Monday, November 8, 2010

Job at Cincinnati

UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI, CINCINNATI, OH. Assistant Professor, tenure-track, to begin September 1, 2011, Ph.D. in hand by time of appointment. AOS: Philosophy of Mind/Philosophy of Science AOC: Open, but we have a preference for epistemology or logic. We seek a colleague prepared to develop an extensive and rich research program, including where appropriate, external research support, to excel in teaching, and to pursue university and professional service and professional development opportunities. 6 courses per year on quarters transitioning to 4 courses per year on semesters in 2012-2013. Includes graduate, advanced undergraduate, and introductory undergraduate supervision/instruction. We are a Ph.D.-granting department with strengths in philosophy of biology, philosophy and cognitive science, and aesthetics. The University of Cincinnati is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. Women, minorities, and disabled persons are encouraged to apply. Applicants must apply online at and send a full dossier by snail mail to: Christopher Gauker, Search Committee Chair, Department of Philosophy, 206 McMicken Hall, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210374, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0374. Applications must include a cover letter, CV, writing sample(s), three letters of recommendation, and evidence of teaching qualifications. Review of dossiers will begin on 22 November and continue until the position is closed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Metaphysics in the Philosophy of Science Conference

May 13-15, 2011

University of Toronto


Presented by the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto and the Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine, University of Chicago 

The philosophy of science has an illustrious history of attraction and antipathy towards metaphysics. The latter was famously exemplified in the Logical Positivist contention that metaphysical questions are meaningless, but in the wake of the demise of Positivism, metaphysics has found its way back into the philosophy of science. Increasingly, questions about the nature of natural laws, kinds, dispositions, and so on have taken a metaphysical cast. The metaphysics of science commands significant attention in contemporary philosophy.
While many philosophers embrace the increased contact between metaphysics and the philosophy of science, others are wary. Should science (and its philosophical study) lead us into doing metaphysics? If so, which metaphysical issues are genuine and which are illusory, and how might we tell? Interestingly, these questions dovetail with similar soul-searching in metaphysics proper (sometimes under the banner of "meta-metaphysics", sometimes simply as methodology).
This conference will examine ground-level debates about metaphysics within the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of biology, and broader methodological questions about the role of metaphysics in the philosophy of science. Participation is open and welcome from all parties to these questions: from those who hold that metaphysics must have a place within the philosophy of science, to those who hold it should not.


Call for Papers:

13–15 May 2011
The University of Toronto
Craig Callender (University of California, San Diego)
Anjan Chakravartty (University of Toronto)
Katherine Hawley (University of St. Andrews)
Jenann Ismael (University of Arizona)
James Ladyman (University of Bristol)
Kyle Stanford (University of California, Irvine)
Michael Strevens (New York University)
Robert Wilson (University of Alberta)
Essays of 4,000-5,000 words (30 minutes allotted for presentations) concerning any aspect of metaphysics and the natural or social sciences will be accepted for review until January 10, 2011. Please include a short abstract (200 words or so), a few keywords, prepare your essayfor blind review (do not include your name or other identifying references in the document), and submit it in PDF format here.
By early February 2011.
If you would like to act as a session chair, please contact <> with your areas of competence.

Chris Haufe (University of Chicago) 
Matthew H. Slater (Bucknell University)
Zanja Yudell (California State University, Chico)
Please direct general conference inquiries to
Additional information about this conference will be posted here shortly.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Putting Powers to Work: A Conference on Causal Powers in Metaphysics

April 28-30, 2011
Saint Louis University


This conference aims to build on the existing literature concerning what causal powers (or dispositions or capacities) are by asking what causal powers can do. Many contemporary metaphysicians think that accepting irreducible causal powers enables one to give accounts of, say, laws of nature, causation, and modality that are preferable to other contemporary accounts. But is that right? What should those accounts look like? Are there other areas in metaphysics—metaphysics of mind and agency, or metaphysics of science—that can be accounted for at least in part in terms of irreducible causal powers? In other words, supposing for the sake of argument that you accepted irreducible causal powers or dispositions, what good might they do for us in metaphysics?

