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09:00-11:00 Session 7A: Philosophy of science in practice
Method Transfer and Formation of a Field: Case Study of Microbial Ecology (online)

ABSTRACT. Practical aspects of scientific research are not present in philosophical discussions of ecology as a discipline. Philosophers of ecology rather focus on scientific laws in ecology. One strand of research in ecology concerns the study of microbes, their interaction with each other, non-microbial species, and their physical surroundings. Advances in molecular techniques prompted an upsurge in the study of microbes and exposed ecological categories such as species abundance, distribution, and competition to different disciplinary contexts forming new research niches. Thus, ecology and its interactions with different disciplines is a rich topic for philosophy of science investigations. As the microbial dimension of ecological research is not yet put under philosophical scrutiny to an adequate extent, the paper aims to fill the lacuna by examining the emergence of new disciplinary intersections and the formation of the field of microbial ecology.

Evaluating the quality of model-based regional climate information: the case of the UK Climate Projections 2018 (online)

ABSTRACT. Baldissera Pacchetti et al. (in press) have proposed a framework for evaluating the epistemic quality of regional climate information that intends to inform decision making. The framework specifies five dimensions along which quality can be assessed: diversity, completeness, theory, adequacy for purpose and transparency. Here, we evaluate this framework by applying it to one example of climate information for adaptation: the UK Climate Projections of 2018 (UKCP18). UKCP18 embodies some of the main modeling strategies that drive the field of climate science today: probabilistic uncertainty assessments with multi-model and perturbed physics ensembles, dynamical downscaling, and the use of convection permitting models. We argue that for those dimensions that can be evaluated, UKCP18 is not sufficiently epistemically reliable to provide information of high quality for all of the products provided. We conclude by highlighting the limitations of the framework and opportunities to improve it.

Domain-specific explanatory norms and interdisciplinary collaboration (online)

ABSTRACT. This paper contributes resources from the philosophy of science to identify differences in explanatory norms across disciplines and how such differences affect interdisciplinary collaboration. The body of literature on explanatory norms and interdisciplinarity is rapidly growing (Marchionni 2013). However, there is still no consensus on a theoretical framework that allows us to compare norms across disciplines in a systematic manner. The aim of this paper is to provide a framework that enables to identify explanatory norms across fields and to use distance between norms as an indicator of patterns of interdisciplinary work. By pursuing these goals, this work promises to be theoretically practically relevant. It contributes to the work on domain-specific explanatory norms; and provides recommendations for science-policy assessment of interdisciplinary science. This way, it shows the importance of grounding the design of institutional factors in philosophy of science work.

09:00-11:00 Session 7B: Philosophy of physical sciences
Wave Function Realism vis-à-vis Functional Reduction (in person)

ABSTRACT. Wave function realism maintains that the quantum wave function is a field inhabiting an incredibly high-dimensional space. Thus, this doctrine has to provide an explanation for the emergence of the 3-dimensional world. The main solution has been to adopt a broadly functionalist approach to the problem. But the bare appeal to functionalism leaves some open issues: what is the metaphysical relation between the fundamental ontology and the 3-dimensional one? And what is the ontological status of the derivative entities? I will defend a form of functional reductionism à la David Lewis, which entails identity relations between the wave function and the 3-dimensional ontology. However, this seems at odds with the intuition that the relation between the two categories is asymmetrical, since the wave function is taken as more fundamental. Thus, my secondary aim will be to show how identity relations in this context can be reconciled with a description of reality as hierarchically-layered.

The Labelling Problem: Does QM require Free Logic? (in person)

ABSTRACT. In the philosophical debate concerning the individuality and distinguishability of quantum particles, there are three main defence strategies of the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. I will focus on the summing defence strategy regarding fermionic non-entangled and entangled states. According to the summing defence strategy, in a fermionic GMW-entangled state, there are no numerically distinct entities, but only a unied, undivided whole that can be (descriptively) referred to. As I will show, descriptive referencing holds for the non-entangled as well as the entangled situation, whereby free logic helps us to understand how we can properly refer to particles (i.e. similar fermions) before unication, while entangled, and after dividing the physical system again via an EPR-like measurement.

Leibniz’s principle, (non-)entanglement, and Pauli exclusion (in person)

ABSTRACT. Both bosons and fermions satisfy Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII), and so are ontologically on a par with respect to PII. This holds concerning non-entangled non-product states, and regarding entangled states – as it has been established in previous work. In this talk, the focus is on bosonic symmetric product states. I will provide a new understanding of Pauli’s Exclusion Principle, and argue that it distinguishes bosons from fermions in a peculiar ontological way.

Indeterminate Causation: an Argument from Quantum Physics (in person)
PRESENTER: Laurie Letertre

ABSTRACT. It is often assumed that, if c causes e, then it is determinate that c causes e. Call this principle Determinacy of Causation (DetC for short). In recent years it has been shown that DetC suffers from various objections within a Humean framework for understanding causation. In this paper we argue that recent discoveries in the foundations of quantum mechanics might give further motivations for rejecting DetC. We focus on the phenomenon known as quantum switch, and show that a mildly realist attitude towards this result forces us to put DetC into question. We will then briefly highlight some of the consequences of abandoning DetC by discussing various models for articulating the notion of indeterminacy. 

