elsewhere on this website.
Resident, Visiting, and Postdoctoral Fellows
2011-12 Visiting Fellows
University of New Mexico, USA, Spring Term
University of Montana, USA, Fall Term
TU Berlin, Germany, Academic Year
Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary, Academic Year
University of Montana, USA, Fall Term
Nils-Eric Sahlin (Wagner Risk Fellow)
Lund University, Sweden, Academic Year
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany, Spring Term
University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA, Academic Year
University of Missouri, USA, Spring Term
2011-12 Postdoctoral Fellows
University of British Columbia, Canada,
University of Bern, Switzerland, Academic Year
2011-12 Visiting Scholars
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Academic Year
News from Resident Fellows
Bernard R. Goldstein
José Chabás and Bernard R. Goldstein have just published A Survey of European Astronomical Tables in the Late Middle Ages (Leiden: Brill, 2012). Bernie has also recently published: “Levi ben Gerson on the Principles of Cosmology”, Aleph, 12
My collection of essays Truth, Meaning, Experience (Oxford) appeared in the fall of 2011. I gave the Whitehead lectures at Harvard in April 2012. For more information, see my website: http://www.philosophy.pitt.edu/gupta/
“Physics and Science Fiction,” in Science, Technology, and the
Humanities: A New Synthesis, Lisa M. Dolling, ed. (Stevens Inst.
Tech., 2011), pp. 215-221.
“General relativity at Syracuse in the mid-fifties,” Gen. Rel. Grav.
43, 3247-3251 (2011).
1. Werning, M., Hinzen, W., and Machery, E. 2012. The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Most important articles and chapters published in 2011-12
1. Machery, E., and Cohen, K. 2012. An evidence-based study of the evolutionary behavioral sciences. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 63, 177-226.
2. Machery, E. 2012. Why I stopped worrying about the definition of life… And why you should as well. Synthese, 185, 145-164.
3. Machery, E., and Stich, S. P. 2012. The role of experiment in the philosophy of language. In G. Russell and D. G. Fara (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Language (pp. 495-512). New York: Routledge.
4. Fessler, D. M. T., and Machery, E. 2012. Culture and cognition. In E. Margolis, R. Samuels, and S. P. Stich (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science (pp. 503-527). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Formal Epistemology Meets Experimental Philosophy, September 29-30, 2011, Tilburg University (in collaboration with Stephan Hartmann and Chiara Lisciandra)
Editor of the Naturalistic Philosophy Section of Philosophy Compass since 2012
Cengage published the 6th edition of my Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking.
News from Past Fellows
Reports several publications and talks, including Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012). He’s also been running the Medical Humanities Workgroup at Western Michigan University, as well as attending law school.
see Milos' profile page
Translation: Transfer, Text and Topic, P. Barrotta and L. Lepschy (eds.), Guerra Edizioni, Perugia 2011.
Scienza, tecnologia e valori morali. Quale futuro?, P. Barrotta, G. O.
Longo and M. Negrotti (eds.), Armando, Roma 2011.
- “L’equilibrio della natura: Mito e realtà”, introduction to J. Kricher, L’equilibrio della natura, Felici Editore, Pisa, 2011.
- “La neutralità morale della scienza. Paradossi e pericoli di un mito duro a morire”, in Scienza, tecnologia e valori morali. Quale futuro?, P.
Barrotta, G. O. Longo and M. Negrotti (eds.), Armando, Roma, 2011, pp.
- “James Lovelock, Gaia Theory, and the Rejection of Fact/Value Dualism”, *Environmental Philosophy*, vol. 8(2), 2011, pp. 95-113.
- "Popper e Oakeshott", in Karl Popper oggi. Una riflessione multidisciplinare, A. Borghini e S. Gattei (eds.), Belforte, Livorno 2011, pp. 161-188.
