Reduction and Emergence in the Sciences

November 14, 2013 - November 16, 2013
Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Center for Advanced Studies
Seestraße 13
Munich 80802

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  • Center for Advanced Studies
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Keynote speakers:

Patricia Churchland
University of California, San Diego
Kevin Hoover
Duke University
Andreas Hüttemann
University of Cologne
Margaret Morrison
University of Toronto


Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Sebastian Lutz
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Karim Thébault
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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Reduction and emergence play a central role in the relations of scientific theories and disciplines. For instance, a reducible theory is in some sense replaceable but also supported by its reducing theory. In contrast, a theory that describes emergent phenomena arguably stands alone in both respects. Unfortunately, the discussion about reduction and emergence suffers from two uncertainties at once. On the one hand the concepts of reduction and especially emergence are not precisely defined, on the other hand there are few if any uncontentious cases of reduction or emergence in the sciences. This stalemate can be overcome by a thorough analysis of relations between and within scientific theories. These relations can then serve as a basis for explications of reduction and emergence that are applicable in the sciences.

This conference will bring together philosophers of science and scientists of different disciplines with the aim of addressing the inter- and intratheoretic relations of specific theories and providing precise notions of such relations for the application in the sciences.

Program Committee:

Michael Baumgartner (Osnabrück)
Gordon Belot (Michigan)
Mark Colyvan (Sydney)
Isabelle Drouet (Paris-Sorbonne)
Laura Franklin-Hall (NYU)
Paul Hoyningen-Huene (Hannover)
Paul Humphreys (Virginia)
Eleanor Knox (King’s College London)
Meinard Kuhlmann (Bremen)
Martin Kusch (Vienna)
Alan C. Love (Minnesota)
Peter Machamer (Pittsburgh)
Albert Newen (Bochum)
John D. Norton (Pittsburgh)
Alexander Reutlinger (Köln)
Alexander Rosenberg (Duke)
Achim Stephan (Osnabrück)
Paul Teller (UC Davis)
Jos Uffink (Minnesota)
Raphael van Riel (Bochum)
Joel D. Velasco (Caltec)
Jack Vromen (Rotterdam)
C. Kenneth Waters (Minnesota)
Marcel Weber (Geneva)

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October 13, 2013, 7:45am CET

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