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::: center home >> news >> 2014-15 annual review

Director's 2014-15 Annual Review
August 2015


In This Review

This Past Year

     The Center Community                          

    Annual Lecture Series
Lunchtime Colloquium

Other Business

This Past Year

People and the Office

Joe McCaffrey

In addition to our permanent staff—-Karen, Joyce and Cheryl—-each year we also have a half-time graduate student working in the Center. This past year that position was held by Joe McCaffrey, a graduate student working the Department of HPS.

Joe proved to be an invaluable addition to our staff. Fellows could be excused for not realizing that his work in the Center was not his real work. Joe’s thoughts are really in problems of epistemology in cognitive neuroscience. He worries a lot about functional localization in neuroimaging (If you don’t know that that is, ask Joe!). Next year, Joe will continue work on his dissertation. He is to be congratulated for securing a fellowship for the year from the Josephine De Karman Fellowship Trust.




Our Senior Visiting Fellow, this past year, was Bill Bechtel. The senior fellow has a difficult task. It is to provide a cohesiveness to the year’s cohort of Fellows and, especially, to mentor the more junior ones. Bill simply excelled at this. He is a natural collaborator who loves helping people and working with others. The year provided a perfect opportunity for him. We have a regular reading group meeting once a week. This was not enough for Bill. He organized further regular meetings with Fellows and graduate students with a special focus on sustaining ongoing research programs. I got quite used to wandering past our lounge, glancing in and seeing a group in ernest discussion and debate. I’d drift in to grab a cup of coffee and linger at the pot to listen in. Here, I was always pleased to find, was philosophy of science discussed as it should be: in an open, creative and collaborative spirit.

This group was remarkable in another aspect: we had no vegetarians. This is, perhaps, no badge of honor for the group. However it did mean that I could bring a wider selection of food to our meetings and explore the limits of just what was acceptable. I did find the limits, as reported here.



This year marked the end our of first year of glassboards in the Center. They are fixed to the wall outside each office; and each incoming Fellow is given a set of pens and a vague suggestion that they are to be used on the board. All this is an attempt to change the feeling of our otherwise rather dreary hallways. Through them, each Fellow’s ideas can spill out into the hallway and spark connections.

There’s no need for me to report in too much detail. I’ve been tracking our progress in various “donuts” pages here and here.

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome. The glass boards have enlivened our hallways a lot. There were some Fellows who found it too hard to use their boards regularly. Others proved to be quite creative, such as using the board for an impromptu survey.

It was also great to see the staff fully engaging. We learned a lot about what occupies their thoughts.


I never did get a satisfactory answer to my dice question.

If anyone has the answer, do let me know.


For the Bears

This past year was the Year of Sustainability in the University. While perhaps not achieving much in concrete terms, we played our part in consciousness raising. Many, many cups of coffee are drunk in the Center and almost all are from disposable cups. We replaced as many as we could with reusable ceramic mugs. Anyone who wanted one had to ask. It would become theirs to watch over and keep clean. To drive home the sustainability lesson, each mug was awarded with a ceremonial swearing of an oath on a baby polar bear, as reported here and here.



Conferences & Events

Our full schedule of events is listed below.

It was, once again, a busy year. I will not try to do justice to all the conferences, lectures and talks here. There are more details below. Several events do, however, stand out as especially noteworthy. Jim Bogen has been a wonderful addition to philosophers of science here in Pittsburgh. It was a real pleasure to see a conference devoted explicitly to thanking him and honoring him.

Bill Bechtel had elected to work on a conference on diagrams in science during his visit here. During the course of the year as his preparations continued, discussions had turned time and again to the topic. We wanted to think about diagrams as much as we could in preparation for the conference. When it came, we were ready, as I report here.

The conference that left a strong impression was Serife Tekin and Katie Tabb’s “Early Career Scholars Conference . . . .” There were two things I especially liked.

First, the conference was explicitly for early career scholars. In practice, I have always encouraged conference organizers to focus on younger scholars. They need the exposure of a conference and also benefit most from them. For the same reason, I like open call conferences, since they open our doors to speakers about whom we might otherwise not know. All that is tacit. Strife and Katie put the words “early career” in their conference title.

Second, they held a very successful poster session. This was the first one I’d had a chance to watch more closely. It was carried out very well, as I report in the donuts page.



Click on names in blue to visit each scholar's web page.


John D. Norton
Director (1 Jan 2006 - present)
Adolf Grünbaum
Nicholas Rescher
Robert Batterman
Associate Director (1 Sept 2010 - 31 August 2015)
Michael Caie (Feb 2015 - present)
Associate Director
Peter Machamer
Associate Director (1 Sept 1999 - present)
Edouard Machery (Jan 2015 - present)
Associate Director
James Woodward
Associate Director (1 Sept 2010 - present)

Changes are underway among our Officers. Bob Batterman becomes Chair of the Department of Philosophy in September 2015. So his term as an Associate Director ends then. Has already been replaced by Michael Caie from the Department of Philosophy. His term began in February. Edouard Machery also joined the Officers as an Associate Director in January.

The Annual Lecture Series Committee was chaired by Giovanni Valente, Department of Philosophy and had members:

Robert Batterman, Dept. of Philosophy
Edouard Machery,
Dept. of HPS
Sandra Mitchell
, Dept. of HPS
Japa Pallikkathayil, Dept. of Philosophy
Kathryn Tabb, HPS & Phil graduate student sponsor
John Norton, Department of HPS & Director, Center for Philosophy of Science

News from the Officers

Adolf Grünbaum

Following the 2013 publication of Vol. I of my Collected Works by Oxford University Press in New York City, Volumes II and III are scheduled for publication in 2016.