Barrett, J. A. and P. Byrne (2012) The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Collected Works and Commentary 1955–1980, Princeton University Press.
with the companion archive:
Barrett, J. A., P. Byrne, J. Weatherall (eds) (2011) Hugh Everett III Manuscripts. UCIspace @ the Libraries. Permanent url:
Claus has attained his habilitation with a thesis titled "A Transformation of Normal Science. Computer Simulations from a Philosophical Perspective". For recent publications consult his homepage.
Direct Belief: An Essay on the Semantics, Pragmatics, and Metaphysics of Belief. Mouton Series in Pragmatics, 13. Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, 2012.
In the past academic year, Daniel Burston was a keynote speaker at the Eastern Psychological Association's annual convention on March 2, 2012, (History of Psychology Division), with a talk titled "Anti-Psychiatry, then and now." He was also a key note speaker for Division 32 (Humanistic Psychology) of the American Psychological Association's Annual Meeting on March 30, with a talk titled "R.D.Laing and Anti-Psychiatry." On June 7th, he will speak at New York's Mt. Sinai Hospital (Psychotherapy Seminar) on "The Passion of Karl Stern: Making Freud Kosher for Catholics." Burston also published the following papers
Burston, D. 2012. “Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry in the 21st Century: Historical Reflections.” Psychoanalytic Review, 99, 1, pp. 63-80.
Burston, D. 2011. “Psychoanalysis, Psychiatry and Bipolar Disorder in the 21st Century.” The Letter: Irish Journal for Lacanian Psychoanalysis. Spring, #46, pp. 3-11.
Served as guest editor for a special issue of The Southern Journal of Philosophy (to appear Sept 2012) dedicated to the theme "Newton and Newtonianism."
Wrote the Introduction to the volume (title: "Newton and
Newtonianism: Remarks on the Current State of the Art") and also contributed a paper (title: "Newton and Proclus:
Geometry, Imagination, and Knowing Space").
During my time at the Center I also completed "Mediating Between Past and
Present: Descartes, Newton, and Contemporary Structural Realism," which is forthcoming in _Philosophy and Its History: New Essays on the Methods and Aims of Research in the History of Philosophy_ (Oxford University Press), edited by Mogens Laerke, Eric Schliesser, and Justin Smith.
In January 2012, a paper of mine appeared in Interpreting
Newton: Critical Essays (edited by Andrew Janiak and Eric Schliesser). The title of that paper: "Locke's Qualified Embrace of Newton's Principia."
During the spring term, I only gave 1 talk -- my lunchtime talk at the Center. During the fall term, I gave 2 talks:
"Descartes, Newton, and the Mathematical Character of Natural Philosophy"
Workshop on "Knowledge, Representation, and Proof in the Modern Era,"
University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 3 November 2011
"Difference, Disunity, and the Dialogue between Past and Present"
Philosophy and Its History: A Workshop on Methods, Aims, and New Directions in the Scholarship of Early Modern Philosophy, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 29-30 October 2011
In regard to my present research interests, I'll be extending my work on the role of mathematics in Descartes'
A new book concerning the philosophy of the humanistic sciences: After Postmodernism. A Naturalistic Recontruction of the Humanities. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
A couple of papers on explanation and interpretation in the natural sciences and the humanistic sciences.
John Forge's book The Responsible Scientist (Pittsburgh 2008) is to be translated into both Japanese and Chinese, languages Forge has, sadly, no hope of ever learning. He is, at present, avidly waiting for the reports from Springer, where he has a contract to publish, on his latest (last?) book Designed to Kill: The Case against Weapons Research. However, Forge mostly just messes about in Sydney, drinking French wine, swimming and generally having a good time.
Paul Rusnock (Ottawa) and I have finished a four volume English version of Bolzano's Wissenschaftslehre. We expect Oxford to publish it.
Dimitri Ginev is founder (1992) and Editor-in-Chief of the journal STUDIA CULTUROLOGICA.
