Submitted by David Hommen (University of Trier).


CfR: Workshop “Metaphysics as Modelling. Contemporary and Kantian Issues”

October 7-8, 2021
Trier University, Germany & online

This workshop takes place as a hybrid in-person/online event. Further instructions and access information will be sent to registered participants.

Katherine Brading
Kristina Engelhard
Brigitte Falkenburg
David Hommen
Siegfried Jaag/Markus Schrenk
Michela Massimi
James O’Shea
L. A. Paul
Lorenzo Spagnesi

The use of models such as the Lotka-Volterra model for predator/prey-population-dynamics or the billiard ball model of gases have proven to be tremendously useful in the natural sciences.
Recently, philosophers have suggested that applying models in metaphysics is also a legitimate, beneficial and necessary enterprise (Godfrey-Smith; Nolan; Paul; cf. Brading for a critique). As examples for models in metaphysics have been given: Humean supervenience and Armstrong’s non-Humeanism (Godfrey-Smith) or the neuron diagrams in theories of causation (Paul), etc.
If modelling plays a role in metaphysics, then the question also arises whether examples of it can be found in the history of philosophy or even approaches that reflect on it, albeit in different terms. In fact, in Kant’s work, there are parts of his theory that can be interpreted as a modelling approach in metaphysics.
To which extent is a modelling attitude indeed applicable in metaphysics? Can the role model-building might play in metaphysics be conceived as an abductive enterprise? Can a modelling account in metaphysics also be found in Kant and what are its features? These and other question shall find answers in our workshop.

For details of the programme, please see our website.

Attendance (both in-person and online) is free, but registration is required.

* Please register via mail to until October 1, 2021. Please indicate in your mail whether you would like to attend in person or online. Please note that places at the venue are limited due to COVID-19 regulations.
* Organisation: Kristina Engelhard (Trier), David Hommen (Trier), Siegfried Jaag (Düsseldorf), Markus Schrenk (Düsseldorf)
* The workshop is supported by the DFG-funded research group Inductive Metaphysics: