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Previous Center Discussion Group Topics

Spring 2017

The Center Discussion Group will spend the spring semester examining reproducibility in the sciences. (A future semester will focus on reproducibility in the psychological sciences more specifically.)
January 20: Ioannidis, J.P. 2005. Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Medicine 2:e124
February 3: Goodman, S.N., D. Fanelli, and J.P.A. Ioannidis. 2016. What does research reproducibility mean? Science Translational Medicine 8:341ps312.
February 17: Nosek BA, Errington TM. 2017. Making sense of replications. eLife 6:e23383. (https://elifesciences.org/content/6/e23383);
Mantis C, Kandela I, Aird F. 2017. Replication Study: Coadministration of a tumor-penetrating peptide enhances the efficacy of cancer drugs. eLife 6:e17584. (https://elifesciences.org/content/6/e17584);
Kaiser J. 2017. Mixed results from cancer replications unsettle field. Science 355:234-5. (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6322/234.full);
Baker, M. and E. Dolgin. 2017. Cancer reproducibility project releases first results. Nature 541:269–270. (http://www.nature.com/news/cancer-reproducibility-project-releases-first-results-1.21304)
March 3: Mitchell, J. 2014. On the emptiness of failed replications. (http://jasonmitchell.fas.harvard.edu/Papers/Mitchell_failed_science_2014.pdf); Fiske, S.T. in press. Mob rule or wisdom of crowds? APS Observer; Gelman, A. 2016. What has happened down here is the winds have changed (http://andrewgelman.com/2016/09/21/what-has-happened-down-here-is-the-winds-have-changed/)
April 7: Fidler, F., Y.E. Chee, B.C. Wintle, M.A. Burgman, M.A. McCarthy, and A. Gordon. 2017. "Metaresearch for Evaluating Reproducibility in Ecology and Evolution". BioScience 67:282–289.
Parker, T.H., W. Forstmeier, J. Koricheva, F. Fidler, J.D. Hadfield, Y.E. Chee, C.D. Kelly, J. Gurevitch, and S. Nakagawa. 2016. "Transparency in Ecology and Evolution: Real Problems, Real Solutions". Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31:711–719.
April 14: Feulner, G. 2016. Science under Societal Scrutiny: Reproducibility in Climate Science. In: Reproducibility: Principles, Problems, Practices, and Prospects, H. Atmanspacher and S. Maasen (eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 269–285.
April 28: Anderson, M.L. 2016. Neural Reuse and In-Principle Limitations on Reproducibility in Cognitive Neuroscience. In: Reproducibility: Principles, Problems, Practices, and Prospects, H. Atmanspacher and S. Maasen (eds.), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 341–362.

Fall 2016

This semester the Center Discussion Group will be reading Margaret Morrison's 2015 book "Reconstructing Reality; Models, mathematics, and simulations" New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199380275.
September 9: Chapter 1, pp 15–49.
September 23: Chapter 2, pp 50–82.
October 7: Chapter 3, pp 85–118.
October 21: Chapter 4, pp. 119–155.
November 11: Chapter 5, pp 156–195. Margaret Morrison will be visiting.
December 2: Chapter 6, pp 197–247.

Spring 2016

For the first three meeting of the spring semester the Center Discussion Group will read and discuss Individuals Across the Sciences edited by Alexandre Guay and Thomas Pradeu (2015) ISBN-13: 978-0199382514 Oxford University Press.
January 29: Chapter 17, pp 348–370.
February 12: Chapter 10, pp 193–206.
February 26: Chapter 5, pp 85–102.
March 25: Draft of Chapter 4 ("The Myth of ‘The Myth of Objectivity’ and Other Scapegoats"), Part 1 ("No Methods are Objective, All Models are False"), from Deborah Mayo's book manuscript entitled How To Tell What’s True About Statistical Inference: Getting Philosophical
April 8: Deborah Mayo (Virgingia Tech) visiting.
Draft of Chapter 4 ("The Myth of ‘The Myth of Objectivity’ and Other Scapegoats"), Part 2 ("Scapegoats and Whipping Boys"), from Deborah Mayo's book manuscript entitled How To Tell What’s True About Statistical Inference: Getting Philosophical.
April 22: Glymour, C. 2010. "Explanation and Truth," Ch. 8.1 of Error and Inference: Recent Exchanges on Experimental Reasoning, Reliability, and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science. D. Mayo and A. Spanos, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
May 6: Laudan, L. 2010. "Error and Legal Epistemology" in Error and Inference, Mayo, D.G. and Spanos, A. (eds) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp 376–396.

