From ϕ -science to practical realism: an international conference in honour of Rein Vihalemm (1938-2015)
Aug 13-14 2019 University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Jakobi 2, room 336
The philosophy of science unit at the University of Tartu, founded in 1992, owes much to Professor Rein Vihalemm (1938–2015). He established research in this disciplinary area and supervised many students who now work in the field. Internationally Vihalemm is known as a founder, and was known as an active member, of the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry (ISPC). He edited the volume Estonian Studies in Philosophy of Science in the renowned series Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science (2001). Vihalemm participated in fifteen Congresses of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and many other conferences. From the 1990s onwards, he published numerous research articles in journals, handbooks and collections of papers by leading publishers such as Oxford University Press, Springer and others.
One of Vihalemm’s major theoretical achievements was the development of the concept of ϕ-science – the theoretical account of the physical sciences that enabled him to explain the differences between various research disciplines and characterise the nature of chemistry as partially a ϕ-science. The concept of ϕ-science captures constructive activities that scientists are engaged in. Vihalemm’s main contribution to the philosophy of science is the programme of practical realism that analyses these activities.
On the 9th of December 2018 Rein Vihalemm would have had his 80th birthday. To celebrate, we invite philosophers of science to a conference on Vihalemm's work in Tartu summer, Aug 13-14, 2019.
Themes of the conference include (and are not limited to):
- Realism and anti-realism about science: various kinds of realism and anti-realism, arguments, perspectives, functions.
- The concept of ϕ-science and actual practices of the physical sciences
- Dual nature of chemistry – chemistry as a physical science and chemistry as natural history.
- Pluralism in the accounts of science and technology.
- Practice-based accounts of science in the light of ideas from history of philosophy
- History and philosophy of science: cooperating or competing disciplines?
- Methods for the empirical study of scientific practices, relevance of empirical findings for philosophy of science.
Some publications by Rein Vihalemm:
- Vihalemm, R. (2016). Chemistry, Paradigms, and a View of Epistemic Pluralism: To the Issue of the Nature of Disagreements in Philosophy and in Science. Acta Baltica Historiae et Philosophiae Scientiarum Vol. 4, No. 1, DOI: 10.11590/abhps.2016.1.05
- Vihalemm, R. (2016). Science, φ-Science, and the Dual Character of Chemistry. In: Scerri, Eric & Grant Fisher (Eds.). New York: Oxford University Press, 352–379.
- Vihalemm, R. (2016). Chemistry and the problem of pluralism in science: an analysis concerning philosophical and scientific disagreements, 91-102, Found Chem (2016) 18: 91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10698-015-9241-0
- Vihalemm, R. (2015). Philosophy of Chemistry against Standard Scientific Realism and Anti-Realism. Philosophia Scientiae, 19(1), 99−113.
- Vihalemm, R. (2012). Practical Realism: Against Standard Scientific Realism and Anti-Realism. Studia Philosophica Estonica, 5(2), 7 - 22.
- Vihalemm, R. (2011). The Autonomy of Chemistry: Old and New Problems. Foundations of Chemistry, 13(2), 97-107
- Vihalemm, R. (2011). A Monistic or a Pluralistic View of Science: Why Bother? In: P. Stekeler-Weithofer, H. Kaden, & N. Psarros (eds.). An den Grenzen der Wissenschaft. (Abhandlungen der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig. Philologisch-historische Klasse. Band 82, Heft 1). Stuttgart/Leipzig: Sächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig. In Kommission bei S. Hirzel, 79 – 93.
- Vihalemm, R. (2011). Towards a Practical Realist Philosophy of Science. Baltic Journal of European Studies, 1(1(9)), 46 - 60
- Vihalemm, R. (2004). The Problem of the Unity of Science and Chemistry. Sobczynska, Danuta; Zeidler, Pawel; Zielonacka-Lis, Ewa (Ed.). Chemistry in the Philosophical Melting Pot. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag, 39–58.
