Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mini Metaphysics Day University of Bristol

Mini-Metaphysics Day

A Workshop at the University of Bristol as part of the joint AHRC
Metaphysics of Science Project at Birmingham | Bristol | Nottingham.

Wednesday September 3rd 2008
Venue: Philosophy Common Room, 9 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB, United

Convenors: Alexander Bird and Emma Tobin
Contact: Alexander.Bird@bristol.ac.uk or Emma.Tobin@bristol.ac.uk


Jill North (Yale)
Alice Drewery (Reading)
L.A. Paul (UNC, Chapel Hill)
Helen Beebee (Birmingham)
Jessica Wilson (Toronto)


09:30 Jill North "The Structure of Classical Mechanics"
10:45 Coffee break
11:15 Alice Drewery "Necessary Laws in the Non-fundamental Sciences"
12:30 Lunch
13:30 L.A. Paul "The Handmaiden's Tale"
14:45 Break
15:00 Helen Beebee "Some problems for Bird's Dispositional Essentialism"
16:15 Tea
16:45 Jessica Wilson "Emergence: Weak and Strong"
18:00 Workshop dinner

Further Information can be found on the Workshop Website:


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Workshop Announcement : Themes in the Metaphysics of Chemistry and Biology

Themes in the Metaphysics of Chemistry and Biology

supported by the AHRC and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol

Arts and Humanities Research Council logoInstitute for Advanced Studies Logo

Monday 23rd, Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th June 2008

Lecture Theatre 2 Arts Faculty, 9 Woodland Rd. Bristol and the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol

Conveners: Alexander Bird & Emma Tobin

Confirmed Speakers:

For further details visit our workshop webpage.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

3rd Annual CMM Graduate Conference Leeds

The Centre for Metaphysics and Mind at the University of Leeds is hosting the 3rd Annual CMM Graduate Conference on Thursday 4th September. This is will run immediately before the metaphysics conference, Perspectives on Ontology, that is being held at the University from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th September.

Submissions are welcome from current graduate students on any area of metaphysics. Metaphysics should be broadly construed to include not only traditional metaphysical topics, but also the metaphysical aspects of e.g. philosophy of mind, philosophy of physics, philosophy of religion, and aesthetics.

Submissions of any length up to 5,000 words will be considered.

Each paper presented at the conference will be followed by a response from a member of academic staff from the University of Leeds Department of Philosophy.

As with last year's conference we hope to be able to pay some or all of the travel and accommodation costs for those people whose papers are accepted. (This is dependent on successful funding applications.)

Please submit complete papers, preferably by e-mail, to Sarah Grant, phl2skg@leeds.ac.uk. Please mark your submission clearly as such. Receipt will be acknowledged asap. Submissions will also be accepted by mail:

Sarah Grant
School of Philosophy
University of Leeds
Woodhouse Lane

All papers should be suitable for blind review (we cannot guarantee anonymised refereeing if your paper is not suitably anonymised). Please include a cover page with title, abstract and contact details. Mailed submissions should include two copies.

Deadline for receipt of submissions is Friday 18th July 2008.

Decisions will be made by Friday 8th August 2008.

For more general details on the conference please consult:


or e-mail Duncan Watson at phl5dw@leeds.ac.uk Messages

Friday, March 7, 2008

Modelling Matter Symposium - Durham

St Chad's College, Durham University
26-28 March 2008
Sponsored by Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study

