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::: center home >> news >> 2015-16 annual review

Director's 2015-16 Annual Review
August 2016


In This Review

This Past Year

     The Center Community                          

    Annual Lecture Series
Lunchtime Colloquium

Other Business

This Past Year

Farewell from a Departing Director

This August 2016, as I sit here writing, is my last month as Director. I have carried the responsibilities of Director for over ten years. While the official appointment started in September 2005, the work began in earnest in January 2006. (John Earman kindly stood in as Acting Director for a term, so I could take a short leave.) It has been a rich and rewarding decade and I take this opportunity to reflect back on it.

The Center for Philosophy of Science is thriving and has never been stronger. No one person can take credit for that. We are a collaborative community. Everyone contributes, including Directors, Fellows, local faculty and the Center's staff. In the more than half century of its life, the Center has had many Directors. Each has contributed in building one or other part of the Center and each can report proudly on his achievements.

Read More....


People and the Office

Karen Kovalchick

Karen served as the Center’s Assistant Director for twenty years. For many of us, faculty and fellows, she somehow was the Center. Her insight and wisdom had touched every aspect of the Center’s operation and helped make the Center what it is today. When she took her much deserved retirement this last January, it was as if we had lost a little part of ourselves. For more see this.

Carolyn Oblak

It seemed an insurmountable challenge to replace Karen with a new Assistant Director. We needed someone able to navigate the tangle of University administration and Center administration. Most importantly, however, we needed someone who would take on the Center as their new home and make the welfare of the Fellows their priority.

There are no doubt very few people who fit this description. Fortunately, we only needed one; and she found us. From the moment Carolyn walked through door, the fit was natural and obvious. I’m delighted to report that the Center is once again in good hands. For more see this.

Trey Boone

In addition to our permanent staff, each year we also have a half-time graduate student working in the Center. This past year that position was held by Trey Boone, a graduate student working the Department of HPS.

Trey provide to be a quite invaluable addition to our staff. He arrived in time take a major part of the organization of the “Quad” conference. There was a huge amount of work to do in coordinating the talks and visits of around 80 participants. All this was managed quietly and effectively behind the scenes by Trey and his spreadsheets.

Fellows visiting this past year would be forgiven for thinking that Trey had nothing else to do other than cater to their needs. His real thought and interest lie in abstraction, idealization and model integration in cognitive science and neuroscience; and even a little foray into consciousness and representationalism.



Conferences & Events

Our full schedule of events is listed below.

Eighth Quadrennial Fellows Conference, July 11-13, 2016

This was the major event of the past year and a major event in the Center’s calendar. Fellows, past and present, form an extended community of friends. Each four years we meet in an interesting place to share ideas, renew friendships and start new ones. This year, our wonderful hosts were Nils-Eric Sahlin and Johannes Persson at Lund University in Sweden. It was the biggest “Quad” conference ever. We had 75 speakers and even more if you add in those who did not speak. For more see this.


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)


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

Robert Batterman, Dept. of Philosophy
James Lennox,
Dept. of HPS
Peter Machamer,
Dept. of HPS
Jennifer Whiting,
Dept. of Philosophy
James Woodward
, Dept. of HPS
Michael Miller, HPS & Phil graduate student sponsor
John D. 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 the first time publication of my 1985 Gifford Lectures.

In September 2015, I received a $60,000 grant from the Harvey and Leslie Wagner Foundation for a project to develop a Causal Semantics for Science. Thomas Kupka of Bremen, Germany, the editor of my Collected Works volumes, will carry out the project. I will be supervising the project, which will continue my work in space-time philosophy and conventionalism in physical theory formation.

John D. Norton

Professionally, it has been a good year. Papers completed or published are on: the incompleteness of calculi of inductive inference; thermodynamically reversible processes; Maxwell's demon; how Einstein did not discover; and the worst thought experiment in science. (If any of this looks interesting, you can read the papers on my website.)

I made very brief appearances in the joint Nova/BBC4 documentary on Einstein. I gave eight talks, including my Inaugural Lecture as a Distinguished Professor, an invited public lecture at a physics conference, and two invited keynote/plenary addresses at international conferences (Calgary, Canada and Lausanne, Switzerland).

Nicholas Rescher

Two books: A JOURNEY THROUGH PHILOSOPHY IN 101 EPISODES (Pittsburgh PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015). THE PRAGMATIC VISION (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015).

* Award of the Helmholtz Medal of the German Academy of Sciences (Berlin-Brandenburg), 2016. [This award is made biennially to a scholar of international distinction. The past 10 awardees have included four Nobel Prize laureates.]

* I am currently working on further studies in the philosophy of Leibniz. Also, I have in press with Pitt Press a work on the theory of reporting with special emphasis on espionage.