Fall 2015

This semester the Center Discussion Group will read and discuss Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice by Phyllis Illari and Federica Russo (2014) Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780199662678.
September 11: Part 1, chapters 1–3, pp 3–23.
September 25: Illari, Phyllis and Russo, Federica. 2014. Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice Chapters 22, 23, and 24.
Godfrey-Smith, P. 2009. Causal Pluralism. In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation, H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock and P. Menzies (eds). New York: Oxford University Press (Chapter 16)
Optional
Kellert, S.H., H.E. Longino, and C.K. Waters. 2006. Introduction: The Pluralist Stance. In Scientific Pluralism, S.H. Kellert, H.E. Longino, and C.K. Waters (eds), vii-xxix. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science (Volume XIX). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
October 9: Richard Scheines (Carnegie Mellon University) will be visiting. Professor Scheines will give a brief overview at the beginning of our time to provide orientation to the project.
Yang, Renjie, Spirtes, Peter, Scheines, Richard, Reise, Steve, Mansoff Max. work in progress “Finding Pure Sub-models For Improved Differentiation of Bi-factor and Second-order Measurement Models.”
Illari, P. and Russo, F. 2014. Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice, Chapter 7 provides some helpful background on causal methodology related to the discussion.
October 23: Illari, Phyllis and Russo, Federica. 2014. Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice Chapters 10.
Woodward, J., "Causation and Manipulability", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2013 Edition), E.N. Zalta (ed.): http://plato.stanford.edu/ archives/win2013/entries/ causation-mani/
November 6: llari, Phyllis and Russo, Federica. 2014. Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice Chapters 12.
Hedström, P. and P. Ylikoski. 2010. Causal Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Annual Review of Sociology 36:49–67
November 20:llari, Phyllis and Russo, Federica. 2014. Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice Chapter 8.
Hitchcock, Christopher, "Probabilistic Causation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), E.N. Zalta (ed.) http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/causation-probabilistic/.
December 11: llari, Phyllis and Russo, Federica. 2014. Causality: Philosophical Theory meets Scientific Practice Chapters 9 and 14.
Cartwright, Nancy. 1989. Nature's Capacities and their Measurement. Oxford University Press. Chapter 4.

Spring 2015

This semester the Center Discussion Group will read and discuss chapters from the Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science series.
January 30: Volume 1 (1956): "Some Major Issues and Developments in the Philosophy of Science of Logical Empiricism" (Herbert Feigl)
February 13: Volume 1 (1956): "The Methodological Character Of Theoretical Concepts" (Rudolf Carnap)
February 27: Volume 2 (1958): "Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis" (Paul Oppenheim and Hilary Putnam)
March 27: Volume 2 (1958): "The Theoretician's Dilemma: A Study in the Logic of Theory Construction" (Carl G. Hempel)
April 10: Volume 3 (1962): "The Ontological Status of Theoretical Entities" (Grover Maxwell)
April 24: Volume 3 (1962): "Explanation, Reduction, and Empiricism" (Paul K. Feyerabend)
May 8: Volume 4 (1970): "Nuisance Variables and the Ex Post Facto Design" (Paul E. Meehl)