Areas of Competence: The dialogue between Continental and analytical Philosophy; Hermeneutic Philosophy of Science; Hermeneutic Phenomenology; Holistic Epistemology; Philosophical Theories of Communication and Communicative Rationality; Contemporary Transcendental Philosophy; Theories of Modernity; Hermeneutic Theories of Language with special emphasis on the theories of discursive practices and the theories of dialogue; The post-Diltheyan tradition of hermeneutic logic; Philosophy of the Human Studies; The Situation in Contemporary German Philosophy.
Books from the last 8 years
- Entre Hermeneutique et Anthropologie, Frankfurt, Wien, Paris, 2004
- The Context of Constitution. Beyond the Edge of Justification, (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science), Springer, 2006.
- Aspekte der Phaenomenologischen Theorie der Wissenschaft, Koenighausen und Neumann, 2007
- Transformationen der Hermeneutik, Koenighausen und Neumann, 2008.
- Das hermeneutische Projekt Georg Mischs, Passgen Verlag, Wien 2011.
- The Tenets of Cognitive Existentialism, Ohio University Press 2011.
- Studies in the History of Hermeneutics (forthcoming).
- Practices and Possibilities (forthcoming).
Supported by the James S. McDonnell Foundation, Clark Glymour continues his research on integrating experimental and observational data in causal inference, and on extracting brain mechanisms from functional magnetic resonance images.
Wenceslao J. Gonzalez
Recent publications include the following books:
DIEKS, D., GONZALEZ, W. J., HARTMAN, S., UEBEL, TH. and WEBER, M. (eds), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation, Springer, Dordrecht, 2011.
GONZALEZ, W. J. (ed), Scientific Realism and Democratic Society: The Philosophy of Philip Kitcher, Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2011.
GONZALEZ, W. J. (ed), Conceptual Revolutions: From Cognitive Science to Medicine, Netbiblo, A Coruña, 2011.
DIEKS, D., GONZALEZ, W. J., HARTMAN, S., STÖLTZNER, M. y WEBER, M. (eds), Probabilities, Laws, and Structures, Springer, Dordrecht, 2012.
Among his recent papers are:
GONZALEZ, W. J., "Complexity in Economics and Prediction: The Role of Parsimonious Factors", in DIEKS, D., GONZALEZ, W. J., HARTMAN, S., UEBEL, TH. and WEBER, M. (eds), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation, Springer, Dordrecht, 2011, pp. 319-330.
GONZALEZ, W. J., "From Mathematics to Social Concern about Science: Kitcher's Philosophical Approach", in GONZALEZ, W. J. (ed), Scientific Realism and Democratic Society: The Philosophy of Philip Kitcher, Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Rodopi, Ámsterdam, 2011, pp. 11-93.
GONZALEZ, W. J., "The Problem of Conceptual Revolutions at the Present Stage", in GONZALEZ, W. J. (ed), Conceptual Revolutions: From Cognitive Science to Medicine, Netbiblo, A Coruña, 2011, pp. 7-38.
GONZALEZ, W. J., "Conceptual Changes and Scientific Diversity: The Role of Historicity", in GONZALEZ, W. J. (ed), Conceptual Revolutions: From Cognitive Science to Medicine, Netbiblo, A Coruña, 2011, pp. 39-62.
Since November 2009, Wenceslao J. Gonzalez is a Full Member of the International Academy for Philosophy of Sciences/Académie International de Philosophie des Sciences (AIPS). He has organized a Workshop of the European Science Foundation at the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest, on 15-16 September 2011. The topic was "The Sciences of the Artificial vs. the Cultural and Social Sciences
Main publication of the last year was New Perspectives on Type Identity, edited by myself and Simone Gozzano (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
After a productive stint as a Visiting Fellow at the Sydney Centre for the Foundation of Science in late 2010, Brian is currently visiting the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown in Lisbon, Portugal during Spring-Summer 2012. He published "The Agnostic Scientist: The supernatural and the open-ended nature of science” in Will Krieger's Science at the Frontiers: Perspectives on the History and Philosophy of Science, and has recently given talks on the senses at the Southern Society for Philosophy & Psychology, the Pacific APA, and the Centre for the Study of the Senses (London).
