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09:00-11:00 Session 17A: S: Philosophy of formal models of the social organisation of science
Philosophy of formal models of the social organisation of science (in person)
PRESENTER: Samuli Reijula

ABSTRACT. The proliferation of formal models of the social organisation of science (SOSR models) in the social epistemology of science has led to a growing literature, in which their problems and limitations are discussed. Aside from issues pertaining to each of such models in particular, there are also more general philosophical questions arising from the use of SOSR models which are yet to receive proper consideration. What is the philosophical underpinning of SOSR models, and what is the philosophical argument that they are trying to make? Which image of science do they end up supporting? What can philosophers, scientists, and policy makers learn from SOSR modelling, and are computer based methods the best ways to argue about the social organisation of science? The symposium contributes to the philosophical debate on SOSR models in general. Its aim is to answer some of the philosophical questions arising from their application to the study of the social organisation of science.

09:00-11:00 Session 17B: S: The many problems of spacetime emergence
The many problems of spacetime emergence (in person)
PRESENTER: Rasmus Jaksland

ABSTRACT. The Philosophy of Physics literature has for some time been occupied by what has been described as the `disappearance' or `emergence' of space and time in quantum gravity (QG). More recently, also metaphysicians have cast their interest on this issue and explored connections to, for instance, composition and functionalism, but also the potential existence of a hard problem of spacetime emergence analogous to that of consciousness in philosophy of mind.

Much good work has been done on the ambiguities relating to the meaning of ‘emergence’ in the context of QG. However, the aim of this symposium is to expose another issue with the frequent appeals to the emergence of spacetime in QG, namely talking of spacetime emergence in the definite singular. The contributions to this symposium will make the case that there are many different interconnected open questions regarding spacetime in QG which are not served well by one universal label of ‘spacetime emergence’.

09:00-11:00 Session 17C: S: Does aging cause cancer?
Does aging cause cancer? (in person)
PRESENTER: Maël Lemoine

ABSTRACT. The main view in cancer research has long been that normal cells become cancerous through the accumulation of random genetic mutations, while aging was described in the same terms. Based on that, scientists would either say that aging, i.e., the accumulation of somatic mutations in general, is the background process that makes cancer possible, or that cancer is a part of the general process of aging. More recently, it has become relevant to study specific processes of aging as independent factors of cancer. This relatively recent research program comes with conceptual obstacles. The goal of the present symposium is to examine and clarify some of them, such as: is aging causing cancer or is cancer a part of aging? how should aging be measured in cancer research? how does levels of cancer articulate with levels of aging? which characteristics should define what counts as 'cancer', and as 'aging' in an evolutionary perspective, to determine whether only senescent species can have cancer?

09:00-11:00 Session 17D: S: Scientific Evidence and Expertise in the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond
Scientific Evidence and Expertise in the COVID-19 Pandemic and Beyond (in person)
PRESENTER: Stefano Canali

ABSTRACT. This symposium aims at exploring various interrelated aspects of evidence-based policy, using COVID-19 as a case that can push forward our understanding of evidence and expertise in times of crisis. More specifically, the contributions of this symposium will identify and critically analyse the types of evidence-based approaches applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and draw lessons on the uses of evidence for policy-making, in particular in public health emergencies. The symposium will develop connections between different subfields in philosophy of science and in relation to neighbouring fields, which will contribute to a more integrative approach to complex issues at the juncture of science and policy-making. In addition, it will bring together philosophical perspectives from different countries in Europe, thus aiming for a multi-national approach that is sensitive to local effects of the pandemic. The symposium comprises four talks, a commentary and a concluding panel discussion.

09:00-11:00 Session 17E: S: Idealised Modelling of Mind and Life
Idealised Modelling of Mind and Life (online)
PRESENTER: Matteo Colombo

ABSTRACT. In recent years, the nature and purpose of idealised modelling in science have become a major research area in the philosophy of the cognitive and life sciences. The symposium brings together 4 world-class philosophers who work on this topic. The aim is to shed light on how recognising the central role of idealisation in scientific modelling raises new foundational and epistemic challenges in the cognitive sciences and biology. The symposium will be accessible to a general philosophical and scientific audience. The symposium will introduce some of the key recent developments in modelling practices in the cognitive and biological sciences, with an eye especially to their use of idealisation, analysing their philosophical implications, as well as stimulating further work in this fast-moving field. The event will consist of one short introduction, four papers (15-20 minutes plus 5-10 minutes Q&A), and a final 20-minute roundtable Q&A session with all speakers.

11:30-12:45 Session 18: Keynote: Steven French - Does the claim that there are no theories imply that there is no history of theories to be written?(!)

In There Are No Such Things As Theories (OUP 2020) I argued for a form of theory eliminativism: theories should not be regarded as abstract entities in some ‘World Three’, say, or as possessing well-defined identity conditions or, indeed, as ‘things’ in any sense whatsoever. Nevertheless, I claimed, statements such as ‘quantum theory is elegant’ can still be taken to be either true or false by adopting a framework in which the relevant scientific practices act as truth-makers. In my talk I want to push this account along a little further by exploring some possible implications for our understanding of the history of science, its relationship with the philosophy of science and of what we, as philosophers of science, are doing in our own practices.