Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation 6 (PSX6): Uncertainty in Experimental Contexts (*POSTPONED* Date TBD)

September 25, 2020 - September 26, 2020
Department of Philosophy, Saint Louis University

3050 Olive St.
Saint Louis 63103
United States

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


Saint Louis University

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UPDATE: This conference will not be held at the originally scheduled time, due to public health concerns. We are working on plans to reschedule it for some time in Fall 2021.


Call for Abstracts: Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation 6 (PSX6): Uncertainty in Experimental Contexts

Venue: Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA Dates: September 25-26, 2020

The program committee invites submissions of abstracts on any aspect of experimentation, including simulation, statistics, modeling, instrumentation, and social dimensions.

Keynote speakers:
Eran Tal, Philosophy, McGill University
Elizabeth Haswell, Biology, Washington University

Deadline: February 15, 2020
Notifications of decisions will be sent by: April 1, 2020.

Submission requirement: A detailed abstract (up to 1000 words)

Submit through Easy Chair:
Accommodations: Hotel Ignacio, on the campus of Saint Louis University. Accommodations will be provided for presenters.

PSX6 continues the exploration of previous PSX meetings into the roles played by experimentation in science. We are interested not only in how considerations of experimentation bear on long-standing issues and debates in philosophy of science but also what distinctive problems and questions a focus on experimentation introduces. We are particularly interested in proposals addressing the theme of Uncertainty in Experimental Contexts. Questions of interest related to this theme include but are not limited to the following:

  • Does a focus on experiment shed light on how to conceptualize uncertainty?

  • How does uncertainty relate to experimental error? Does the history of these concepts help illuminate this relationship?

  • In what ways is uncertainty an epistemic concept and in what ways is it not?

  • Do attributions of uncertainty require reference to an epistemic agent? If so, who is that epistemic agent?

  • What kinds of uncertainty are relevant to the production and interpretation of experimental results? How are these relevant?

  • How does uncertainty bear on different stages of the pursuit of experimental inquiry?

  • What strategies allow for the quantification of uncertainty in experiment? What are the limitations of these strategies?

  • What do methodological debates over the evaluation/estimation of uncertainty tell us about its philosophical significance?

  • How can experimental uncertainty be modeled?

  • What resources do competing statistical methodologies/frameworks bring to the characterization of uncertainty?

  • What roles does simulation play in evaluating uncertainty? Does reliance on simulation make a difference to how uncertainty estimates should be interpreted?

  • How can uncertainty be viewed as a resource as well as a problem?

  • To what extent does the conceptualization and treatment of uncertainty vary from onescientific discipline to another?

    Organizing Committee:
    Allan Franklin (University of Colorado at Boulder,
    Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech,
    John Norton (University of Pittsburgh,
    Wendy Parker (Durham University,
    Slobodan Perovic (University of Belgrade, or Samuel Schindler (Aarhus University,
    Kent Staley (local organizer, Saint Louis University,

    For any questions regarding the conference, please contact Kent Staley at

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