Fall 2014

This semester the Center Discussion Group will read and discuss the classic work Representing and Intervening: Introductory Topics in the Philosophy of Natural Science by Ian Hacking (1983) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0521238293 (hbk) 0521282462 (pbk) ISBN-13: 978-0521282468.
September 12: Introduction (pp. 1–17), Chapter 1 (pp. 21–31)
September 26: "Break: Reals and Representation" (pp. 130–146)
"Experiment" Ch. (pp. 149–166)
October 10: "Observation" Ch. 10 (pp. 167–185) and "Microscopes" Ch. 11 (pp. 186–209)
October 24: "Speculation, calculation, models, approximation" Ch. 12 (pp. 210–219), "The creation of phenomena" Ch. 13 (pp. 220–232), and "Measurement" Ch. 14 (pp. 233–245).
November 14: "Baconian topics" Ch 15 (pp. 246–261) and "Experimentation and scientific realism" Ch 16 (pp. 262–275).

Spring 2014

January 24: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapters 1 and 2, pp 1–23.
February 14: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapters 3 and 4, pp 24–73.
February 21: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapter 5, pp 74–97.
March 7: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapter 6, pp 98–113.
April 4: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapter 7, pp 114–134.
April 18: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapter 8, pp 135–155.
May 2: Weisberg, M. (2013) Simulation and Similarity: Using Models to Understand the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press) Chapters 9 and 10, pp 156–175.

Fall 2013

This semester the Center Discussion Group will read and discuss recent literature on the relationship between metaphysics and science. We will select our readings from Scientific Metaphysics, by Don Ross, James Ladyman and Harold Kincaid (eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013).
We will begin by reading the introduction of Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized by James Ladyman, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2007) because this book has motivated many of the essays in Scientific Metaphysics.
September 6, 2013 "In Defense of Scientism", chapter 1 of Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized by James Ladyman, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2007), pp. 1–65.
September 20, 2013 Scientific Metaphysics, edited by Don Ross, James Ladyman and Harold Kincaid (eds), Chapter 4, "Can Metaphysics Be Naturalized? And If So, How?" by Andrew Melnyk. pp 79–95. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013).
October 4, 2013 Scientific Metaphysics, by Don Ross, James Ladyman and Harold Kincaid (eds.), Chapter 2, "On the Prospects of Naturalized Metaphysics" by Anjan Chakravertty. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013).
October 18, 2013 Scientific Metaphysics, by Don Ross, James Ladyman and Harold Kincaid (eds.), Chapter 3, "Scientific Ontology and Speculative Ontology" by Paul Humphreys, pp. 51–78. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013).
November 1, 2013 Scientific Metaphysics, by Don Ross, James Ladyman and Harold Kincaid (eds.), Chapter 7, "What Can Contemporary Philosophy Learn from our 'Scientific Philosophy' Heritage? by Mark Wilson, pp. 151–181. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013).
November 8, 2013 Scientific Metaphysics, by Don Ross, James Ladyman and Harold Kincaid (eds.), Chapter 8 "Neo-Kantianism, Scientific Realism, and Modern Physics" by Michael Friedman, pp. 182–197, and Chapter 9 "Some Remarks on 'Naturalism; as We Now Have It" by Mark Wilson, pp. 198–207, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2013).

Spring 2013

The Center discussion group will move its meetings this semester to Thursday afternoons. The group will be reading Susan Sterrett's Wittgenstein Flies a Kite: A Story of Models of Wings and Models of the World (2005) New York: Pi Press.