Center Staff News

Carolyn Oblak
I came to the Center to fill the shoes of a very organized, knowledgeable, and efficient Assistant Director, Karen Kovalchick.  One thing that I noticed very early on (even in the interviewing stage) is that the Center has a personality of its own.  The environment is constantly changing because we get new visitors from around the world every term.  Each of these visitors bring their own unique personality, ideas, and traditions.  I have found my place/home among the dedicated staff that embraces the idea of newness and opportunity to learn from our unique visitors.

John once told me that he was glad that I took a chance on coming to the Center.  I am very, very glad that John, Karen, Joyce and Cheryl took a chance on allowing me to come to the Center. This is a wonderful place to come every day mainly due to the community that John has created. There is no doubt that he has left a huge footprint here, and I am grateful to have had the chance to learn from him.

Joyce McDonald
Dear Fellows and all, I am to blame for holding up this fine Director’s Review.  Some of you know I avoid farewell rituals at the end of the term – instead of “Good bye”, I rather say “See you later” and I put off my piece of the newsletter to share a proper farewell to John.   I knew there would be an empty spot in my day and at the Center -- working for John for 10 years, we became friends, shared parenting stories, punny remarks, and just times of venting about things (mostly I relied on his good listening ear).  John is not gone, moved two floors to the HPS Department, he is not steering the ship but he is very present here.  Everywhere I look – Fellows photos and glassboards on the walls, umbrellas, donut memorabilia, clever trinkets, are material reminders.  A decade of innovative ideas of how to grow the Center was the wind that kept the Center moving forward.  I could cite many quotes about old sailors or ships, but I’ll instead say what everyone knows, that John Norton hugely impacted the continued success of the Center and he impacted the 100+ Fellows that visited during his directorship.  I am so very grateful for his always kind and understanding ways, teaching and encouragement over the last 20+ years that I’ve known John.  

Cheryl Greer
I've been at the Center for four years now, give or take a few weeks, which is a fairly short period in the lifespan of this place. However, it's long enough to have seen the positive impact that John D. Norton has made on our visiting Fellows, and to decide that my personal favorite aspect of working with John was his unfailing willingness to drop whatever he was doing at any time to engage in esoteric conversations about....anything. Even subjects that held no particular interest for him such as, in my case, Kings of Medieval England. He has a gift for drawing people out and making them feel that their interests are interesting. Which is surely the secret to his success as Director here.



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

2015-16 Visiting Fellows

Francesca Biagioli, Fall Term
University of Konstanz, Germany

Leonardo Bich, Spring Term
University of the Basque Country, Spain

Carol Cleland, Spring Term
University of Colorado, Boulder, United States

Andrew Inkpen, Spring Term
Harvard University, United States

Michel Janssen, Fall Term
University of Minnesota, United States

Nancy J. Nersessian, Senior Visiting Fellow, Academic Year
Harvard University and Georgia Institute of Technology

Cailin O’Connor, Fall Term
University of California, Irvine, United States

Mael Pegny, Spring Term
University of Paris 1, CNRS, France

Matthias Unterhuber, Academic Year
University of Bern, Switzerland

James Weatherall, Fall Term
University of California, Irvine, United States


2015-16 Postdoctoral Fellows

Agnes Bolinska
    University of Toronto, Canada

 Michael Stuart
    University of Toronto, Canada


News from Past Fellows

Paulo Abrantes

Paulo Abrantes recently published two books: Method and Science: a philosophical approach (BH: Fino Traço, 2014) and Images of nature, Images of science (RJ: EdUERJ, 2016). The latter is the second edition, revised and significantly extended, of his 1998 book on the history of science. The former is a book on the philosophy of science, focused on methodological topics. They have both been published in Portuguese.

Paulo also organized a multilingual special issue on Human evolution of a Brazilian journal, Ciência & Ambiente (vol. 48, 2014). He contributed with two papers for this issue: "Nature and Culture" and "Conflict and cooperation and in human evolution".


Yuichi Amitani

I published 3 papers in English:

Amitani, Y. (2016) "A tale of two minds: Past, present and future,"
Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science, 24, pp.
Amitani, Y. (2015) "Prototypical reasoning about species and the
species problem," Biological Theory, 10(4), pp. 289-300. DOI:
10.1007/s13752-015-0204-4. (The penultimate version is available at
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/11464/ )
Amitani, Y. (2015) "The natural frequency hypothesis and evolutionary
arguments," Mind &Society, 14(1), pp. 1-19. DOI:

Amitani, Y., "Did Machiavellian Thinking Shape the Refective Mind?,"
The 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science,
University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Milos Arsenijevic

An article of mine will appear on May 25 in Time and Tense: Unifying the Old and the New; Philosophia, Munich, 2016. 


