Super-PAC: Early Career Workshop in Philosophy of Astrophysics and Cosmology

October 27, 2017 - October 29, 2017
Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh

817 Cathedral of Learning
4200 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh 15260
United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

View the Call For Papers

Keynote speakers:

Wendy Freedman
University of Chicago
Michela Massimi
University of Edinburgh

Organisers:

Nora Boyd
University of Pittsburgh
Siska De Baerdemaeker
University of Pittsburgh

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Philosophy of cosmology is still an emerging field within philosophy of physics and general philosophy of science. Cosmology in itself is a unique field of study: on the one hand, it focuses on objects which we can only explore through observation but not laboratory experiments; on the other hand, it benefits from cutting-edge structure formation simulations and a ‘data deluge’ from powerful observational surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Surveys and the Planck Mission. It is a rapidly evolving field and many open questions remain, e.g., regarding the nature of dark matter and dark energy, reionization and galaxy formation, and the physical mechanism and consequences of cosmological inflation. Researchers are actively engaged in efforts to account for intriguing disagreement between the current standard model of cosmology and latest observations, including the small-scale challenges such as the ‘too big to fail’  problem and the galactic mass discrepancy-acceleration relation, and also the tension between estimates of the Hubble parameter from different observables.


The overall aim of this workshop is to collectively explore epistemological and methodological issues in philosophy of astrophysics and cosmology with particular attention to the contributions of observational and experimental evidence in these fields. Relevant topics include the validity of simulation assumptions, use of models and theories in data processing, considerations invoked when integrating different theoretical and/or methodological resources in one application, potential strategies for constraining theory, and principled constraints on what we can know. We hope to use this venue to draw researchers in the physical sciences and philosophers together in substantive dialog. Each contributed talk will be paired with a commentator. We will aim to match up philosophers with physicists and vice versa in order to facilitate interdisciplinary interaction and collaboration.

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