Fall 2012

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the its publication the group will begin the semester by reading and discussing Thomas Kuhn'sThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
"The Center Discussion Group will be meeting sequentially with PIG, BIG, FIG, and EMIG throughout the rest of the fall 2012 semester. Please see the Kuhnfest page for more information."
September 7: Kuhnfest event
Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 3rd edition 1996) Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Preface, Chapters I - VI
September 14: Kuhnfest event
Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 3rd edition 1996) Chicago: University of Chicago Press Chapters VII–XII
September 21: Kuhnfest event
Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962, 3rd edition 1996) Chicago: University of Chicago Press Chapter XIII, Postscript

Spring 2012

The Center discussion group will be discussing Bas C. van Fraassen's Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective Oxford: Oxford University Press (2008). ISBN-10: 0199278229. ISBN-13: 978-0199278220

January 20: Preface, Chapter 1, pp 11–31
February 3: Chapter 2, pp 33–57
February 17: Chapter 3, pp 59–88
February 24: Chapter 12, pp 269–290
March 23: Chapter 13, pp 291–308
April 6: Chapter 4, pp 91–113
April 20: Chapter 8 pp 191–212
April 27: Ismael, J. (draft) "Simplicity in Scientific Modelling Jenann Ismael (Department of Philosophy, University of Arizona) visiting

Fall 2011

The Center discussion group will be discussing Imre Lakatos' Proofs and Refutations: The Logic of Mathematical Discovery, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (1976). ISBN-10: 0521290384 ISBN-13: 978-0521290388

September 23: Proofs and Refutations I pp 1–25
October 7: Proofs and Refutations II pp 120–139
October 21: Proofs and Refutations III pp 221–245
November 4: Proofs and Refutations IV pp 296–342
November 18: Further discussion on the four Lakatos papers
December 2: Solomon Feferman (1978) "The Logic of Mathematical Discovery versus the Logical Structure of Mathematics" PSA volume 2, 307–327.

Spring 2011

This semester, the Center Discussion Group will examine different basic accounts of causality from the philosophy of causation literature.

March 25: "Counterfactual Theories of Causation" by Peter Menzies
in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2009/entries/causation-counterfactual/

April 1: no meeting (APA Central)

April 8: "Causal Process" by Phil Dowe in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2008/entries/causation-process/

April 15: "Probabilistic Causation" by Christopher Hitchcock
in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2010/entries/causation-probabilistic/

April 22: "Causation and Manipulability" by James Woodward
in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2008/entries/causation-mani/

April 29: Chapter 7. "Regularity Theories" by Stathis Psillos,
in The Oxford Handbook of Causation, edited by Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock and Peter Menzies (2009) New York: Oxford University Press pp 131–157.

May 6: No Meeting

Fall 2010

This semester the group will be discussing William C. Wimsatt's "Re-Engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings: Piecewise Approximations to Reality", Harvard University Press (2007). ISBN-10: 0674015452, ISBN-13: 978-0674015456.
William C. Wimsatt is now a Winton Professor of the Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota and a residential fellow at the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science. He also on the graduate faculty of the Department of Philosophy. He will discuss the main themes of his research with the Center Discussion Group this fall.
Draft Schedule:

September 17: Chapters 1–3, pages 3–42
October 1: Chapter 4, pages 43–60
October 8: Chapter 4, pages 60–74
October 22: Chapter 6, pages 94–113
October 29: Chapter 6, pages 114–132
November 12: Chapter 7, pages 133–145
November 19: Chapter 5, pages 75–93, and appendices A, B and D, pages 345–352, 361–363
December 17: 3:00–4:30 pm Note the later time. This meeting has been moved from December 10 Chapter 13, pages 319–342

Spring 2010

We will interrupt our reading of Wandering Significance at the beginning of the Spring 2010 semester (January) for our second project, which is to read and discuss some articles on causation. We plan to start with a general article, and then read a bit of Ned Hall's work in anticipation of his visit on February 26th. Afterwards, we will resume our reading of Wilson's book. Mark Wilson will be visiting the Center on April 23, 2010; he will also be giving a Center talk on this date.

Fall 2009

September 18: We will discuss the preface and the first chapter (pp. 1–45) of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 (ISBN 978-0-19-926925-9 hbk, 978-0-19-953230-8 pbk) and decide at this meeting a tentative reading schedule for the rest of the semester.

