Sorin Bangu's picture

Sorin Bangu

Professor, Philosophy
  • E-mailSorin.Bangu@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 29 48+47 981 99 964
  • 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 (when 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 do believe that "philosophy is not a theory, but an activity", that "a philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations" and that "the result of philosophy is not a number of 'philosophical propositions', but to make propositions clear." (Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1921).

For a while now I've been working in three areas, connected by my interest in investigating the nature of mathematics. Since I also believe that "there is a real need to link our understanding of mathematics with our understanding of the physical world." (A. Robinson, Concerning Progress in the Philosophy of Mathematics, 1973), my view is that progress here can be achieved by understanding the uses of mathematics in science (especially in physics) and everyday life.

In addition to occasionally writing on general topics in philosophy of science (e.g., explanation, understanding, prediction), I have tackled certain issues in philosophy of physics (e.g., idealization and fiction, symmetry and symmetry-breaking, emergence, reduction, fundamentality). I focus on the 'more-is-different' idea and its ramifications, and the role of the mathematical formalism in discovering / inventing new physics, or in expressing, even shaping, the actual physical content of a theory.

In the philosophy of mathematics, I continue to work mainly on issues related to the applicability of mathematics. This includes the (so-called) Indispensability argument for mathematical realism, the Wigner-Steiner 'unreasonable effectiveness' issue, also topics having to do with the role of mathematics in formulating explanations of physical phenomena, the credibility of various metaphysics of mathematics (realism/platonism, nominalism, fictionalism), as well as mathematical naturalism and the conceptual foundations of set-theory. A new angle on the connection between mathematics and the world is a project to evaluate how the experimental evidence gathered in psychology and cognitive science is relevant for the philosophical debates on the nature of mathematical (and logical) knowledge.

My interests in the history of analytical philosophy concentrate on the views of later Wittgenstein (hence my membership in the editorial board of the volume series Nordic Wittgenstein Studies.) My current work is on his take on mathematics and logic, in particular in relation to modality. The basic question here is what he (as well as others, e.g., Quine) makes of the claim that certain facts can't be otherwise than they are.

(Not a philosopher? Click here)



For research

For teaching

  • On the ‘List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students’ at Univ. of Illinois:

Fall 2010 PHIL 430 Epistemology

Spring 2011 PHIL 471 Philosophy of Science


Conference organization


Administrative academic work

  • External member of Search Committee for the position of Associate Professor in History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Aarhus Univ. 2020

  • Member of the Steering Committee of the East European Network for Philosophy of Science EENPS 2020 -

  • External reviewer for US National Science Foundation (NSF) grants 2018

  • Member of the Humanities Faculty reorganization project Univ. of Bergen 2016

  • Chair of the committee implementing a new MA specialization 'Philosophy and Public Policy' Univ. of Bergen, Philosophy Dept., 2016

  • Ex Phil MN manager Univ. of Bergen, Dept. of Philosophy, 2016

  • Co-representative in the Philosophy PhD Network including Univ. of Uppsala, Bologna, Bucharest, Helsinki and Bielefeld

  • Member of Search Committee for the position of Associate Professor in Philosophy, Univ. of Bergen 2015

  • Reviewer for Promotion and Tenure Committee for several universities

  • MA Studies Program Coordinator; PhD supervisions. Dept. of Philosophy, Univ. of Bergen, 2013- 2015, 2016 Fall

  • Member of the Curriculum Committee (Undervisningsutvalget for fagstudiet UFF), Dept. of Philosophy, Univ. of Bergen, 2013-2015

  • Member of Search Committee for the position of Associate Professor in Philosophy of Mind and Language, Univ. of Bergen 2012

  • External reviewer Austrian Research Foundation 2009

  • Senior examiner, U. of Cambridge HPS (2009-10) for MPhil (graduate), Part III (adv. undergraduate degree)

  • Member of the Committee for designing Examiners’ Guidelines for Part III, Cambridge HPS (2010)

  • Secondary PhD advisor, Univ. of Cambridge HPS (2009-2010)

  • Member of the Executive Committee, Univ. of Cambridge HPS (2008-2010)

  • Member of the HPS Board (invited), Univ. of Cambridge HPS (2008-2010)

  • Member of the HPS Degree Committee, Univ. of Cambridge HPS (2008-2010)



  • For academic journals:

Philosophy of Science, British Journal for Philosophy of Science, Mind, Journal of Philosophy, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Philosophia Mathematica, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Foundations of Physics, Synthese, Analysis, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, Theoria, International Studies in Philosophy of Science, Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Erkenntnis, European Journal for Philosophy of Science, Science and Education, The Philosophical Quarterly, Journal for General Philosophy of Science, Ergo, Perspectives on Science, Philosophical Psychology, Nordic Wittgenstein Review, Philosophical Studies

  • For publishing presses:

Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Palgrave Macmillan, Springer, Bloomsbury


Professional organizations

  • Editorial Board Nordic Wittgenstein Studies (Springer)

  • Editor of Phil Papers Philosophy of Mathematics, Misc. (section including Applicability of Mathematics, Mathematical Practice, Mathematical Explanation)

  • Philosophy of Science Association PSA

  • European Philosophy of Science Association EPSA

  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science BSPS

  • Nordic Network for Philosophy of Science NNPS

  • Society for Exact Philosophy SEP

  • Canadian Philosophical Association CPA

UNIV. OF BERGEN Dept. of Philosophy

For teaching materials see mitt uib

Postdoctoral students:

PhD students:

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

(Considering attending? First master the art of sleeping in seminars!)

Fall 2020

  • Intro to Theoretical Philosophy (undergrad.) FIL 125

  • Philosophy of Science (upper und. & grad.) FIL 219/319

Spring 2020:

  • Research leave

Fall 2019:

  • Graduate proseminar FIL 342

  • Intro to Theoretical Philosophy (undergrad.) FIL 125

Spring 2019:

  • Research leave

Fall 2018:

  • Philosophy of Science FIL 219/319

Spring 2018:

  • Metaphysics (upper undergrad. and grad.) FIL 220/320

  • Introduction to Theoretical Philosophy (undergrad.) FIL 125

Fall 2012 - Fall 2017:

  • Philosophy of Science (upper undergrad. and grad.)

  • Epistemology (upper undergrad. and grad.)

  • Introduction to Theoretical Philosophy (undergrad.)

  • Metaphysics (upper undergrad. & graduate)

  • Graduate proseminar

  • Topics in Philosophy of Natural Science (upper undergrad. & graduate)

  • Science in Social Context (upper undergrad. & graduate)

UNIV. of ILLINOIS (Urbana-Champaign), Dept. of Philosophy (2010-2012)

  • Theory of Knowledge (PHIL 430; graduate code: G3)

  • Contextualism in Epistemology (Independent study, graduate)

  • Contemporary Phil of Science (PHIL 471; grad code: G1)

  • Intro to Philosophy (PHIL 101)

  • Intro to Ethics (PHIL 105)

  • Logic and Reasoning (PHIL 102)


UNIV. OF CAMBRIDGE, Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science (2008-2010)

  • Lectures for Part IB and Part II HPS, Paper 4 (co-taught with Tim Lewens): Scientific methodology, Bayesianism, Philosophy of Physics, Philosophy of Mathematics

  • MPhil seminars on Scientific progress (2010) and Induction, Underdetermination, and Scientific realism (2009)

MPhil supervision:

  • Mark Janoff (Phil of applied math)

Part II, Part III, MPhil supervisions

PhD secondary supervision:

  • S. Nichols (T. Lewens primary supervisor)

  • N. Teh (J. Butterfield primary supervisor)


UNIV. OF WESTERN ONTARIO, Dept. of Philosophy (2007-2008)

  • Intro to the Theory of Knowledge [PHL 200 F, G] – Fall, Spring 2007-8


TRENT UNIVERSITY (Ontario), Dept. of Philosophy (2006-2007)

  • Metaphysics and Epistemology [PHIL 320] Fall 2006 - Spring 2007


UNIV. OF TORONTO, Dept. of Philosophy (2005-2006)

  • Seminar in Philosophy of Science: Naturalism [PHL 415] Fall 2006

  • Knowledge and Reality [PHL 232] Summer 2006

  • Modern Symbolic Logic [PHL 245] Spring - Summer 2005


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


Papers (journal articles, contributions to volumes, encyclopedia entries, etc.)

- for downloadable versions see my personal webpage

  • The Explanatory and Heuristic Power of Mathematics Topical collection of Synthese. Introduction co-authored and collection co-edited with M. Antonutti-Marfori and E. Ippoliti. Forthcoming.

  • Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena. Australasian Journal of Philosophy. Forthcoming.

  • Phase Transitions. In The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. E. Knox and A. Wilson. (eds.) Routledge. Forthcoming.

  • Hard and Blind: On Wittgenstein’s Genealogical View of Logical Necessity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Forthcoming. [early view, open access]

  • Discontinuities and Singularities, Data and Phenomena: For Referentialism. Synthese 196: 1919–1937 (2019). link to publisher In the special issue Infinite Idealizations in Science. L. Ruetsche, P. Palacios, S. Fletcher, E. Shech. (eds.)

  • Later Wittgenstein and the Genealogy of Mathematical Necessity. In Wittgenstein and Naturalism. K. Cahill and T. Raleigh. (eds.) Pp. 151-173. Routledge (2018) link to publisher

  • Introduction: A Naturalist Landscape. In Naturalizing Logico-Mathematical Knowledge: Approaches from Philosophy, Psychology and Cognitive Science. S. Bangu (ed.) Pp. 1-15. Routledge (2018) link to publisher

  • Indispensability, Causation and Explanation. Theoria 33(2): 219-232 (2018). link to journal In the special issue Updating Indispensabilities: Hillary Putnam In Memoriam. M. Leng. (ed.)

  • 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 to journal In the special issue Philosophical Aspects in the Foundations of Physics. M. Redei, H. Brown, K. Landsman. (eds.)

  • Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7(1): 103-126 (2017) link to journal 

  • Is Understanding Factive? Unificationism and the History of Science. Balkan Journal of Philosophy 9(1): 35-44 (2017). link to journal Invited key-note paper for the special issue Explanation and Understanding across the Sciences, Humanities and Arts. L. Gurova. (ed.)

  • On 'The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences'. In Models and Inferences in Science. T. Nickles, E. Ippoliti, F. Sterpetti. (eds.) Pp. 11-29. Springer (2016) link to publisher 

  • Later Wittgenstein on the Logicist Definition of Number. In Early Analytic Philosophy. New Perspectives on the Tradition. S. Costreie. (ed.) Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science Series. General ed. W. Demopoulos. Pp. 233-257. Springer (2016) link to publisher 

  • Numerical Methods, Complexity and Epistemic Hierarchies. (Co-author Nicholas Fillion) Philosophy of Science 82.5: 941-955 (2015) link to journal 

  • Why does Water Boil? Fictions in Scientific Explanation. In Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science. EPSA 13 Helsinki. U. Mäki et al. (eds.) Pp. 319-330. Springer (2015) link to publisher 

  • Scientific Progress, Understanding and Unification. In Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. G. Sandu, I. Parvu, I. Toader (eds.) Series Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science. Pp. 239-253. Springer (2015) link to publisher 

  • Neither Weak, Nor Strong? Emergence and Functional Reduction. In Why More is Different. Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems. M. Morrison and B. Falkenburg. (eds.) Pp. 253-266. Springer. The Frontiers Collection. (2015) link to publisher 

  • Indispensability of Mathematics. In Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy. D. Pritchard. (general ed.) Oxford Univ. Press. (2014) Online

  • Symmetry. In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. R. Batterman. (ed.) Pp. 287-313. Oxford Univ. Press (2013) link to publisher 

  • Indispensability and Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64(2): 255-277 (2013) link to journal 

  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: Later Philosophy of Mathematics Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy J. Fieser and B. Dowden. (eds.) Online (2012)

  • Wynn's Experiments and Later Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics. Iyyun. The Jerusalem Philosophical Quarterly 61: 219–41 (2012). link to journal Invited contribution to a special issue of papers presented at the conference 'Mathematical Knowledge and Its Application'. Y. Ben-Menahem, L. Corry and C. Possy. (eds.)

  • Probability Assignments and the Principle of Indifference. An Examination of Two Eliminative Strategies. In Probabilities, Causes and Propensities in Physics. M. Suarez. (ed.) Pp. 61-76. Springer (2011) link to publisher 

  • On the Role of Bridge Laws in Inter-theoretic Relations. Philosophy of Science 78(5): 1108-1119 (2011) link to journal 

  • On Bertrand's Paradox. Analysis 70: 30-35 (2010) link to journal 

  • Understanding Thermodynamic Singularities. Phase transitions, Data and Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 76.4: 488-505 (2009) link to journal 

  • Wigner's Puzzle for Mathematical Naturalism. International Studies in Philosophy of Science 23.3: 245-263 (2009) link to journal 

  • Reifying Mathematics? Prediction and Symmetry Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39.2: 239-58 (2008) link to journal 

  • Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160: 13-20 (2008) link to journal 

  • Pythagorean Heuristic in Physics. Perspectives on Science 14(4): 387-416 (2006) link to journal

  • Underdetermination and the Argument from Indirect Confirmation. Ratio 19.3: 269-278 (2006) link to journal

  • Steiner on the Applicability of Mathematics and Naturalism. Philosophia Mathematica (3)14: 26-43 (2006) link to journal

  • Later Wittgenstein on Essentialism, Family Resemblance and Philosophical Method. Metaphysica 6 (2): 53-73 (2005) link to journal 

Book reviews, symposium contributions, etc.

  • Marc Lange Because Without Cause (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017) British Journal for Philosophy of Science. BJPS Review of Books. Online (2017)

  • Peter Vickers Understanding Inconsistent Science (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013) Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Online (2014)

  • Structures, Fictions, and the Explanatory Epistemology of Mathematics in Science. Metascience 22(2): 247-273 (2013) link to journal 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.

  • Popper: yet again. Review of Darrel Rowbottom Popper's Critical Rationalism. (Routledge, 2010) Metascience 22:165-168 (2013)

  • Emily Grosholz Representation and Productive Ambiguity in Mathematics and the Sciences. (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007) Isis. A Journal of the History of Science Societ 100:1 (2009)


Work in progress

Complete drafts, available to share

  • Phase Transitions

  • Hard and Blind: On Wittgenstein’s Genealogical view of Logical Necessity

  • Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena

  • ‘Changing the style of thinking’. Wittgenstein on Superlatives, Revisionism, and Cantorian Set Theory

Incomplete drafts

  • On the (non)Factivity of Scientific Understanding

  • On Skepticism

  • Dolls and Drumbeats: Experiments on infant mathematical cognition

  • Why More is Different: The case of superconductivity

  • The Intelligibility of Nature and Second Quantization

I'm a professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Bergen, Norway. I'm involved in the activities of the Wittgenstein Archives Bergen hosted by the Philosophy Dept.

Before joining the Dept. as an associate professor in the Fall of 2012, I held two lecturer positions, one at University of Cambridge (History and Philosophy of Science Dept. 2008-2010) and the other at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Philosophy Dept. 2010-2012). Between 2007-2008 I was a Rotman Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western Ontario. I received a PhD in philosophy in 2006 from Univ. of Toronto. I moved to Toronto in 2001 after I studied mathematics and philosophy at Univ. of Bucharest (where I'm from).

Talks (i = invited, k = keynote speaker)




The Appearance of Skepticism

The Intelligibility of Nature and Second Quantization

Mathematical Explanations of Physical Facts

Mathematical explanations of physical phenomena: a minimal characterization (and its problems)

Fictions in Scientific Explanation

Later Wittgenstein on Mathematical Necessity

From Alpha to Beta: the weak interaction and the metaphysics of change

  • Naturalized Metaphysics Workshop in Trondheim, Norway 14 Aug. 2018 (i)

Later Wittgenstein on Logical Necessity

Having your (strawberry) cake and dividing it too

On the (Non)Factivity of Scientific Understanding. The Argument from Idealizations

Reductionism, Constructionism and Explanation. The Case of Superconductivity

  • McGill Univ. Montreal HPS talk 8 Sept. 2017 (i)

What is Distinctive about Distinctively Mathematical Explanations?

Explanatory Fictionalism? The case of Phase Transitions

  • Workshop on Phase Transitions and Infinite Idealizations. 23 June 2017 Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve Belgium (i)

High level explanation in physics. The case of BCS superconductivity

Wittgenstein on the Genealogy of Mathematics

Naturalism, Indispensability and Causal Mathematical Nominalism

The 'Miracle' of Applicability? The Curious Case of the Simple Harmonic Oscillator

  • Workshop on Applied Mathematics: Computational Issues in Statistical Mechanics (Seminar host Laure Saint-Raymond) Univ. Paris-Sorbonne 22-27 May 2016 (i)

  • Society for the Metaphysics of Science Geneva 15-17 Sept. 2016

  • Philosophy of Science Association Biennial Meeting PSA 2016 Atlanta 3-5 Nov. 2016

Anderson's Constructionism: Remarks on the BCS Model

Dolls and Drumbeats: Experiments on Infant Mathematical Cognition

Methodological Reflections on the Experiments on Infants' Arithmetical Abilities

Mathematical Knowledge from a Psychological Point of View

Commentary on Paul Snowdon 'A Defence of Wittgenstein's Naturalism'

Experiments on Infant Mathematical Cognition, Object-Persistence and Cross-Modal Perception: Harmony or Conflict?

  • Symposium Mathematical Knowledge: A Cognitive Approach. SoPhA Montreal June 2015 Co-symposiasts: Dirk Schlimm (McGill) and Jean-Charles Pelland (UQAM / Univ. of London)

When Causation is Not the Point: Individualism v. Collectivism on Explanation

Solutions in the Mathematical Sciences and Epistemic Hierarchies (with Nic Fillion)

  • Philosophy of Science Association PSA Biennial Meeting, Chicago Nov. 2014

  • Western Canadian Philosophical Association Annual Meeting WCPA 2014 Vancouver Oct. 2014 (N. Fillion presenting)

Wigner's Puzzle: Unreasonably Effective?

  • Models and Inferences in Science Workshop. La Sapienza Univ. Rome Sept. 2014 (i) video

Dolls and Drumbeats: Experiments on Infant Mathematical Cognition

  • ECAP 8 8th European Congress of Analytic Philosophy in the workshop Mathematical Cognition and its Relevance for Philosophy of Mathematics. Bucharest, Aug. 2014 (i)

Scientific Progress, Understanding and Unification. Center for Science Studies and Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University Aarhus March 2014 (i)

Explanatory Fictions and Fictional Explanation

Understanding Scientific Understanding

A Metaphysical Lesson from the Physics of the Weak Interaction, ca. 1930

Scientific Naturalism, Causation, and the Incoherence of Mathematical Nominalism

Quinean Naturalist Ontology: Science, Causation and Mathematics

  • Dept. of Philosophy Seminar Univ of Bergen. Oct. 2012 (i)

Functional Reduction and Emergence

  • Condensed Metaphysics Workshop German Physical Society (DPG) Berlin. March 2012 (i)

  • Dept. of Philosophy Seminar. LaTrobe University, Melbourne Dec. 2011 (i)

Wynn’s Experiments and Later Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics

Analytic vs. Numerical: Scientific Modeling and Computational Methods

Theoretical Emergence

  • Workshop IPFW Philo STEM 2, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Nov 2011 (k)

Reductionism, Naturalism, and the Thermodynamic Limit

The Mystery of Boiling Water. Emergence, Reduction and Infinite Idealizations

  • Dept. of Philosophy Seminar, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nov. 2010 (i)

  • Dept. of Philosophy Seminar, Bradley Univ (Illinois). Peoria IL, Oct. 2010 (i)

Best Friends or Worst Enemies? Bridge Laws in Inter-theoretic Relations

Indispensability and Explanation

Is Mathematics Conservative?

  • Symposium 'What’s Math Got To Do With It? Philosophical Issues Arising from the Applicability of Mathematics to Natural Science' European Philosophy of Science Association EPSA 2009 Amsterdam. Participants: Robert Batterman, Mark Colyvan, Michael Liston, Sorin Bangu (organizer). Oct 2009

Dirac's Puzzle(s)

Mathematical and Causal Reasoning in Dirac's Prediction of the Positron

  • &HPS2 conference, Notre Dame Univ. March 2009

Understanding Singularities in Thermodynamics, Jaynes and Uffink on MAXENT

What Pirahas Can't Do

  • Workshop Explanation, Indispensability of Mathematics, and Scientific Realism. Philosophy Dept., Univ. of Leeds. Jan. 2009 (i)

Comments on Davide Rizza's 'Magicicada and Mathematical Realism'.

  • 2nd Annual Cambridge Conference on Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics. Jan. 2009 (i)

Probabilistic indispensability

  • Univ. of Washington-Seattle, Jan. 2009 (i)

On Dirac's prediction of the positron

  • HQ (History of Quantum Mechanics Conference, Utrecht, 14-17 July 2008; paper accepted, unable to attend

Comments on David Boutillier ‘A Reconstruction of Frege's Account of Arithmetic Knowledge'

  • Canadian Philosophical Association. Vancouver, June 2008

On Bertrand's paradox

  • Canadian Philosophical Association. Vancouver, June 2008.