Vol. II is devoted to my writings on the Philosophy of Physics and of Space-Time; Vol. III will contain my lectures on the Philosophy of Psychology and Psychoanalysis, including my 1985 Gifford Lectures.

Also, the dust jacket of Vol. I features the following tribute by New York Times writer Jim Holt in his 2012 book Why Does the World Exist?:  “In the philosophical world, Grünbaum is a man of immense stature. He is arguably the greatest living philosopher of science.”

Edouard Machery was the recipient of the Clark Way Harrison Visiting Professorship at Washington University in St. Louis (Spring 2015) and benefited from the support of a grant awarded by the Fuller Theological Seminary / Thrive Center in concert with the John Templeton Foundation (“Intellectual Humility and Cultural Diversity in Philosophy: An examination of the extent and implications of cultural diversity in philosophical intuition,” 2013-1015). He remains the Editor of the Naturalistic Section of Philosophy Compass. He edited the 2014 issue of the Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication, Volume 9: Perception and concepts (http://newprairiepress.org/biyclc/) with Jesse Prinz, and published three articles in philosophy journals, including "In defense of reverse inference" in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (volume 65). Two of his graduate students (Elizabeth O’Neill and Greg Gandenberger) defended their dissertation and were successful on the job market.

John D. Norton

My research over the past year has been mostly in inductive inference. In the Fall, I worked on a chapter on inference to the best explanation for my book on inductive inference. The approach is deflationary. In many examples drawn from real science, I cannot find any special relation of explanation with the capacity to power inductive support.

That chapter was left unfinished when I fell into a new result on calculi of inductive inference: there is no non-trivial calculus of inductive inference that is complete. The result is, in the end, not so deep. But it needs to be said since the formal literature on inductive inference focusses almost exclusively on what formal approaches can do. It remains essentially silent on what they cannot do. Here is a clearly articulated, principled limitation. Papers here.

As I write this, I am preparing for a summer school that I will teach in Tuebingen in July 2015 on the topic of idealization, mostly in statistical physics. I’ve written a new paper for it on reversible processes in thermodynamics. It is a topic urgently in need of clarification. In reviewing nearly 200 years of writing on reversible processes, I could find only one account that I judged acceptable. Mostly they are internally contradictory.

You will find papers on the incompleteness of induction, on reversible process and more on my website at


A milestone: Since 2006, Don Howard and I have been the co-conveners of “&HPS,” the Committee in Integrated History and Philosophy of Science. The committee’s first conference, &HPS1, was held here in 2007, &HPS2 was held at the University of Notre Dame; &HPS3 was held at Indiana University; &HPS4 was held at the University of Athens (Greece); and &HPS5 at the Institute Vienna Circle (Austria). This summer Don and I stepped down and handed over to a newly formed Executive Committee, chaired by Hasok Chang. They will, we are sure, carry &HPS to even greater heights.

One further, unexpected milestone: this past year I was promoted to Distinguished Professor. While it still seems undeserved, I am quite moved that my colleagues sought the promotion. My thanks to them once again.

Nicholas Rescher

During the last academic year three new books by Nicholas Rescher saw the light of print:

  • METAPHILOSOPHY (Lexington Books: Boulder-New York-London, 2014).
  • LOGICAL INQUIRIES (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2014).
  • VAGARIES OF VALUE: BASIC ISSUES IN VALUE THEORY (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 2014).

      And there also appeared an Italian translation of his work on Leibnizian cryptography: LEIBNIZ E LA CRITTOGRAFIA (Pisa: Edizioni della Morale, 2014).

      His 2010 Lexington Press book entitled AXIOGENESIS: AN ESSAY IN METAPHYSICAL OPTIMALISM was short-listed for the Findley Prize of the Metaphysical Society of America.

      And a new book on his philosophy was published in Germany: Wulf Kellerwessel, NICHOLAS RESCHER: DAS PHILOSOPHISCHE SYSTEM (Frankfurt: De Gruyter, 2014).

Center Staff News

Karen Kovalchick

I have two newsworthy items to report this year. First, there is a new addition to our household. A Bullmastiff puppy! Tess arrived in late July, and is now almost 3 months old. She is real handful, not least of all because she is extremely intelligent. She figured out how to unlatch her crate the very first night, so it now has a lock on it. But I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she’s been taking lock-picking classes on the sly.

Second, I will retire at the end of this year. It will be a wrench after coming into the Cathedral of Learning every day (well, 90% of those days) for the past 41 years. But the Center won’t be quite rid of me entirely since I plan to come into Oakland at least once a month, and will certainly stop by to haunt the place.

Cheryl Greer

Cheryl has had a personally rather boring year, but has of course been keenly gripped by the past year's ongoing York v. Lancaster scuffle regarding the reburial rites for Richard III's remains. Alas, the Yorkists lost yet anther round.

But now that the dust has settled and R3 at long last laid to rest, Cheryl plans a trip to the UK this fall to pay her respects and tour Bosworth field and Yorkshire.

Joyce McDonald

If you visited in the late nineties, you might remember me talking about my children or leaving the Center early for soccer games or school activities. Finally, Ryan, the youngest, will get married in October. Planning this event is a little different than a Center conference but I’m enjoying the fun and adding another daughter to the family. No big vacation plans this year since we’re co-hosting a large wedding reception for two big families and close friends at a lovely barn in the Ligonier foothills when trees will be in peak color. Watch for “people” pictures next year. ​


The Center's Pet-Centric Quiz!

