CamPoS: Cambridge Philosophy of Science

CamPoS seminar series

The Wednesday afternoon seminar series features current research by CamPoS members as well as visitors to Cambridge and scholars based in nearby institutions. If you are interested in presenting in the series, please contact Hasok Chang.

Unless otherwise specified, seminars are held on Wednesdays, 1.00–2.30pm in Seminar Room 2 in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Free School Lane.



27 April, David Crawford (HPS), 'Hierarchical Transition Modes of Biological Systems are Evolvable'

4 May, Daniel Mitchell (HPS), 'What’s nu? Maxwell’s Electrical Metrology and the Electromagnetic Theory of Light Reappraised'

11 May, Ken Waters (Calgary), 'No General Structure'

14 May, Masterclass in Philosophy of Physics at Trinity College, N. P. Landsman (Nijmegen), Fred Muller (Rotterdam), Owen Maroney (Oxford), 'Measurement, Emergence, and the Classical-Quantum Interface'

25 May, Alex Blum (Max Planck Institute for the  History of Science), 'The Inconsistency of Quantum Electrodynamics: A History'

LENT 2016

20 January, Natalja Deng (Philosophy & Divinity), 'Does Time Seem to Pass?’  

27 January, Huw Price (Philosophy), ‘CSER and the Leverhulme CFI:  How, What, and Where Next’  

3 February, Emily Adlam (DAMTP), ‘The Problem of Confirmation in the Everett Interpretation’

10 February, Eran Tal (HPS), 'Measurement Error and the Problem of Quantity Individuation'

17 February, Juha Saatsi (Leeds), ‘Explanatory Abstractions’

24 February, Ruth Hibbert (Kent), ‘Entangled Histories:  Enactivism, Representationalism, and Frederic Bartlett’

2 March, Alex Broadbent (Johannesburg), ‘Prediction and Medicine’ 

9 March, Nic Teh (Notre Dame), ‘Capacities, Fundamentalism, and Schematic Unification’


17 September, Sam Schweber (Harvard & Brandeis), ‘On the Transformation of "Fundamental" Physics in the Decade 1975-1985'

14 October, Raphael Scholl (HPS), ‘The Argument from the Good Lot:  Unconceived Alternatives and 20th Century Genetics'

21 October, Alison Wylie (U. Washington), ‘What Knowers Know Well:  On the Relevance of Feminist Standpoint Theory to Philosophy of Science'

28 October, Shahar Avin (CSER), ‘Simulating Scientific Merit Dynamics'

4 November, Catrin Campbell-Moore (Cambridge & Bristol), ‘Imprecise Credences and the Probabilistic Liar'

11 November, Jacob Stegenga (Utah & Victoria), ‘Absolute Measures of Effectiveness’

14 November, Masterclass in Philosophy of Physics at Trinity College, David Wallace (Oxford), James Ladyman (Bristol) and Roman Frigg (LSE), 'Foundations of Thermal Physics'

25 November, Sang Yi (Hanyang & Cambridge), ‘Landauer on the Physical Nature of Information'

2 December, Maria Serban (LSE), ‘On Geometrical Concepts, Proofs, and Understanding in Pure and Applied Mathematics'



29 April, Catherine Wilson (York), 'From the Biological Self to Psychological Self'

6 May, Katie Steele (LSE), 'International Paretianism: A Palatable Response to Climate Change?'

13 May, Erik Angner (George Mason), 'There Is No Problem of Interpersonal Comparisons'

20 May, Marta Halina (HPS), 'Idealization, Abstraction, and the Ontic View of Explanation' 

LENT 2015

 21 January, Cheryl Misak (Toronto), 'The Subterranean Influence of Pragmatism on the Vienna Circle: Peirce, Ramsey, Wittgenstein'       

