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Reasoning in Physics

International Workshop organized by Ben Eva, Ph.D. and Prof. Dr. Stephan Hartmann (CAS Senior Researcher in Residence).

12.12.2016 – 13.12.2016

Modern Physics provides an extremely rich testing ground for philosophical theories of scientific reasoning. In recent times, we have seen the emergence of many new forms of theory confirmation (analogue simulation, the no-alternatives argument, anthropic reasoning, …), necessitated by the empirical inaccessibility of some of the most prominent theories of modern physics and cosmology (string theory, cosmic inflation, …). This workshop will bring together researchers working on the epistemological problems posed by contemporary physical theory, in order to better understand some of these new patterns of physical reasoning and their relationship to traditional theories of scientific reasoning and argumentation in general (e.g. Bayesianism). Another key theme of the workshop will be to explore the ability of traditional Bayesian confirmation theory to account for the wide range of argumentative patterns used by physicists. Relevant issues include, for example, the role and epistemological status of toy models in physics, the ability of Bayesianism to distinguish between neutral and disconfirming evidence, the possibility of providing a Bayesian account of anthropic probabilities, and the question of how strongly a theory can be confirmed in the absence of direct empirical evidence.

Confirmed speakers are: Jeremy Butterfield (Cambridge), Erik Curiel (LMU), Radin Dardashti (Hannover), Benjamin Eva (LMU), Simon Friederich (Groningen), Mathias Frisch (Hannover), Sabine Hossenfelder (Frankfurt), Michael Krämer (Aachen), Karim Thebault (Bristol).


CAS, Seestraße 13, 80802 München
Registration required. If you are interested in participating please contact us: