Upcoming conferences and workshops
From this page you can find detailed info on upcoming conferences and workshops organized by the Department of Philosophy. If you are looking for a past event, click on the appropriate year from the side menu.
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).
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
Call for Abstracts – New deadline: March 31, 2019
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 next 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, UCLA, USA
- Triin Vihalemm University of Tartu, Estonia
Submission of abstracts at EacyChair
Short abstracts (200-300 words) should be submitted to EasyChair by March 21 2019. We aim to communicate our decision by April 29.
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.