Speakers include Nancy Cartwright, Alexander Bird, Anjan Chakravartty, John Heil, Max Kistler, Stephen Mumford, Timothy O'Connor, David Robb, and Neil Williams. Funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and by the Department of Philosophy at Saint Louis University.

Workshop Call for Papers

A workshop will follow the conference on the afternoon of April 30. The workshop will be a roundtable discussion of papers on the theme and questions of the conference. Presentations will be 20-30 minutes. A committee may select papers from the workshop for inclusion in the conference edited collection. We invite submissions for the workshop program. Email an abstract to If the committee cannot reach a decision on the basis of the abstract, it may ask for the full paper. Deadline for submission is December 1, 2010.

For more information, see the conference website, or email Jonathan D. Jacobs at Registration is free.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Metaphysics of Science Conference, August 3-5, 2010, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea

The Korean Society for Analytic Philosophy and Metaphysics Research
Group at Kyung Hee University (Seoul, Korea) will jointly host an
international conference on the metaphysics of science from Tuesday
3rd August to Thursday 5th August, 2010. The conference venue will be
the Seoul campus of Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. The conference
aims to identify and explore fundamental metaphysical issues in
connection with the recent development of sciences. Another important
goal of this conference is to give a valuable opportunity for analytic
philosophers around the world (especially in the East-Asia region) to
come together and exchange their views, interests, and ideas. This is
hoped to promote future interactions among analytic philosophers in
the East-Asia region, and possibly contribute to the formation of
international research teams for collaborations.

Keynote speakers
Alexander Bird (Bristol University, UK), Huw Price (University of
Sydney, Australia ), Helen Beebee (University of Birmingham, UK)

Program highlights
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
•  Huw Price (University of Sydney , Australia) Time's arrow and
Eddington's challenge 11:10 am - 12:00 pm

•  In-Rae Cho (Seoul National Univ, Korea) The task-relative
rationality of human reasoning 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm
•  Masahiro Yamada (Claremont Graduate University, USA) Ruling out
that pigs speak fluent French when nobody's looking 2:20 pm - 3:10 pm
•  Hsi-Heng Cheng (National Tsin-Hua University, Taiwan) On Peirce ' s
conception of laws of nature 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm
•  Szu-Ting Chen (National Tsin-Hua University, Taiwan) Causal
structure as a guiding idea in the practice of economic theorizing
4:20 pm - 5:10 pm

•  Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (UCLA, USA) Mathematical
scepticism and entitlement 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm
•  Hsing-Chien Tsai (National Chung-Cheng University , Taiwan) A
modest mathematical Platonism 2:20 pm - 3:10 pm
•  Jung Il Park (Sookmyung Women's Univ, Korea) Wittgenstein on
Godel's incompleteness theorem 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm
•  Woosuk Park (KAIST, Korea) Was Hilbert ' s foundation of physics
(too) metaphysical 4:20 pm - 5:10 pm

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
•  Alexander Bird (Bristol University, UK) The ontology of natural
kinds 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

•  Eline Busck Gundersen (University of Oslo, Norway) The metaphysical
modesty of conditional accounts of dispositions 10:00 am - 10:50 am
•  Lars Bo Gundersen (Aarhus University, Denmark ) Knowledge,
cognitive dispositions and conditionals 10:50 am - 11:40 am
•  Chunghyoung Lee (POSTECH, Korea) Before-effect, Zeno causality or
no (Known) cause 2:40 pm - 3:30 pm
•  Toby Handfield (Monash University, Australia) The concept of chance
3:30 pm - 4:20 pm
•  Simon Langford (Hannam University, Korea) The no persistence
conditions thesis 4:40 pm - 5:30 pm
•  Tora Koyama (Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka
University, Japan) Fundamentality and ideology 5:30 pm - 6:20 pm