Visitors come and go at the Center, but one thing is always the same: the Center staff love their pets! In honor of an especially pet-centric year, we have a challenge for you!

Can you match the pets below with their Center Staff family?? (Answers will be given at the very, very bottom of this page.)

Staff: John, Karen, Cheryl, Joyce



The Center Community

Here I report news from the Center community. To find the specifics of papers and books mentioned, please visit the particular scholar's website elsewhere on this website.

Resident, Visiting, and Postdoctoral Fellows

2014-15 Visiting Fellows

Joshua Alexander, Fall Term
“The Cognitive Science of Disagreement”
Siena College, United States

William Bechtel, Senior VF Academic Year
University of California, San Diego

Ingo Brigandt, Fall Term
“Standards, Aims, and Values: An Account of Explanation in Biology”
University of Alberta, Canada

Karim Bschir, Fall Term
“Qualitative Uncertainty in Science – The Case of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern Approach in Health Risk Assessment”
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland

Christian Damböck, Spring Term
"Carnap’s Aufbau as influenced by the Dilthey-school"
Institute Vienna Circle, Austria

Zoe Drayson, Spring Term
“Cognition, Representation and Explanation”
University of Stirling, United Kingdom

Nicholaos Jones, Fall Term
“Network Diagrams in Systems Biological Practice”
University of Alabama at Huntsville, United States

Wayne Myrvold, Spring Term
Probabilities in Statistical Mechanics”
University of Western Ontario, Canada

Raphael Scholl, Academic Year
“From a Causal Point of View: Rethinking Confirmation, Discovery, Realism and Theory Change in the Biomedical Sciences”
University of Bern, Switzerland

Hamid Seyedsayamdost, Spring Term
"Reproducibility of Empirical Findings"
University of London, LSE, United Kingdom


2014-15 Postdoctoral Fellows

Sara Green
Aarhus University, Denmark
Representational Strategies for Dealing with Complexity in the Life Sciences

Maria Serban
University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
Emergentist Explanations of Cognition


Christain Damöck, Raphael Scholl, Wayne Myrvold, Zoe Drayson, Sara Green, and Karim Bschir at CLMPS 2015 in Helsinki.


News from Resident Fellows

Mazviita Chirimuuta

My news is that my book has just been published:

Outside Color: Perceptual Science and the Puzzle of Color in Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

And I’ve also edited a special issue on color for the journal Minds and Machines
I presented a colloquium on my color research at the Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science in April, and have talks coming up at UCLA and University of Pennsylvania. 

Sandra Mitchell

Refereed Journal Articles:
“Why after 50 Years are Protein X-ray Crystallographers Still in Business?” with Angela M. Gronenborn, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, forthcoming.

“Multilevel Research Strategies and Biological Systems”, with Maureen A. O’Malley, Ingo Brigandt, Alan C. Love, John W. Crawford, Jack A. Gilbert, Rob Knight, and Forest Rohwer, Philosophy of Science, pp. 811-828, 2014.

Book Chapters:
“Modes of Explanation: Complex Phenomena”, in M. Lissack and A. Graber (eds.) Modes of Explanation: Affordances for Action and Prediction, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014.

2014, Medal of the Università Campus Bio-Medico di Roma

Elected President of the Philosophy of Science Association 2016-2018

News from Past Fellows


Joshua Alexander

I have the following papers forthcoming:

"Thought Experiments, Mental Models, and Experimental Philosophy." To appear in J. Nado (ed.), Experimental Philosophy and Philosophical Methodology, Continuum Press.

"Philosophical Expertise." To appear in J. Sytsma and W. Buckwalter (eds), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell.

"Experimental Philosophy – A Short Introduction." To appear in J. Horvath (ed), Methods in Analytic Philosophy: A Contemporary Reader, Bloomsbury Press.

Waterman, J., C. Gonnerman, and J. Alexander. (forthcoming). "Knowledge, Subjective Certainty, and Philosophical Skepticism: A Cross-Cultural Study." To appear in E. McCready, M. Mizumoto, J. Stanley, and S. Stich (eds), Epistemology for the Rest of the World, Oxford University Press.

Yuichi Amitani


  • Amitani, Y. (2015) ``The natural frequency hypothesis and evolutionary arguments,'' Mind & Society 14(1): 1-19 DOI: 10.1007/s11299-014-0155-7
  • Amitani, Y. (in press) ``Prototypical Reasoning about Species and the Species Problem,'' Biological Theory. DOI: 10.1007/s13752-015-0204-4
    (The penultimate version available at PhilSci Archive:

``Species Without Definitions --- Applying Psychology to Resolve the Species Problem,'' Cognitive Science of Science: Kazimierz Naturalist Workshop 2014, Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, August 2014

Pierluigi Barrotta

I have been working on a book entitled "Science, values, and democratic societies.  A pragmatist approach". I have presented some basic ideas of mine on this subject in the international conference "Paradoxes of Conflicts", organized by "International Association for the Studies of Controversies" (the conference was held in Lecce, on December 2-4, 2014), and in the workshop "Oggettività, disaccordo, pluralismo" (Venice, April 17), organized by the Dept. of Philosophy, University Ca' Foscari, Venice. I edited the book "Scienza e valori. Il bello, il buono, il vero" (Armando, Roma 2014), which includes my paper "Scienza e democrazia. Un punto di vista pragmatista", pp. 43-68. My paper "Hume's Law' and the Ideal of Value-Free Science" will be published by the journal "Philosophical Inquiries" (Sept. 2015).