Claus Beisbart

New publications:
C. Beisbart, “Philosophy and Cosmology”, to appear in: P. Humphreys (ed.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2016, pp. 817-835
C. Beisbart, “A Humean Guide to Spielraum Probabilities”, Journal for General Philosophy of Science 47 (2016), pp. 189-216 (special issue edited by J. Rosenthal und C. Seck)
C. Beisbart, “Naturalismus” (in German), to appear in: C. Horn und K. Gabriel (eds.), Säkularität und Moderne, Freiburg/München 2016, pp. 121-160


Aaron Ben-Ze’ev
Last year activities

President, European Philosophical Society for the Study of Emotions, 2014-

Edited Books
Co-Editor (with Angelika Krebs), Philosophy of Emotions, Four Volumes, Routledge, 2017.

Guest Co-Editor (with Angelika Krebs), Philosophia, Special Issue: The Meaning of Moods, 2016.

"The Thing Called Emotions: A Complex Perspective." In A. Ben-Ze’ev & A. Krebs (eds.), Philosophy of emotions, Vol. I. London: Routledge, 2017

Ben-Ze’ev, A. & Krebs, A. “Love and Time: Is Love Best When it is Fresh?” In C. Grau & A. Smuts (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Love. Oxford University Press, 2017.

“Envy and Inequality in Romantic Love” In R. Smith, U. Merlone, and M. Duffy (eds.), Envy in work and organizations. Oxford University Press, 2017.​

“Virtual romantic relationships”. In J. Patrick & A. Zucker (eds.), Philosophy of Sex and Love. Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy, 2016.

 Ben-Ze'ev, A. & Krebs, A. "The Unique Role of the Agent within the Romantic Group." Behavioral and Brain Sciences. , 39, 2016


Marta Bertolaso

Bertolaso M (Ed) (2015), The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’, Pickering & Chatto Publishers, London.


Bertolaso M. (2016), “A System Approach to Cancer. From Things to Relations”, in Green, S. (ed.), Philosophy of Systems Biology – Perspectives from Scientists and Philosophers. Springer, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (HPTL)


• Bertolaso M, Caianiello S (2016) Robustness as Organized Heterogeneity, Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, Vol. 108, in press.
• Valera L & Bertolaso M (2016) Understanding biodiversity from a relational viewpoint, Tópicos, Vol 51, in press.
• Giuliani A, Bartolini E, Bertolaso M (2016), L’humus della scienza: per una necessaria riscoperta della meraviglia e della cooperazione nella ricerca scientifica. Scienze e Ricerche, 28: 5-8.


Bertolaso M. & MacLeod M (Eds) (2016) In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor, Humana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies, in press.


Andreas Blank


Ontological Dependence and the Metaphysics of Individual Substances, 15401716. Munich: Philosophia, 2015

“Leibniz, Locke, and the Early Modern Controversy over Legal Maxims.” History of European Ideas 41 (2015): 1080–1092.

“Zabarella and the Early Leibniz on the Diachronic Identity of Living Beings.” Studia Leibnitiana 47 (2015): 86–102.

“Leibniz and the Early Modern Controversy over the Right of International Medi-ation.” In “Das Recht kann nicht ungerecht sein …” Beiträge zu Leibniz’ Philosophie der Gerechtigkeit. Edited by Wenchao Li (Studia Leibnitiana Sonderheft 44). Stuttgart: Steiner, 2015, 117–135.
“Presumption and Leibniz’s Metaphysics of Action.” In Leibniz’s Metaphysics and Adoption of Substantial Form. Edited by Adrian Nita (New Synthese Historical Library). Dordrecht: Springer, 2015, 89–106.

Oh, and perhaps you could update my professional affiliation?: University of Paderborn, Germany


Ingo Brigandt

Recent publications:
accepted, “Systems biology and mechanistic explanation” (with Sara Green and Maureen A. O'Malley). To appear in: The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. S. Glennan and P. Illari (eds), Routledge, New York.
in press, “Philosophical dimensions of individuality” (second author, with Alan C. Love). In: Biological Individuality: Integrating Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives. S. Lidgard and L. K. Nyhart (eds), University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
2016, “Why the difference between explanation and argument matters to science education.” Science & Education 25: 251–275.
2016, “Do we need a 'theory' of development?” Review essay of Towards a Theory of Development edited by Alessandro Minelli and Thomas Pradeu, Oxford University Press, 2014. Biology & Philosophy 31: 603–617.
2015, “Social values influence the adequacy conditions of scientific theories: beyond inductive risk.” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45: 326–356.


Karim Bschir

Recent Publications:

- “Risk, Uncertainty and Precaution in Science: The Threshold of Toxicological Concern Approach in Food Toxicology” forthcoming in Science and Engineering Ethics. (most of this paper has been written during my visiting fellowship at Pitt)

 - “Feyerabend and Popper on Theory Proliferation and Anomaly Import: On the Compatibility of Theoretical Pluralism and Critical Rationalism” HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1): 24-55, 2015.

I am currently working on a monograph on Prediction and Uncertainty in Science. My main interest lies in a descriptive analysis of predictive practices in current science.  Furthermore, I became a guest editor (together with Hasok Chang and Simon Lohse) of a special issue for Synthese on Systematicity in Science. 