09:00-11:00 Session 7C: Philosophy of life sciences
Feminist Philosophy of Immunology Phase 2 – Avoiding Taxonomic Chauvinism (online)

ABSTRACT. In this paper I will criticize current concepts of the immune system (IS) for focusing entirely on mammals. I will continue the groundwork laid by early feminist scholarship regarding bias in immunology to provide an alternative position resisting taxonomic chauvinism. Ideally, a framework that resists biases is also a framework that describes the processes studied more accurately. Examining an invertebrate IS, I will show that: 1) there are invertebrate adaptive IS, based on nucleic acids and thus transgenerational; 2) the distinction between biotic and abiotic stressors breaks down. Reworking our concept of the IS to address the vast heterogeneity of multiple realized IS will be helpful both to the philosophical debate whether the self/nonself-, danger-, or continuity theory best predicts the outcomes of IS interactions, as well as epistemically helpful to scientists, who study organisms that do not match the mammalian prerogatives of IS.

Can M. B. Williams and Alexander Rosenberg’s axiomatisation of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection be grounded in quantitative and population genetics? (online)

ABSTRACT. This paper provides an extension of M. B. Williams and Alexander Rosenberg’s axiomatisation of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection (understood as a genealogical mechanism) in order to answer the following question: how would it be possible to ground this same axiomatisation in the genetic underpinnings of evolution as they are outlined by population and quantitative genetics models within the framework of the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis? To this avail, it outlines the formal and conceptual ties that can be established between Williams and Rosenberg’s fundamental axiom, on the one hand, and R. A. Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection, on the other hand, by means of the Price equation, construed as the analytical description of a path diagram representing a given phenotypic character’s genetic transmission under natural selection.

Renegotiating the organism-environment boundary (in person)

ABSTRACT. My aim is to flesh out and offer a novel answer to the ‘organism-environment boundary’ problem in philosophy of biology. I distinguish three positions in the current debate: (i) definitive boundary seekers, i.e. those scholars committed to finding generalizable, fixed criteria to individuate organisms; (ii) boundary retreaters, i.e. those that disavow a meaningful distinction between organism and environment due to causal co-determination; and (iii) boundary pragmatists, i.e. those granting a heuristic role to individuation as a practice-first, explanatory tool. I argue that a fourth position is tenable, viz. that one can be a 'shifting boundaries defender'. According to this stance, different boundaries with the environment could be instantiated throughout the life cycles of organisms. This proposal synthesizes advantages of former positions, and is supported by phylogenetically-diverse case studies of organisms that exhibit life cycles with shifting organism-environment boundaries.

Coherent Causal Control in Biological Systems (in person)

ABSTRACT. The recent literature on causality has seen the introduction of several distinctions within causal relations, which are thought to be important for understanding the widespread scientific practice of focusing causal explanations on a subset of the factors that jointly cause a phenomenon, or on specific levels. Concepts used to draw such distinctions include in particular stability, specificity and proportionality. In this contribution, I propose a new distinction that picks out an important set of causal explanations in the life sciences. Some select causes in complex biological systems, I argue, have the property of supporting coherent causal control of these systems. I propose an analysis of this notion based on causal graphs. Examples of such control variables include hormones and other signaling molecules, morphogens or the products of homeotic selector genes in embryonic pattern formation.

09:00-11:00 Session 7D: General philosophy of science
Model templates and synchronized oscillators (online)
PRESENTER: Tarja Knuuttila

ABSTRACT. Network methods are applied across nearly all scientific disciplines, spawning also many philosophical analyses. In this paper, we examine two recent accounts of topological explanation that focus on network topologies (Huneman 2010, 2015; Kostić 2018, 2020). Both of these accounts assume that topological “higher-level” structures are realized by a great variety of systems differing from each other in their material and micro-structural features. We argue that both accounts make too heavy ontological commitments, and do not pay attention to model application. We argue for a change in perspective, from the discussion of explanation to that of modeling, and approaching network topologies in a more ontologically neutral way, as model templates for minimal model construction. We will further elaborate network modeling by studying the first mathematical model of collective synchronization of oscillators that was developed by mathematical biologist Arthur Winfree (1967).

On the empirical content of deep neural networks (online)

ABSTRACT. Deep neural networks (DNNs) predict activity in the human brain, despite not being trained to do so. Such unsolicited predictions appear to justify the claim that the DNN is “doing the same thing as the brain.” The fact that the network formalism applies to both biological and artifical systems seems significant. I articulate its significance by asking whether it can be viewed either as an instance of multiple realization, or as an instance of model transfer. I conclude that there is a spectrum of phenomena between these paradigm cases, and that predictive DNNs occupy a middle position on that spectrum.

