Philosophical Perspectives on Epistemology, Mind, and Science

May 4, 2012 - May 5, 2012
Institute for Philosophy II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum


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The Bielefeld-Bochum Colloquium provides a platform for the exchange of ideas among philosophers of the department of philosophy II in Bochum and the department of philosophy in Bielefeld. Moreover, internationally renowned philosophers will be invited to participate in lively discussions of various topics in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science. This first session (Saturday, 5th) centers around two topics: functional properties and the interplay between knowledge and values.

This kick-off event also hosts a one-day workshop on explanatory power (Friday, 4th), organized by Dr. Markus Eronen and Dr. Raphael van Riel. The notion of explanatory power occurs in a number of different contexts: it is tied to the discussion of various topics such as the inference to the best explanation, the notion of explanation in general, reduction in the philosophy of mind and in the philosophy of science, and modeling in science. Despite its relevance, the notion of explanatory power has not gained much attention. The workshop brings together leading researchers in this field. The questions addressed include the following: What has explanatory power, i.e., what are the bearers of the property of having (a specific degree of) explanatory power? Is there more than one dimension of explanatory power? What are the most important applications of the notion of explanatory power in the philosophical literature? What is its relation to issues such as the inference to the best explanation, the correctness of explanations, causal explanation, modeling, and reduction?

This workshop is part of the activities of the Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution (Ruhr University Bochum).


Workshop on Explanatory Power (Friday, May 4)

Raphael van Riel and Markus Eronen (Bochum)

Jaakko Kuorikoski (Helsinki)

Robert Northcott (London)

Jan Sprenger (Tilburg)

Erik Weber (Ghent)

Petri Ylikoski (Helsinki)


General topics (Saturday, May 5)

Cameron Buckner (Bochum/Houston)

Maria Kronfeldner (Bielefeld)

Cornelis Menke (Bielefeld)

Raphael van Riel (Bochum)

Markus Werning (Bochum)


There is no registration fee; however, as space is rather limited, those who are interested in participating are kindly asked to send an email to [email protected] by the end of April.

For more information, see the workshop web page:

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April 30, 2012, 10:00am CET

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