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::: center home >> events >> conferences >> 2014-15 >> diagrams

Diagrams as Vehicles of Scientific Reasoning
10-12 April 2015
Center for Philosophy of Science
817 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA


Diagrams are ubiquitous in scientific talks, papers, and textbooks. Although diagrams are clearly a tool for communicating experimental procedures, empirical results, relations between causal factors, and mechanistic explanations, they are also key vehicles of reasoning—diagrams provide essential tools for exploring variations in experimental design, identifying new explanatory relations in experimental data, and advancing and revising mechanistic models. They also play a crucial role in the design of computational models that show how an identified mechanism would behave under a variety of conditions (including alterations to the environment and to the mechanism).

This interdisciplinary workshop seeks to expand our understanding of the ways in which diagrams contribute to science through analysis of diagrams used in actual scientific research and theoretical accounts and experimental investigations of the ways scientists construct or reason with diagrams. We invite papers from both philosophers and historians of science, cognitive scientists who study diagrams, and scientists who use them. Hotel accommodations for three nights will be provided for those whose papers are accepted, but we are not able to cover travel costs.

Submissions, in the form of an extended abstract of no more than 1000 words, should be made through Easy Chair:
The deadline for submission is December 20, 2014.  

For any questions concerning the conference, please contact William Bechtel (bechtel@ucsd.edu).

Keynote Speakers
Nancy Nersessian, Psychology, Harvard University
Mary Hegarty, Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Christian Schunn, Psychology and LRDC, University of Pittsburgh
Andrea Woody, Philosophy, University of Washington

Organizing Committee
William Bechtel (Chair, University of California, San Diego)
Sara Green (University of Pittsburgh)
Nicholaos Jones (University of Alabama, Huntsville)
James Lennox (University of Pittsburgh)
Nancy Nersessian (Harvard University)
Sarah Roe (Southern Connecticut State University)

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Revised 10/14/14 - Copyright 2010