CfA: Univie: Summer School SWC 2018: Thought Experiments (University of Vienna, Deadline: January 31, 2018)

Call For Application (Deadline: January 31, 2018)


Univie Summer School – Scientific World Conceptions (USS-SWC) July 2–13, 2018

The Univie Summer School – Scientific World Conceptions (USS-SWC) – until 2014 under the label “Vienna International Summer University” – will be held from July 2 to 13, 2018. The topic of the two-week course is „ Thought Experiments “The main lecturers are Elke Brendel (University of Bonn), James Robert Brown (University of Toronto) und John D. Norton (University of Pittsburgh).

As an international interdisciplinary program, USS SWC brings graduate students in close contact with world-renowned scholars. The program is directed primarily to graduate students and junior researchers in fields related to the annual topic, but the organizers also encourage applications from gifted undergraduates and from people in all stages of their career who wish to broaden their horizon through crossdisciplinary studies of methodological and foundational issues in science.

The topic of the two-week course is „ Thought Experiments“.

Are thought experiments epistemic miracles that enable us to learn about the world merely by reflections from the comfort of our armchairs? Or are they merely picturesque devices for clarifying and revealing to us what we already knew? Or should we conceive of their role in some other way? This summer school will examine thought experiments and their role in science and philosophy. It will consider general problems of principle concerning thought experiments as well as the place and function of exemplar thought experiments largely drawn from physical sciences, but from philosophy and mathematics, as well.

Application form and further information:

The Main Lecturers:

Elke Brendel (University of Bonn, Germany)
James Robert Brown (University of Toronto)
John D. Norton (University of Pittsburgh)

USS-SWC operates under the academic supervision of an International Program Committee of distinguished philosophers, historians, and scientists. Its members represent the scientific fields in the scope of USS-SWC, make contact to their home universities and will also support acknowledgement of courses taken by the students. USS-SWC is organised every year by the Institute Vienna Circle of the University of Vienna.

Venue: Kapelle, Institut für Ethik und Recht in der Medizin, Campus der Universität Wien, Entrance 2.8
Time: Monday, July 2, 2018, 9 a.m.

Further Information

Since 2010 USS-SWC is a part of the curriculum of the doctoral programme “The Sciences in Historical, Philosophical and Cultural Contexts”

There is an exchange programme with Duke University (North Carolina):

For further inquiries, please send email to or consult the IVC’s Web site


Robert Kaller
Institute Vienna Circle
Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 1, 1090 Wien
Tel. +43-1-4277-46504

Scientific director:
Prof. Friedrich Stadler
Head, Institute Vienna Circle
University of Vienna
Wiener Kreis Gesellschaft/Vienna Circle Society
Universitätscampus, Hof 1
Spitalgasse 2-4
A-1090 Wien, Austria