Computer simulations as epistemically consistent sources – a neither reductionist nor non-reductionist account (in person)

ABSTRACT. Computer simulations have received important philosophical attention in the last decade, focusing especially on the warrants of the knowledge they provide. In this paper, I argue that the main positions defended in this literature are comparable to the reductionistic and non-reductionistic stances in the epistemology of testimony. I then claim that both views are unsatisfactory, especially regarding the opacity of the simulations’ processes. I show this point with a study of the discretization techniques used in this field. I finally propose a third view, inspired by Jennifer Lackey’s account of testimony: rather than focusing on a simulation’s processes, we must direct our attention to its outputs and results in assessing its warrants. This implies to consider computer simulations as epistemically consistent sources, not mere conveyers of knowledge. Therefore, I argue that simulations have their own credentials, which cannot be reduced without remainder to pre-existing knowledge.

09:00-11:00 Session 7E: General philosophy of science
Avoiding the hard questions (online)

ABSTRACT. In what follows I will question the second-philosophical project Maddy substantiates in her recent book, 'Defending the Axioms'. I will focus on one counterexample to her chosen methodology: the Axiom of Choice and its implications concerning the nature of sets. Following suggestions made by Thoralf Skolem, I will be arguing that first-philosophical questions concerning what sets are and whether they exist do occur often in the mathematical practice of the founding figures of set theory, and should do so for today's practitioners as well.

Ground for Ontic Structuralists (online)

ABSTRACT. A diverse family of views gather under the banner of ontic structuralism. Despite specific differences, structuralist approaches claim that what exists fundamentally are the structures described by our best physical theories. Thus, it appears that ontic structuralist views are committed to the thesis that all or many fundamental entities are structures. To evaluate the correctness of this doctrine, we must clarify the sense of fundamentality at play. I will argue that the notion of ground is an excellent tool for achieving this goal because of its intimate tie with both fundamentality and ontological priority. I will conclude by reformulating and classifying ontic structuralist approaches as grounding views. What emerges is a novel and systematic taxonomy for ontic structuralism.

Ontological Dependence in Mathematical Structuralism (in person)

ABSTRACT. Mathematical objects can ontologically depend on other mathematical objects or domains of such. Ontological dependence relations are therefore integral to the ongoing effort to characterise non-eliminative structuralism. While there is general consensus that there are such dependence relations present, there have been surprisingly few attempts to characterise the relation itself. Interestingly, due to the recent construals of Husserl as a proponent of early mathematical structuralism, the relation of foundation presents itself as a candidate (LU III). This paper explains how the relation of foundation can be a suitable dependence relation for non-eliminative structuralism, as it allows for a more fine-grained analysis, due to its (i) unifying character, and (ii) for permitting dependence relations to be nested. This accounts for the constitutive character of a structure and its elements and shows how some elements depend only on some other elements belonging to the same structure.

Epistemic Scientism and the Scientific Meta-Method (in person)
PRESENTER: Petri Turunen

ABSTRACT. Proponents of epistemic scientism need to take some stance on “the” scientific method, since they claim that scientific enquiry is carried out in a more optimal manner than other epistemic endeavours, and a method basically just is a way to carry out something. The proponents of scientism cannot simply defer to the social organisation of science because the social processes themselves need to fulfil some methodological criteria. Among such criteria is epistemic evaluability which demands intersubjective access to reasons. Evaluability can support weak and broad varieties of epistemic scientism which states that sciences broadly construed are the best sources for objective knowledge. Since humanities and social sciences produce epistemically evaluable results, strong and narrow types of scientism, that take only natural sciences as sources of knowledge, would require additional argumentation in their support.

09:00-11:00 Session 7F: Philosophy of cognitive sciences
Contents of unconscious color perception (in person)

ABSTRACT. A common assumption made in higher-order theories of consciousness is that content and phenomenal character are ‘orthogonal’, i.e. that every type of representational content can be either conscious or not. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for proponents of the orthogonality between phenomenology and content to suggest that this position is supported by the empirical results obtained in investigations concerning unconscious perception. On the contrary, I argue that, at least in the context of unconscious color perception, there is not strong evidence for such orthogonality. More specifically, I distinguish between (a) representing surface colors and reflected colors, and (b) representing colors relationally and categorically. By investigating the major research paradigms regarding unconscious color perception, I claim that while conscious vision commonly categorically represents surface color, there is not strong evidence that the same is true about unconscious color perception.

The Tradeoff between Directness and Independence of Large-Scale Replication Studies in Psychology (online)

ABSTRACT. There is a difference between internal replications, conducted by original investigators, and independent replications, conducted by other researchers. Independent replicability suggests that findings are free from many kinds of bias. It also implies that research has been adequately described. Together, these properties enable the scientific community as a whole to build on the research and apply its results. But what does it mean for a replication team to be independent? The standard reply that there should be no overlap between the teams glosses over the fact that, in psychology, replication teams solicit various kinds of advice from original investigators. In fact, there is a tradeoff between how closely a replication resembles the original study (directness) and independence. I will analyze existing practices associated with large-scale replication projects in psychology, arguing that directness should not be favored over independence. I will also consider possible improvements.

