CFP: Philosophy of Science

METAPHYSICS & THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE CONFERENCE

Presented by the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto and the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago, 13-15 May 2011, University of Toronto

The philosophy of science has an illustrious history of attraction and antipathy towards metaphysics. The latter was famously exemplified in the Logical Positivist contention that metaphysical questions are meaningless, but in the wake of the demise of Positivism, metaphysics has found its way back into the philosophy of science. Increasingly, questions about the nature of natural laws, kinds, dispositions, and so on have taken a metaphysical cast. The metaphysics of science commands significant attention in contemporary philosophy.

While many philosophers embrace the increased contact between metaphysics and the philosophy of science, others are wary. Should science (and its philosophical study) lead us into doing metaphysics? If so, which metaphysical issues are genuine and which are illusory, and how might we tell? Such questions dovetail with similar soul-searching in metaphysics proper (sometimes under the banner of “meta-metaphysics”, sometimes simply as methodology).

This conference will examine ground-level debates about metaphysics within the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of biology, and broader methodological questions about the role of metaphysics in the philosophy of science. Participation is open and welcome from all parties to these questions: from those who hold that metaphysics must have a place within the philosophy of science, to those who hold it should not.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Essays of 4,000-5,000 words (30 minutes allotted for presentations) concerning any aspect of metaphysics and the natural or social sciences will be accepted for review until January 10, 2011. Please include a short abstract (200 words or so), a few keywords, prepare your essayfor blind review (do not include your name or other identifying references in the document), and submit it in PDF format here: http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mpsc2011

Notification by early February 2011. If you are planning to attend the conference and would like to identify yourself as a potential chair, please email the conference address mpsc2011@gmail.com

ORGANIZERS: Chris Haufe (University of Chicago), Matthew H. Slater (Bucknell University), Zanja Yudell (California State University, Chico)

Please direct general conference inquiries to mpsc2011@gmail.com

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