Anjan Chakravartty

It was another busy year at the Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at Notre Dame, where we hosted ‘The Collaboration Conundrum’ ­– on whether and how public and private interests can combine to pursue research for the common good. My new book Scientific Ontology: Integrating Naturalized Metaphysics and Voluntarist Epistemology is imminent, and some forthcoming work includes a piece on case studies and historical evidence arising from the last EPSA conference, one on epistemic stances and voluntarism for a new Routledge handbook on scientific realism, and articles on causation, symmetries, and dispositions in physics. I was honored to receive the J. S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and a Values-Driven Leadership Award from Benedictine University. There were wonderful meetings of the Philosopher’s Rally (Lublin), the Metaphysics of Science Summer School (Helsinki), the Philosophy of Science Group in India (Mumbai), and the latest Models and Simulations conference (Barcelona). I’m excited to be spending the coming year at Pitt! – where I’ll be working on the epistemology of scientific disagreement.


Erik Curiel

Erik Curiel was awarded a EUR 300,000 grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to fund a three-year project entitled "Gravity, Thermodynamics and Quantum Field Theory: The Cross-Roads of Physics and Philosophy".  He has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (LMU) to carry out work on the project.  He has had papers accepted in *British Journal for the Philosophy of Science* ("On the Existence of Spacetime Structure"), *Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics* ("On Geometric Objects, the Non-Existence of a Gravitational Stress-Energy Tensor, and the Uniqueness of the Einstein Field Equation"), and *Classical and Quantum Gravity" ("A Simple Proof of the Uniqueness of the Einstein Field Equation in All Dimensions").


Heather Douglas

Last fall, I organized a workshop on Science in the Developing World, which addressed the challenges of doing science that actually benefits the developing world in practice.  A write up of that event can be found here:  https://scienceinthedevelopingworld.wordpress.com/results/

Prior to this workshop, I helped to host a World Wide Views on Climate and Energy citizen consultation in Waterloo.  A report about that event (which was held in coordination with over 90 sites around the world on June 6, 2015) can be found here:  https://www.academia.edu/18645577/World_Wide_Views_on_Climate_and_Energy_-_Canada_Report

I also published this overview of the values in science debate:
“Values in Science.” In Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science, edited by Paul Humphreys, 609–630. New York: Oxford University Press.

Finally, I finished my first textbook, an environmental ethics anthology:
Environmental Ethics From the Ground Up: An Introductory Anthology, Cognella Press, (2016).


Marc Ereshefsky

In March 2016 Marc was awarded a 4 year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for a project titled “Natural Kinds, Classification, and Scientific Practice.”  The project focuses on developing an account of natural kinds that is more in tune with the classificatory practices of science. Scientists have a variety of epistemic and pragmatic reasons for classifying. Yet philosophical theories of natural kinds fail to capture that variety. As a result, those philosophical theories offer a superficial understanding of scientific classification. The research project will refocus philosophical work on natural kinds by carefully studying classificatory practices in science. The project will help us better understand how scientists use classifications to gain knowledge and solve practical problems.


John Erpenbeck

John listed several recent publications which you can see here.
I am teaching  in the SIBE (School of International Business and Entrepreneurship) Berlin / Stuttgart. I am a person in charge for the field of personal development in the Technical University of Kaiserslautern  (DISC). I am also teaching competence management in the universities of Ludwigsburg (PH) and  Erlangen (f-bb) and now my best wishes to you and greetings to John and to all colleagues I know and appreciate in the Center!


John Forge

Forge was hauled up from his retirement torpor by a request to write something for Annals of Social Responsibility, which he did, and so realised that his assumption that all interesting issues to do with science and social responsibility could be reduced to matters to do with science and moral responsibility may not have been correct after all. This remarkable insight let to his contacting Pitt Press for a second edition of The Responsible Scientist - anyone reading this who has any influence in that quarter would do him a favour by asking them to hurry up with a response. Aside from that, and attempting to sell his house and move round the corner, it's just the same old thing: swimming in a pool beside Sydney harbour in the daytime, drinking burgundy at night, stuff like that.


Allan Franklin

The past year has been quite eventful. In June 2015 I retired as professor of physics at the University of Colorado. I still have an office in the department and I am continuing my research. I was awarded the 2016 Abraham Pais Prize for history of physics by the American Physical Society. My latest book, What Makes a Good Experiment? was published this year by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Springer published a second edition of my book, The Rise and Fall of the Fifth Force, now co-authored with Ephraim Fischbach. The new edition includes an essay by me updating things since the book was initially published in 1993. It also includes a long personal account by Ephraim Fischbach on how he came to propose the Fifth Force hypothesis. An article I wrote, “Physics Textbooks Don’t Always Tell the Truth,” appeared in Physics in Perspective.


