A one-day conference at New York University on February 20, 2016
Contemporary work in experimental philosophy investigates the relationship between empirical methods and philosophical questions. However, there is a rich history of thinking through the general issues surrounding armchair and experimental approaches to philosophy; for instance, such projects can be found in 19th century philosophy, early modern philosophy, and classical Chinese philosophy.
To explore these topics and philosophical questions at the intersection of experimental philosophy and history of philosophy, we will host a one-day conference. The conference will be held at New York University on February 20th, from 10:00 AM to 6:15 PM. The conference features six presentations, each with a paired commentary. Further information can be found here. Please direct any questions to: email@example.com.
Peter Anstey (The University of Sydney)
discussion by Stephen Darwall (Yale University)
Scott Edgar (Saint Mary’s University)
discussion by John Richardson (New York University)
Alex Klein (California State University)
discussion by Henry Cowles (Yale University)
Hagop Sarkissian (Baruch College, CUNY)
discussion by Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University)
Kathryn Tabb (Columbia University)
discussion by Don Garrett (New York University)
Alberto Vanzo (University of Warwick)
discussion by Alison McIntyre (Wellesley College)
An Interdisciplinary Master class on the Nature and Status of Principles in Western Thought
15–18 March 2016
Eligibility: Graduate students and post-doctoral researchers Maximum attendance: 15 (selected by application) Organisers: Dr Dana Jalobeanu (Director, IRH-UB) and Prof Peter Anstey (Sydney University) Invited speakers: Dr Vincenzo de Risi (Max Planck Institute, Berlin) and Dr Aza Goudriaan (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)
The purpose of this interdisciplinary master class is to examine the nature and status of principles across a variety of disciplinary domains and a variety of historical periods. The concept of principles is almost ubiquitous in Western thought: it is used in philosophy, natural philosophy, ethics, art, mathematics, politics and theology. One only needs to cite some of the canonical works of early modern philosophy, natural philosophy or art to appreciate the centrality of the notion: for example, Descartes’ Principia philosophiae (1644), Newton’s Principia (1687) and Taylor’s New Principles of Linear Perspective (1719). Yet to date there are few if any systematic treatments of the subject. This master class will address the following questions in relation to classical, Hellenistic, Renaissance and early modern thought:
Which disciplines appealed to principles?
What sorts of principles did they deploy?
How does one get epistemic access to these principles?
And what roles did principles play in the period and discipline under scrutiny?
How does the use of principles vary across disciplines and across historical periods?
Is the principles concept stable or subject to change?
Is there a typology of principles?
What is the relation between principles, axioms, hypotheses and laws?
The master class will include lectures, reading groups and seminars, as well as more informal activities (tutorials, and discussions). The master class will be set within the interdisciplinary environment of the Institute of Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest. It aims to bring together up to fifteen post-docs and postgraduate students from different fields and willing to spend four days working together within the premises of the Institute, and under the supervision of experts in the field. The master class will also benefit from logistical support of CELFIS (Center for the Logic, History and Philosophy of Science), Faculty of Philosophy. Each student attending the master class will have the opportunity to give a twenty-minute presentation on the final day. Student contributions are voluntary.
How to apply
In order to apply for the master class send a CV (maximum 2 pages) and a short letter of intention to Dr Mihnea Dobre (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 30 January 2016. The final list of participants will be announced on the website of the institute by 5 February 2016.
Karine Chemla (REHSEIS, CNRS, and Université Paris Diderot)
Thomas Uebel (University of Manchester)
The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science will hold its eleventh international congress in Minneapolis, on June 22-25, 2016. The Society hereby requests proposals for papers and for symposia to be presented at the meeting. HOPOS is devoted to promoting research on the history of the philosophy of science. We construe this subject broadly, to include topics in the history of related disciplines and in all historical periods, studied through diverse methodologies. In order to encourage scholarly exchange across the temporal reach of HOPOS, the program committee especially encourages submissions that take up philosophical themes that cross time periods. If you have inquiries about the conference or about the submission process, please write to Maarten van Dyck: maarten.vandyck [at] ugent.be.
