Sorin Bangu's picture

Sorin Bangu

Professor, Philosophy
  • E-mailSorin.Bangu@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 29 48
  • Visitor Address
    Sydnesplassen 12/13, 3. etg.
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7805
    5020 Bergen

My main area of competence is contemporary philosophy of science, broadly understood. Most of my work is in philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of physics, and very often addresses issues at their boundary. I also venture into metaphysics and epistemology (especially when they are scientifically relevant), philosophy of logic and history of science and mathematics. I have longstanding interests in the history of analytic philosophy, in Quine and especially later Wittgenstein. I am involved in the activities of the Wittgenstein Archives Bergen WAB hosted by our department. (More details on my personal webpage)

Grants/Awards (selection)

  • Research grant co-held with K. Cahill (Univ. of Bergen), awarded in Dec. 2018 by the Norwegian Research Council for Aug. 2019 - Aug. 2024. Budget ca. 10 mil. NOK (1.1 mil. €) Title: Mathematics with a Human Face. Set Theory within a Naturalized Wittgensteinean Framework
  • Visiting Fellow at Wadham College, Univ. of Oxford for Trinity Term 2022 (21 April - 18 June)
  • Visiting Fellowship at Institute Vienna Circle (14 Nov. - 14 Dec. 2022)

Talks (selection of recent invited presentations)

Professional service (selection)

Administrative academic work

  • MA studies coordinator Dept. of Phil. 2020
  • Co-representative in the Philosophy PhD Network including Univ. of Uppsala, Bologna, Bucharest, Helsinki and Bielefeld
  • External reviewer for US National Science Foundation (NSF) grants 2018

Professional organizations

For teaching materials see mitt uib

Postdoctoral supervision:

  • Jeffrey Schatz (PhD Univ. of Calif. Irvine 2019) From August 2020, co-supervision with Kevin Cahill in the project Mathematics with a Human Face: Set Theory within a Naturalized Wittgensteinean Framework

PhD students:

  • Martin Sætre (Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics) Current co-supervision with Kevin Cahill in the project Mathematics with a Human Face: Set Theory within a Naturalized Wittgensteinean Framework
  • Ragnhild Jordahl (Metaphysics, Necessity, Laws of Nature. Defended 23 April 2020) Co-supervision with Ole Hjortland
  • Mark Young (Hist. and Phil. of Science. Defended 26 April 2019) Currently postdoctoral researcher at the Dept. of Values, Technology and Innovation, TU Delft. From Jan 2021, Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Univ. of Vienna

MA students:

  • Steffen Haakonsen (Scientific Realism. 2017)
  • Carl-Fredrik Bassøe (Causation and Digraphs. 2016) Co-supervision with Uwe Wolter, Comp. Science Dept.
  • Sindre Søderstrøm (The Normative force of Logic. 2016) Co-supervision with Ole Hjortland

Recent courses

For Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Univ. of Bergen:

Before coming to Univ. of Bergen I have taught at Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2010-2012), Univ. of Cambridge (2008-2010), Univ. of Western Ontario (2007) and Univ. of Toronto (2005-2006). For more information see my personal webpage.


Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge: Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science. Routledge, 2018

The Applicability of Mathematics in Science: Indispensability and Ontology. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012




SELECTED PAPERS (complete list and downloadable versions on my personal webpage)

  • Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Forthcoming
  • Phase Transitions. Chapter 36 in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Edited by Eleanor Knox and Alastair Wilson. Pp. 512-523. Routledge (2021) link
  • The Appearance of Skepticism: Possibility, Conceivability and Infinite Ascent. Canadian Journal of Philosophy. 51:2, 94-107 (2021) open access
  • Hard and Blind: On Wittgenstein’s Genealogical View of Logical Necessity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102(2): 439-458 (2021) open access
  • Discontinuities and Singularities, Data and Phenomena: For Referentialism. Synthese 196: 1919–1937 (2019) link
  • Later Wittgenstein and the Genealogy of Mathematical Necessity. In Wittgenstein and Naturalism. K. Cahill and T. Raleigh. (eds.) Pp. 151-173. Routledge (2018) link
  • The 'Miracle' of Applicability? The Curious Case of the Simple Harmonic Oscillator. (Co-author Robert Moir) Foundations of Physics 48(5): 507-525 (2018) link
  • Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7(1): 103-126 (2017) link
  • Numerical Methods, Complexity and Epistemic Hierarchies. (Co-author Nicholas Fillion) Philosophy of Science 82.5: 941-955 (2015) link
  • Symmetry. In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. R. Batterman. (ed.) Pp. 287-313. Oxford Univ. Press (2013) link 
  • Indispensability and Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64(2): 255-277 (2013) link
  • On the Role of Bridge Laws in Inter-theoretic Relations. Philosophy of Science 78(5): 1108-1119 (2011) link
  • On Bertrand's Paradox. Analysis 70: 30-35 (2010) link
  • Understanding Thermodynamic Singularities. Phase transitions, Data and Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 76.4: 488-505 (2009) link
  • Reifying Mathematics? Prediction and Symmetry Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39.2: 239-58 (2008) link
  • Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160: 13-20 (2008) link
  • Steiner on the Applicability of Mathematics and Naturalism. Philosophia Mathematica (3)14: 26-43 (2006) link

Book reviews, symposium contributions

  • Marc Lange Because Without Cause (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017) British Journal for Philosophy of Science. BJPS Review of Books. (2017) link
  • Peter Vickers Understanding Inconsistent Science (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013) Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. (2014) link
  • Structures, Fictions, and the Explanatory Epistemology of Mathematics in Science. Metascience 22(2): 247-273 (2013) Invited contribution to a symposium on Christopher Pincock's Mathematics and Scientific Representation, Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. Co-symposiasts: M. Balaguer and E. Landry. Responses by C. Pincock. link

I'm currently Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen; I'm also involved in the activities of Wittgenstein Archives Bergen. Before coming to Bergen, I held a lecturership positon at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Philosophy Dept., and another lecturership at University of Cambridge, History and Philosophy of Science Dept. Before that, I was Rotman Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western Ontario. I received a PhD from Univ. of Toronto in 2006. I moved to Toronto in 2001 after I studied philosophy and mathematics at Univ. of Bucharest (where I'm from).