- Vihalemm, R. (2001). Chemistry as an Interesting Subject for the Philosophy of Science. In: Vihalemm, R. (Ed.). Estonian Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 185–200.
- Hasok Chang, University of Cambridge, UK
- Olimpia Lombardi, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Peeter Müürsepp, Tallinn Uiversity of Technology, Estonia
- Sami Pihlström, University of Helsinki, Finland
- Eric Scerri, University of California Los Angeles, USA
Ilkka Niiniluoto, Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland
Rom Harré, Linacre College, University of Oxford, UK
Rafaela Hillerbrand, Professor for philosophy of science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
Kenneth R. Westphal Professor of Philosophy (Felsefe), Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, İstanbul, Turkey
Kalevi Kull, Professor of biosemiotics, University of Tartu, Estonia
Lea Leppik, PhD, historian of science, board member of the Estonian Association of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Tartu, Estonia
Amirouche Moktefi, lecturer, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
Joseph T. Rouse, Professor of Philosophy, Wesleyan University, CT, USA
This workshop is organized by the Unit for Philosophy of Science, Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics, University of Tartu, Estonian Association for the Philosophy and History of Science.
Contact information: Please send an e-mail to: practicalrealism19 [ät] ut.ee
The event is supported by the the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (IUT20-5), by the European Union via European Regional Development Fund (Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies), PUT 732 and PRG 462 of the Estonian Research Council, and the Faculty of Humanities and Arts, University of Tartu.
Summer school "Ethics, Empathy, and Errors"
Summer school Ethics, Empathy, and Errors
18-21 June 2019
Application deadline: May 5th
Invited lecturers: Heidi Maibom (University of Cincinnati), Bart Streumer (University of Groningen)
Heidi Maibom is a leading specialist in the philosophy of empathy. Bart Streumer is a leading specialist in metaethics, who has worked in particular on the error theory. The summer school will feature a series of lectures by each of them, as well as graduate paper panels, where PhD students will be given the opportunity to present their work in progress in front of their peers and the lecturers (20 minutes). The topics of graduate papers will concern themes, problems, arguments as closely related as possible to the work of Heidi Maibom and Bart Streumer.
There is no participation fee. Accommodation and food will be covered, as well as transportation from Tartu to the summer school location. You will need to cover expenses for travelling to and from Tartu. The exact location and program will be specified in the beginning of May. Participating students can obtain 3 ECTS.
In order to apply, please fill in the registration form and paste there a 300-word abstract of your presentation. The deadline is 5th of May, and shortly afterwards you will be informed about acceptance to the summer school.
For additional questions and information, please write to Francesco Orsi: orsi [ät] ut.ee
This event is supported by the University of Tartu ASTRA Project PER ASPERA (European Regional Development Fund)
Workshop "Issues in Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine"
Nordic-Baltic Network of Philosophy of Medicine
Issues in Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine
University of Tartu (Estonia), June 11-12th, 2019
The Nordic-Baltic Network of Philosophy of Medicine was created in 2008 to bring together researchers working in the Nordic-Baltic region on various areas related to this broad field of philosophy of medicine and health care. In each subsequent year, the network has held conferences and workshops in Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Denmark. We are proud to always have had a genuinely interdisciplinary event with medical doctors, philosophers and social scientists presenting side by side.
The motivations behind having a network for this specific geographic region are many. One reason is that philosophy of medicine and bioethics debates tend to be driven by North American interests and problems specific to North American healthcare systems. However, the Nordic-Baltic countries bring with them distinct issues that arise due to somewhat similar welfare states and the shared recent problems.
We invite all scholars working in this field to give presentations addressing topics of their own choice within the philosophy of medicine/medical ethics/bioethics. Post-graduate students who would like feedback in a friendly and informal atmosphere are most welcome. We will start on the morning of Tuesday June 11th and end in the afternoon of Wednesday June 12th, 2019.
The workshop is free of charge and we can offer help in locating affordable accomodation for postgraduate students.
