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History and Philosophy of Science   

HPS News Archive


News Archive

Talks & Conferences Archive


Academic Year 2008-2009:

April, 2009:
Congratulations to Justin Sytsma who received the Mellon/ACLS Fellowship!! This is a very serious honor. See here.

February, 2009:
Congratulations to Sandy Mitchell and John Norton who have been reelected on the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association! Kyle Stanford (Irvine) who is teaching in our department this semester has also been elected.

It was another successful year for Pitt HPS graduates on the job market as both of our job candidates were placed in tenure-track jobs. Congratulations to Peter Gildenhuys who has taken a position at Lafayette College and to Holly Andersen who has accepted a job offer from Simon Fraser University! See here for more details about our placement record.

Jim Lennox discusses Charles Darwin's life and ideas on WRCT (88.3 FM Pittsburgh or, Tuesday Feb 10, 6-7pm.

Edouard Machery's book Doing without Concepts (OUP) has just been published! Buy it here or here. To celebrate the publication of this book, the Center for Philosophy of Science organizes a workshop with Barbara Malt and Jesse Prinz (Information here).

January, 2009:
Kyle Stanford (Irvine, Logic and Philosophy of Science) will be visiting the department of History and Philosophy of Science for the whole Spring Semester. Welcome!

The University of Pittsburgh, with the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and the Department of Philosophy, is ranked fourth in philosophy among American universities (see here), according to the influential Gourmet Report, and it is ranked first for the general philosophy of science (see here). Congratulations!

December, 2008:
Jim Lennox writes to the Wall Street Journal about Darwin and Wallace. Read the letter here.

November, 2008:
Congratulations to Peter Gildenhuys who is this year's winner of the Philosophy of Science Association's outstanding essay contest for graduate students! Peter was announced as the contest winner and was awarded his prize at the PSA 2008 meeting in Pittsburgh.

September, 2008:
Edouard Machery has recently been tenured and promoted. Congratulations!

Congratulations to our graduate student Holly Andersen who was recently awarded the International Student Fellowship to work at the Center for the Study of Mind in Nature at the University in Oslo.

August, 2008:
Welcome to our incoming class: Marcus Adams, Julia Bursten, Emi Iwatani, Elizabeth O'Neill, Kathryn Tabb!

July, 2008:
The Pittsburgh Tribune is reporting on Justin Sytsma winning the Williams James Prize at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for his article "Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience." More here.

Congratulations to our graduate students Justin Sytsma and Karen Zwier: Justin won the prestigious Williams James Prize for the best paper by a graduate student at the annual meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology for his paper "Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience" (June 2008) and Karen won a Graduate Student Travel Stipend for the meeting of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in December 2008!

Congratulations to Peter Gildenhuys, Yoichi Ishida, Catherine Stinson, and Sam Thomsen: Peter's paper "An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift" has been accepted by The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Yoichi's paper "Patterns, Models, and Predictions: Robert MacArthur's Approach to Ecology" has just been published in Philosophy of Science, Catherine's paper "Searching for the Source of Executive Attention" was shortlisted for the ESF's Consciousness in a Natural and Cultural Context Essay Award for Junior Scholars and will be published in Psyche, and Sam's paper "Some Evidence Concerning the Genesis of Shannon's Information Theory" is forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science.

June, 2008:
Congratulations to our graduate students Jonathan Livengood, Justin Sytsma, and Jonah Schupbach: Jonathan's article "Why was M.S. Tswett's chromatographic adsorption analysis rejected?" is forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Jonah's paper "Is the conjunction fallacy tied to probabilistic confirmation?" is forthcoming in Synthese, and Justin's paper "How to study intuitions about consciousness?" (with Edouard Machery) is forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology.


Academic Year 2007-2008:

May, 2008:
Der Spiegel Online published an essay by Sandy Mitchell on the ideas developed in her new book, Komplexitäten: Warum wir erst anfangen, die Welt zu verstehen. See announcement here.

March, 2008:
Sandy Mitchell's new book on understanding complexity will be published in March, 2008 by the German publisher Suhrkampf. The title is Komplexitäten: Warum wir erst anfangen, die Welt zu verstehen. More information here.

January, 2008:
John Earman and John Norton have been elected to the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences. Congratulations!

December, 2007:
The New York Times writes up Edouard Machery's contribution to experimental philosophy. See here.

September, 2007:
We welcome Professor Alan Chalmers (The Flinders University of South Australia, Philosophy) who will be visiting our department. Alan is currently writing a book called “The scientist’s atom and the philosopher’s stone: How science succeeded and philosophy failed to gain knowledge of atoms”.

Welcome to our incoming class: Aleta Quinn, Yoichi Ishida, and Elay Shech!

