The news archive of the German Society for Philosophy of Science (GWP).

Submitted by Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich).

 

WORKSHOP: THE EPISTEMIC ROLE OF NARRATIVES IN SCIENCE

LOCATION: Department of Philosophy, University of Zurich, Switzerland

DATE: September 1 – 2, 2022

ORGANIZERS: Alexandra Quack, Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich)

Narratives play an important epistemic role in science. Across a wide range of disciplines, scientists employ narratives for different purposes in their research. In recent years, philosophers and historians of science have increasingly begun to inquire into such uses of narratives. Focusing on the epistemic functions of narratives in science, they have shown that narratives perform diverse and often crucial tasks in the scientific research process. For example, it has been argued that narratives productively interact with mathematical models in a variety of different disciplines, thereby raising important questions about the explanatory contribution of narratives in modelling (e.g., Morgan and Wise 2017). While there is no doubt about the originality and importance of those contributions, the philosophical literature on narratives in science is still at an early stage. Specifying further how narratives are used and how they function in science therefore remains an important task. For this workshop, we take those contributions as our departure point to discuss, further develop, and conceptually expand existing accounts and/or to apply them to cases from a variety of different disciplines. In doing so, the primary goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers interested in the epistemic role of narratives to further advance the philosophical research agenda on the use and functions of narratives in science.

Possible questions that we will discuss at the workshop include:
* When do scientists use narratives?
* What do scientists need narratives for, i.e., what problems do narratives solve for them?
* How could we categorize the functions of narratives in science?
* In what way do various scientific methods rely on narratives?
* To what extent do narratives contribute to explanation and/or scientific understanding?
* What is it about narratives that allows them to fulfill the epistemic functions they are proposed to fulfill?

We welcome contributions from historians and philosophers of the natural, the social, and the life sciences. Some of the research presented will conceptually analyze the conditions for using narratives in science. Other research will focus on specific historical episodes or philosophical issues that give rise to narratives in the various fields. The different contributions can also rely on a broad set of methods, spanning from systematic approaches, (historical) case-study analysis, and empirical approaches, etc. In this way, the workshop will hopefully make significant headway towards an in-depth analysis of the epistemic role of narratives within and across the sciences.

(Preliminary) list of invited speakers: John Beatty, Sharon Crasnow, Claudia Cristalli, Adrian Currie, Till Grüne-Yanoff, Paula Olmos, Alirio Rosales

There are several slots for contributed submissions. Please submit an abstract of max. 500 words (including a title) to narrative2022@outlook.com until July 29th 2022. We will inform you shortly thereafter if your abstract has been accepted.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the organizers:
Alexandra Quack (alexandra.quack@uzh.ch)
Catherine Herfeld (catherine.herfeld@uzh.ch)

Submitted by Alice Murphy (LMU Munich).

 

CfR: MCMP Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students

The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, is organising the eighth Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students. The summer school will take place online August 1-5, 2022. This year’s lecturers are Emily Sullivan, Atoosa Kasirzadeh and Anne Eaton.

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The summer school, running yearly since 2014, is open to all women students who want to specialise in mathematical philosophy. The school’s aim is to encourage students to engage with mathematical and scientific approaches to philosophical problems. This is with the view that such events both recognise and help address the gender imbalance in formal philosophy. It also offers the opportunity for study in an informal and interdisciplinary setting, for lively debate, and for the development of a network of students and professors interested in the application of formal methods to philosophy.

For further information, including how to register, please visit the summer school website: https://www.mathsummer.philosophie.uni-muenchen.de/index.html

Submitted by Catherine Herfeld (University of Zurich).

 

CfR: Master Class with Philip Kitcher (Columbia University), The Progress of Inquiry, June 21-22, 2022

Applications are invited for the Master Class entitled ‘The Progress of Inquiry‘. We are pleased to have Professor Philip Kitcher (Columbia University) as the lecturer. The Master Class will take place on June 21 and 22, 2022 at the Philosophy Department of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Please find a short synopsis, a reading list, and additional organizational information here: https://www.philosophie.uzh.ch/de/studies/doctorate/master_classes.html

This Master Class is an opportunity for Master and PhD students in philosophy and history of science/special sciences to work intensely over two days with a world-leading philosopher in their field. An informal setting, small group size, and a workshop format combine to create an atmosphere that fosters intellectual stimulation, a high level of discussion, and collaborative development of ideas.

The number of participating students is limited. If you would like to be considered for a place, please send an expression of interest to Catherine Herfeld (herfeld@soziologie.uzh.ch), the latest by June 6, 2022.