Claus Beisbart

New publications:

“Are We Sims? How Computer Simulations Represent, and What this Means for the Simulation Argument”, The Monist 97/3 (2014, special issue edited by P. Humphreys), pp. 399-417

“Good Just Isn't Good Enough: Humean Chances and Boltzmannian Statistical Physics”, erscheint in: M.C. Galavotti et al. (eds.), New Directions in the Philosophy of Science, The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective 5, Springer, Berlin etc. 2014, pp. 511-529, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-04382-1 36

“Voting Power and Probability”, in: R. Fara, D. Leech und M. Salles (eds.), Voting Power and Procedures, Springer, Berlin etc. 2014, pp. 97-116

Since January 2015, I'm one of the co-editors of the Journal for General Philosophy of Science.

Marta Bertolaso

I have received the Italian Abilitazione Nazionale for Associate Professor in Philosophy of Science (SSD: M-Fil02)

Promoted and leading the Bio-Techno-Practice Project: www.biotechnopractice.org

In addition, Marta reports ten new articles and several book chapters which you may read on her web page here.

Andreas Blank

Recent publications:

“Domingo de Soto on Justice to the Poor.” Intellectual History Review 25 (2015): 133–146.
“Mary Astell on Flattery and Self-Esteem.” The Monist 98 (2015): 53–63.
“Domingo de Soto on Doubts, Presumptions, and Noncomparative Justice.” History of Philosophy Quarterly 32 (2015): 1–18.
“Wittgenstein on Aspect Blindness and Meaning Blindness” (with Ohad Nach-tomy). Iyyun. The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 64 (2015): 43–62.
“Nicolaus Taurellus on Forms and Elements.” Science in Context 27 (2014): 659–682.
“Material Causes and Incomplete Entities in Gallego de la Serna’s Theory of Animal Generation.” In The Life Sciences in Early Modern Philosophy. Edited by Ohad Nachtomy and Justin Smith. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, 117–136.

Ingo Brigandt

In October 2014, while I was at the Center, it was publicly announced that I have been appointed a Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Biology (as of April 2014, at the University of Alberta).

Conference presentations directly growing out my research project at the Center are two upcoming talks in two sessions at the July 2015 meeting of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology. These are a session together with 2014­–2015 Center fellows William Bechtel and Sara Green on ‘Modeling in systems biology: simplicity versus completeness,’ and a double session on ‘Social and epistemic values in evolution.’

Ingo also reports several articles in review, which you may read on his web page here.

Lindley Darden

Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden's In Search of Mechanisms:  Discoveries Across the Life Sciences (University of Chicago Press, October 2013) was chosen as one of "Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles 2014: Top 25 Books.”


Heather Douglas

The year has been a full one.  Here are the latest publications:
 “Reshaping science: The trouble with the corporate model in Canadian government” (2015), Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, vol. 71, pp. 88-97.
“Politics & Science: Untangling Values, Ideologies, and Reasons” (2015), The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 658, pp. 296-306.
“Values in Social Science” (2014), Philosophy of Social Science: A New Introduction, Nancy Cartwright & Eleonora Montuschi (eds.), London: Oxford University Press, pp. 162-182.
"Scientific Integrity in a Politicized World” (2014), Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Congress, Peter Schroeder-Heister, Gerhard Heinzmann, Wilfrid Hodges, & Pierre Edouard Bour (eds.), London: College Publications, pp. 253-268.
I also organized a group around Science & Technology in Society Teaching here at Waterloo:  https://sciencetechnologyinsociety.wordpress.com

Finally, the big excitement was going to New Zealand last August to speak at the first Science Advice to Governments conference, which brought together science advisors from all over the world. ( https://uwaterloo.ca/science-technology-society/news/science-advice-governments. )  I wrote three essays about the event, which you may find links to here.

Stoyanov Drozdstoj

In 2015 I have been included as a project partner in the Collaborating Center for Values Based Practice in Health and Social Care, St. Catherine's College, University of Oxford.
Based on our theory of trans-disciplinary validity  as conceived in Pittsburgh, we have developed and implemented  an original fMRI experimental paradigm for translational validation across neuroscience and psychopathology in association with the Universities of Bergen (Norway) and Basel (Switzerland). This model underpinned a major successful project for establishment of Research Complex for Translational Neuroscience at the Medical University in Plovdiv, Bulgaria to incorporate the first and only fMRI equipment in the region, designated exclusively for scientific research. 
My new representative publications are:

1.     Zachar, P., Stoyanov, D. S., Aragona, M., & Jablensky, A. (Eds.), 2014.Alternative perspectives on psychiatric validation: DSM, IDC, RDoC, and Beyond. Oxford University Press.
2.       Stoyanov, D. (Ed., Foreword by J. Parnas), 2015. Towards New Philosophy of Mental Health, Perspectives from Neuroscience and Humanities, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

John Erpenbeck

Here are my last book-publications:

  1. Digital published book: Hörz, H., Röseberg, U.: Dialektik der Natur und der Naturerkenntnis (this book was ready for publishing 1989; after the breakdown of the DDR and the so called German reunification it was eliminated; this edition is a reconstruction out of the page proofs from 1989, scanned by K.W.Fleming for the 80.th birthday of Herbert Hörz. Berlin (2015)
  2. Die Kompetenzkatastrophe. Eine Streitschrift. (together with W.Sauter) Heidelberg (2015)

Melinda Fagan

I took up my new position at the University of Utah (Associate Professor, Sterling McMurrin Chair), and am delighted with both my new colleagues and living in the mountains!  I received a Scholar’s Award from the National Science Foundation, to further develop the project on ‘Collaborative Explanation’ that I began as a Center Fellow in 2013.  This research will be the basis for a second book, to be written over the next couple of years. 