Model Transfer between Physics and Cognitive Science: Information in the Free Energy Principle (online)

ABSTRACT. Computational approaches to cognition such as the free energy principle have sparked a renewed interest in the philosophy of mind concerning the possibility of a physical or computational basis for cognition. In this paper, I investigate how particular models from statistical physics and information theory are used to study the mind, and how such cross-disciplinary model transfer can be justified. Importantly, these models aim for a unified brain theory. To evaluate this goal, I employ the notion of a model template combined with philosophy of information to analyse the case of free energy principle that provides a powerful formulation for predictive processing. I will suggest that the free energy principle and other computational models of cognition can be understood as epistemic artifact, that reflect the complexity and diversity of methods that we employ to make sense of the mind.

11:30-13:30 Session 8A: Philosophy of science in practice
Making behavior accessible: A framework for conceptualizing material practice in science and its relation to theoretical practice (in person)

ABSTRACT. The paper contrasts case studies from experimental and observational behavioral biology to introduce a set of analytic categories which contribute to practice-focused accounts of science, by enabling increased coherence of analyses. It will show how phenomena of interest are made accessible by acting within a research system, which is designed and utilized as part of an approach. Approaches as selective and directed ways of interacting with the world, delineate objects and processes as elements of phenomena, and single out relations between them. Access to phenomena enables their apprehension as parts of the world that human agents can interact with. The paper will clarify how these aspects of material practice systematically relate to and interact with aspects of theoretical practice that have been captured by more familiar categories such as representation, concept, model, perspective and understanding. Thereby it will also help to re-conceptualize scientific change.

Unrealistic Models for Realistic Computations: On the Role of Idealizations in Founding Scientific Computing (in person)

ABSTRACT. We examine two rival foundational frameworks for scientific computing. The two frameworks are based on different theories of real computability: Type-2 Turing computability and BSS computability. The former is a natural extension of the Turing machine formalism to real-valued functions, whereas the latter is a highly idealized model, based on the assumption of machines that store exact real values and carry out operations between them in one step. The two frameworks are incompatible in their results as to which problems encountered in scientific computing are easy, hard or impossible to compute. We conceptually compare the two approaches and argue that, despite their incompatibility, they both have an important role to play as formal theories of computability and complexity of the problems encountered in scientific computing. We also account for the paradoxical fact that although BSS is a very unrealistic model, it is practically more useful than TTE for a great number of applications.

Replication pluralism (in person)

ABSTRACT. The replication crisis has drawn large bodies of empirical evidence into doubt. This, in turn, has led to heated controversy around a seemingly straightforward question: What is a replication? I begin by analyzing two recent answers to this question. In doing so, I argue that both the diagnostic account (Nosek and Errington 2020) and the resampling account (Machery 2020) are deficient in so they are too restrictive and too permissive in how they determine when one experiment is a replication of another, albeit in distinct ways. Ultimately, both accounts reduce our ability to assess the quality of our evidence, as well as our ability to produce more reliable evidence moving forward. Given this, I put forward a novel and more progress-generating account that I call replication pluralism. After disambiguating pluralism in this context, I argue the content of replication, the structure of replication, and the normative practice of replication, are best captured in strong pluralist terms.

The Potential of Machine Learning in Grant Review: Predicting Project Efficiency in Physics (in person)
PRESENTER: Vlasta Sikimic

ABSTRACT. We investigate the potential and limitations of machine learning in the grant review system. While peer-review has been criticized as inefficient and subjective, lottery methods for grant allocations allow randomness to enter the science funding schemes. Machine learning, on the other hand, could be seen as a fast and objective method for efficiency estimation. To analyze its potential in more depth, we conducted a study using predictive algorithms on data from projects in physics. Our predictions had a relatively high accuracy. We argue that in order to further increase the accuracy of a machine learning approach for the evaluation of scientific projects, one should incorporate additional numerical parameters and could even combine it with qualitative assessment of peer-reviewers. The flexibility of the methodology we propose allows for such adjustments.

11:30-13:30 Session 8B: Philosophy of physical sciences
Einstein Completeness as Categoricity (online)

ABSTRACT. This paper offers a rigorous reconstruction of Einstein's argument for the incompleteness of quantum mechanics, which did not make it into the EPR paper, thereby justifying a reading of Einstein completeness as categoricity. It turns out that, when suitably developed in an algebraic setting, the semantic sense in which Bohr thought quantum mechanics was complete is precisely the sense in which Einstein argued it wasn't.

A Fiction View of Thought Experiments: Kuhn's Paradox Dissolved (online)

ABSTRACT. I propose an account of Scientific Thought Experiments (STEs) based on the newly developed fiction view of models. I use this account to address "the paradox of thought experiments:" how can we gain knowledge of the world by performing thought experiments, that is, merely by using our imagination? I argue that the paradox dissolves when we adopt the proposed account: by performing an STE, we learn about a model, not about the world. How this model relates to the world is a problem independent of performing the STE. Therefore, gaining new knowledge of the world by performing an STE is a two-step process, not a single leap. I discuss two examples and argue that the proposed account relieves STEs from their epistemically suspicious status without losing the ability to analyze the epistemic role of STEs.

