CFP: Workshop: New Perspectives on Anomalies in the Sciences

Submission deadline: August 15, 2023

Conference date(s):
October 5, 2023 - October 6, 2023

Go to the conference's page

Conference Venue:

PPGF-UFRJ , Philosophy Department, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Topic areas


Traditionally, anomalies have been characterized as consisting of the presence of a statement (generally some kind of observational outcome), s, such that when combined with a particular theory, T, and with a ceteris-paribus clause the statement becomes a potential falsifying statement for the theory (see Lakatos, 1977: 40).  Anomalies can be of two different types: information gaps (also called "lacunae" (Cf. Kuipers 1999, 2000)) linked to abductive novelties (Aliseda-Llera 2006)), and logical contradictions (Cf. Laudan 1977, Priest 2002). 

The presence of anomalies in the history of science has been ubiquitous and tends to be naturally seen as part of the dynamics of science; however, in spite of this, our philosophical understanding of anomalies remains limited. Many of our current philosophical approaches to science see anomalies as temporary stepping stones for scientific development whose most important contribution is to trigger the building of new theoretical frameworks. Nonetheless, anomalies are more than that.

A  deep philosophical analysis of anomalies in science could reveal important aspects of both scientific methodology and human rationality. In particular, it could shed light on the ways in which agents preserve sensible reasoning when working with defective information in scientific contexts, as well as on how scientific communities respond to new evidence, and how anomalies tend to lead to new discoveries and scientific breakthroughs.

The workshop welcomes formal and informal contributions on anomalies in scientific disciplines -- with a special focus on novel ways to characterize, reconstruct, and explain anomalies in different areas of scientific research.  Topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The role of logic(s) in handling anomalies in science (distinct inferential mechanisms that could underlie the phenomenon of handling anomalies in the sciences, formal reconstructions of historical anomalies).
  • The ontological status of anomalies (the nature of anomalies in science, the limits of scientific research programs).
  • The epistemological significance of anomalies (their relation with ignorance, knowledge, and scientific understanding).
  • The social and cultural dimensions of anomalies (how scientific communities respond to new evidence, how scientific communities respond to anomalies) 
  • The methodological challenges of studying anomalies (the methodological challenges involved in identifying, studying, and interpreting anomalies in different scientific disciplines).

SUBMISSIONS: Abstracts should be 200-500 words (+ references), prepared for blind review.

Abstracts should be submitted via email to: [email protected]
Deadline: August 15, 2023.

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