The 5th Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA15), 23-26 September

EPSA15 was hosted by the undefinedDuesseldorf Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (DCLPS) at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany. It took place from September 23 to 26, 2015. The conference featured contributed papers and symposia covering all subfields of the philosophy of science and bring together a large number of philosophers of science from Europe and overseas. We are also welcoming philosophically minded scientists, e.g. as participants in a symposium. For more information, click the entries in the menu on the left hand side.

 

Date: September 23 to 26, 2015

Place: Heinrich Heine University

Organizer/s:

  • Gerhard Schurz (chair)
  • Alexander Christian
  • Christian J. Feldbacher
  • Alexander Gebharter
  • Nina Retzlaff
  • Ioannis Votsis

Funding & Support

  • Springer
  • De Gruyter
  • Mentis Harvard University Press
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Landeshauptstadt Düsseldorf
  • Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
  • Duesseldorf Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science
  • Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf
  • European Philosophy of Science Association

Links

undefinedEPSA15-Website

undefinedVideos of EPSA15 Opening and Plenary Lectures

Program:


The 5th Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA15), 23-26 September

The 5th Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA15) took place at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf from September 23 to 26, 2015. It was hosted by the Düsseldorf Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science (DCLPS). This was the first time one of the EPSA conferences took place in Germany. One of the conference’s main aims was to bring together philosophers of science as well as philosophically minded scientists from Europe, but also from overseas. The conference featured contributed papers, symposia, and posters covering all subfields of philosophy of science. EPSA15 had more than 280 participants, which is – as far as we know – the highest number of participants among past EPSA conferences. These participants came from 18 European and 6 non-European countries. There were 3 plenary lectures, 108 contributed papers (50% of the all in all 26 sessions were on General Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of the Natural Sciences), 18 contributed symposia (with 78 symposia talks), and – for the first time – a poster session with 16 poster presentations. In addition, there were 3 pre-events (with 10 talks) organized by the European Network for the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (ENPOSS), the Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable, and the Philosophy of Mathematics Association (PMA). All in all, EPSA15 featured 199 talks. Moreover, the conference hosted a very well-attended Women’s Caucus and a Graduate Student Gathering. EPSA – also for the first time – donated an essay prize (value: 500 EUR) for PhD candidates. Rune Nyrup (Durham University, UK) received the prize for his paper “Empirical Problems for Explanationism”.

The 3 plenary lectures were given by Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania, USA), Igor Douven (Université Paris Sorbonne, France), and Marcel Weber (University of Geneva, Switzerland). Cristina Bicchieri’s talk “Trendsetters and Social Change” investigated the interplay between trendsetters’ actions and individual thresholds for breaking a social norm, which is required to achieve an understanding of the dynamics of social change. Whether social innovations develop and how fast this procedure obtains depends on the distribution of thresholds for breaking such norms among the individuals of the social group. Igor Douven’s talk was entitled “Measuring Graded Membership: The Case of Color”. He first introduced the framework of conceptual spaces and then reported the results of a number of experiments which allowed for the definition of different color regions. By this the accuracy of certain predictions on degrees of membership for colors could be evaluated. Marcel Weber investigated in his talk “Causality in Dynamical Biological Mechanisms” in how far causal models based on interventionist criteria can provide adequate representations of complex dynamical systems. He showed on the example of a biological clock mechanism that there are some systems which can only be approximately captured by causal models.

The 3 plenary lectures were given by Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania, USA), Igor Douven (Université Paris Sorbonne, France), and Marcel Weber (University of Geneva, Switzerland). Cristina Bicchieri’s talk “Trendsetters and Social Change” investigated the interplay between trendsetters’ actions and individual thresholds for breaking a social norm, which is required to achieve an understanding of the dynamics of social change. Whether social innovations develop and how fast this procedure obtains depends on the distribution of thresholds for breaking such norms among the individuals of the social group. Igor Douven’s talk was entitled “Measuring Graded Membership: The Case of Color”. He first introduced the framework of conceptual spaces and then reported the results of a number of experiments which allowed for the definition of different color regions. By this the accuracy of certain predictions on degrees of membership for colors could be evaluated. Marcel Weber investigated in his talk “Causality in Dynamical Biological Mechanisms” in how far causal models based on interventionist criteria can provide adequate representations of complex dynamical systems. He showed on the example of a biological clock mechanism that there are some systems which can only be approximately captured by causal models.

EPSA15 was supported by the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, the City of Düsseldorf, Springer, De Gruyter, Mentis, MIT Press, Cambridge University Press, and University of Harvard Press. We thank all of them. The co-chairs of the Program Committee were Michela Massimi (University of Edinburgh, UK) and Jan-Willem Romeijn (University of Groningen, The Netherlands). The Local Organization Committee consisted of Gerhard Schurz (chair), Alexander Christian, Christian J. Feldbacher, Alexander Gebharter, Nina Retzlaff, and Ioannis Votsis.

All in all, EPSA15 was a full success and we are looking forward to the next conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association, which will be held at the University of Exeter, UK, in 2017.

Alexander Christian
Christian J. Feldbacher
Alexander Gebharter
Nina Retzlaff
(Philosophy, DCLPS)

Published in: undefinedThe Reasoner, Volume 9, Number 11 – November 2015.


Planary Talks
Poster sessions
 
Conference Venue & Conference Staff
Evening Reception
Conference dinner
General Assembly & EPSA Steering Committee
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