A colloquium at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest & The Center for the Logic, History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest:
CFP: Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science
6th-7th November 2015
Daniel Garber (Princeton University)
Paul Lodge (University of Oxford)
Arianna Borrelli (Technical University, Berlin)
We invite papers by established and young scholars (including doctoral students) on any aspects of early modern philosophy/early modern science. Abstracts no longer than 500 words, to be sent to Doina-Cristina Rusu (email@example.com ) by September 10. Authors will be notified by September 15.
A master-class at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest:
Isaac Newton’s Philosophical Projects
6th-11th October 2015
The purpose of this master-class is to discuss and to set in context some of Newton’s philosophical, scientific and theological projects. It aims to address a number of well-known (and difficult) questions in a new context, by setting them comparatively against the natural philosophical and theological background of early modern thought. By bringing together a group of experts on various aspects of Newton’s thought with experts on Descartes, Bacon and Leibniz, the master-class facilitates interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives
The activities of the master-class will consist of lectures, reading groups and seminars, as well as more informal activities (tutorials, and discussions). The master-class will be set within the interdisciplinary environment of the Institute of Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest. It aims to bring together 15 students (post-docs and graduate students) coming from different fields and willing to spend 5 days working together within the premises of the Institute, and under the supervision of leading experts.
Rob Illiffe (Sussex), Niccolo Guicciardini (Bergamo), Andrew Janiak (Duke University)
Dana Jalobeanu, Kirsten Walsh
There is no participation cost, but there are limited places available. In order to apply for the master-class send a CV and a letter of intention to Dana Jalobeanu (firstname.lastname@example.org) by August 15, 2015. The final list of participants will be announced on the web-site of the institute by August 30, 2015. If you want to present a short paper in the master-class, please send an extended abstract (no longer than 800 words).
A one-day workshop at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University:
The Experimental Philosophy, the Mechanical Philosophy, and the Scientific Revolution
9:30am-5:30pm, Thursday 5th June 2014
The Scientific Revolution is often presented as involving the replacement of an Aristotelian world view by the Mechanical Philosophy. Another common theme is that central to the Scientific Revolution is a special emphasis on empirical observation and experiment as providing the basis for science, a theme often captured by the phrase ‘The Experimental Philosophy’. In the seventeenth century and thereafter, the terms ‘The Mechanical Philosophy’ and ‘The Experimental Philosophy’ were sometimes taken to be synonymous. If the Mechanical Philosophy is interpreted as an encouragement to search for explanations that appeal to mechanisms, as in the workings of a clock, then a close link with experiment seems plausible. On the other hand, if that philosophy is understood as a change in the ultimate ontology of the material world, with the replacement of Aristotelian forms by nothing other than moving corpuscles of matter possessing shape and size, then a link with experiment is less plausible. The aim of this workshop is to explore the range of theses that were involved in the Mechanical and Experimental Philosophies, and to explore the relationship between them.
Speakers and titles:
Prof. Alan F. Chalmers (University of Sydney) ‘Qualitative Novelty in Seventeenth-Century Science: Hydrostatics from Stevin to Pascal’.
Prof. Robert Iliffe (University of Sussex) Title to be confirmed
Prof. David M. Knight (Durham University) ‘Clockwork, Chemistry and the Scientific Revolution’.
Mr. Thomas Rossetter (Durham University) ‘No Mechanism for Miracles: John Keill vs. the World Makers’.
Dr. Sophie Weeks (University of York) ‘Experiment and Matter Theory in the Work of Francis Bacon’.
Prof. David Wootton (University of York) ‘In Defence of the Mechanical Philosophy’.
The main purpose of the workshop was to give postgraduate students tools to enhance current and future research projects. With this in mind the speakers shared how they had each in their own way been engaged with this interdisciplinary aspect of the Early Modern period. The talks were followed by practical sessions where we had the opportunity to think about and develop our research projects from an interdisciplinary perspective. The whole workshop was a huge success and I am sure I am not the only one that now has a better idea of how beneficial it is for research in the early modern period to look at/borrow from/collaborate with other disciplines.