Submitted by Stephan Hartmann (MCMP, LMU Munich).

 

Dear Research Community,

dear friends and colleagues,

as some of you know, Arthur Merin passed away almost three years ago. Soon after, the MCMP at LMU Munich, where he has been affiliated for a long time, came up with the plan for a scientific memorial event. It was meant to be something personal and in person and we could not have picked a worse time for it, but now and even though a lot has happened in between we are finally glad to announce this event.

SAVE THE DATE:

The Arthur Merin Memorial Lecture will be given by

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Spohn

Title: Arthur Merin: A Pioneer in Pragmatics

Time: May 25, 4.15 pm

Place: The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at LMU Munich

More information can be found online: https://www.mcmp.philosophie.uni-muenchen.de/events_this-_week/spohn_20220525/index.html

Submitted by Leonie Wiemeyer (University of Hannover).

 

CFR: International Conference on Engaging Ethics and Epistemology in Science (EES 2022), 29-30 September 2022, Hannover

Anmeldefrist: 01.07.2022

Registration for our International Conference on Engaging Ethics and Epistemology in Science (EES 2022), which will take place on 29-30 September 2022 at Leibnizhaus Hannover, Germany, is now open. Please see the EES 2022 website for the registration link and more information: https://grk2073.org/eesconference2022/. Participation is free; the conference language is English.
The conference schedule is available online at https://grk2073.org/eesconference2022/schedule/.
If you have any questions, please contact our team at eesconference@philos.uni-hannover.de.

Submitted by Cord Friebe (University of Siegen).

Stellenbezeichnung: Wiss. Mitarbeiter/in Forschungsbereich “(Analytic) Philosophy of Time OR Philosophy of Physics”

Ausschreibungs-ID:3864

Wir sind eine interdisziplinär ausgerichtete und weltoffene Universität mit aktuell rund 18.000 Studierenden und einem Fächerspektrum von den Geistes-, Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften bis hin zu Natur-,Ingenieur- und Lebenswissenschaften. Mit über 2.000 Beschäftigten zählen wir zu den größten Arbeitgebern der Region und bieten ein einzigartiges Umfeld für Lehre, Forschung und Weiterbildung.

Wir suchen:

In der Fakultät I, Philosophisches Seminar: Theoretische Philosophie, suchen wir eine/n

wissenschaftliche/n Mitarbeiter/in zum 01.10.2022 zu folgenden Konditionen:

  • 50%
  • Entgeltgruppe TV-L-13
  • Befristet bis 30.09.2024

Ihre Aufgaben:

  • Mitarbeit in den BA-Studiengängen des Faches
  • Vorbereitung/Entwicklung eines eigenständigen, analytisch orientierten Forschungsprojekts aus Zeit-Metaphysik oder Physik-Philosophie
  • Unterstützung bei der Erstellung eines Drittmittelantrags zur Weiterbeschäftigung
  • Lehrverpflichtung: 2 Semesterwochenstunden

Ihr Profil:

  • Wissenschaftlicher Hochschulabschluss (Master oder vergleichbar) im Fach Philosophie
  • Forschungsschwerpunkt in analytischer Metaphysik der Zeit oder Philosophie der Physik
  • Aktivität im wissenschaftlichen Austausch (Teilnahme/Organisation von Workshops), Interesse an interdisziplinärer Zusammenarbeit
  • Gute Englischkenntnisse

Unser Angebot:

  • Förderung der eigenen wissenschaftlichen Qualifizierung nach dem Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz (z.B. Promotion)
  • Möglichkeit der Mitwirkung bei der Antragstellung und Durchführung von Forschungsprojekten
  • Gute Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Privatleben, beispielsweise durch flexible Ausgestaltung von Arbeitszeit und Arbeitsort sowie Unterstützung bei der Kinderbetreuung

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Bewerbung bis zum 20.06.2022.

Bitte bewerben Sie sich ausschließlich über unser Jobportal (https://jobs.uni-siegen.de). Bewerbungen in Papierform oder per E-Mail können wir leider nicht berücksichtigen.

Ihre Ansprechperson:

Prof. Dr. Cord Friebe

+49 (0) 271-740 4499

cord.friebe@uni-siegen.de

Chancengerechtigkeit und Diversity werden an der Universität Siegen gefördert und gelebt. Die Ausschreibung richtet sich ausdrücklich an Menschen aller Geschlechter (m/w/d); Bewerbungen von Frauen werden gemäß Landesgleichstellungsgesetz besonders berücksichtigt. Gleichermaßen wünschen wir uns Bewerbungen von Personen mit unterschiedlichstem persönlichen, sozialen und kulturellen Hintergrund, Menschen mit Schwerbehinderung und diesen Gleichgestellten.