“Newton and the Mechanical Philosophy: Gravitation as the Balance of the Heavens”, with Peter Machamer and J.E.McGuire, 50th anniversary issue on Newton and Newtonianism, Southern Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
“Spiritual Presence and Dimensional Space beyond the Cosmos”, special issue on absolute space and time, Intellectual History Review, 22(1) 2012: 41–68
“Newton’s Quandary about Action at a Distance”, New Europe College Yearbook for 2011-2012
Causal Language and the Structure of Force in Newton’s System of the World” (resubmission to British Journal for the History of Science is currently under review)
“By ye Divine Arm: God and Substance in De gravitatione” (revise and resubmit to Religious Studies)
Presentations, peer-reviewed and invited:
European Society for the History of Science; Athens, Greece (Nov. 1-3, 2012): "Newton, Gravity, and the Mechanical Philosophy"
7th Quadrennial Fellows Conference of Pittsburgh’s Center for Philosophy of Science, Mu5la, Turkey (June 14, 2012): “Newton on Matter and Space”
University of Pisa, (April 16, 2012): “Conceptions of the Mechanical Philosophy: Boyle, Descartes, and Newton”
Ghent University, conference on “Isaac Newton and his Reception”, Ghent, Belgium (March 17, 2012): “By ye Divine Arm: Substance and Method in De gravitatione”
New Europe College Bucharest, Romania (11am, Feb. 22, 2012); Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest (6pm): “Dimensional and Non-Dimensional Space and the Doctrine that the Spirit is Whole in Every Part”
Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey (January 23, 2012): “Newton, Force, and the Mechanical Philosophy”
Philosophy of Science after Feminism, the project I started at the Center, is now done and out (Oxford 2010), and I recently had two author-meets-critics sessions on it—one at the last PSA meeting (PSA 2010) with John Dupré, Ron Giere, Miriam Solomon, and Kristina Rolin, and one at the last APA meeting (2012 APA Pacific Division) with Hugh Lacey, Matt Brown, and Libby Potter. The papers from these sessions are forthcoming in Perspectives on Science and Philosophical Studies.
Other recent publications include “Integrating the Ethical into Scientific Rationality” in Science in the Context of Application: Methodological Change, Conceptual Transformation, Cultural Reorientation, ed. Martin Carrier and Alfred Nordmann, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 274 (Springer, 2011) and “Feminist Critiques: Harding and Longino” in Philosophy of Science: The Key Thinkers, ed. James Robert Brown (Continuum, 2012). I am now working on a new book project on agnotology, the study of ignorance, especially socially constructed ignorance, entitled Forbidden Knowledge and have already organized a conference on the topic with Martin Carrier in Germany last summer and given several lectures on it both in Europe and the United States.
has organized a conference on Causality and Explanation in the Science (CaEitS2011, September 2011, Ghent University). Together with Erik Weber, he finished a special issue of Theoria with contributed papers of the conference; another special special issue, this time in Erkenntnis, is under construction. During the past year and a half, Bert published a paper with Kareem Khalifa and José Diéz on "General Theories of Explanation" (Synthese); a single-authored paper on Craver's "Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance" (BJPS); a paper with Anton Froeyman on "Laws in History and Historiography" (History and Theory); and a paper with Maarten Boudry on Sober's discussion of the "Design Argument" (Philosophy of Science). All these paper were either sown, or have germinated, or have bloomed in the Center for Philosophy of Science; hopefully, none has withered yet.
P. D. Magnus
The book that P.D. wrote during his Fall 2010 fellowship at the Center is forthcoming in September from Palgrave Macmillian; it will be titled Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards. The project has also led to several articles that are either forthcoming or under review.
“Mathematical Forms and Forms of Mathematics: leaving the shores of extensionality”, Synthese, 24 pp., doi:10.1007/s11229-011-9962-0.
