CFP: 'Indeterminacy and Underdetermination' Synthese Topical Collection

Submission deadline: February 28, 2021


Call for Papers: Indeterminacy and Underdetermination

Guest Editor(s): Mark Bowker and Maria Baghramian, University College Dublin

Topical Collection Description:

The notions of indeterminacy and underdetermination cast a long shadow through the history of Philosophy, from Aristotle’s puzzle about the indeterminacy of future contingents (‘There will be a sea-battle tomorrow’), to Duhem and Quine’s observations about the underdetermination of theory by evidence. As well as a continuing interest in Aristotle's puzzle and the Duhem-Quine problem, there has been a surge of interest in indeterminacy and underdetermination from other areas of philosophy and related fields. Our recent conference on indeterminacy and underdetermination at University College Dublin included presentations in philosophy of science, language, logic, mathematics, decision theory, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. This Topical Collection aims to showcase work on indeterminacy and underdetermination from across the gamut of philosophy, highlighting the similarities and differences between the various manifestations of these phenomena. Our hope is that formal and conceptual tools developed in one philosophical sub-discipline will prove useful in others.

For the purposes of this Topical Collection, the topics should be construed broadly. Appropriate Topics for Submission include, among others:

Ethics: Dilemmas, the ‘is’-‘ought’ gap

Logic and mathematics: Logical pluralism and nihilism, computational indeterminacy, truth-value gaps

Vagueness: In language, logic, ethics, and beyond

Language: Semantic underdetermination, indeterminacy of translation

Science: The Duhem-Quine problem, quantum indeterminacy, spontaneous symmetry breaking

Metaphysics: The open future

We are particularly interested in papers that draw connections between the notions of indeterminacy and underdetermination in two or more areas.

Papers in a Topical Collection are not assigned to a special issue of the journal but published in the first available issue of Synthese. The papers are then collected and prominently displayed together on Synthese’s website. Papers in a Topical Collection undergo the same review process as any other submission to Synthese.  Submissions can be made at To be considered for inclusion in the Topical Collection, please select 'T.C. Indeterminacy and Underdetermination' from the drop-down list when asked to 'Select Article Type'.

For further information, please contact the guest editor(s):

The deadline for submissions is 28th February 2021

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