Submitted by Deniz Sarikaya (Vrieje Universiteit Brussels).

 

Special Issue of Axiomathes
Mathematical neutrality in science, technology and society (deadline: December 1, 2022)

Guest Editors: José Antonio Pérez-Escobar (École Normale Supérieure Paris; jose.antonio.perez.escobar@ens.psl.eu) and Deniz Sarikaya (Vrije Universiteit Brussel; deniz.sarikaya@vub.be)

The interplay between scientific knowledge and society is a central theme in the philosophy of science. Engineering and science crucially rely on mathematical tools, and mathematics might influence society via the sciences or even directly.

Mathematics is usually regarded as a discipline which admits no grey areas in most situations: answers are either correct or incorrect; there is a universal, objective, correct answer. On the other hand, ethical, moral and political questions are usually not “correct” or “incorrect”, they are complicated and full of grey areas. This makes it extremely tempting to see the sciences and mathematics as a good way to settle disputes concerning issues like justice or equity. If the ethical/moral/political question can be reduced to a mathematical question, may the grey areas disappear? Can we make use of modern technologies like AI, Big Data and Machine learning to this end? How can mathematics promote consensus in controversial topics?

Similarly, it is usually considered that mathematics is the universal language of the world, one that describes it “as it is”. According to this view, mathematics is neutral in the production of scientific knowledge: the scientist discovers the mathematical rules of nature (like laws and mathematical models) and applies mathematical methods to which nature owes allegiance (like statistics and algorithms).

Recent scholarship warns about the increasing use of mathematical techniques in order to prescribe policies and produce knowledge under a veil of neutrality, and argues that we should carefully evaluate the consequences of these techniques in science and society.

This Topical Collection aims at contributing to this literature. Topics include but are not limited to:
– The moral responsibility of pure and applied mathematicians
– Value-ladenness of mathematics
– Algorithmic governance
– The mathematization of science: how (not) to use mathematics, and ethical/epistemic consequences
– Statistics in science and society: how (not) to use statistics, and ethical/epistemic consequences
– Ethical concerns about mathematics education

For further information, or if you are unsure whether your paper idea fits the theme, please contact ideally both of us: 
jose.antonio.perez.escobar@ens.psl.eu; deniz.sarikaya@vub.be.
The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2022.

Papers should be submitted via Axiomathes’ editorial manager at:
https://www.editorialmanager.com/axio/default1.aspx.
When the system asks you to “Choose Article Type”, please scroll down in the pull-down menu to choose this topical collection. (Tag S.I. Mathematical
neutrality in science, technology and society)

When preparing your paper, please read the journal’s ‘Instructions for 
authors’ at:
https://www.springer.com/journal/10516/submission-guidelines

Submitted by Erik Curiel (MCMP, LMU Munich).

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“The Quantum, the Thermal and the Gravitational Reconciled: Physics and Philosophy in the Varied Landscape of the Intersections”
MCMP, LMU Munich
24.-26. June 2022
https://www.mcmp.philosophie.uni-muenchen.de/events/workshops/container/qtgr2022/index.html


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Quantum, thermal, and gravitational theories constitute the three great pillars of modern fundamental physics.  Each is, prima facie, conceptually and physically independent of the other two, and finds its application in regimes well separated from those of the others.  Indeed, central principles of each are in manifest tension with those of the other, if not outright contradiction: general relativity admits causal and topological structures seemingly inconsistent with quantum mechanical dynamics; the superpositions of quantum mechanics conflict with general relativity’s fixed causal structures; and both are in manifest tension if not outright contradiction with the most characteristic features of thermodynamics, viz., irreversibility and temporal asymmetry.  It is thus of paramount importance that we investigate how our three best, most fundamental theories fit together, if indeed they do at all.  In the past and in recent times, physicists and philosophers have worked together in remarkably fruitful ways in each of the three fundamental fields.  This conference will explore these philosophical and foundational issues that arise where two or more of these three frameworks intersect.  Our aim is to foster such collaboration at the intersections of the three.  As such, we will be guided by the irenic spirit (and person) of Jeremy Butterfield, whose work, magisterially spanning these topics, has inspired and continues to inspire, all of us.