“Bunge’s Philosophy of Mathematics: an appraisal”, Science and Education, 34 pp., DOI: 10.1007/s11191-011-9409-5
Another paper will appear soon:
“Categorical Foundations of Mathematics: or how to provide foundations for abstract mathematics”, to appear in Review of Symbolic Logic.
Two papers are in preparation. One entitled: "Mathematical Models of Abstract Systems: Knowing abstract geometric forms" and the other: "Mathematical Abstraction, Conceptual Variation and Identity".
I have published the very first paper in a new journal:
"Three Philosophical Problems about Consciousness and their Possible Resolution", Open Journal of Philosophy, 2011, vol. 1, no. 1, pages 1-10.
And I have published three chapters in three books:
1. "Is the Quantum World Composed of Propensitons?", in Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics, edited by Mauricio Suárez, Synthese Library, Springer, Dordrecht, 2011, pp. 221-243.
2. "A Priori Conjectural Knowledge in Physics", in What Place for the A Priori?, edited by Michael Shaffer and Michael Veber, Open Court, Chicago, 2011, pp. 211-240.
3. "Creating a Better World: Towards the University of Wisdom", in R. Barnett, ed., The Future University: Ideas and Possibilities, Routledge, New York, 2012, pp. 123-138.
I habilitated in July 2009 at the University of Paderborn, Germany. In the Winter Term (January–April) 2012, I was “Bertrand Russell Visiting Professor” at McMaster University, Ontario. In November 2010, I had a presentation at the Pittsburgh’s Lunchtime Colloquium, and in March 2012 invited lectures at McMaster University and SUNY at Buffalo.
Recent publications that can be of special interest for my Pittsburgh friends are:
Hans Reichenbach, “Ziele und Wege der heutigen Naturphilosophie” und andere Schriften zur Wissenschaftstheorie, Herausgegeben, eingeleitet und mit Anmerkungen versehen von Nikolay Milkov, Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 2011, xliv + 162 pp., IBSN 978-3-7873-2149-0.
“Mark Wilson, Wandering Significance: An Essay on Conceptual Behaviour. Oxford: Clarendon Press,” Pragmatics & Cognition 20:1 (2010), pp. 188–95.
“A Logical–Contextual History of Philosophy”, Southwest Philosophy Review 27:1 (2011), pp. 21–30.
Designated Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Education, University of Vienna. (from October 1, 2012)
2010-present : Member of the steering committee of The International Society for History and Philosophy of Science (HOPOS)
2010, June 14-15: Second Bilateral Workshop for Master-Students Paris – Vienna: “Homo academicus. Research and Teaching at the University”. Teaching cooperation between the Department of Social Sciences and the Department of Philosophy at ENS (Paris) and the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna. Organised and directed by Eric Brian and Elisabeth Nemeth with the help of ENS (Paris)
1) M.Pauri: "Fisica, Tempo e Liberta' - Un'aporia nichilistica fra scienza e religione.
Humanitas, 66 (2-3/2011), pp.304-353.
2) M.Pauri: "Epistemic Primacy vs. Ontological Elusiveness
of Spatial Extension : Is there an Evolutionary Role for the
Foundations of Physics (2011) 41:1677-1702. DOI 10.1007/s 10701-011-9581-0
- Published three papers in 2011 (http://perovich.tripod.com/id3.html).
- One more coming out in the AIP proceedings of the exciting 11th Frontiers of Fundamental Physics Conference.
- Chaired a very lively panel at the second Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation (PSX) at the University of Konstanz in October of 2011. Looking forward to PSX3 in Boulder, Colorado this fall.
- Received a research grant financed by the Ministry of Science of Serbia and the European Council for a project “Dynamic Systems in Nature and Society”.
- Thinking of turning a long paper on contemporary particle physics into a book.
- Working on a book on entities and causes in biology.
- Starting an upper level philosophy of physics course this fall in collaboration with a few very able physicists.