Of special interest to me were the talks given by Peter Harrison on “Disciplinary boundaries in intellectual history: science, religion & philosophy” and Andrew Bradstock on “Religious language in early modern texts.” Harrison’s talk was a very clear and nice example of the interdisciplinary nature of the Early Modern period. It highlighted how the three disciplines that to our modern eyes seem very distinct drew on each other constantly. As readers of this blog know, I have done some research on George Turnbull’s work on Jesus Christ and miracles that exemplify this interaction between science, religion, and philosophy in the eighteenth century.
Andrew Bradstock’s talk made me think about how my research on Turnbull can me tremendously enhanced by drawing on the purely religious context of the time. For example,Turnbull’s Principles of Christian Philosophy draws heavily on passages from the bible, some of them that I am not that familiar with or might not know it’s significance at the time. By working with someone working on the history of religion or acquiring knowledge of it I can add another layer to my research that will enrich our understanding of Turnbull’s thought.
The workshop made it clear that crossing the boundaries of a particular discipline is not only fruitful but even necessary when engaged in early modern research. Given that there is a natural characteristic of interdisciplinarity to the early modern period we must leave the comfort zone of our own discipline if we want to carry out our research projects properly. Most of us have actually done this without noticing that we are engaged in interdisciplinary research. The workshop brought this to my attention and I started thinking about the many ways in which my research would have been improved if I had consciously made an effort to enrich my understanding of any given topic by allowing myself to explore what other disciplines have to offer. And this enrichment of knowledge works both ways; there are projects stationed in other disciplines that would be enhanced by what I have to offer as a researcher from a specific discipline, with a specific skill set.
This is not to say that early modern research cannot be carried out other than in an interdisciplinary manner, but rather that through interdisciplinarity we can enhance tremendously the research projects we are all developing from our specific discipline. Borrowing a phrase by Michael Cop at the Early Modern at Otago blog, the workshop showed that through interdisciplinarity “the future of early modern and medieval research looks promising indeed.”
Heuristic and Exploratory Experimentation in Early Modern Science
Editor: Dana Jalobeanu
The past decade has seen a renewed interest in multiple aspects of early modern experimentation: in the cognitive, psychological and social aspects of experiments, in their heuristic and exploratory value and in the complex inter-relations between experience, observation and experiment. Meanwhile, comparatively little has been done towards a more detailed, contextual and specific study of what might be described, a bit anachronistically, as the methodology of early modern experimentation, i.e. the ways in which philosophers, naturalists, promoters of mixed mathematics and artisans put experiments together and reflected on the capacity of experiments to extend, refine and test hypotheses, on the limits of experimental activity and on the heuristic power of experimentation. So far, the sustained interest in the role played by experiments in early modern science has usually centered on ‘evidence’- related problems. This line of investigation favored examination of the experimental results but neglected the “methodology” that brought about the results in the first place. It has also neglected the more creative and exploratory roles that experiments could and did play in the works of sixteenth and seventeenth century explorers of nature.
This special issue of the Journal of Early Modern Studies aims to bring together articles devoted to the investigation of particular cases of early modern experiments or early modern discussions of experimental methodology. We aim to put together a selection of interesting and perhaps relevant case studies that would further what might prove to be an interesting line of research, namely the investigation of the heuristic, analogical and creative role of early modern experiments.
JEMS is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal of intellectual history, dedicated to the exploration of the interactions between philosophy, science and religion in Early Modern Europe. It is edited by the Research Centre “Foundations of Modern Thought”, University of Bucharest, and published and distributed by Zeta Books. For further information on JEMS, please visit http://www.zetabooks.com/journal-of-early-modern-studies.html.
We are seeking for articles no longer than 10,000 words, in English or French, with an abstract and key-words in English. Please send your contribution by the 1st of October 2012 to email@example.com.