I published several articles and book chapters, with three more in press.  One of these is my paper for the 2013 Eastern APA (Collaborative explanation and biological mechanisms), part of an invited symposium on Explanation in Scientific Practice organized by Joseph Rouse.  Symposium papers by myself and Andrea Woody, and commentary by Alan Love, have been published together as a Special Section of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (online May 2015).

See Melinda’s other papers and talks on her web page here.

Brigitte Falkenburg

For three years I was alone in philosophy at my university, the TU
Dortmund (Germany). The other philosophy chairs were vacant and I was
involved in never-ending committees. I was absolutely overloaded and
therefore I did not update any news for a couple of years. Here are my
publications since 2012.  Brigitte lists a book and ten new papers on her web page here.

Carrie Figdor

Spent the summer as a Visiting Scholar at the Eidyn Research Centre, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. June-August 2015 and was awarded an Arts & Humanities Initative grant (University of Iowa), PI. Project title: Mechanisms of dehumanization by cognitively impaired subjects in virtual Milgram conditions.

Recent publications:

“On the Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates” (forthcoming). Synthese.

“Is Free Will Necessary for Moral Responsibility?  A case for rethinking their relationship and the design of experimental studies in moral psychology” (forthcoming). With Mark Phelan. Mind & Language.

“Experimental Philosophy and the Underrepresentation of Women in Philosophy” (forthcoming). With Matt L. Drabek. In W. Buckwalter and J. Sytsma, eds., A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, Wiley-Blackwell.

John Forge

Still unable to time travel backward, Forge remains retired. He has published a bit, including "The Case Against Weapons Research".  International Journal of Technoethics. 5, 2014.  Forge also has a website, moralitymatters.net, which has a blog of commentaries on mostly Australian current affairs that, in his view, requires some comment by a philosopher.

Alvin Goldman

Goldman, Alvin (2014).  "Social Process Reliabilism: Solving Justification Problems in Collective Epistemology," in J. Lackey, ed., Essays in Collective Epistemology, pp. 11-41.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.  

Goldman, Alvin (2015).  "Naturalizing Metaphysics with the Help of Cognitive Science," in K. Bennett and D. Zimmerman, eds., Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, vol. 9, pp. 171-213.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Goldman, Alvin and McGrath, Matthew (2015).  Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction.  New York: Oxford University Press.

Selected as co-winner (with Jennifer Lackey) of the 2015 Lebowitz Prize, sponsored by the American Philosophical Association and the Phi Beta Kappa Society.   The two winners will present papers at the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, on the topic for which the award was conferred:  Social Epistemology. 

Wenceslao Gonzalez

Recent books as author:
Gonzalez, W. J., Philosophico-Methodological Analysis of Prediction and its Role in Economics, Springer, Dordrecht, 2015.

Among his recent papers is:
Gonzalez, W. J., “Prediction and Prescription in Biological Systems: The Role of Technology for Measurement and Transformation,” in Bertolaso, M. (ed.), The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’, Pickering and Chatto, London, 2015, pp. 133-146 and 209-213.

Gonzalez has been the invited speaker for the “Leonard Lecture” at the University of Nevada at Reno (November 10, 2014). He delivered the Leonard Lecture on “Rethinking the limits of science: From the difficulties regarding the frontiers to the concern for the confines.”  He has organized a conference at the University of A Coruña on 12-13 March 2015 with the Society of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science in Spain. The topic was “Approaches to Scientific Method: Pluralism versus Reductionism.”  He is also co-editor of a new series of Springer: European Studies in Philosophy of Science.  Currently, Wenceslao is organizing the Congress of the International Academy for Philosophy of Sciences (AIPS/IAPS) at the University of A Coruña (September 2015).

Nicholaos Jones

I had three publications in 2014-2015:

"Bowtie Structures, Pathway Diagrams, and Topological Explanation," Erkenntnis 79.5 (2014), 1135-1155.

"An Atheistic Argument from Ugliness" (with Scott Aikin), European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7.1 (2015).

"A Principles-based Model of Ethical Considerations in Military Decision Making (with Gregory Reed, Mikel Petty, and others), Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation, in press.

Hylarie Kochiras

I am now a citizen of the Hellenic Republic. 

“Newton’s Absolute Time”, for Time and Tense, ed. S. Gerogiorgakis; Munich: Philosophia Publ. (forthcoming)

“The General Scholium and Newton’s Mechanical Philosophy”, for book on Newton’s General Scholium, ed. Snobelen, Mandelbrote, and Ducheyne (forthcoming).

See Hylarie’s web page here for recent presentations.

Douglas Kutach

An article I wrote in 2013 while at the Center, "Ontology: An Empirical Fundamentalist Approach," was accepted for publication last year and should be appearing any day now in "Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics." This article demonstrates for the nth time how Empirical Fundamentalism succeeds at identifying the core issue that other philosophical methodologies fail to recognize.

