Scientific Realism in Light of the History of Science
- Arts and Humanities Research Council
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It is ubiquitously acknowledged that the history of science is a crucial consideration when assessing contemporary scientific realist positions. Laudan’s seminal paper ‘A Confutation of Convergent Realism’ (1981) laid down the challenge to the realist explicitly: what kind of substantial realist position can stand up against the abundance of successful but false theories in the history of science? Since then the realist has responded in a number of ways, and has enjoyed considerable success in answering the challenges. But just recently a new wave of historical case studies has been presented, especially tailored to challenge the contemporary realist. These new cases, combined with some recalcitrant old cases, continue to ask important questions of today’s realists, and at the very least help us to choose between the different available positions. This two-day meeting brings together some of the world’s leading historians and philosophers of science to assess the current state of play, and move towards finally answering the fundamental question: which scientific realist positions, if any, survive full knowledge of the history of science?
9.00-10.15 Peter Vickers (Durham)
10.20-11.35 Helge Kragh (Aarhus)
12.40-13.55 Anjan Chakravartty (Notre Dame)
14.00-15.15 Jed Buchwald (Caltech)
15.45-17.00 Greg Radick (Leeds)
9.00-10.15 Derek Turner (Connecticut)
10.20-11.35 Theodore Arabatz (Athens)
12.40-13.55 Juha Saatsi (Leeds)
14.00-15.15 David Knight (Durham)
15.45-17.00 Stathis Psillos (Athens)
17.00 Conference ends
For titles and abstracts, see: www.dur.ac.uk/evaluating.realism/colloquium.htm
This colloquium is part of the project 'Evaluating Scientific Realism: A New Generation of Historical Case Studies'.
Please register for the colloquium by 6th August at the latest, by sending an email to Jean Best: [email protected] The first 15 people to register won’t have to pay anything, and will receive free coffee and tea, biscuits, and a buffet lunch each day, which will all be provided by the university. For all others registration will cost £12.
There will be a small budget to help towards to travel costs of students who wish to attend, allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Please enquire with Jean Best about this.
For any other queries about this workshop, please contact Peter Vickers ([email protected]).
For titles and abstracts of talks, see:
August 6, 2012, 10:00am BST
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