CfA Online Masterclass Lakatos’ Undone Work (September 5-6, 2020, Deadline: July 15, 2020)

Submitted by Deniz Sarikaya (University of Hamburg).


CALL FOR APPLICATION, please circulate among interested students

Online Masterclass
Lakatos’ Undone Work
The Practical Turn and the Division of Philosophy of Mathematics and Philosophy of Science

Online, hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE)

In this online masterclass, each of the 14 participating graduate students will write a research paper under the supervision of expert mentors from philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics. Students can apply for different mentors and they will be matched with the mentors according to their interests.

As a participant of this masterclass, you will get:

  1. virtual career coaching by your academic mentor,
  2. an online conference on 5th/6th September 2020 where the student papers will be presented and discussed,
  3. feedback on your paper by your mentor.

The organisers plan to edit a special issue of KRITERION — Journal of Philosophy (, where the participants can submit the work which they have produced over the course of the masterclass, alongside some essays by mentors and invited experts.

Please note that all articles will go through double-blind peer-review and acceptance for the masterclass does not guarantee acceptance of your paper.

Applications are open now until 15th July 2020!
Registration may close earlier if we receive a lot of submissions.
Please visit for more details.

Confirmed mentors
Neil Barton (University of Konstanz)
Karen Crowther (University of Oslo)
Philip Kitcher (Columbia University)
Brendan Larvor (University of Hertfordshire)
Colin Rittberg (Loughborough University)
Lorenzo Rossi (MCMP, LMU Munich)
Wesley Wrigley (University of Oxford)
up to 5 more TBA

The overarching theme of this masterclass is an analysis of a ‘practical turn’ in the philosophy of mathematics. Is this turn analogous to the practical turn in philosophy of sciences? Should it be? What are the exact roles of the actual empirical studies of mathematical practice (f.i. in mathematics education, sociology of mathematic, etc.)? How should these interact with the philosophy of mathematics? We want to encourage work looking at the following three areas:

First, we want to draw attention to the seminal work of Imre Lakatos: a) he was a key figure in developing early themes after the practical turn in the philosophy of physics through his idea of ‘research programmes’. b) his work in the philosophy of mathematics was a turning point of the discipline. However, he unfortunately did not have the time to develop his ideas due to his early death. He particularly aimed at transferring his insights from his work on the philosophy of science to the philosophy of mathematics.

In addition to that we want to encourage work on the interplay of the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science. One might tackle questions such as: should philosophy of science conferences have tracks for philosophy of mathematics? What was the role of Tarski in the split of the two disciplines? How close should philosophy of mathematics community be to the one of logicians? How does this question relate to the growing community of philosophers of mathematical practice and the cooperation with other disciplines (such as ethno-mathematical studies, mathematical education, cognitive sciences, etc)?

Another possible string of investigation is the analysis of new scientific methodologies in the philosophy of mathematics. In how far they are philosophically significant? How they can inform a philosopher of mathematics? Similar problems already arise in philosophy of science in connection to science studies.

Simon Nagler (Oxford/MCMP), Hannah Pillin (MCMP/LSE), and Deniz Sarikaya (Hamburg)