CfP: Workshop – Concept Formation in the Natural and the Social Sciences (University of Zurich, October 18-20 2018; Deadline: May 7, 2018)

Submitted by Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich).



LOCATION: Institute of Philosophy, University of Zurich

DATE: Thursday, 18 October – Saturday, 20 October, 2018

ORGANIZERS: Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich) and Sebastian Lutz (Uppsala University)


This workshop will bring together historians and philosophers of the natural and the social sciences to investigate the nature of concept formation and the relation between concept formation in the natural and the social sciences. Some of the investigations will be abstract, analyzing the conditions of concept formation in general, other investigations will focus on specific historical or philosophical issues in a natural or a social science.

We invite submissions of contributed papers in English to Please submit a title, a short abstract of 100 words (copied in the body of the email), and an extended abstract of 1000 words (prepared for blind review and as an attached pdf file) the latest by May 7, 2018. Authors will be notified before June 5, 2018.

Some of the questions to be addressed at the workshop are:
o How were central concepts of the natural or social sciences developed?
o What role do empirical results play in concept formation?
o What role do conventions play in concept formation?
o What is the relation between concept formation in the natural and the social sciences?
o What role does concept formation play in measurement?
o What are the general features of concept formation?
o When is concept formation possible?

Invited speakers: Georg Brun (University of Bern), Adam Caulton (University of Oxford), Uljana Feest (University of Hannover), James Justus (Florida State University), Samuli Reijula (University of Helsinki), Hanna Pułaczewska (University of Szczecin), Mark Risjord (Emory University), Jo E. Wolff (King’s College London)