The Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science advances research and graduate training in the philosophy of science and related studies of science and technology. It fosters a local community through a variety of activities and special events. This local community includes scholars from a number of different disciplines throughout the University of Minnesota as well as area colleges and universities. The Center brings together researchers from around the world through its visiting fellow program and conferences, and conducts collaborative research through its workshops, the results of which are published in Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
Winter Newsletter (January 2017)
Sewall Wright Award
MCPS Resident Fellow and Editorial Board Member, Ruth Shaw (EEB) has been awarded the 2017 Sewall Wright Award for promoting the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.
March 3rd, 2017
2017 Summer Institute: Practices of Individuation and Classification in Science
For full consideration, applications must be received by 15 February 2017
2017 Summer Institute
Practices of Individuation and Classification in Science
Scientific metaphysics is based on the idea that metaphysics—the study of what the world is ultimately like—should be informed by the remarkable success of science. The approach advanced in this institute involves analyzing what kinds of scientific practices are successful in science, and then asking what the world might ultimately be like such that these kinds of practices are successful. The 2017 institute will examine practices of individuation and classification. We will begin by investigating how scientists actually individuate and classify entities and processes and considering what purposes these practices are designed to serve. Then we will ask what metaphysical conclusions might be drawn from these practices.
Organizers: Marc Ereshefsky (University of Calgary), (Alan Love (University of Minnesota), Ken Waters (University of Calgary), Marcel Weber (University of Geneva), and Bill Wimsatt (University of Chicago/University of Minnesota)
Invited Speakers: Marc Ereshefsky (University of Calgary), Kathrin Koslicki (University of Alberta), and Andrea Woody (University of Washington)
Dates: June 18–July 1, 2017
Location: Alberta, Canada
Venue: Banff Park Lodge
Application Deadline: 15 February 2017
· This is the second of three summer institutes sponsored by the project: From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics that advances a new approach for scientific metaphysics. Instead of focusing attention on the fundamental theories of science, this project analyzes successful scientific practices that depend on modest theoretical claims but nevertheless undergird advances across sciences that deal with complexity, especially in biology. This approach probes the metaphysical implications of stable forms of successful practice in situations where local, partial theories of complex phenomena do not yield integrated, comprehensive outlooks across different levels of organization.
· The primary emphasis of the 2017 Summer Institute will be the professional development of junior scholars, especially graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. It will offer an opportunity for graduate students and recent PhDs to gain knowledge of important bodies of philosophical literature on metaphysics, scientifically informed metaphysics, and scientific practice. It will provide opportunities for participants to develop current research projects and identify new ones. The Summer Institute will also help participants make connections with researchers who share interests in philosophy of science, philosophy of scientific practice, and metaphysics. The program will be structured to provide opportunities for collaboration.
· Accepted participants will receive generous stipends to offset expenses associated with travel to and attending the Summer Institute.
· Questions about the 2017 Summer Institute can be addressed to Ken Waters
January 6th, 2017
Peter Truran, an MCPS Resident Fellow has a paper "The Development of Creative Thinking in Graduate Students Doing Scientific Research" published in the November/December 2016 issue of Education Technologies, volume 56 (6), pp 41–46.
December 9th, 2016