On Numbers and Insects. Applying Mathematics to Evolutionary Biology

  • Univ. of Cambridge, HPS. April 2008 (i)

  • Society for Exact Philosophy SEP. 18 May 2007, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

  • Comments on Russell Marcus ‘Intrinsic Explanation and Field's Dispensabilist Strategy' American Philosophical Association Eastern, Baltimore Dec. 2007

Probability Assignments and the Principle of Indifference. An Examination of the Eliminative Strategies.

  • Univ. of Western Ontario, Philosophy Dept. SEER Lab (Convenors R. Batterman and C. Weijer), Nov. 2007 (i)

Panelist at &HPS1: The First Conference in Integrated History and Philosophy of Science Univ. of Pittsburgh, October 2007 (i)

Probability Assignments and the Principle of Indifference. An Examination of the Eliminative Strategies

An Old Problem in a New Setting: Wigner’s Puzzle and Maddy’s Naturalism

  • American Philosophical Association Eastern, Washington, 2006. Graduate Travel Stipend Prize

  • Carleton Univ. (Ottawa), Philosophy colloquium, Jan. 2007 (i)

  • Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, York Univ., May 2006, winner of Richard Hadden Award

Physical Symmetries and Probability Assignments

  • Philosophy of Physics Workshop, Complutense Univ. Madrid. October 2006 (i)

  • Philosophy Colloquium, Univ. of Toronto, November 2006 (i)

Underdetermination and the Argument from Indirect Confirmation

  • American Philosophical Association Central, Chicago, April 2006

Surplus Mathematical Structure and Pythagorean Prediction in Particle Physics

  • British Society for the Philosophy of Science, Manchester, July 2005

Steiner on the Applicability of Mathematics and Naturalism

  • Canadian Philosophical Association. London, Ontario, May 2005

Realism and the Common Cause Principle

  • Society for Exact Philosophy SEP, Univ. of Maryland, May 2004

  • Canadian Philosophical Association, Winnipeg, June 2004

Comments on Cory Wright ‘Mechanistic Explanation’

  • American Philosophical Association Central, Chicago, 2004 (i)


  • Annual Bergen Philosophy of Science Workshop

2019 (link to abstracts)

Thursday 29 Aug.

11.15 Coffee & Welcome. Prof Steinar Bøyum, Head of Dept.

11.30 - 13 Denis Walsh (Toronto)

The Developmental Imperative

Lunch (Christie Cafe)

14.30 - 16 James Ladyman (Bristol)

What if anything is fundamental about physics?

16.15 - 17.45 Patricia Palacios (Salzburg)

Intertheoretic Reduction in Physics Beyond the Nagelian Model

19.00 Dinner

Friday 30 Aug.

9.45 Coffee

10.00 - 11.30 Axel Gelfert (Berlin)

Explanation and Exploration in the Science of Pattern Formation

11.45 - 13.15 Laura Franklin-Hall (NYU)

Why are some kinds historical and others not?


2018 (link to abstracts)

Thursday 24 May

12.55 Welcome. Prof. Reidar Lie, Head of Dept.

13.00 - 14.30 P. Kyle Stanford (UC Irvine)

A Difference that Makes a Difference: Howard Stein on Realism, Instrumentalism, and Intellectually Nourishing Snacks

14.45 - 16.15 Kirsten Walsh (Nottingham)

Inventing Units of Measurement: Causal Reasoning in Newton's Optics

16.30 - 18.00 Dirk Schlimm (McGill)

Towards a cognitive and pragmatic account of notations for propositional logic

19.30 Conference dinner

Friday 25 May

10.00 - 11.30 Mark Colyvan (University of Sydney and the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich)

Analogical Reasoning via Mathematical Models

11.45 - 13.15 Adrian Curie (Cambridge)

How are moa like sheep? Pursuit and value in science

13.15 - 15.00 Lunch break

15.00 - 16.30 Julie Zahle (Bergen)

Data, Epistemic Values, and Multiple Methods in Case Study Research

16.30 - 18.00 Alan Baker (Swarthmore)

Mapping Mathematics to the World

18.30 Henrik Pub


2017 (link to abstracts)

Wed. 31 May

13.30 Welcome. Coffee

13.45-14.45 Stathis Psillos (Univ. of Athens)

Laws and Powers in the Frame of Nature

14.45-15.45 Alexander Bird (Univ. of Bristol)

Is there meta-scientific knowledge? Against both the no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction


16.00 - 17.00 Gordon Belot (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Gravity and GRACE: Does Underdetermination Undermine Objectivity?

