CfP: Learning From Empirical Approaches to HPS 2019 (LEAHPS 2019, Hannover, Deadline: January 31, 2019)

Submitted by Thomas Reydon (University of Hannover).


Call for Papers

Learning From Empirical Approaches to HPS 2019 (LEAHPS 2019)

July 25 – 27, 2019
Institute of Philosophy & Leibniz Center for Science and Society, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany

In recent years, historians and philosophers of science have taken an empirical turn in their own work, conducting surveys and interviews, embedding themselves in scientific research groups as both observers and participants, designing and conducting new experiments, replicating historically important experiments, and developing computational approaches to questions in the history & philosophy of science. Such approaches connect to the increased attention for scientific practice, where a number of questions concerning methodological and epistemological aspects of scientific inquiry remain open. For instance, how well do the proposed philosophical accounts capture scientific practice? What is the impact of social, cultural, cognitive, and institutional factors on the generation of knowledge and its efficiency? In response to this gap, philosophers of science have begun to utilize empirical and computational methods, aiming to provide more well-grounded and systematic insights into actual behaviors and patterns and more reliable normative accounts of scientific inquiry.

Three exemplary perspectives from which philosophers can gain insights about scientific practice are: (1) philosophers engaging with scientists in the laboratory on theand results. Contributors should address how the methods they use serve philosophical aims and help to answer their research questions. Central questions to be addressed include: What can HPS learn from interviews and surveys? How is “HPS in the lab” different from the sociology of science? Which questions in HPS can be answered using empirical methods? Which cannot? How do empirical methods need to be adapted to answer philosophically relevant questions? What are the benefits and limitations of the various methods in philosophical inquiry? How does HPS relate to, and what can it learn from, what can be called “the science of science” – the study of various aspects of science and its practitioners? And how does expandingmethods and methodologies change the field of HPS?

Invited speakers:

Hanne Andersen (University of Copenhagen)
Colin Allen (University of Pittsburgh)
Sophia Efstathiou (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Uljana Feest (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
Joyce Havstad (Oakland University)
Miles MacLeod (Universiteit Twente)
Lisa Osbeck (University of West Georgia)
Dunja Seselja (Ruhr Universität Bochum & LMU München)
Jessey Wright (Stanford University)

Submission Guidelines:

We have room on the program for ten contributed presentations (30 minutes). Please submit an abstract of no more than 1000 words through EasyChair . The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2019. We strongly encourage researchers who work on the intersection between philosophy and the social and/or natural sciences to apply. Decisions on acceptance will be communicated by mid-March 2019.

Organizing Committee: Nora Hangel (University of Konstanz), Thomas Reydon (Leibniz University Hannover), Torsten Wilholt (Leibniz University Hannover)

Contact: Further inquiries regarding submissions may be addressed to

Preliminary Program (each of the three days of the conference will focus on one topic and method; the program will include ample time for discussions):

Day 1: “Practicing Philosophy at the Boundary: Philosophy from within Science”.
Sophia Efstathiou (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Joyce C. Havstad (Oakland University)
Jessey Wright (Stanford University).

Day 2: “The Role of Ethnographic Methods in Philosophy of Science: Building a Methodological Framework”.
Hanne Andersen (University of Copenhagen)
Miles MacLeod (Universiteit Twente)
Lisa Osbeck (University of West Georgia)

Day 3: “Philosophy of Experimentation and the Empirical Approach to Agent-based Modeling of Scientific Inquiry”.
Colin Allen (University of Pittsburgh).
Ulijana Feest (Leibniz Universität Hannover)
Dunja Šešelja (Ruhr Universität Bochum, LMU München)

Venue: The conference will be held at Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. More information about the venue will follow.