P.D. Magnus

* With Ron McClamrock. ‘Friends with benefits! Distributed cognition hooks up cognitive and social conceptions of science.’ Philosophical Psychology. 2014.
* ‘Epistemic categories and causal kinds.’ Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 48(B): 263-266. Decemeber 2014.
* ‘Science and rationality for one and all.’ Ergo. 1(5): 129–138. November 2014.
* with Jason D’Cruz. ‘Are digital images allographic?’ Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. 72(4): 417–427. Fall 2014.
* ‘NK≠HPC.’ Philosophical Quarterly. 64(256): 471–477. July 2014.

Storrs McCall

This past year I published “The Consistency of Arithmetic and Other Essays”, with Oxford University Press.

Nancy Nersessian

2014 was a year of big changes. I "retired" from Georgia Tech in order to become a "free agent" and focus mainly on research. My plan is off to a good start with a position as Research Associate at Harvard University, as my base, enabling me to move back to my "hometown" of Boston (in time for the "historic" snowfall).

Publication highlights since my last update can be found on my webpage here.

Cailin O’Connor

In the last year, I've had four papers published, and two more accepted for publication.  The Evolution of Vagueness was published in Erkenntnis.  Evolving Perceptual Categories and Ambiguity is Kinda Good, Sometimes were published in Philosophy of Science.  David Lewis in the Lab was published in Synthese (though has yet to appear in print).  Evolving to Generalize will appear in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.  And Power, Bargaining, and Collaboration will appear in an edited volume by Boyer, Mayo-Wilson, and Weisberg entitled "Scientific Collaboration and Collective Knowledge".  In addition, I've given or scheduled 15 talks during this period, published several popular articles and book reviews, and have visiting positions both at the Center and at the LSE scheduled.  I also was an organizer for the Perspectives on Gender Conference at UC Irvine last fall.

Lisa Osbeck

Osbeck, L., & Held, B. (2014) (Eds).  Rational intuition: Philosophical roots, scientific investigations.  New York: Cambridge University Press. 

Osbeck, L. (2015). Pragmatism in the clinic:  A review of “A Metaphysics of Psychopathology” by Peter Zachar. PsycCritiques, 60(1), Article 7

Malone, K., & Osbeck, L. (2015).  Allies in interdisciplinary spaces: Theoretical psychology and science studies.  In J. Martin, J. Sugarman, & K. Slaney (Eds.), The Wiley handbook of theoretical and philosophical psychology: Methods, approaches, and new directions for social sciences, pp. 327-342. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Osbeck, L. (2014). Scientific reasoning as sense-making: Implications for qualitative inquiry.  Qualitative Psychology, 1(1), 34-46.

Helmut Pape

At present (1.1. - 30.6. 2015) he is visting fellow at the Humboldt University zu Berlin in the Cluster of Excellence EXC264 TOPOI, The Formation and Transformation of Space and Knowledge in Ancient Civilisations.

Peirce. Zur Einführung, 2015, 2nd revised and enlarged edition.

“How to Share Truth in Dialogues. Peirce’s Speculative Rhetoric of Assertions and the Completeness of Semiotics”, completed and presently reviewed by the referee’s of “Transactions of the C. S. Peirce Society.

“How Pragmatism Connects Objectivity and Solidarity. On Rescher’s Methodological Pragmatism”, completed.

Book Project, working title:   Why Ethics fails When Human Life Succeeds.

Massimo Pauri

1) Massimo Pauri:  Physics, Free Will, and Temporality in the Open World; Chapter of the Book:  "Quantum Physics Meets The Philosophy of Mind - New Essays on the Mind-Body Relation in the Quantum-Theoretical Perspective",A.Corradini & U.Meixner eds., De Gruyter, Philosophical Analyses Series,ISSN 2198-2066;  pp.135-62, 2014.

2) Luca Lusanna and Massimo Pauri: “On the transition from the quantum to the classical regime for massive scalar particles: A spatiotemporal  approach,” Eur. Phys. J.Plus (2014) 129: 178;  DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2014-14178-y.

Beth Preston

My book came out with Routledge at the end of 2012:

Beth Preston. A Philosophy of Material Culture: Action, Function, and Mind. New York: Routledge, 2012.

Another recent article that might be of interest to the Center's affiliates is:

Beth Preston. "Synthetic Biology as Red Herring." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Part C: 
Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. Volume 44, Issue 4, Part B, December 2013: 649–659.

Collin Rice

I finished several papers this year including “Concepts as Pluralistic Hybrids”, which is forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. I have also just completed a paper on how we can acquire factive understanding from models that fail to accurately represent real-world systems. I am currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Irvine in the Logic and Philosophy of Science department. While in Irvine, I am writing a paper that critiques decompositional approaches to modeling and idealization and argues for a new holistic account of the roles idealizations play within scientific models. This paper is part of a larger book project I have started working on concerning modeling, idealization and explanation. Next summer I will be visiting the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität in Munich. 

Stéphanie Ruphy

Stéphanie Ruphy is currently Professor of Philosophy of Science at Grenoble Alpes University in France, where she is also head of the research team PPL (Philosophie, pratiques et langages). This past year, she gave two keynote talks, one in Tilburg at the 8th Munich-Sydney-Tilburg Conference in Philosophy of Science on Objectivity in Science and one in Ghent at the international workshop “Feminist Philosophy of Science. Recent publications include “SMT or TOFT? How two main theories of carcinogenesis are made (artificially) incompatible” (with B. Bedessem), Acta Biotheorica, forthcoming 2015 and the invited review paper “Computer simulations: a new mode of scientific inquiry?”, in The Role of Technology in Science – Philosophical Perspectives, S.O. Hansson (Ed.), Springer, 2015, 131-146.  She co-edited Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA2013 Helsinki, Springer, 2015. She coordinates the 2015-2018 project DEMOCRASCI (Epistemological foundations and principles for the democratization of science) with partners in Durham University, Hannover University and University of Montreal.
New website: stephanieruphy.com

Federica Russo

- Illari P. and Russo F. (2014) Causality: Philosophical Theory Meets Scientific Practice. Oxford University Press.
- Russo F. (2014) “What invariance is and how to test for it.”  International Studies in Philosophy of Science, 28(2), 157-183.