17.00 -18.00 Laura Ruetsche (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Renormalization Group Realism: An Unduly Skeptical Review


18.15-19.15 Michael Baumgartner (Univ. of Geneva / Univ. of Bergen)

Boolean difference-making: A modern regularity theory of causation

19.15-20.15 Eleanor Knox (King's College London)

Spacetime Functionalism


2016 (link to abstracts)

Tue. 14 June

9.50 - 10.00 Coffee & Welcome

10.00 - 11.15 Carl Hoefer (ICREA / Barcelona)

Current Great Theory Realism

11.30 - 12.45 Stephanie Ruphy (Grenoble)

Pluralist challenges to a science-based metaphysics

Lunch @ Christie Cafe

15.00 - 16.15 Jamie Tappenden (U. Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Frege, Carl Snell and Romanticism; Fruitful Concepts and the 'Organic/Mechanical' Distinction

16.30 - 17.45 Sam Schindler (Aarhus)

Prediction and testability

18.00 - 19.15 James Conant (Chicago)

Thomas Kuhn on Problems and Puzzles


2015 (link to abstracts)

Thursday 4 June

14.00 – 15.00 Mark Steiner (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem)

The Silent Revolution of Wittgenstein in the Philosophy of Mathematics, 1937

15.15 –16.15 Catherine Wilson (York Univ. UK)

The 'Hard Problem' of Consciousness: Scientific Explanation and Philosophical Ineffability

16.30 – 17.45 Juha Saatsi (Leeds Univ.)

Emergence and Explanation

19.00 Conference dinner

Friday 5 June

9.30 - 10.30 Mary Leng (York Univ., UK)

Mathematical Realism and Naturalism

10.45 – 11.45 Anjan Chakravartty (Notre Dame)

Property Ontology in Fundamental Physics

11.45 – 12.15 Lunch

12.15 – 13.15 Øystein Linnebo (Oslo)

Mathematics and Inference to the Best Explanation


2014 (link to abstracts)

Thursday 5 June

14.45 Coffee. Welcome from the Chair, Prof. Reidar Lie

15.00 - 16.00 Robert Batterman (Pittsburgh)

Minimal Model Explanations

16.00 - 17.00 Michael Moreau (Tromsø)

Mr. Fit, Mr. Simplicity and Mr. Scope: from Social Choice to Theory Choice in Science

17.00 - 18.00 Dennis Dieks (Utrecht)

Emergence, Reduction, Underdetermination and Explanation in Recent Quantum Gravity Research

Friday 6 June

9.45 Coffee

10.00 - 11.00 Mauricio Suarez (London / Madrid)

Propensities, Chances, and Experimental Statistics

11.00 - 12.00 Mark Sprevak (Edinburgh)

Fictionalism about Neural Representations

12.00 - 12.30 Lunch

12.30 - 13.30 Anouk Barberousse (Lille / Paris)

Bayesian Methods in Climate Modeling


2013 (link to abstracts)

Thursday 20 June

12:45 Coffee

Welcome, Philosophy Dept. Chair Prof. Reidar Lie

13:00 - 14:00 Margaret Morrison (Univ. of Toronto)

Inconsistent Models: Problems and Perspectives

14:15-15:15 Wendy Parker (Durham Univ. UK)

Simulation, Measurement & the Construction of Global Climate Datasets

15:15 - 15:30 Coffee break

15:30 - 16:30 Michal Walicki (Univ. of Bergen, Institute of Informatics)

The holism of truth and paradox (joint work with Sjur Dyrkolbotn)

Friday 21 June

9:45 Coffee

10:00 - 11:00 Alexander Paseau (Oxford)

Knowledge of Mathematics Without Proof

11:15 - 12:15 Rani L. Anjum (Norwegian Univ. of Life Sciences UMB)

Causation, Powers and Probability (joint work with Stephen Mumford)

12:15 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 14:00 Colin Howson (LSE/Toronto)

The Importance of Being Bayesian