This is a preliminary announcement of a conference on the Metaphysics of Science, which will be held at the University of Melbourne 3-5 July 2009.
The purpose of the conference will be to promote discussion of current research in the metaphysics of science. The field of the metaphysics of science is one that barely existed a decade or two ago. But it has now become one of the most active areas of current research in philosophy of science and closely related areas of philosophy. Our aim will be to bring together a significant group of philosophers who are currently working on the metaphysics of science for concentrated discussion of their current research, as well as to explore new directions that are opening up in the field. It is anticipated that at least one major volume of published essays will emerge from papers presented at the conference.
For a general overview of the relevant issues, please see the text on the Metaphysics of Science by Brian Ellis.
We anticipate that topics will range over a variety of areas of interest in the metaphysics of science. Such potential topics for discussion may include topics in the ontology of science, such as causation, laws of nature, natural kinds, universals, essences, dispositions and powers. Issues relating to scientific realism and anti-realism, as well as the implications of the realist/anti-realist debate for topics in the metaphysics of science will also be on the agenda. Other topics to be explored are likely to include the nature of possibility and necessity, as well as truth-makers, especially as these topics relate to the metaphysics of science.
Research in the metaphysics of science is being undertaken throughout the philosophical world. We therefore expect the conference to be international in character. Philosophers in the Australasian region have been active contributors to this new field of research. So we expect a significant presence of Australasian philosophers working in the area. However, we hope to attract significant participation by philosophers from North America, Great Britain and continental Europe, as well as other parts of the world. As details of invited speakers emerge, we will announce a list of invited speakers.
Further details will be announced on this website, as information becomes available. In particular, we plan in the near future to make announcements of a list of invited speakers, a call for papers, as well as details of the conference venue, registration details and accommodation.
The conference is a joint initiative that is sponsored on a collective basis by the Philosophy programs of La Trobe, Melbourne and Monash Universities. The Centre for Time of the University of Sydney will co-sponsor a symposium which will be held at the conference.
Organizational Committee: David Armstrong, John Bigelow, Andrew Brennan, Brian Ellis, Graham Oppy, Toby Handfield, Huw Price, Graham Priest, Howard Sankey.