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::: center home >> people >> visiting fellows, 2005-06 >> forster

Malcolm Forster
University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Spring Term 2006
Unification and the Holistic Nature of Scientific Evidence

Even though Malcolm was born and raised in New Zealand, he has left much of that behind, except for the twang and an undying interest in mountaineering and squash racquets. After leaving New Zealand in 1978, he lived in Poland, Canada, and Australia, before coming to the United States in 1987. He has been in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since that time. As a student of mathematics in the seventies, he underwent a conversion to philosophy thanks to the positive influence of Alan Musgrave and Pavel Tichý at the University of Otago, coupled with a curiosity about intellectual problems that are not well posed. Interested mainly in philosophy of physics at the time, he completed a Ph.D. dissertation on probabilistic causality and quantum mechanics at the University of Western Ontario in 1984. Since then, he has traveled almost everywhere in philosophy of science, enjoying forays in phylogenetic inference, the philosophy of statistics, connectionist networks, simplicity and unification in the methodology of science, William Whewell’s philosophy of science, and cognitive science. And he is even thinking about the foundations of physics again, thanks to his association with Alexey Kryukov.

3 August 2010
Malcolm Forster is now living in China as a result of his meeting another fellow, Wang Wei of Tsinghua University, during their stay at the Center in 2006.  He plans to preach the Pittsburgh philosophy of science to unsuspecting PhD students at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Tsinghua University, Beijing, for the next 18 months.

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Revised 10/2/12 - Copyright 2006