Indistinguishability and entanglement: A new approach (online)
PRESENTER: Sebastian Fortin

ABSTRACT. In this work we discuss the problem of defining entanglement in the case of systems composed of indistinguishable subsystems. We will propose an approach to the problem based on the algebraic formalism of quantum mechanics, which is the natural formal counterpart of an ontology of properties, devoid of the ontological category of individual. This ontology leads to a different view of indistinguishability, which is no longer a relation between particles. An additional advantage of this algebraic definition is that it does justice to the relativity of entanglement, a feature that already cannot be ignored.

Is the classical limit "singular"? (online)
PRESENTER: Jeremy Steeger

ABSTRACT. We argue against claims that the classical ħ→0 limit is "singular" in a way that frustrates an eliminative reduction of classical to quantum physics. We show one precise sense in which quantum mechanics and scaling behavior together can be understood to determine the structure of classical mechanics exactly, without ever referring to that classical theory. This work does so by lightly modifying the tools of strict deformation quantization, which provides a rigorous way to capture the ħ→0 limit.

11:30-13:30 Session 8C: Philosophy of life sciences
Epistemic Principles of Astrobiology (online)
PRESENTER: David Kinney

ABSTRACT. We argue for two interrelated theses with respect to the epistemological challenges raised by the scientific search for extraterrestrial life. First, we defend the astrobiological utility of a "diagnostic" definition of life in the style of Knuuttila and Loettgers (2017) and Bich and Green (2018), and situate this approach to defining life within a broader "Euclidean" approach to scientific concepts. We argue that the roots of this Eculidean approach can be found in Wittgenstein's (1969) "hinge epistemology". Second, we offer a formal framework for detecting potential locations of extraterrestrial life from astronomical data, a framework that we claim avoids several drawbacks of Bayesian approaches to the search for extraterrestrial life proposed in the astrobiology literature.

Genetics on the spectrum: Conceptions of continuity in neurodiversity (online)

ABSTRACT. How we ought to diagnose, categorize and respond to spectrum disabilities such as autism and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a topic of lively debate. The heterogeneity associated with ADHD and autism is described as falling on various continua of behavioural, neural, and genetic difference. These continua are variably described as extending into the general population, or as being continua within a given disorder demarcation. The interrelationships of these continua are likewise often vague and subject to diverse interpretations. I explore geneticists’ and self-advocates’ perspectives concerning autism and ADHD as continua. These diagnoses are overwhelmingly analysed as falling on a continuum or continua of underlying traits, which supports the notion of “the spectrum”, i.e., a broader swath of human neural and behavioural diversity on which some concentrations of different functioning are diagnosed. This continuity is characteristically endophenotypic.

Different meaning in different sizes: ecology in size scales (online)

ABSTRACT. In any given ecosystem, we have two different size scales, the macroorganismal ecology, and microorganismal ecology. Because the size differences also have implications on the time scale (i.e., life cycle and generations), it is challenging to find one satisfying theoretical framework for both. My talk examines the concepts of stability, resilience, and equilibrium in microbial ecology (or microbial ecosystems) in comparison with the understanding of these concepts in the macrobial ecology. I ask whether the use of the same concepts on different time and size scales should be examined differently? Furthermore, if we realize there is a difference in perspective, then what are the implication of the relationship between these two different scales and their mutual epistemic influences. Particularly, I wish to examine the possible influences from the microbial ecosystems’ perspective on the macrobial ecosystems’ framework as they are a significant and influential part of the latter.

Reframing the idea of ecological value: Lessons from coral reef research (in person)

ABSTRACT. Ecological value - the way entities within ecosystems are important (e.g. ethically, economically) - may be split into two types: intrinsic value (in virtue of what an entity is) and instrumental (in virtue of what it does). I identify three sets of assumptions underlying these types, namely: 1. That there is one source of ecological value; 2. The ‘ball-and-chain’ model of how these values operate (where unidirectional instrumental value relations chain together pairs of entities and end at a single intrinsically-valuable individual); 3. That social and ecological value are neatly distinguishable. Using evidence from coral reef research, I present an alternative view of ecological value, which is not reducible to a single source, where there are no singular individuals or neat chains for value to reside in, and where social and ecological value are more continuous. By relaxing these assumptions and embracing the consequences, I present a more ecologically plausible notion of value.

11:30-13:30 Session 8D: General philosophy of science
Some Models are Universal and Rare: does “universality” make a difference? (online)

ABSTRACT. The “universality” approach has been proposed as an alternative to understand scientific modeling. In this paper, I argue that the universality approach adds little to philosophical understanding of models because of its unclear advantages and apparent limitations: (1) the universality approach collapses into the difference-making approach under scrutiny; (2) “universality” lacks a specified scope and thus cannot give model evaluation or diagnostic criteria; and (3) some models are universal (as defined in the universality approach) and rare (when fitted with real-world data) given a recent research in network science. I conclude that when philosophers analyze models, their uses, and justifications, it is best not to start with a metaphysical assumption such as “universality.”