Organisers: Dr R F Hendry & Dr M D Eddy
This interdisciplinary two-day symposium will investigate the different strategies and methods of modelling and representing across the physical and life sciences, and the ways in which models relate to their subject matter and to the empirical evidence. Scientists represent the world using a wide variety of media, including mathematical and physical models, equations, graphs and visual diagrams, and of course language, analogy and metaphor. Historians and philosophers of science have examined the traditions and modes of representation across different sciences, and in particular when different scientific disciplines interact. Particular traditions of representation employ different media together, so that one medium can take over when the expressive power of another runs out. Thus, for instance, in theoretical physics and chemistry, visual arguments are sometimes employed when more formal mathematical derivations are intractable. Traditions develop so that the modes of representation are implicit, and transparent to the practitioners. Their particular origins and status are unquestioned, and the medium of representation itself is essentially invisible to the practitioner.
Modelling Matter Symposium
26-28 March
St Chad’s College, Durham University
Wednesday, 26 March
Perspectives on Models and Representation
2pm (1) ‘Models: Parables versus Fables’
Prof Nancy Cartwright FBA, Professor of Philosophy, London School of Economics and University of California, San Diego.
3pm (2) ‘A Hierarchical Account of Theories and Models’
Prof Ronald Giere, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Minnesota
4pm Tea/coffee
Perspectives on Models and Representation (continued)
4.30pm (3) ‘Modelling Matter with Paper Tools’
Professor Dr Ursula Klein, Research Scholar, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
5.30pm (4) ‘Physics and the Philosophy of Scientific Modeling’
Dr Eric Winsberg, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of South Florida
6.30pm Bar
7.30pm Dinner
Thursday, 27 March
Biology and Models
9.30am (5) ‘Tables for Models: Medicine and Mineralogy during the Enlightenment’
Dr Matthew D Eddy, Lecturer in History of Science, Durham University & Caltech
10.30am (6) ‘Models in Molecular Biology, and their Present Evolution’
Prof Michel Morange, Professor of Biology, ENS and University of Paris 6, Director, Cavailles Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences, ENS
11.30am Tea/coffee
12noon (7) ‘Models for Modelling Matter’
Dr Michael Weisberg, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania
1pm Lunch
Chemistry and Models
2pm (8) ‘Modelling Chirality’
Professor Seymour Mauskopf, Professor of History, Duke University
3pm (9) ‘Modelling Molecules: from Wollaston to Hofmann’
Professor David Knight, Emeritus Professor of the History of Science, Durham University

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Metaphysics Entries on The Stanford Encyclopedia

There is a new entry on Nominalism in Metaphysics on the Stanford Encyclopedia.

There are also some substantive revisions to the entry on Tropes.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Perspectives on Ontology

Announcing: Perspectives on Ontology

A major international conference on metaphysics to be held at the University of Leeds, Sep 5th-7th 2008.

Karen Bennett (Cornell)
John Hawthorne (Oxford)
Daniel Nolan (Nottingham)
Jill North (Yale)
Helen Steward (Leeds)
Jessica Wilson (Toronto)

Benj Hellie (Toronto)
Kris McDaniel (Syracuse)
Ted Sider (NYU)
Jason Turner (Leeds)
Robbie Williams (Leeds)

Registration details to follow. There will be a number of graduate bursaries. For further information contact Ross Cameron (r.p.cameron@leeds.ac.uk) or Elizabeth Barnes (e.j.barnes@leeds.ac.uk)

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Mind Association, The Aristotelian Society and the Analysis Trust.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Powers: Their Grounding and Their Realization 7th - 9th July 2008

International Conference at the University of Oxford (Lady Margaret Hall)

7th - 9th July 2008

Invited speakers

Alexander Bird (University of Bristol). Dispositions and Causation.
Kristina Engelhard (University of Cologne). TBA
Kit Fine (New York University). TBA
Toby Handfield (Monash University). Disposition manifestations as natural kinds.
John Heil (Washington University in St Louis). Powers and Qualities.
Jonathan Lowe (University of Durham). On the Individuation of Powers.
Anna Marmodoro (University of Oxford). Can Pure powers Be Pure?
Jennifer McKitrick (University of Nebraska – Lincoln). TBA
Stephen Mumford (University of Nottingham). Primitive Modality
Markus Schrenk (University of Nottingham). The Powerlessness of Necessity.
Ernest Sosa (Rutgers). Virtues and Situations.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Metaphysics of Science conference: 3-5 July 2009

This is a preliminary announcement of a conference on the Metaphysics of Science, which will be held at the University of Melbourne 3-5 July 2009.


The purpose of the conference will be to promote discussion of current research in the metaphysics of science. The field of the metaphysics of science is one that barely existed a decade or two ago. But it has now become one of the most active areas of current research in philosophy of science and closely related areas of philosophy. Our aim will be to bring together a significant group of philosophers who are currently working on the metaphysics of science for concentrated discussion of their current research, as well as to explore new directions that are opening up in the field. It is anticipated that at least one major volume of published essays will emerge from papers presented at the conference.