Maria Carla Galavotti

Since 2014 Maria Carla has been Associate Researcher of CPNSS (Centre for Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences) of LSE, and in 2015 was elected a member of the Leopoldina National Academy of Sciences of Germany.
Among her recent publications:
New Directions in the Philosophy of Science, eds. M.C. Galavotti, D. Dieks, W. Gonzalez, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel, M. Weber, Dordrecht: Springer, 2014 (including “New Prospects for Pragmatism: Ramsey’s Constructivism”, pp. 645-656);
“Theories of Probability and the Organization Sciences: the Nature and Usefulness of Different Ways of Treating Uncertainty”, Journal of Management 41 (2015), pp. 744-760;
“From the philosophy of science to the philosophy of the sciences”, in Selected papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy (Athens 2013), eds. K. Boudouris, et. al., Philosophy Documentation Center, Charlottesville, VA., 2015, pp. 45-54;
“Feminist Philosophy and General Philosophy of Science”, in Meta-Philosophical Reflection on Feminist Philosophies of Science, eds. M. C. Amoretti and N. Vassallo, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 203-222 (with R. Campaner);
“The Origins of Probabilistic Epistemology. Some Leading Philosophers of Probability in the 20th Century”, eds. A. Hajek and C. Hitchcock, The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, Oxford U.P., to appear in 2016, pp. 130-151.


Wenceslao J. Gonzalez

Recent books as editor:
Gonzalez, W. J. (ed), New Perspectives on Technology, Values, and Ethics: Theoretical and Practical, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Springer, Dordrecht, 2015.

Among his recent papers are:
Gonzalez, W. J., “From the Characterization of ‘European Philosophy of Science’ to the Case of the Philosophy of the Social Sciences”, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, v. 29, n. 2, (2015), pp. 167-188, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02698595.2015.1119418.
Gonzalez, W. J. and Arrojo, M. J., "Diversity in Complexity in Communication Sciences: Epistemological and Ontological Analyses", in Generali, D. (ed.), Le radici della razionalità critica: Saperi, Pratiche, Teleologie, Mimesis, Milán-Udine, 2015, vol. I, pp. 297-312.
Gonzalez, W. J., “On the Role of Values in the Configuration of Technology: From Axiology to Ethics”, in Gonzalez, W. J. (ed.), New Perspectives on Technology, Values, and Ethics: Theoretical and Practical, Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Springer, Dordrecht, 2015, pp. 3-27.

Wenceslao J. Gonzalez is the president of a new foundation on the philosophy of science and technology: Fundación Filosofía de la Ciencia y la Tecnología.


Sara Green

I’m now a postdoc at the Department of Science Education, Copenhagen, where I enjoy working again with Hanne Andersen (former fellow and my former supervisor). An equally great thing is that Maria Serban (the perfect office mate at the Center) is now also in Copenhagen! Aside from facilitating friendships and collaborations, I’m happy that the stay at Pitt has resulted in several co-authored papers that are now in review or in press (with Nick Jones, Bill Bechtel, Ingo Brigandt, Raphael Scholl, Bob Batterman, Leo Bich, and Maria Serban). I look forward to future reunions!

Sara lists several new articles, reviews, and talks that you can see here.


Alan Hajek

After a period of being Department Chair, last year I gladly returned fully to the life of the mind. Some highlights:

• Two-day conference on my work on conditionals (with commentators on it), Belgrade University

• A Week With Alan Hájek lecture series, Trnava University, Slovakia—7 lectures, one televised in Slovakia.

I finished a number of articles; watch this space for these forthcoming:

• “Making Ado Without Expectations” (with Mark Colyvan), forthcoming in Mind.

• “Creating Heuristics for Philosophical Creativity”, forthcoming in Creativity and Philosophy, eds. Berys Gaut and Matthew Kieran, Oxford University Press.

• “Minkish Dispositions”, forthcoming in Synthese.

• “Philosophical Heuristics and Philosophical Methodology”, forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, eds. Herman Cappelin, Tamar Szabó Gendler, and John Hawthorne, Oxford University Press.

• “Deliberation Welcomes Prediction”, forthcoming in Episteme.

• “Hysteresis Hypotheses”, forthcoming in Conditionals, Probability, and Paradox: Themes from the Philosophy of Dorothy Edgington, eds. John Hawthorne and Lee Walters, Oxford University Press.

This edited collection is also forthcoming:
The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, eds. Alan Hájek and Christopher Hitchcock, Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Leah Henderson

My main news is that I have started a tenure-track position at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. I published an article in Synthese on the no miracles argument and the base rate fallacy.


Gürol Irzik

“The Internal-External Distinction Sheds Light on the History of the Twentieth-Century Philosophy of Science”, in Relocating the History of Science, (Eds.) T. Arabatzis, J. Renn , and A. Simoes. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, Springer 2015, pp. 211-224.