Congratulations to our graduate students Justin Sytsma, Jonathan Livengood, and Jason Byron: Justin has recently published “Neuroscience and theoretical psychology—What’s to worry about” with Peter Machamer in Theory & Psychology; Jonathan has just published "The folk probably don’t think what you think they think: Experiments on causation by absence" with Edouard Machery in the last volume of the Midwest Studies in Philosophy; and Jason has just published “Whence philosophy of biology?” in the last issue of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.


Academic Year 2006-2007:

May, 2007:
Job Placement 2007 - All four of our graduate students on the job market this year found a job! Congratulations to Zvi Biener (Western Michigan University), Brian Hepburn (University of British Columbia), Jackie Sullivan (Alabama), and Jim Tabery (Utah)!

March, 2007:
The 9th Carnegie Mellon University - University of Pittsburgh Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference will take place at Carnegie Mellon University, March 24, 2007. Michael Strevens (NYU) is the keynote speaker: CfP deadline: January 15. More information here.

February, 2007:
The Philosophy of Science Association has just elected four new members to the eight-member Governing Board. The four continuing members include Ken Schaffner (Pittsburgh, HPS) and Laura Ruetsche (Pittsburgh, Philosophy). The four newly elected members include John Norton (Pittsburgh, HPS), Sandra Mitchell (Pittsburgh, HPS) and Heather Douglas (HPS PhD). Congratulations.

September, 2006:
We welcome Laura Snyder (St John’s University, Philosophy) who will be visiting our department for the whole year 2006-2007. Laura has recently published Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society (University of Chicago Press).

September, 2006:
Welcome to our incoming class: Jason Byron, Peter Distelzweig, Michelle Gibbons, Karen Hauck, William Lebing, Bryan Roberts, and Jonah Schupbach!


Academic Year 2005-2006:

June, 2006:
Paolo Palmieri's experimental history. To better understand Galileo's work, Paolo replicates Galileo's pendulum experiments. Pics here. More information on Paolo's website.

June, 2006:
A pic from Julie Zahle, her husband, Jacob, and their beautiful baby, August in Copenhagen. Pic here.

April, 2006:
The 8th Carnegie Mellon University - University of Pittsburgh Annual Graduate Philosophy Conference will take place at the University of Pittsburgh, April 15, 2006 (David Lawrence Hall, room 104). Allan Gibbard (University of Michigan, webpage) is the keynote speaker: More information here.

Job Placement, 2006:
Ten for ten! Congratulations to our job candidates! This is an amazing year. Ten graduate students from our program were looking for a job and ten found a job!

Ingo Brigandt, hired by University of Alberta
AOS: Philosophy of Biology

Ari Duwell, hired by Montana.
AOS: Phliosophy of physics

Francesca DiPoppa, hired by Texas Tech.
AOS: Early Modern

Abel Franco, hired by Cal State-Northridge.
AOS: Early Modern

Doreen Fraser, hired by Waterloo.
AOS: Philosophy of Physics

Greg Frost-Arnold, hired by Nevada-Las Vegas.
AOS: History of analytic

Francis Longworth, hired by Ohio University.
AOS: General philosophy of science (esp. causation)

David Miller (Pitt HPS), post-doc at Yale
AOS: Early Modern

Wendy Parker, hired by Ohio University.
AOS: General philosophy of science (esp. modeling)

Christian Wüthrich, hired by UC-San Diego.
AOS: Philosophy of physics.

Like in previous years, our graduate students have done extremely well! See our full placement record. Moral: You want a job? Come to Pittsburgh!

January, 2006:
Welcome back, Ken!!
The philosopher of biology, medicine and psychiatry Kenneth F. Schaffner (M.D., Ph.D), has now joined our department. See pic.

December, 2005:
Justin M. Chalker, who majors in HPS and in Chemistry, has been named one of 32 recipients across the United States of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Congratulations! More information here.

December, 2005:
Jim Tabery has won the 2004 Philosophy of Science Graduate Student Essay prize for his paper “Synthesizing Activities and Interactions in the Concept of a Mechanism,” published in Philosophy of Science 2004 71(1): 1-15. Congratulations!

November, 2005:
HPS Faculty retreat: HPS faculty members go to the countryside, walk a bit in the woods, eat a lot, drink with the appropriate, philosophical temperance, and think hard! Pics here. More pics here.

September, 2005:
We keep our traditions. Another year, another occasion to have a good time. Some pics. Note the transmission of power from our former chair to our new chair.

September, 2005:
We honored Jim Lennox for his wonderful work as the Director of the Center for Philosophy of Science. John Norton will be the next Director, starting January 2006. See pics.

September, 2005:
Welcome to our new graduate students, Keith Bemer, Thomas Cunningham, Eric Hatleback, Elizabeth Irvine, and Catherine Stinson.

September, 2005:
Another year, another wine-and-cheese welcome party for our new graduate students. See pics.