Taking Causal Modeling Metaphysically Seriously (in person)

ABSTRACT. In my talk, I propose that graphical causal models should serve as the starting point for developing an account of what causation is, and that the project pursued in developing such accounts is a metaphysical one. I present a preliminary characterization of the features of the world that license causal reasoning and argue that the dependence of causal models on how the world is undermines claims that their philosophical import is limited to epistemology. The methodology advocated in the talk diverges from that of traditional metaphysics. It does not aim to identify causal relationships with a particular ontological kind, but rather views them as constituted by their role in scientific reasoning. Nevertheless, this divergence from traditional metaphysics indicates not that accounts based on causal models are not metaphysical, but rather that traditional metaphysics is not the correct tool for developing a naturalistic account of causation.

On Model Diversity: The CAPM (in person)

ABSTRACT. In this paper we argue that the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), the cornerstone of modern portfolio theory, poses significant challenges to extant accounts of models. The model has four important features. a) it is a family of models; b) its empirical support is contested; c) there are principled concerns over its testability; and yet, d) it is popular and important in practice. The scientific aims of the CAPM are therefore unclear, differing, and complex. The extant philosophical literature, with its focus on individual models, can’t offer a straightforward way to assess what the use of this family of models is. We put forward a descriptive framework of the CAPM family, faithful to its inherent diversity, which allows us to make such assessment. Our framework focusses on the relations between models. We define two relations, vertical and horizontal complementarity. This allows us to draw lessons about its epistemic contributions and, more generally, about scientific progress.

Causal Models and Actual Causation in the Law (in person)

ABSTRACT. The context-sensitivity of actual causation has been a key concern in the recent causal modelling debate. The debate has been considerably influenced by considerations of causation in legal contexts. In the law, however, the notion of actual causation traditionally refers to the factual and context-independent elements of causal inquiry. In my talk I will introduce a distinction between two kinds of context-sensitivity in order to clarify the apparently conflicting takes on actual causation.

11:30-13:30 Session 8E: Ethical issues & philosophy of social science
Values in Science, Biodiversity Research, and the Problem of Particularity

ABSTRACT. How to deal with non-epistemic values in science presents a pressing problem for science and society as well as philosophers of science. In recent years, accounts of democratizing science have been proposed as a possible solution to this. By providing a case study on the establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service (IPBES), I argue that such accounts run into a problem when values are embedded in the general scientific and societal setup to such an extent that they shape the terrain upon which such a democratization needs to take place. I introduce the notion of particularities as materializations of values in science and state a problem of particularity, posed by the ways in which the interactive dimension of these particularities interferes with democratic procedures for resolving value judgements in science. As a possible remedy, I propose enriching accounts of democratizing science by agonistic theories of democracy.

Avian flu, non-proliferation laws, and the ethics of ‘dual-use research of concern’ (online)

ABSTRACT. Advances in virology have led experts to worry about threats to public health from the misuse of scientific knowledge. In light of these concerns, a particularly worrisome set of experiments involving lethal pathogens has been dubbed ‘dual-use research of concern’ (DURC). Given the risks involved in DURC, regulators have a duty to provide researchers with unambiguous regulation. Drawing on a 2011 legal dispute over the publication of avian flu research in the Netherlands, I argue that current EU law is ambiguous, and fails to guide both researchers and regulators. The regulation, designed to control biological weapons, invokes a distinction between ‘basic’ and ‘applied’ research, exempting ‘basic research’ from controls. Drawing on philosophical work, I argue that the basic/applied distinction collapses conceptually for DURC. Considering this regulatory failure, and researchers’ prima facie ethical duties, I argue that EU researchers should refrain from conducting DURC at present.

Regulating Human Germline Gene Editing: Conceptual and Practical Issues (online)

ABSTRACT. In the fall of 2018, He Jiankui shocked the world with his announcement that he had modified the germline of two human babies. Yet the scientific community’s outward condemnation of Jiankui’s experiment is at odds with regulation of human germline gene editing in the United States. This paper defends a deliberative procedure for how human germline gene editing should be regulated. This framework provides a decision-making role to members of the disability community in deciding the value of human germline gene editing. It also clarifies several necessary epistemic conditions that need to be met to adequately manage the problem of unintended consequences. On my proposal, normative judgements of the disability community should inform the epistemic conditions scientists need to meet. Furthermore, my view shows that the monogenetic/complex disease distinction that several authors employ to inform their views on the ethics of human germline gene editing is not relevant.

