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Conference: The Rise of Empiricism

Sydney, 6-7 September 2010
Darlington Centre, Institute Building boardroom

From the conference website:

Empiricism is often regarded as the characterising feature of modern scientific method, and, in those approaches to psychology and the social and economic sciences that seek to model themselves on successful scientific practice in the physical and life sciences, it often acts as a model of good practice. Yet what is advocated is a very simplified model in which a rarefied notion of method as value-free inquiry is presented as the essence of empiricism. The failings of such a conception have long been evident, but the motivations behind the various forms of empiricism have remained obscure. The conference will explore new avenues to the original form of empiricism and show how it was able to directly engage questions of value in a novel and revealing way, and how its connection with ‘hard’ sciences was not merely to provide a methodological gloss on these, but went to the core of what scientific explanation consisted in.


  • Peter Anstey (Otago University)
  • Millicent Churcher (Sydney University)
  • Stephen Gaukroger (Sydney University)
  • Peter Kail (Oxford University)
  • Rhodri Lewis (Oxford University)
  • David Macarthur (Sydney University)
  • Liam Semler (Sydney University)
  • Dejan Simko (Sydney University)
  • Alberto Vanzo (Otago University)
  • Anik Waldow (Sydney University)
  • Charles Wolfe (Sydney University)

Dr. Anik Waldow
Department of Philosophy, SOPHI
University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Telephone: +61 2 91141245
Fax: +61 2 9351 3918
Email: anik.waldow[at]

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