The book I was working on in 2008-2009 while I was at the center has finally appeared: Mathematics and Scientific Representation, Oxford University Press, 2012. In August I will join Ohio State University as Associate Professor of Philosophy.
A Philosophy of Material Culture: Action, Function and Mind. To be published by Routledge, hopefully before the end of 2012.
Articles and Book Chapters:
Philosophical Theories of Artifact Function, in Handbooks of Philosophy of Science, series editors Dov Gabbay, Paul Thagard, and John Woods; The Handbook of the Philosophy of Technological Sciences, Anthonie Meijers, ed., Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2009.
Biological and Cultural Proper Functions in Comparative Perspective, in Functions in Biological and Artificial Worlds: Comparative Philosophical Perspectives (Vienna Studies in Theoretical Biology, Volume 9), Ulrich Krohs and Peter Kroes, eds. MIT Press, 2009.
The Shrinkage Factor: Comment on Lynne Rudder Baker’s “The Shrinking Difference Between Artifacts and Natural Objects,” American Philosophical Association: Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 8 (1) (Fall 2008).
The Functions of Things: A Philosophical Perspective on Material Culture, in Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture, Paul Graves-Brown, ed., Routledge, 2000: 22-49.
Cognition and Tool Use, Mind & Language 13 (4), December 1998: 513-547.
Why is a Wing Like a Spoon? A Pluralist Theory of Function, The Journal of Philosophy 95 (5), May 1998:215-254.
For the first half of 2012, I’ve been a visitor at the Centre Philosophies des Sciences et Sociétés at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium).
I presented a talk ‘Chisholm, scepticisme et relativisme’ both at Louvain-la-neuve and at the Université de Liege. I also presented a talk entitled ‘Science, Common Sense and Reality’ at a workshop on scientific realism at UCL in April. In June, I will present a talk on ‘Methodological Incommensurability and Epistemic Relativism’ at the Incommensurability 50 conference at the National University of Taiwan.
‘Epistemic Relativism and the Problem of the Criterion’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 42 (2011), 562-570
‘Scepticism, Relativism and the Argument from the Criterion’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 43 (2012), 182–190
A book entitled Properties, Powers and Structure: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism which I co-edited with Alexander Bird and Brian Ellis has recently appeared with Routledge.
I was appointed Associate Professor of Philosophy of Science at the Center for Science Studies at the Aarhus University (Denmark) in October last year.
The main item for me to report this year is the publication this June of my book Changes of Mind: An Essay on Rational Belief Revision, xviii + 345 pp., by Oxford University Press.
I am also currently serving as an Academic Advisor to the John Templeton Foundation:
Finally, the paper I gave at the 2008 Fellowship Reunion Conference held in Athens, Ohio has just been published by the Review of Symbolic Logic. The title is 'Cut for Core Logic'. The online version is at
Jean Paul van Bendegem
Two nice publications to mention. The first one is related to my research project on strict finitism: "The Possibility of Discrete Time”. In: Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 145-162. The second one is related to my research on the philosophy of mathematical practice. It is an edited volume, together with Valeria Giardino, Amirouche Moktefi & Sandra Mols: "From Practice to Results in Mathematics and Logic", a special issue of Philosophia Scientiae, volume 16, Cahier 1, 2012.
I took up an appointment at the Department of Philosophy, Durham University, UK, in October 2011. In January 2012 I secured an AHRC grant for a project entitled ‘Evaluating Scientific Realism: A New Generation of Historical Case Studies’, which is running from February until September 2012. The project will investigate new historical case studies in the realism debate, and attempt to uncover further, currently unknown case studies. There are two major project events: (i) A workshop entitled ‘The Physics and Philosophy of Kirchhoff’s Theory of Diffraction’, held at Durham on 29th May 2012, and (ii) A two-day colloquium entitled ‘Scientific Realism in Light of the History of Science’, to be held at Durham on 7-8th September 2012. Full details of the project, and the events, can be found here: http://www.dur.ac.uk/evaluating.realism/.