(with A. Faik Kurtulmus) “Justice in the Distribution of Knowledge”, Episteme
DOI: 10.1017/epi.2015.65.

I shall be spending the 2016-17 academic year at Vassar College as a research scholar.


Michel Janssen

It was great to be back at Pitt for a semester last fall and to interact again on a daily basis with my PhD adviser John Norton. A big thank you to Tony Duncan who put me up at his new place five minutes from the Cathedral so that we could work on our joint book with the working title "How did we get to quantum mechanics?" I spent the second half of my sabbatical at the MPIWG in Berlin where I've been member of Jürgen Renn's team working on the history of physics for many years. Jürgen nominated me for a Humboldt Research Award. I got it! Easily the biggest thing I've ever won. It'll give me the opportunity to come back to Berlin the next two summers to work with Jürgen on my "Arches and Scaffolds" project (check out my home page if you want to find out what that's all about). Before I go back the US, my wife Suzy and I will be visiting our friends Aristidis Arageorgis and Antigone Nounou in Athens. 


Nicholaos Jones

I had two new publications for 2015-2016:

"Inference to the More Robust Explanation," British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, forthcoming

"Correlative Reasoning about Water in Mengzi 6A2," Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15.2 (June 2016): 193-207

I also gave an invited talk to the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Mississippi State University in February 2016: "Strategies of Explanatory Abstraction in Molecular Systems Biology"

Finally, on 10 February, my family welcomed Aineias Jones into the world.


William G. Lycan

I have retired from the University of North Carolina and taken an adjunct position at the University of Connecticut, where I have taught Fall semesters as of 2012.
In January 2014 I gave the APA Sanders Lecture: "Metaphysics and the Paronymy of Names."  In January 2016 I'm to give the APA Dewey Lecture: "On Evidence in Philosophy."


Storrs McCall

Last year I published “Connexive Semantic Tableaux”,  in Filosofiska Notiser, Sweden, September (2015), pp. 3-18.


Nikolay Milkov

In 2015 I became (extraordinary/außerplanmäßiger) Professor at the University of Paderborn.

Some my publications in the last year:

“Carl Stumpf’s Debt to Hermann Lotze”, in: Denis Fisette and Riccardo Martinelli (eds.), Philosophy from an Empirical Standpoint. Essays on Carl Stumpf, Leiden: Brill, 2015, pp. 101–22.

“Frege and the Philosophy of German Idealism”, in: Dieter Schott (Hg.), Frege: Freund(e) und Feind(e), Berlin: Logos Verlag, 2015, pp. 88–104.

Die Berliner Gruppe: Texte zum Logischen Empirismus. Eine Anthologie, Herausgegeben, eingeleitet und mit Anmerkungen versehen von Nikolay Milkov („Philosophische Bibliothek“ Reihe, Band 621), Hamburg: Felix Meiner, 2015.

“On Walter Dubislav”, History and Philosophy of Logic 36:2 (2015), pp. 147–61.

“Walter Dubislav’s Philosophy of Science and Mathematics”, HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, 6:1 (2016), pp.  96–116.

“William R. Woodward, Hermann Lotze: An Intellectual Biography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015”, Metascience 25:2 (2016), pp. 1–4.


Dan Nesher

I am working and going to finish my book: On Beauty of Artworks as Aesthetic True Representation of Reality: A Collection of Pragmaticist Inquiries into the Epistemology of Artistic Creation and Evaluation.

In the Peircean Pragmaticist epistemology I consider that our knowledge of reality is accomplished by the three basic Normative Sciences: Theoretic, Ethic, and Aesthetic, representing in different modes the reality.
Recently I also finished two more chapters:

Epistemology of Aesthetic Experience: Criticizing and Reconstructing Kant’s Aesthetic Theories of Genius Creativity and Judgment of Beauty.

Wittgenstein Philosophy, and How May Aesthetic Languages of Artworks Represent Reality Beautifully.


Cailin O’Connor

In the last year, my paper The Evolution of Guilt was accepted for publication at Philosophy of Science, as was a non-technical follow-up Guilt, Games, and Evolution at Emotions Researcher.  My book project, tentatively titled Dynamics of Sex, Gender, and Class is now under contract with Oxford University Press.  I received a three year NSF grant, Social Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities, to use game theoretic models to explore the dynamics surrounding social categories in academic groups.  I've given 14 talks during this period, and published an essay review Black Holes, Black Scholes, and Prairie Voles with James Weatherall on Michael Weisberg's Simulation and Similarity.  This summer I will be a visiting fellow at the LSE.


Lisa Osbeck

 Arthur W. Staats Lecture for Unifying Psychology, 2015, American Psychological Foundation (lecture scheduled August, 2016).

Relevant publications:
 Osbeck, L.  (2016) Emotion and scientific reasoning.  In Miller, H. (Ed.), SAGE Encyclopedia of Theory in Psychology (Sage). 

