Workshop: The philosophy of historical case studies

I am co-organizing a workshop on the integration of history and philosophy of science next November. The workshop’s website is now online. Check it out: We already have a nice lineup of speakers, with more to come.

We try to do something unique with the workshop by focusing on a type of underdetermination problem: What happens when different philosophical positions lead to competing accounts of the same historical episode? On the workshop’s website, we give several examples of this problem, which we think is quite virulent.

With this particular approach we hope to strike a delicate balance. On the one hand, the topic is broad enough to allow our speakers to engage with any HPS-related issue that they find interesting and worth discussing. But on the other hand our problem is focused enough to avoid, hopefully, a certain kind of abstract lament, where we all agree that of course we want our philosophy to be grounded in history (but it would be wrong to generalize from individual cases!) and that of course our history should be mindful of philosophical concepts (but you must not read the philosophy into the history!).

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