Collective Rationality: Equilibrium in Cooperative Games, Oxford University Press, Paperback edition May, 2012.
Retired 2010, but still teaching, elected a member of Polish Academy of Sciences in 2011, President of the Committee for the Ethics of Science (Polish Academy of Sciences), awarded by the Order “Polonia Restituta”;
Szkice o kwestiach ?ydowskich (Essays on Jewish Problems), Austeria, Kraków 2011, Essays on Logic and Its Applications in Philosophy, Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2011.
L'école de Lvov-Varsovie : Philosophie et logique en Pologne (1895-1939), Vrin, Paris 2011.
Congresses and Conferences:
The 14th International Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Nancy 2011
Trends in Logic IX: Church Thesis: Logic, Mind and Nature, Kraków 2011
Philosophy of Science and Vienna Heritage, Vienna 2011.
Current position: Postdoctoral researcher, University of Bern
Articles revised/begun/completed during fellowship at CPS:
“Eating Goldstone bosons in a phase transition: A critical review of Lyre’s analysis of the Higgs mechanism”. Forthcoming in: Journal for General Philosophy of Science.
“Methoden des Nachweises von Elementarteilchen: Die (Wieder-)Entdeckung des W-Bosons 1983 und 2010”. In: MetaATLAS. Ed. by G. Graßhoff and A. Wüthrich. Bern: Bern Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 2012
“Interpreting Feynman Diagrams as visualized models”. Under revision for: Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science.
“Locality, Causality, and Realism in the Derivation of Bell’s Inequality”. Forthcoming in (partially self-edited volume): Proceedings of “Decoherence and No-Signalling: Current Interpretational Problems of Quantum Theory”. Ed. by T. Sauer and A. Wüthrich. Berlin: Edition Open Access
“Against the impossible picture: Feynman’s heuristics in his search for a divergence-free quantum electrodynamics”. Re-submitted to: Physics and Philosophy.
Talks during fellowship at CPS:
“History of Quantum Electrodynamics”. Cargèse (Corsica), April 17, 2012
“History and Philosophy of Feynman Diagrams”. Caltech, January 27, 2012
“Splitting the Hairs of Locality: How and Why?”. Lunchtime talk, CPS, September 27, 2012
“Minimal Assumptions Derivation of a Bell-Type Inequality”. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, September 8, 2012
1. Animal Racional ou Bípede Implume? – Um Ensaio sobre Acção, Explicação e Racionalidade. Lisboa: Guerra e Paz, 2010.
2. Pensar com Risco – 25 Lições de Lógica Indutiva. Lisboa: Imprensa Nacional – Casa da Moeda, 2010.
1. “Incontinence, Honouring Sunk Costs, and Rationality” in Suaréz, M., Dorato, M. & Rédei, M. (eds.): Philosophical Issues in the Sciences – Vol. 2. Heidelberg: Springer, 2010, pp. 303-310.
2. “What does it mean to be a Naturalist in the Human and Social Sciences? A Comment on Daniel Andler’s “Is Naturalism the Unsurpassable Philosophy for the Sciences of Man in the Twenty-First Century?”” in Stadler, F. (ed.): The Present Situation in Philosophy of Science. Heidelberg: Springer, 2010, pp. 305-311.
3. “Efeito dos Custos Afundados, Incontinência e Racionalidade” in Salles, J. C. (org.): Empirismo e Gramática. Salvador (BA) - Brazil: Quarteto Editora, 2010, pp. 43-57.
4. “Acção, Decisão e Explicação da Acção” in Cadilha, S. & Miguéns, S. (coord.): Acção e Ética – Conversas sobre Racionalidade Prática. Lisboa: Edições Colibri, 2011, pp. 97-142.
Besides having published the items above, it may also be of interest to the CPS community the fact that I spent part of the winter semester 2011-2012 in London as a visiting professor at King's College London (KCL).