Inquiries and registration: kadri.simm [ät] ut.ee
Nordic Baltic Network of Philosophy of Medicine
Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
University of Tartu, Estonia
International workshop "Self-Determination of Peoples in Historical Perspective"
Friday , 17 May 2019
Venue: Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics, Faculty of Humanities, Jakobi 2-336
On May 17, 2019, the Department of Philosophy and the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies are holding a workshop on "Self-determination of peoples in historical perspective". The workshop will explore selected theoretical discussions and controversies about the idea and principle of self-determination of peoples in long-range perspective. While this would include the exploration of the ways in which theorists were seeking to contribute to their contemporary philosophical, political and territorial disputes, we are particularly interested in testing the possibility of linking different 20th-century interpretations of self-determination to early modern political languages and characteristic theoretical idioms, so as to highlight the continuities and ruptures in the long-term intellectual history of this concept.
This event has been supported by the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies (European Union, European Regional Development Fund) and is related to research projects IUT20-5 and IUT20-39 (Estonian Ministry of Education and Research).
Conference "Expertise and Progress in Philosophy"
Conference "Expertise and Progress in Philosophy"
May 4 and 5
Saturday – 04.05.2019
9:15–9:45: Coffee, meeting, and corralling
9:45–11:15: Bryan Frances (University of Tartu)
13:45–15:15: Toomas Lott (University of Tartu)
15:30–17:00: William Jaworski (Fordham)
17:00–19:30: Break before dinner
Sunday – 05.05.2019
9:15–9:45: Coffee, meeting, and corralling
9:45–11:15: Paul Noordhof (University of York)
13:45–15:15: Finnur Dellsén (University of Iceland)
15:30–17:00: Herman Cappelen (Oslo)
This conference has been supported by the programme Mobilitas Pluss project MOBTT45 and the Centre of Excellence in Estonian Studies (European Regional Development Fund) and is related to research project IUT20-5 (Estonian Ministry of Education and Research)
Workshop with Adrian Currie "Science & the Deep Past"
Based on his book Rock, Bone and Ruin: An Optimist’s Guide to the Historical Sciences (MIT Press 2018)
Time: 18-21 March 2019
Venue: Jakobi 2-114 (Philosophicum – all seminars and public lectures) and Vanemuise 46 (University of Tartu Natural History Museum), Tartu, Estonia
Target group: students and young scholars of philosophy and natural sciences (incl archaeology)
Credit points and assessment (optional): 3 ECTS, non-differentiated
Maximum number of participants: 25
A limited number of travel bursaries is available for foreign participants.
To obtain credit points, the participant must write an essay of 4-6 pages on some topic of the workshop, to be submitted two weeks after the workshop ends.
More detailed information: The deep past is a surprising place. Enormous glaciers cover the globe, alien creatures roam, and unique cultural traditions thrive. Palaeontologists, geologists and archaeologists (as well as cosmologists, evolutionary biologists and others) attempt to uncover and understand the deep past: events occurring thousands, millions or even billions of years ago. Such a task is challenging: the remnants of the deep past are often scattered and incomplete and the idiosyncrasy and scale of such events stymies experimentation. On the face of it the gold standards of science, good, repeatable data generated through experimental intervention is denied to us. Yet, our knowledge of the deep past progresses at pace: becoming richer, more sophisticated. What explains the success of these sciences in the face of such challenges? Is there anything distinctive about historical sciences compared to other sciences? What do such sciences teach us about the nature of history? Are there lessons to be drawn about knowledge generally from our knowledge of the past?
The course consists of lectures and seminars, and includes practical work and visit to a local museum.
Participants must read through the book underlying the workshop before the beginning of the workshop.
There is no participation fee and there are a limited number of travel bursaries available for graduate students from abroad.
Adrian Currie is a philosophy lecturer at the University of Exeter. He did his post-doctoral internships in Calgary and Cambridge. His main research interests are in the philosophy of historical sciences, scientific practice, scientific methodologies. His personal website.
Additional information: Ave Mets avemets [ät] ut.ee
This event is supported by the University of Tartu ASTRA Project PER ASPERA (European Regional Development Fund).