October 2: Background considerations for Wandering Significance and reviews.. (Katherine Brading will give a Center talk at 3:35 PM in 131 Tate Laboratory of Physics)

October 16: Chapter 4 of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006 (ISBN 978-0-19-926925-9 hbk, 978-0-19-953230-8 pbk) (Ron Giere will be giving a talk entitled "Pragmatism and Contemporary Philosophy of Science" in the Cowles Auditorium, Hubert Humphrey Center at 3:30 pm that afternoon)

October 30: Chapters 5 (sections i–iv) and 6 (sections i–vii) of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson pp. 223–236, 287–327.

November 6: Chapters 5 (sections i–iv) and 6 (sections i–vii) of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson pp. 223–236, 287–327.

November 20: Chapter 6 (sections viii–xiii) of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson pp. 328–376.

December 4: Chapter 7 (sections i–viii) of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson pp. 377–445.

Early Spring Term: Chapter 8 of Wandering Significance by Mark Wilson pp. 476–566.

We will interrupt our reading of Wandering Significance at the beginning of the Spring 2010 semester (January) for our second project, which is to read and discuss some articles on causation. We plan to start with a general article, and then read a bit of Ned Hall's work in anticipation of his visit on February 26th. Afterwards, we will resume our reading of Wilson's book. Mark Wilson will be visiting the Center on April 23, 2010; he will also be giving a Center talk on this date.

Spring 2009

January 23: Peter Galison will visit the Center for an informal seminar on Objectivity with discussion group participants. We will be meeting in the Wangensteen Library (5th floor Diehl Hall). He will also give a lecture in the IAS Thursdays at Four series on January 22, 2009 at 4 pm.

The discussion meetings on Objectivity and Galison's visit will be jointly sponsored by the Theorizing Early Modern Studies Group, TEMS.

Topic for Fall 2008: Daston/Galison Objectivity

Fall 2008

Discussion of Objectivity by Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison ISBN-10:
1-890951-78-1, ISBN-13:
978-1-890951-78-8. October 2007. Zone Books

September 12: Preface, Prologue, Chapter 1. Epistemologies of the Eye pp. 9–54

September 19: Chapter 2. Truth-to-Nature pp. 55–114

September 26: Chapter 3. Mechanical Objectivity pp. 115–190. We will be meeting in the Wangensteen Library (5th floor Diehl Hall) to view original editions of the Albinus and Hunter atlases that are a focus of Ch. 2, and lots of other works relevant to the "truth-to-nature" argument.

October 10: Chapter 4. The Scientific Self pp. 191–252

October 24: Chapter 5. Structural Objectivity pp. 253–308

November 14: Chapter 6. Trained Judgment pp. 309–362

December 5: Chapter 7. Representation To Presentation pp. 363–416

Peter Galison will come to the Center on Friday afternoon, January 23, 2009, for an informal seminar on Objectivity with discussion group participants. He will also give a lecture in the IAS Thursdays at Four series on January 22, 2009 at 4 pm.

The discussion meetings on Objectivity and Galison's visit will be jointly sponsored by the Theorizing Early Modern Studies Group, TEMS (http://www.tems.umn.edu).

Topic for Spring 2008: Structural Realism

Spring 2008

January 23: Peter Galison seminar on Objectivity (see above)

February 1: Maxwell, Grover (1972). Scientific methodology and the causal theory of perception. In H. Feigl, H. Sellars and K. Lehrer, eds., New Readings in Philosophical Analysis, pp.148–177. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts.

February 15: Worrall, John (1989). Structural realism: The best of both worlds? Dialectica 43: 99–124. reprinted in D. Papineau, ed., The Philosophy of Science, pp. 139–165. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

February 29:  Ladyman, James (1998). What is structural realism? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 29: 409–424.

April 11: Van Fraassen, B.C. (2006). Structure: Its shadow and substance. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57: 275–307.

April 25: Hellman, Geoffrey (2005). Structuralism. In S. Shapiro, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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