The events of the past year are recorded in greater detail in the Center website. For an informal account of some of them, see the "donuts" page and for photos, "photo album."
Major events of the past year included the following conferences and workshops:
16 September 2011
Quantum Field Theory Workshop
14-15 October 2011
11-12 November 2011
Philosophy of Risk
30-31 March 2012
Mathematics, Logic and Method in Kant’s Transcendental Philosophy
13-14 April 2012
Seventh Quadrennial Fellows Conference
12-14 June 2012
Speakers in the Annual Lecture Series were:
John Campbell, University of California at Berkeley,
Department of Philosophy
Justin E. H. Smith, Concordia University,
Department of Philosophy
Jos Uffink, University of Minnesota,
Department of Philosophy
Michael Tomasello, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
John Dupré, University of Exeter,
Department of Philosophy
Wendy Parker, Ohio University,
Department of Philosophy
Speakers in the Lunchtime Colloquia were:
Nicholas Rescher, University of Pittsburgh
Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Elliott Sober, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Nils-Eric Sahlin, Lund University
Uljana Feest, TU Berlin
Adrian Wúthrich, University of Bern
Armond Duwell, University of Montana
Yuichi Amitani, University of British Columbia
Jacob Beck, Texas Tech University
James Owen Weatherall, University of California, Irvine
Dana Tulodziecki, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Leah Henderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Soazig LeBihan, University of Montana
Jan-Willem Romeijn, University of Groningen
Sandra D. Mitchell, University of Pittsburgh
John D. Norton, University of Pittsburgh
Kurt Smith, Bloomsburg University
Robert B. Griffiths, Carnegie Mellon University
Paul Weirich, University of Missouri
Mary Domski, University of New Mexico
David Snoke, University of Pittsburgh
Wayne Wu, Carnegie Mellon University
Gábor Hofer-Szabó, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Derek Brown, Brandon University
John D. Norton, University of Pittsburgh (co-author Bryan Roberts, University of Pittsburgh)
Katherine Dunlop, Brown University
Michael Anderson, Franklin & Marshall College
Anthony Chemero, Franklin & Marshall College
William Harper, University of Western Ontario
Simon DeDeo, Santa Fe Institute
Renewal of Associate Membership of the Center
May we take this opportunity to remind Center Associates that their appointments are for three years. Re-appointment is not automatic. If your three-year Associate's appointment is expiring or has expired and you would like to renew it, please let us know through email to the Assistant Director, Karen Kovalchick. Your appointment will then be renewed for a further three years. If you choose not to renew your appointment, your name will remain on our mailing list, so you will continue to hear news of the Center's activities, unless you request otherwise. Associates receive no compensation and have no regular duties. However, the Center views acceptance of an appointment as an Associate as a commitment to attend a few of the Center's many activities each year. Annually, these activities include, but are not limited to, the Annual Lecture Series (6 to 8 lectures per year), special lectures, the Lunchtime Colloquium (usually meets twice a week), conferences and workshops (2 or 3), occasional social functions, and occasional study groups.
Request for Feedback
Dear Reader who has had the fortitude to read through to the end of this review: We would appreciate very much some indication of whether you found this review interesting or helpful in any way--or otherwise. Drop us a short email with any remarks you care to make.
This review would be incomplete without thanks to the many people who make the Center possible. Our thanks go to the Center Officers, who take time from their busy academic schedules to serve the Center; to the Office of the Provost of the University of Pittsburgh (including Provost Patricia Beeson and Vice Provost Alberta Sbragia), whose support is both visionary and unflagging; to the Visiting Fellows, who populate the Center each year with new energies and new ideas; and to the many who come to give talks, to hear talks, to enliven discussion, and to keep an eye on the donuts.
Finally my thanks go to the staff who worked so hard for the Center last year -- Karen, Joyce, Carol and Bryan. Only someone who has carried the responsibility of an office like the Center's can truly appreciate just how much depends upon the energy and dedication of the staff.
John D. Norton