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Workshop: Novel Predictions (February 25 to 26, 2011)

Conference: Novel Predictions

The aim of the conference is to explore new and fruitful answers to three central questions: What are novel predictions? Ought novel predictions have more epistemic weight than mere accommodations? Can novel predictions help us make headway in the scientific realism debate? We expect that the talks will cover one or more of the following related topics, simplicity, unification, curvefitting, approximate truth, inference to the best explanation, the no-miracles argument and scientific theory change.

Date: February 25-26, 2011

Place: Faculty of Philosophy, Building: 23.21, Room: 00.46a

Organizer/s: Gerhard Schurz, Ludwig Fahrbach and Ioannis Votsis

undefinedProgram (pdf)



February 25, 2011

Martin Carrier (Bielefeld) ‘Prediction in Context: On the Comparative Epistemic Merit of Predictive Success’


coffee break


Ludwig Fahrbach (Düsseldorf) ‘Scientific Realism without Novel Predictions’


coffee break

11:50–12:20 Dean Peters (LSE) ‘How Should we Argue about Scientific Realism?’

lunch break

14:00–15:00 Ioannis Votsis (Duesseldorf) ‘Use Novelty: Autopsy or Reanimation?’
15:00–15:10 coffee break
15:10–15:40 David Harker (East Tennessee State) ‘Scientific Realism and a Different Kind of Novel Success'
15:40–15:50 coffee break
15:50–16:50 Cornelis Menke (Bielefeld) ‘On the Vagueness of “Novelty” and Chance as an Explanation of Predictive Success’
16:50–17:00 coffee break
17:00–18:00 Eric Barnes (SMU) ‘The Roots of Predictivism’
February 26, 2011

Gerhard Schurz (Duesseldorf) ‘Genuine Confirmation and the Use-Novelty Criterion’ (abstract)


coffee break


Roger White (MIT) ‘Testing’

11:40–11:50 coffee break

Jan-Willem Romeijn (Groningen) ‘Specificity, Accommodation, and the Sub-Family Problem’ (abstract)

12:20–14:00 lunch break
14:00–14:30 Deborah Mayo (Virginia Tech) ‘Some Surprising Facts About (the problem of) Surprising Facts’ (abstract)
14:30–14:40 coffee break
14:40–15:40 Richard Dawid (Vienna) ‘Novel Prediction and the Underdetermination of Scientific Theory Building’
15:40–15:50 coffee break
15:50–16:20 Kit Patrick (Bristol) ‘Modal Predictivism: A Novel Solution to the Paradox of Predictivism’

coffee break

16:25–16:55 Samuel Schindler (Konstanz) ‘Against Novel Predictions, for Virtuous Theories’ (abstract)
16:55-17:00 coffee break
17:00-18:00 John Worrall (LSE) ‘Prediction and Accommodation: A Comparison of Rival Views’

NB: Invited speakers have 40 minutes to present and another 20 minutes for discussion. Contributed speakers have 20 minutes to present and another 10 minutes for discussion.

We hope to publish the proceedings of the conference in a reputable scientific journal. Upon completion of the conference, we will invite participants to submit written-up versions of their talks. Submitted papers will then be subjected to a peer-review process.