•  Jinho Kang (Seoul National Univ, Korea) Chomsky and Wittgenstein
against referential semantics 10:00 am - 10:50 am
•  Kai-Yuan Cheng (National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan) The
meaning of disposition ascriptions: a Wittgensteinian approach 10:50
am - 11:40 am

•  Takahiro Yamada (Kyoto University, Japan) The "truth-value links"
problem for anti-realism about the Past 2:40 pm - 3:30 pm
•  Reuy-Lin Chen (National Chung-Cheng University, Taiwan)
Experimental realism and realization 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm
•  Yasuo Nakayama (Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka
University, Japan) A nominalistic theory of multiple languages and its
application to debates on scientific realism 4:40 pm - 5:30 pm
•  Shin Kim (Hankuk Univ of Foreign Studies, Korea) Abstract entities
and the inference to the best explanation 5:30 pm - 6:20 pm

Thursday, August 5, 2010
•  Helen Beebee (University of Birmingham, UK) Is causation scalar?
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

•  Itay Shani (Kyung Hee University, Korea) Mind stuffed with red
herrings: on aggregates, unities, and James ' argument against the “
Self-compounding of mental facts 10:00 am - 10:50 am
•  Young E Rhee (Kangwon National Univ, Korea) How can functionalism
support the extended mind hypothesis? 10:50 am - 11:40 am
•  Youngjin Kiem (Kyonggi Univ, Korea) Consciousness and the
background of intentional states 2:40 pm - 3:30 pm
•  Masaki Ichinose (Tokyo University, Japan) Degrees of freedom and
life science 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm

•  Huw Price (University of Sydney, Australia) Human incapacities and
their metaphysical significance 10:00 am - 10:50 am
•  Takeshi Sakon (Osaka University, Japan) Why are there no time-
travellers?: from a presentist point of view 10:50 am - 11:40 am
•  Chuang Liu (University of Florida, USA) On a quantum model of
decision that supports libertarian free will 2:40 pm - 3:30 pm

For more information about the conference (aims, program, registration
fees, accommodations, restaurants, maps and so on), view the website

Monday, February 15, 2010

2010 Central Division APA Meeting

GI-7. Society for the Metaphysics of Science
Thursday, February 18, 9:00 a.m.-Noon

Topic: Degrees of Freedom and Inter-theoretic Relations
Chair: Carl Gillett (Northern Illinois University)

Speakers: Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto)
“The Metaphysical Basis of Emergent Non-linear Phenomena”

Jeffrey Yoshimi (University of California–Merced)
“The Geometry of Inter-theoretic Relations”

Mariam Thalos (University of Utah)
“Nonreductive Materialism without Hierarchies”

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010 Pacific Division APA Meeting

GVIII-G. Society for the Metaphysics of Science, Session 1
Thursday, April 1, 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Topic: Decomposing the Mind: From Functional Analysis to Mechanistic Explanation
Chair: Cory Wright (California State University–Long Beach)

Speakers: David M. Kaplan (Washington University in St. Louis)
“Decomposition, Description, and Explanation in Visual Neuroscience”

Gualtiero Piccinini (University of Missouri–St. Louis)
“Functional Analyses as Mechanism Sketches”

Mark B. Couch (Seton Hall University)
“Mechanisms and Explanatory Relevance”

Daniel Weiskopf (Georgia State University)
“Mechanisms and Models in Psychological Explanation”

Carrie Figdor (University of Iowa)
“What Is a Piece of Mind?”

= = =

GXI-L. Society for the Metaphysics of Science, Session 2
Friday, April 2, 7:00-10:00 p.m.

Topic: The Role of Abstraction in Causal-Mechanical Explanation
Chair: Gualtiero Piccinini (University of Missouri–St. Louis)

Speakers: Stuart Glennan (Butler University)
“Building and Explaining Mechanisms: Some Lessons on the Role of Abstraction”

James Tabery (University of Utah)
“Mechanisms and Difference Mechanisms”

Cory Wright (California State University–Long Beach)
“The Role of Abstraction in Generalizations about Mechanistic Phenomena”

Michael Strevens (New York University)
“Toward a Quantitative Theory of Idealization”