Effective Theories, Mixed Scale Modeling, and Emergence

October 2, 2015 - October 4, 2015
Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh

Cathedral of Learning
United States

View the Call For Papers


Alisa Bokulich
Boston University
Nigel Goldenfeld
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Leo Kadanoff
University of Chicago
Wendy Parker
Durham University


Robert Batterman
University of Pittsburgh
Karen Crowther
University of Pittsburgh
Ian McKay
University of Pittsburgh
Chris Smeenk
University of Western Ontario
Mark Wilson
University of Pittsburgh

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This will be an open call conference bringing together philosophers interested in modeling, effective theories, emergence and reduction with scientists and applied mathematicians working on analytic and computational multiscale techniques.

How can data be extracted from observations of systems at a variety of spatial and temporal scales and then be combined to understand phenomena without any attempt to reduce the theories or models appropriate at some scale to those appropriate at another? Many such "mixed-level" explanations are, it seems, essential to successful scientific investigation. Multiscale modeling is playing an increasing role in many areas of science, including climate science, materials science, and developmental biology. This work suggests that interesting methods have by and large been overlooked by philosophers who primarily treat modeling (and intertheory relations) as restricted to two (spatial) scales---the "macroscopic" and the "microscopic." One aim of the conference is to consider the implication of recent work on the nature of multiscale modeling for our understanding of material behaviors, effective theories, and the kind of autonomy that often accompanies claims about emergence.

This is a two and a half day event to be held October 2-4, 2015 at the University of Pittsburgh. Hotel accommodations will be provided for up to three nights for accepted speakers. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 20 May 2015.

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October 2, 2015, 5:00am EST

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Custom tags:

#science, #philosophy of science, #physics, #chemistry, #models, #multiscale, #reduction, #emergence, #effective theories