How should we responsibly model social kinds? (in person)

ABSTRACT. We distinguish two ways of approaching the responsible modeling of social kinds (such as gender and race): representational modeling, whose core value is the pursuit of accurate representation, versus emancipatory modeling, whose core value is the pursuit of emancipatory objectives. Some have criticised emancipatory modeling for having unintended and undesirable effects. We show that the same holds true for representational modeling when it concerns interactive kinds - that is kinds whose members and their behaviors change in response to being studied. For the case of gender we show that such effects are possibly significant and most importantly quite hard to predict. We then consider the implications of interactive kinds for the responsibilities of scientists more generally.

11:30-13:30 Session 8F: Formal philosophy of science
Cumulative Advantage and the Incentive to Commit Fraud in Science (online)

ABSTRACT. This paper investigates how the credit incentive to engage in questionable research practices (up to and including fraud) interacts with cumulative advantage, the process whereby high-status academics more easily increase their status than low-status academics. I use a mathematical model to highlight two dynamics that have not yet received much attention. First, due to cumulative advantage, questionable research practices may pay off over the course of an academic career even if they do not appear attractive at the level of individual publications. Second, because of the role of bottleneck moments in academic careers, questionable research practices may be selected for even if they do not provide a benefit in expectation. I also observe that, within the model, the most successful academics are the most likely to have benefited from fraud.

Simples, Complexes, and Extension (online)

ABSTRACT. Extended simples have been thoroughly discussed in metaphysics and philosophy of physics. Recently, unextended complexes have been investigated as well. Despite this attention, I find the characterizations of both hardly satisfactory inasmuch as they rely on a locational notion of extension that is far too simplistic. According to such a notion, being extended boils down to having a mereologically complex exact location. In this paper, I make a detailed plea to supplement this with a different notion of extension, phrased in terms of measure theory.

A Fregean Model for Logicism (online)

ABSTRACT. As is well-known, Russell’s Paradox blocks Frege’s Logicist foundation of arithmetic, intended as the reconstruction of Peano Arithmetic into Frege’s Logic (FL), namely classical second-order logic augmented with Basic Law V (BLV ). The main aim of this talk consists in showing that classical logic is too strong for Fregan purpose. We are able to avoid Russell's Paradox and to achieve a Logicist result, even stronger than Fregean one, by deriving Peano Arithmetic in a system that is doubly weaker than FL: it is composed by free logic and a restricted version of Basic Law V. I describe a model in order to prove the consistency of such system. It is constituted by an inner-model M :=< D, D_0, I >, in which D_0 is the domain of restricted quantification (such that D_0 ⊆ D), D is the domain of un-restricted quantification and I is a total interpretation function on D. This model is deeply influenced by Fregean interpretation of empty names and by his proposal of the Chosen Object theory.

Two ways to think about (implicit) structure (in person)

ABSTRACT. According to structuralism, mathematics can be understood as the study of abstract structures. In this talk, I will compare two ways to think about the structural content of theories of pure mathematics. According to the first approach, the implicit structure of objects (such as number systems, groups, or graphs) are specified with reference to formal languages, usually based on a notion of definability. According to the second approach, structures are determined in terms of invariance criteria. For instance, the structural properties of an object in a given mathematical system are often specified as those properties invariant under certain transformations of the system. I will investigate the two approaches by drawing to several examples from finite geometry. Based on this, I will give a philosophical analysis of their conceptual differences and discuss their relevance for our present understanding of structuralism.

15:00-17:00 Session 9A: S: Metaphysical Unity of Science
Metaphysical Unity of Science (online)
PRESENTER: Vanessa Seifert

ABSTRACT. The Metaphysical Unity of Science symposium pursues a novel approach to an old dream, the unification of the sciences. This is done by closely examining concepts and ideas from metaphysics and philosophy of science, as well as case studies from the natural sciences. The symposium proposes new ways of understanding unity, dependence, modality and lawhood that not only render metaphysical unity plausible, but also reconcile unity with a non-eliminativist understanding of the special sciences. Three talks will examine metaphysical unity by closely investigating concepts and methodological issues that are key to establishing a convincing account of unity; two further talks will propose specific models of unity by examining case studies from physics, chemistry and biology.

15:00-17:00 Session 9B: S: The Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments
Symposium: The Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments (online)
PRESENTER: Alice Murphy

ABSTRACT. There is growing interest in the role of aesthetics in science but the focus has been on the “beauty” of theories, and other aspects of scientific practice have been overlooked. Our aim is to expand this discussion to consider an often neglected feature of science: the experiment. We will explore the aesthetic considerations that go into the design of an experiment and how the reception of an experiment is impacted by its aesthetic value. We will discuss: Is the beauty of an experiment reducible to other properties like simplicity? Are experiments across different time periods and different sciences valued for the same aesthetic properties? What is the relation between beauty and the attainment of understanding via an experiment? Finally, what is the significance of feelings of awe in the scientific domain? In doing so, we will demonstrate how the aesthetics of experiments can indicate fruitful avenues of research concerning the relations between philosophy of science and art.