Osbeck, L. & Nersessian, N. (2015).  Prolegomena to an empirical philosophy of science.  In S. Wagenknecht, N.J. Nersessian, & H. Andersen (Eds.).  Empirical philosophy of science: Introducing qualitative methods into the philosophy of science, pp.13-35.  Springer International Publishing.

Invited Addresses:
 Osbeck, L. Sediments, impediments, and curtailments.  Invited symposium, “Theorizing the Future of Theoretical Psychology,” for the bi-annual meeting of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology, Coventry, England, UK, June, 2015

Osbeck, L. Psychological studies of science:  Who, how, what, and why.  Invited lecture for departmental seminar, department of psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, March, 2015.


Joseph Pitt

The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Technology, edited by Joseph C. Pitt and Ashley Shew Heflin. Taylor an Francis: New York (in press)


Collin Rice

This year I got a new job at Bryn Mawr College outside Philadelphia. We are really excited! In addition, I will be visiting the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy this summer to work on two papers on the role of limits in mathematical modeling and on the influence of subjective values on choosing mathematical frameworks. I also published the following papers this year both investigating the nature of scientific understanding: “Factive Scientific Understanding Without Accurate Representation” in Biology and Philosophy and “How Are Models and Explanations Related?” (with Yasha Rohwer) in Erkenntnis. Last summer I visited the LPS department at UCI and am currently working on finishing up the papers I wrote there on idealized modeling and holism.


Howard Sankey

I spent a week in June 2015 visiting the Department of Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Athens (Greece).  While there, I presented a talk entitled “Scientific Realism and Basic Common Sense”.  In addition, Stathis Psillos and I presented a session entitled “Sankey vs. Psillos on Scientific Realism”.

Publications for 2015 include:

‘Scepticism, Relativism and a Naturalistic Particularism’, Social Epistemology 29: 4 (2015), 395-412

Book review of: M. Seidel, Epistemic Relativism: A Constructive Critique, Metascience 24: 2 (2015), 265-9


Drozdstoj Stoyanov

In September 2015 Professor Dr Stoyanov was awarded with the honorary title of Academician from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Arts in appreciation for his exceptional achievements and international acknowledgement. He published an edited  book with Professor Rolf Stieglitz from the University of Basel, entitled " New Developments in Clinical Psychology Research". In November 2015 he was appointed Head of the Neuropsychiatry and Brain Imaging Group at the Center for Translational Functional Neuroimaging, Medical University of Plovdiv. 

In the Fall Semester Professor Stoyanov has been invited as Guest Lecturer at the Center for Subjectivity Research and Psychiatric Center Hvidovre, University of Copenhagen.


Mike Stuart

Following a successful year at the Center I am taking up a two-year fellowship at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Sciences, at the London School of Economics. I will be funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada .

While at the Center I published “Taming Theory with Thought Experiments: Understanding and Scientific Progress.” in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science (58: 24-33). I've given six talks, and am just about finished putting the final touches on the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments, which I'm co-editing with Jim Brown and Yiftach Fehige. I also have several papers forthcoming which can be found on my website: michaeltstuart.com.


David Stump

David Stump’s book, Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science:  Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori came out on Routledge and was the subject of a book symposium at the Pacific Division Meeting of the APA.  Other publications include “The Pragmatic Theory of the A Priori” in Pragmatism in Transition: Contemporary Perspectives on C. I. Lewis.  P. Olen & C. Sachs, eds.  Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, and an essay review of three biographies of Poincaré for 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)”.  David will give a paper at the 11th International HOPOS Conference in Minneapolis, and at the Quad Fellows conference in Lund.


Serife Tekin

See https://daemen.academia.edu/SerifeTekin/

2015. Hyponarrativity and Context-Specific Limitations of the DSM 5 (with Melissa Mosko). Public Affairs Quarterly, Volume 29, No: 1, 111-136.

2015. Against Hyponarrating Grief: Incompatible Research and Treatment Interests in the DSM-5.  The Psychiatric Babel: Assessing the DSM-5, P. Singy and S. Demazeux, eds.,
 History, Philosophy and the Theory of the Life Sciences Series, Volume 10, Springer Press, 179-197.


Neil Tennant

2014 Ivor Grattan-Guinness Award for Best Paper in History and Philosophy of Logic

Introducing Philosophy: God, Mind, World and Logic, Routledge, 2015

Neil list six articles and several invited papers which you can see here.


Soshichi Uchii

2015, Leibniz's Theory of Time (presentation), DLMPS Helsinki
2016, Leibniz's Informatics and Dynamics (book in Japanese), Chuo-koronsha, Tokyo


PJ 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’. In February 2016 we enjoyed a three-day conference as part of this project, entitled ‘The History of Science and Contemporary Scientific Realism’, held at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, USA. Outputs of the project are starting to appear, including my paper ‘Understanding the selective realist defence against the PMI’, available Open Access here. The project aside, I have also recently published a co-authored paper with Henry Taylor entitled ‘Conceptual fragmentation and the rise of eliminativism’, available Open Access here.