28 January, Henk de Regt (VU Amsterdam), 'Kinds and Degrees of (Scientific) Understanding'

4 February, Jenny Judge (Music), 'Does the Missing Fundamental Require an Inferentialist Explanation?'        

11 February, Jonathan Knowles (NTNU), 'Pragmatism and the Possibility of Naturalistic Metaphysics'

18 February, Christian List (LSE),  'Emergent Chance' (jointly authored with Marcus Pivato)

25 February, Anna Alexandrova (HPS), 'Psychometric Validation as Theory Avoidance'

4 March, Christopher Clarke (HPS), 'The Metaphysics of Race: Distinctions without any Differences'

11 March, Havi Carel (Bristol), 'The Philosophical Role of Illness'


15 October, Richard Pettigrew (Bristol), 'Accuracy-first epistemology'

16 October, Anjan Chakravartty (Notre Dame), 'The realist stance'

22 October, David Papineau (KCL), 'Causation as a thermodynamic phenomenon'

29 October, Kim Sterelny (ANU), 'Farewell to content'

5 November, No seminar (PSA conference)

12 November, Adrian Boutel (HPS), 'Things don't fall apart: persistence and functional explanation in social science'

21 November, Eleanor Knox (KCL), 'Spacetime Structuralism or Spacetime Functionalism?'

26 November, Shyane Siriwardena (Cambridge), 'Interventionist causation and the placement problem'

3 December, Alex Broadbent (Johannesberg), 'Causation and prediction in epidemiology'


EASTER  2014

30 April, Stuart Firestein (Biology, Columbia), 'The Scientific Method: Ignorance, Uncertainty, Doubt, Failure...'

7 May, Marion Godman (HPS), 'The Special Science Dilemma and How Culture Solves It'

21 May, Jonathan Birch (HPS & LSE), 'Kin Selection, Group Selection and Human Sociality'


LENT 2014

22 January, Mauricio Suárez (Institute Philosophy / Complutense), 'Propensities and pragmatism'

29 January, Lisa Bortolotti (Birmingham), 'The epistemic innocence project'

5 February, Tim Lewens (Cambridge), 'Human nature: from theory to practice'

12 February, Sophia Efstathiou (Norwegian University of Science and Technology), 'How we manage to manage '"knowledge": using computational infrastructures in semantic systems biology'

19 February, Alexander Bird (Bristol), 'Inference to the best explanation and paradigms'

26 February, Leon Horsten (Bristol), 'Infinitesimal Probabilities'

5 March, Caterina Marchionni (Helsinki), 'Triangulation of phenomena'

12 March, Theo Kuipers (Groningen), 'Nomic truth approximation by revising models and postulates in the light of increasing evidence'



16 October, John Dupré (Exeter), 'A processual perspective on biology'

23 October, Phil Dawid (Statistical Laboratory, Cambridge), 'Individual risk: does it exist or not?'

30 October, Robert Northcott (Birkbeck), 'Opinion polling and social science'

6 November, Sam Fletcher (UC Irvine), 'The topology of intertheoretic reduction'

13 November, Lena Zuchowski (HPS), 'Gestalt switches in the prize paper: inspiration for, but not an instance of, chaos'

20 November, Matteo Mameli (KCL), 'On the evolutionary origins of morality'

27 November, Katie Steele (LSE), 'Climate models, calibration, and confirmation'

4 December, Kerry McKenzie (Calgary), 'The plurality of priority'


EASTER  2013

1 May, William Harper (Western Ontario), 'Isaac Newton’s Scientific Method'

8 May, Paulina Sliwa (Philosophy), 'Knowing and Understanding'

15 May, Donald Gillies (UCL), 'Two Views on the Relation between Causality and Probability'

22 May, Ian Kidd (Durham), 'Epistemic Humility'

LENT 2013

23 January, Charlotte Werndl (LSE), 'The problem of double-counting evidence illustrated by climate science'

30 January, Elselijn Kingma (HPS), 'Dysfunction and biological variation: a problem for SE accounts of functions'

6 February, Emma Tobin (UCL), 'Domain specificity in protein classification: a problem for monism'

13 February, Adrian Boutel (HPS), 'Winchgenstein and functional explanation'

20 February, Brian Pitts (Philosophy), 'Real change happens in general relativity, even in Hamiltonian form'

27 February, Katharina Kraus (HPS),'Does psychological knowledge presuppose self-knowledge? A Kantian perspective'

6 March, Christopher Clarke (HPS), 'How autonomous are social scientific explanations?'

13 March, Stephen John (HPS), 'The social epistemology of the International Panel on Climate Change'


10 October, Dean Rickles (Sydney), 'All possible perspectives: a defence of Eddington's selective subjectivism'

17 October, Emily Thomas (Philosophy), 'Catharine Cockburn on substantival space: a "new" 18th-century solution'

24 October, Sally Riordan (Stanford University), 'The meaning of "kilogram"'

31 October, Adam Caulton (Philosophy), 'A Humean alternative on what there is'

7 November, Jonathan Birch (HPS), 'Altruism and relatedness in microbial populations'

14 November, Angela Breitenbach (Philosophy), 'Aesthetics in science'

21 November, Giovanni Valente (Pittsburgh), 'Lanford's theorem and the emergence of irreversibility'

28 November, Arif Ahmed (Philosophy), 'Modality in decision theory'