- AHRC Standard Grant 2015-18; “Evaluating mechanisms in medicine”; collaborative research between the University of Kent, University College London, and the University of Amsterdam

Howard Sankey

In 2014, I participated in the Rotman Summer Institute on Causal Powers at the University of Western Ontario (late June and early July).  In July, I presented a talk at the retirement symposium for Paul Hoyningen-Huene at the University of Hanover.

In addition, the following publications appeared since my last update:

‘Scientific Realism and Basic Common Sense’, Kairos 10 (2014), 11-24.

‘Relativism, Particularism and Reflective Equilibrium’, Journal for General Philosophy of Science 45 (2014), 281-292.

Samuel Schindler

My biggest achievement this year was the successful application for a Sapere Aude Starting Grant from the Danish Council of Independent Research, worth ca. 900K EUR. It will allow me to lead a research group consisting of two postdocs and a PhD student. The project is on Intuitions in Science and Philosophy.

At the PSA 2014 I organized a symposium on ‘The Scientific Method revisited’, which included N. Cartwright, E. Sober, C. Glymour, and I. Votsis. I also gave papers at a conference on realism in Cape Town and the &HPS5 in Vienna.

Four papers of mine were published. You can find them here. My latest paper (on scientific discovery) has just appeared in the new free access journal Ergo. You can download it here.

David Schrader

In retirement David Schrader continues to serve on the Steering Committee of the International Federation of Philosophical Societies.  He has also been appointed to the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.

Susan Sterrett

In September 2014, I gave the Inaugural Lecture (a public lecture) for my appointment at Wichita State, entitled "The use of analogy in the work of Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Alan Turing"; the text and slides are here.

In October 2014, I gave a talk "Logic that fits your 'If's " in the Mathematics Colloquium at Wichita State.  It is related to the co-authored book published last year (Three Views of Logic); I plan to turn it into a paper.

I began 2015 focusing on (finally!) completing a major paper on the project I was working on during the term I spent at the Center in 2010:  "Physically Similar Systems:  a history of the concept"; forthcoming in Springer's Model-Based Science.  A preprint is at http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/11352/    

In April 2015, I participated in an invited symposium "Wittgenstein's 'Picture Theory' " at the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association in Vancouver, BC.   A paper is in the works.

David Stump

David Stump’s book, Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science:  Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori is due out on Routledge, 7/1/2015.  In the fall he was a visiting scholar at the Archives Henri Poincaré, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France, where he participated in seminars and conferences and gave a paper.  He also gave a paper at the 10th International HOPOS Conference, Ghent, Belgium, over the summer.  David’s essay review of three biographies of Poincaré is due out soon in the HOPOS journal:  J. Gray, Henri Poincaré:  A Scientific Biography , F. Verhulst, Henri Poincaré: Impatient Genius, and J-M. Ginoux and C. Gerini, Henri Poincaré:  Une Biographie au(x) quotidian(s)”.  

Serife Tekin

The most important highlights of my research in 2014-2015 include a book under contract with the MIT University Press, Extraordinary Science: Responding to the Current Crisis in Psychiatric Research (co- edited with Jeffrey Poland); several publications in journals such as Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology; Journal of Medical Ethics; Public Affairs Quarterly, as well as in books such as The Psychiatric Babel: Assessing the DSM-5. P. Singy andS. Demazeux, eds. (Springer’s Press), and Mental Kinds and Natural Kinds, H. Kincaid and J. A. Sullivan, eds., (MIT Press). I have also published some encyclopedia entries in Encyclopedia of Bioethics (Macmillan Reference),and The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology (Wiley-Blackwell Press).  For further details, see:  http://serifetekin.com/publications/

It has also been extremely rewarding to have co-organized the Early Career Scholars Philosophy of Psychiatry Conference at the Center. We had an overwhelming number of submissions, and the conference helped draw attention to the important work being done in Philosophy of Psychiatry. The conference was so productive that two journal special issues are now in preparation featuring the work presented (Synthese, co-edited by myself and Edouard Machery; and Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology, co-edited by myself and Kathryn Tabb).Once again, I am grateful to be continuing to benefit from the Center’s resources in philosophy of science.

Peter Vickers

I am continuing to work alongside Timothy D. Lyons on my AHRC project ‘Contemporary Scientific Realism and the Challenge from the History of Science’. The website is up and running here. So far there have been two project events: The History of Chemistry and Scientific Realism, 6th - 7th December 2014, at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, USA, and The History of Thermodynamics and Scientific Realism, 12th May 2015, at Durham University, UK. The next project event is Testing Philosophical Theories Against the History of Science, 21st September 2015, University of Oulu, Finland. This is a collaboration with the Oulu Centre for Theoretical and Philosophical Studies of History. My book *Understanding Inconsistent Science* continues to generate interest, and there are now ten academic reviews for various journals. On October 24th 2014 I delivered a paper entitled ‘Can inconsistent science be trusted?’ at a workshop inspired by the book, organised by the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science (CLPS) at Ghent University. See here for details.