James Weatherall

I finished a book this year, called Void: The Strange Physics of Nothing, which will be published in the Fall by Yale University Press; it was mostly written while I was visiting the Center this Fall.  I am now working on a short, somewhat more technical book based on a series of lectures I will give at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy this July, as part of their summer school for female students.  I also have an essay review of Michael Weisberg's Simulation and Similarity, co-authored with Cailin O'Connor, forthcoming in Philosophy of Science; and I was awarded a Templeton grant with Chris Smeenk and John Manchak to begin work on a new project in philosophy of cosmology.  This coming summer I will be a Visiting Fellow and Clare Hall College, Cambridge and a Visitor at the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science at the London School of Economics.


Paul Weirich

Weirich, Paul.  2015.  Models of Decision-Making: Simplifying Choices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

Weirich, Paul.  2015.  “Decisions without Sharp Probabilities.” Philosophia Scientiae 19(1): 213–225.

Weirich, Paul.  2015.  “Intrinsic Utility’s Compositionality.” Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1: 545–563.

Weirich, Paul.  2015.  “La Théorie de la Décision Generaliseé.”  In Daniel Andler, ed., Sciences et Décision, Chapter 5.  Besançon, France: Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté.

Weirich, Paul.  2015.  “The Subjective Statistician.” Inference: International Review of Science, Vol. 1, Issue 4.  http://inference-review.com/article/the-subjective-statistician

Weirich, Paul.  2015.  “The Lesson of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.” In Martin Peterson, ed., Essays on the Prisoner’s Dilemma, pp. 265–281.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Adrian Wuethrich

Recent publication:

The Higgs Discovery as a Diagnostic Causal Inference. Synthese, 2015.


I am one of 12 principal investigators and collaborators who received
funding for setting up an interdisciplinary research unit on the
"Epistemology of the Large Hadron Collider."



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:

Effective Theories, Mixed Scale Modeling, and Emergence
2 - 4 October 2015

Robustness in Neurological Systems
13 - 15 November 2015

Outside Color: Perceptual Science and the Puzzle of Color in Philosophy
15 January 2016

Fourth Irvine-Pittsburgh-Princeton Conference on the Mathematical and Conceptual Foundation of Physics (IPP4)
31 March - 1 April, 2016

Field Theories
1-2 April 2016

(Re)Engineering Biology: The Emerging Engineering Paradigm in Biomedical Engineering, Systems Biology, and Synthetic Biology
15 - 16 April 2016


Speakers in the Annual Lecture Series were:

Josh Bongard
University of Vermont

Anya Plutynski
Washington University St. Louis

Chris Smeenk
University of Western Ontario

Katie Steele
London School of Economics

Marion Vorms
Birkbeck College, University of London/Paris 1

Daniel Warren
University of California, Berkeley

Speakers in the Lunchtime Colloquia were:

Francesca Biagioli, Visiting Fellow, University of Konstanz, Dept. of Philosophy

Leonardo Bich, Visiting Fellow, University of Chile, Biology of Cognition Lab

Agnes Bolinska, Postdoc Fellow, University of Toronto

Alex Broadbent, University of Johannesburg, Dept. of Philosophy

Wayne Christensen, Macquarie University

Carol Cleland, Visiting Fellow, University of Colorado, Boulder

Christopher Frey, University of South Carolina

Carsten Held, University of Erfurt

Andrew Inkpen, Visiting Fellow, Harvard University

Michel Janssen, Visiting Fellow, University of Minnesota

Nancy J. Nersessian, Senior Visiting Fellow, Harvard University, Dept. of Psychology

John D. Norton, University of Pittsburgh, Ctr. for Philosophy of Science/Dept. of HPS

Cailin O'Connor, Visiting Fellow, University of California, Irvine

Mael Pegny, Visiting Fellow, University of Paris

Nicholas Rescher, University Professor, University of Pittsburgh

Michael Stuart, Postdoc Fellow, University of Toronto

Matthias Unterhuber, Visiting Fellow, University of Bern, Dept. of Philosophy

Günter P. Wagner, Yale University

Heinrich Wansing, Ruhr University

James Weatherall, Visiting Fellow, University of California, Irvine

Wayne Wu, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University



Other Business


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, Carolyn Oblak. 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 Alberta Sbragia), whose support is both visionary and unflagging; to the 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, Carolyn, Joyce, Cheryl and Trey. 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.

Post Script

Leaving the Directorship is a sad moment for me. It ends my daily collaboration with the Center staff. With the final moments approaching, I only realize now how much I will miss seeing them every day. Here, especially, I must mention Joyce McDonald, with whom I have worked in various capacities for nearly 20 years. For more see this.




Revised 10/11/16