15:00-17:00 Session 9C: S: Models in Particle Physics: Three Challenges to Realism
Models in Particle Physics: Three Challenges to Realism (online)
PRESENTER: Florian Boge

ABSTRACT. Particle physics aims at uncovering the fundamental interactions and building blocks of physical reality, and is therefore ripe for investigation by philosophers of science. Issues of realism can be fruitfully approached by examining modelling practices involved in theory development and experimentation. We address three challenges to scientific realism coming directly from modelling practices in particle physics: 1. How much reality can – and must – we attribute to the phenomenological simulation models used in collider experiments, given their various free parameters? 2. How can one be a realist in contemporary particle physics if physicists are increasingly turning to bottom-up approaches that do not represent anything that could be a candidate for reality? 3. In the case of models of the elusive dark matter particle – seemingly required by astrophysical observations but barely constrained by them – what would it even mean to be a realist about this myriad of conflicting models?

15:00-17:00 Session 9D: S: Symmetries and conservation laws in history and philosophy of general relativity
Symmetries and conservation laws in history and philosophy of general relativity (online)
PRESENTER: Valeriya Chasova

ABSTRACT. In general relativity (GR) both symmetries and conservation laws are problematic: the former are redundant by the hole argument, the latter are not well defined because energy-momentum is coordinate-dependent. Our symposium provides historical and philosophical perspectives on the matter, taking as a starting point the Einstein-Klein-Hilbert-Noether debate (1916-1918) on the physical significance of conservation laws in GR and on the specificity of GR compared to other theories. Tilman Sauer presents Klein's extensive notes on the debate, previously unknown to a large audience. J. Brian Pitts shows how to meaningfully apply Noether's first theorem (which links global symmetries with conservation laws) to GR by assimilating the latter with particle physics theories. Valeriya Chasova uses links between symmetries and conservation laws to address Brown's and Weatherall's discussion on whether GR is specific in that the geodesic principle there is a theorem rather than a postulate.

15:00-17:00 Session 9E: S: Scientific Experts and the Pressures of Pandemic Policy Advice
Scientific Experts and the Pressures of Pandemic Policy Advice (in person)
PRESENTER: Mathias Frisch

ABSTRACT. Our symposium aims to examine how scientific expertise and trust can be generated under conditions of deep uncertainty and urgency, as illustrated by the current phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to develop a set of principles for guiding scientifically informed public debate, science communication, and policy advice under conditions of uncertainty and ‘fast science’. Pooling the resources of philosophy of public health, philosophy of science, and social epistemology, the symposium aims to promote a critically informed public understanding of the science/public-policy interface.

15:00-17:00 Session 9F: S: Prospects for relativistic Collapse Theories
Prospects for relativistic Collapse Theories (online)

ABSTRACT. Spontaneous collapse theories have emerged at least since the mid-1980s as one of the main approaches for solving the quantum measurement problem. Non-relativistically, collapse happens instantaneously, which raises doubts as to whether spontaneous collapse theories may be generalised to a relativistic setting. Despite both conceptual and technical obstacles (or perhaps precisely because of them), recent years have seen a flurry of exciting new work on generalising spontaneous collapse theories. This symposium will seek to clarify what the conceptual possibilities are at this stage of development, and to explore some of the available strategies. All speakers have worked on conceptual or technical issues in spontaneous collapse theories, and the three organisers are planning a sustained collaboration on these questions. We hope to advertise this as a rich area of research, which is ripe for further advances and for real progress in the fundamental questions surrounding collapse.

15:00-17:00 Session 9G: S: Social Kinds: Science, Language, and Metaphysics
Social Kinds: Science, Language, and Metaphysics (in person)
PRESENTER: Francesco Guala

ABSTRACT. The epistemic status of the social sciences has always been controversial. One of the bones of contention is ontological: whether the nature of social reality prevents the formulation of genuinely explanatory and predictive theories. Philosophical discussions about real kinds have helped identifying similarities and differences between social and natural kinds. The language-dependence of some social phenomena raises concerns about the application of standard realist doctrines. Functional categories moreover seem to impose limits to generalizations across entities that do not share a common history. But without common causes or essential properties it is not clear how we can make sense of social categories supporting broad inductive generalizations. This symposium will promote the mutual fertilization of current research about social kinds, focusing on how scientists use concepts and theories, and how epistemic and normative considerations interact in the development of social science.

17:15-18:30 Session 10: Keynote: Catarina Dutilh Novaes - Public Engagement and Argumentation in Science, with Silvia Ivani

Public engagement is one of the fundamental pillars of the European programme for research and innovation /Horizon 2020/. The programme encourages engagement that not only fosters science education and dissemination, but also promotes two-way dialogues between scientists and the public in various stages of research.  Creating a dialogue between different groups of societal actors is seen as crucial to attain both epistemic and social desiderata in science. However, whether this dialogue can actually help with the attainment of these desiderata is far from being a trivial matter. This paper discusses the costs, risks, and benefits of dialogical public engagement practices and proposes a strategy to analyse these argumentative practices, based on a three-tiered model of epistemic exchange. As a case study, we discuss the phenomenon of vaccine hesitancy, a clear case of failure of public engagement, and show how the proposed model can shed new light on the problem.