Paul Weirich

Cambridge University Press in February 2015 published Paul Weirich’s new book, Models of Decision-Making: Simplifying Choices.  Paul wrote portions of this book while at the Center in Spring 2012.

Jan Wolenski

Teaching at University of Information, Management and Technology, Rzeszow, Poland, President of the Committee for the Ethics of Science (Polish Academy of Sciences), awarded the Scientific Prize of the Fund for Polish Science in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Recent Books:
An Interview. Copernicus Center Press, Kraków 2014, 238 pp.

Congresses and Conferences
The 8th European Congress of Analytic Philosophy, Bucurest 2014.




The events of the past year are recorded in greater detail in the Center website. For an informal account of some of them, see the "donuts" page and for photos, "photo album."

Major events of the past year included the following conferences and workshops:

::: Early Career Scholars Conference in Philosophy of Psychiatry: Overcoming Mind- Brain Dualism in 21st Century Medicine
21-22 November 2014

::: Multiscale Modeling and Emergence
7-8 February 2015

::: Philosophy Meets Cultural Diversity
13-14 March 2015

::: Workshop in Honor of James Bogen
28 March 2015

::: Diagrams as Vehicles of Scientific Reasoning
10-12 April 2015


Speakers in the Annual Lecture Series were:

Colin Allen, Indiana University

Alison Simmons, Harvard University

Sherri Roush, Kings College London

Richard Scheines, Carnegie Mellon University

Charlotte Werndl, University of Salzburg



Speakers in the Lunchtime Colloquia were:

Marshall Abrams, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Joshua Alexander, Visiting Fellow, Siena College

William Bechtel, Senior Visiting Fellow, University of California, San Diego

Leonardo Bich, Visiting Scholar, University of the Basque Country

Ingo Brigandt, Visiting Fellow, University of Alberta

Karim Bschir, Visiting Fellow, ETH Zurich

Armando Cintora, Visiting Scholar, Metropolitan Autonomous University

Matteo Colombo, Tilburg University

Christian Damböck, Visiting Fellow, Institute Vienna Circle

Andreas de Block

Zoe Drayson, Visiting Fellow, University of Stirling

Allan Franklin, University of Colorado

Stefano Gattei, IMT Institute for Advanced Studies

Sara Green, Postdoc Fellow, Aarhus University

Maralee Harrell, Carnegie Mellon University

Leah Henderson, Carnegie Mellon University

Andreas Hüttemann, University of Cologne

Nicholaos Jones, Visiting Fellow, University of Alabama, Huntsville

Kevin T. Kelly, Carnegie Mellon University

James Lennox, University of Pittsburgh

John McCaskey

Robert N. McCauley, Emory University

Wayne Myrvold, University of Western Ontario

Cailin O’Connor, University of California, Irvine

Nicholas Rescher, University Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Robert Richardson, University of Cincinnati

Raphael Scholl, Visiting Fellow, University of Bern

Maria Serban, Postdoctoral Fellow, University East Anglia

Hamid Seyedsayamdost, Visiting Fellow, University of London, LSE

David Snoke, University of Pittsburgh

Jan Sprenger, Tilburg University

Allan Walstad, University of Pittsburgh




Other Business


In Memoriam

We note the passing of Richard Gale (1932-2015.) There is a fine obituary here.

You may also read the 'University Times' obituary of Robert Daley (1945-2015) here.


Renewal of Associate Membership of the Center

May we take this opportunity to remind Center Associates that their appointments are for three years. Re-appointment is not automatic. If your three-year Associate's appointment is expiring or has expired and you would like to renew it, please let us know through email to the Assistant Director, Karen Kovalchick. Your appointment will then be renewed for a further three years. If you choose not to renew your appointment, your name will remain on our mailing list, so you will continue to hear news of the Center's activities, unless you request otherwise. Associates receive no compensation and have no regular duties. However, the Center views acceptance of an appointment as an Associate as a commitment to attend a few of the Center's many activities each year. Annually, these activities include, but are not limited to, the Annual Lecture Series (6 to 8 lectures per year), special lectures, the Lunchtime Colloquium (usually meets twice a week), conferences and workshops (2 or 3), occasional social functions, and occasional study groups.


Request for Feedback

Dear Reader who has had the fortitude to read through to the end of this review: We would appreciate very much some indication of whether you found this review interesting or helpful in any way--or otherwise. Drop us a short email with any remarks you care to make.



This review would be incomplete without thanks to the many people who make the Center possible. Our thanks go to the Center Officers, who take time from their busy academic schedules to serve the Center; to the Office of the Provost of the University of Pittsburgh (including Provost Patricia Beeson and Vice Provost Carey Balaban), whose support is both visionary and unflagging; to the Visiting Fellows, who populate the Center each year with new energies and new ideas; and to the many who come to give talks, to hear talks, to enliven discussion, and to keep an eye on the donuts.

Finally my thanks go to the staff who worked so hard for the Center last year -- Karen, Joyce, Cheryl and Joe. Only someone who has carried the responsibility of an office like the Center's can truly appreciate just how much depends upon the energy and dedication of the staff. Without them, nothing happens. With them, everything happens.


Pet-Centric Quiz Answers

John: H (Atlas- Grandog)
Karen: B (Gretel), D (Dan), F (Tess)
Joyce: C (Roxie)
Cheryl: A (Barrett), E (Ed), G (Seamus)


Revised 9/22/15