August, 2005:
Megan Delehanty (director: Sandra Mitchell) has successfully defended her PhD Thesis, entitled “Empiricism and the Epistemic Status of Imaging Technologies.” Congratulations.

July, 2005:
Andrea Scarantino (co-directors: Peter Machamer and Paul Griffiths) has successfully defended his PhD Thesis, entitled “Explicating Emotions.” Congratulations.

July, 2005:
Welcome back, Ken!!
The philosopher of biology, medicine and psychiatry Kenneth F. Schaffner (M.D., Ph.D), currently University Professor of Medical Humanities and Professor of Philosophy at George Washington University, has accepted the offer by our department. He will be University Professor, effective January 2006. Ken is well-known for his work on reductionism, on the nature of theories and explanation in medicine and psychiatry, on the genetic determinants of behavior, etc. He is currently completing a book on the genetic basis of behavior for Oxford University Press and is the leading researcher in a National Science Foundation funded project entitled “Conceptual and Social History of Behavioral Genetics: 1960-2000 (and beyond).” We are all thrilled!

June, 2005:
Erik Angner (adviser: Peter Machamer) and Alan C. Love (adviser: Jim Lennox) have successfully defended their dissertation, entitled respectively "Subjective Measures of Well-Being: A Philosophical Examination" and "Explaining Evolutionary Innovation and Novelty: A Historical and Philosophical Study of Biological Concepts". Congratulations.

May, 2005:
Uljana Feest is the winner of the ESHHS/JHBS Early Career award. Uljana is now at Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, where she has been since taking her PhD from the department of History and Philosophy of science in 2003. Congratulations.

April, 2005:
Barry M. Goldwater Scholaship Received
The Department wishes to congratulate two of its undergraduate majors: Mr. Justin Chalker and Ms. Anna Quider, both of whom won Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships.  Mr Chalker is double major, HPS jointly with Chemistry, and Ms. Quider doubles her HPS with Physics and Astronomy.

Feb, 2005:
Job Placement, 2005
Congratulations to our job candidates! Like in previous years, they did extremely well! See our full placement record.

Erik Angner (AOS: philosophy of economics & social sciences) has been hired by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Philosophy, Economics, tenure-track).
Megan Delehanty (AOS: philosophy of biology) has been hired by the University of Calgary (Philosophy, tenure-track).
Alan Love (AOS: philosophy of biology) has been hired by UC Santa Cruz (Philosophy, tenure-track).
Wendy Parker (AOS: general philosophy of science) has been hired by UC-San Diego (Science Studies program, post-doc).
Gualtiero Piccinini (AOS: Philosophy of mind & psychology) has been hired by the University of Missouri - St. Louis (Philosophy, tenure-track)
Andrea Scarantino (AOS: philosophy of mind) has been hired by Georgia State University (Philosophy, Brains & Behavior program, tenure-track).

9-10 April, 2005:
The Seventh Annual Pitt/CMU Graduate Student Conference
The deadline for submission is fast approaching.

February 11-12, 2005:
Einstein 1905: A Centennial Celebration!
We celebrate the centenary of of Einstein's annus mirabilis, 1905. In that year, he established the size and reality of atoms; enunciated the special theory of relativity and E=mc2; and proposed the light quantum. See program. See Pictures.


Academic Year 2004-2005:

October 28, 2004:
Welcome Lunch for Edouard Machery. Yet Another Happy HPS Occasion. See Pics.

October 1-3, 2004:
Being, Nature and Life: A Conference Celebrating Allan Gotthelf's Contributions to the study of Classical Philosophy and Science. See Pics.

September 11, 2004:
Another year, another HPS Beginning of the year party. This time, the main event was an HPS trivia challenge. See the pictures. Take the challenge.

June 5, 2004:
Doreen's and John's Baby Shower.


Academic Year 2003-2004:

A new book by Sandra Mitchell

Biological Complexity and Integrative Pluralism

This collection of essays by a leading philosopher of science defends integrative pluralism as the best description for today's complexity of scientific inquiry. The tendency of some scientists to reduce all theories to a few fundamental laws of the most basic particles that populate our universe is not appropriate for the biological sciences, which study multi-component, multi-level, evolved complex systems. This book will be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science.

Paolo Palmieri joins the department!

Assistant Professor. Paolo has an eclectic background. For some time he worked as an engineer trying to make Ferrari Formula One cars run faster. Since he was not terribly successful he thought that the history and philosophy of science would be the next logical step in his career. Engineers have recourse to funny logics sometimes. Thus he explored the possibility of explaining Galileo's theory of tides according to a model he had developed to investigate the dynamics of fuel sloshing within Formula One tanks. This time he was terribly successful. Finally, he managed to earn a PhD and convince the Pitt folks to hire him.