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Registration

Public-health conditions permitting, we plan to hold the conference in-person, with no video connections, although the talks and Q&A will be recorded (pending agreement by the speakers).  Please send registration requests by 29 May 2022 using the following form: https://forms.gle/aNk8ujNmaPK1woCT6

The fees for the conference and dinner are as follows.

– Senior researchers with permanent positions (associate and full professors, etc.): conference fee EUR 40
– Junior researchers (assistant professors, post-docs, etc.): conference fee EUR 25
– Students (bachelors, masters, doctoral, etc.): no conference fee
– Conference dinner (for everyone): EUR 30

Dates and Deadlines

Registration Deadline: 29 May 2022

Conference: 25-26 June 2022

Conference Dinner: 25 June 2022

Organizers

Erik Curiel, MCMP/LMU Munich
Sebastian De Haro, University of Amsterdam
Bryan Roberts, London School of Economics 
Katie Robertson, University of Birmingham

Submitted by Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla (University of Cologne).

 

Registration for the Fourth International Conference of the German Society for Philosophy of Science (GWP.2022) is open now.

If you wish to attend the conference, please register via:
https://gwp2022.wissphil.de/gwp2022-registration

Early bird registration ends on June 1, 2022.

The conference will take place on August 15-17, 2022, at the TU Berlin. Our plenary speakers are:

* Anjan Chakravartty (Miami)
* Mazviita Chirimuuta (Edinburgh)
* Brigitte Falkenburg (Dortmund/Berlin)
* Branden Fitelson (Northeastern/Boston)
* Hans Rott (Regensburg)
* Jutta Schickore (IU Bloomington)

The conference is planned as an in-person event. Participation in the GWP.2022 requires compliance with the Corona rules in force.

Conference Website: https://gwp2022.wissphil.de/

Local organization: Axel Gelfert
GWP organization: Uljana Feest, Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla, Alexander Gebharter, Vera Hoffmann-Kolss, Thomas Reydon, Gerhard Schurz

Submitted by Deniz Sarikaya (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Call for Applications:
HHU Summer School “Philosophy of Mathematics Beyond the Armchair?!”
Aug 22-26, 2022, in Düsseldorf, Germany

Application deadline: 1st June, 2022 (you will get notified a few days later)
Info and Application: https://beyond-the-armchair.netlify.app

The HHU Summer School “Philosophy of Mathematics Beyond the
Armchair?!” aims at gathering young scholars with an interest into the
philosophy of mathematics who want to explore new and innovative
methodologies. Current trends show that philosophers of mathematics
see the potential in applying various methods from other disciplines
such as large corpus analyses, interview studies, or psychological
experiments. We offer a platform to educate the upcoming generation in
those methods. It should be noted that those methods are in principle
valuable for other fields of philosophy as well.

An already established strand in the philosophy of mathematics
integrates social aspects of mathematics into philosophical thoughts,
because traditional philosophical approaches focusing exclusively on
the nature of mathematics by excluding all human aspects were often
enough criticized as being too idealized and far from reality.
Prominently, Lakatos, Davis and Hersh, and Mancosu set the stage for
an engaged investigation of mathematical practice beyond the armchair.
But still today, the methodology for investigating mathematical
practices as well as the philosophical scope of questions addressing
social and practical aspects are not fixed and a lot of scholars try
to settle these issues. This is the contemporary research background
in which we see an excellent opportunity to integrate young scholars
into the field.

During five days, the schedule will be split into a morning and
afternoon session in which internationally highly reputed lecturers
offer courses presenting their methods of expertise. The students will
have the possibility to apply the methods and study the practical
details. In some evening lectures, we will reflect on the limits and
potential of empirical methods for the philosophy of mathematics
together with prominent philosophers of mathematics. Further, a social
get-together and an afternoon excursion is planned to guarantee
exchange between the participants.

Our list of instructors and lecturers includes:

  • Bernhard Fisseni (Duisburg-Essen)
  • Karen François (CLPS, Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • Benedikt Löwe (Hamburg, Amsterdam & Cambridge)
  • Ursula Martin (Edinburgh & Oxford)
  • Mikkel Willum Johansen (Copenhagen)
  • Helena Mihaljević (HTW Berlin)
  • Bernhard Schröder (Duisburg-Essen)
  • Henrik Kragh Sørensen (Copenhagen)
  • Roy Wagner (ETH Zurich) (TBC)

Covid-19: This event is planned as an in-person event to support
learning and social interaction between the participants. However, if
any measures are required in summer, the event might turn into a
hybrid event.

