The Role of Theory Confirmation in Science

May 5, 2022 - May 7, 2022
Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University


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Stockholm University
Stockholm University

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There are two ways of viewing theory confirmation. At a formal level, a theory is taken to be confirmed when collected data agrees with the theory’s predictions. At a pragmatic level, confirmation provides the basis for scientists’ confidence that the confirmed theory provides a viable representation of a set of phenomena and its so far untested predictions in the given context are true. Though the two roles of confirmation are of course related, the precise connection between them is non-trivial. The workshop focuses on the trust-generating role of confirmation with the aim of shedding light on the stated connection. Specific questions to be addressed will include: what are the criteria that turn evidence into empirical confirmation? In which way and to what extent do non-empirical considerations play a role in assessing a theory? What is the role of non-epistemic considerations in theory assessment? To what extent and in which ways does the notion of theory confirmation depend on the research field? The workshop aims to compare perspectives from various scientific disciplines. 

Confirmed speakers 

Adrian Currie (Exeter) 

Siska De Baerdemaeker (Stockholm University) 

Karen Kovaka (Virginia Tech) 

Casey McCoy (Yonsei University) 

Hiranya Peiris (University College London / Oskar Klein Center) 

Chris Smeenk (Western University) 

James D. Wells (University of Michigan) 

Submission Guidelines 

We invite the submission of abstracts of up to 1,000 words and prepared for anonymous review. The submission deadline is 30 november 2021. Submissions will be handled through EasyChair: 

Some travel funds will be available for contributing speakers. In case of the demand exceeding the available funds, preference will be given to early career scholars.  

Program Committee 

Richard Dawid (Stockholm University) 

Siska De Baerdemaeker (Stockholm University) 

Sören Häggqvist (Stockholm University) 

Casey McCoy (Yonsei University) 

Questions? Please contact Richard Dawid ([email protected]) or Siska De Baerdemaeker ([email protected])  

This event is made possible thanks to a grant on "Non-empirical Theory Confirmation in Fundamental Physics" provided by the Swedish Research Council (project number 1598801).

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