We anticipate that topics will range over a variety of areas of interest in the metaphysics of science. Such potential topics for discussion may include topics in the ontology of science, such as causation, laws of nature, natural kinds, universals, essences, dispositions and powers. Issues relating to scientific realism and anti-realism, as well as the implications of the realist/anti-realist debate for topics in the metaphysics of science will also be on the agenda. Other topics to be explored are likely to include the nature of possibility and necessity, as well as truth-makers, especially as these topics relate to the metaphysics of science.

International focus

Research in the metaphysics of science is being undertaken throughout the philosophical world. We therefore expect the conference to be international in character. Philosophers in the Australasian region have been active contributors to this new field of research. So we expect a significant presence of Australasian philosophers working in the area. However, we hope to attract significant participation by philosophers from North America, Great Britain and continental Europe, as well as other parts of the world. As details of invited speakers emerge, we will announce a list of invited speakers.

Further details

Further details will be announced on this website, as information becomes available. In particular, we plan in the near future to make announcements of a list of invited speakers, a call for papers, as well as details of the conference venue, registration details and accommodation.

Conference organization

The conference is a joint initiative that is sponsored on a collective basis by the Philosophy programs of La Trobe, Melbourne and Monash Universities. The Centre for Time of the University of Sydney will co-sponsor a symposium which will be held at the conference.

Organizational Committee: David Armstrong, John Bigelow, Andrew Brennan, Brian Ellis, Graham Oppy, Toby Handfield, Huw Price, Graham Priest, Howard Sankey.

For further information, please visit the conference web site here or contact the conference organizer, Howard Sankey: chs@unimelb.edu.au.

INPC - Carving Nature at Its Joints 15-17th March 2008

The Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference is a topic-focused, interdisciplinary conference co-sponsored by the Philosophy Departments at the University of Idaho and Washington State University.


Saturday morning through Monday afternoon: 15–17 March 2008
(the conference ends shortly before the 2008 Pacific APA)

Registration is now available.


Moscow, Idaho
(This year, the conference will be held entirely at UI, as the regular venue at WSU is undergoing renovation.)

Hotel Info: Our conference block at the hotel has officially expired, but I'm informed that there are still plenty of rooms available. Nevertheless, we recommend booking accommodation as soon as possible. See the Travel & Accommodation page for more information.


Peter Godfrey-Smith (Harvard), Keynote Speaker

Patrick Arens (University of Nebraska)
Matt Bedke (Arizona)
Alexander Bird (Bristol)
Corinne Bloch (Tel Aviv)
Andrea Borghini (Holy Cross)
Katherine Brading (Notre Dame)
Judith Crane (Southern Illinois Univeristy)
Troy Cross (Yale)
Michael Devitt (CUNY)
Bruce Glymour (Kansas State University)
Chris Haufe (Virginia Tech)
Jussi Haukioja (Academy of Finland)
Todd Jones (UNLV)
Daniel Korman (University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign)

Marc Lange (UNC Chapel Hill)
Noa Latham (Calgary)
Mike Maleki (Calgary)
Kris McDaniel (Syracuse)
Bence Nanay (Syracuse)
Karen Neander (Duke)
L.A. Paul (Arizona)
Rebekah Rice (Seattle Pacific University)
Jonathan Schaffer (UMass/ANU)
Roy Sorensen (Dartmouth)
Achille Varzi (Columbia)
Kadri Vihvelin (USC)
Neil Williams (Buffalo)


The Call for Papers is closed (as of 2nd January).


If you would like to act as a session chair or a commentator, please contact <josephc@wsu.edu> with your areas of competence.


Joseph Keim Campbell, Washington State University <josephc@wsu.edu>
Matthew H. Slater, University of Idaho <matthew.slater@uidaho.edu>
INPC co-directors

Further Information available on the conference webpage:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Themes in the Metaphysics of David Armstrong

On Saturday & Sunday, 16th & 17th February 2008, the Metaphysics of Science group held a workshop at the Days Hotel Nottingham, in honour of Professor David Armstrong entitled "Themes in the Metaphysics of David Armstrong". The conference, organised by the Nottingham team (Stephen Mumford, Markus Schrenk, Matt Tugby and Rani Lill Anjum), was a great success.

Speakers included Stephen Mumford, Ross Cameron, Anna Sofia Maurin, Daniel von Wachter, Hugh Mellor, Ludger Jansen, Max Kistler, Robin Stenwall, Robbie Williams and Emma Tobin.

Photos from the conference
Conference flyers and paper abstracts are also posted on the MOS website