Application: We welcome applications from external students (MA and
PhD students). Apply with a short letter of motivation (200-400 words)
and your CV using the form on our website:
https://beyond-the-armchair.netlify.app/call-for-applications/ .
There is no participation fee. However, participants will need to
cover their travel and accommodation expenses. We especially encourage
members of underrepresented groups to apply.
If you do not want to use the form, or if you have any questions,
please contact Deborah Kant (deborah.kant@uni-hamburg.de).
Organisation: The summer school is organised by Paul Hasselkuß
(Düsseldorf), Deborah Kant (Hamburg), and Deniz Sarikaya (Vrije
Universiteit Brussel).

It is hosted and supported by Heinrich Heine University, and supported
by Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science of the Vrije
Universiteit Brussel (VUB), the German Society for Philosophy of
Science, and by Christoph Kann (Düsseldorf).

We are looking forward to your applications!
Paul Hasselkuß, Deborah Kant, and Deniz Sarikaya

Submitted by Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld University).

 

Workshop
Dispositions in the Life-Sciences: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives
Trier University, V 302 (Senatssaal)
June 2-3, 2022

The metaphysics of dispositional properties is a topic relevant to the philosophy of the (life) sciences, the history of philosophy, and contemporary metaphysics.
Dispositional concepts are ubiquitous in the life sciences. Crucial technical notions from various disciplines, such as stemness, pluripotency, boldness, arachnophobia, evolvability, plasticity, or fitness, exhibit dispositional features that require philosophical attention. While most philosophical work on dispositions focuses on everyday examples, the life sciences offer exciting and novel insights on the topic and opportunities for contrasting philosophical theories against particular scientific practices.

On the other hand, the philosophical debate on dispositions has also proved a valuable tool for interpreting historical positions in philosophy. For example, there is a branch of Kant scholarship that understands his account of forces and powers in terms of a form of dispositionalism. So far, this has been proposed for his philosophy of physics. But it seems particularly appropriate for his philosophy of biology in the Critique of the Power of Judgment, which is particularly concerned with the dichotomy between mechanistic and teleological explanations of biological systems. Dispositionalist readings have been proposed for Aristotle’s metaphysics, too. Hence, it is also a worthwhile project to ask for dispositionalist readings of his views on living beings.

This workshop aims at discussing views on dispositions in the life sciences from a contemporary and a historical perspective. It focuses on contemporary views in the philosophy of science that take scientific practice as their fundament and wants to cross a bridge to historical accounts that model biological systems by dispositional properties.

The workshop takes place as part of the research group “Inductive Metaphysics” (https://indmet.weebly.com), funded by DFG (German Research Foundation).

Speakers
Rani Lill Anjum (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas)
Christopher J. Austin (Durham University)
Kristina Engelhard (University of Trier)
Andrea Gambarotto (Université catholique de Louvain)
Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld University)
Marie I. Kaiser (Bielefeld University)
Alan Love (University of Minnesota)
Laura Nuño de la Rosa (University of Madrid)
James Messina (Madison)
María Ferreira Ruiz (Bielefeld University)
Gil Santos (University of Lisbon)
Javier Suárez (Jagiellonian University & Bielefeld University)
Davide Vecchi (University of Lisbon)

Organizers: Kristina Engelhard (Trier), Lorenzo Spagnesi (Trier), Fabian Hundertmark (Bielefeld), Marie I. Kaiser (Bielefeld), María Ferreira Ruiz (Bielefeld), Javier Suárez Díaz (Bielefeld).

In case you want to participate, you can register by sending an email to Lorenzo Spagnesi (spagnesi@uni-trier.de).

Submitted by Fridolin Gross (University of Bordeaux).

 

Master program “Philosophy in Biology and Medicine”

We are opening our new Master (Philosophy in Biology and Medicine) in Bordeaux in September 2022.

Interested students should contact us now (mael.lemoine@u-bordeaux.fr).

This master program (presented at www.philinbiomed.org/teaching) will welcome those of your philosophy students that have a very strong appetite for collaboration with scientists, particularly in cancer, immunology, microbiota, systems biology, neuroscience and aging research. These philosophy students will have the opportunity to work in scientific labs and be embedded in scientific research.

Please be reminded that the master is exceptionally cheap, but very competitive (as we will hire only 5 students). It is in English.

Thanks for circulating the information to anyone you think would be interested, and thanks again to those of you who have already done so!