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Conference: The Structure of Reality

24 June @ 14:00 - 26 June @ 17:15

Description

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In philosophy, the concept of structure has come to occupy center stage and seems to mesmerise many philosophical minds. When, during the 1960s, in philosophy of science, P.C. Suppes expounded a novel conception of a scientific theory as a set of models, these models were structures in the domain of discourse of set-theory. When, around the same time, in philosophy of mathematics, P. Benacerraf famously argued that numbers could not be abstract objects, his solution to the problem what arithmetic…
In philosophy, the concept of structure has come to occupy center stage and seems to mesmerise many philosophical minds. When, during the 1960s, in philosophy of science, P.C. Suppes expounded a novel conception of a scientific theory as a set of models, these models were structures in the domain of discourse of set-theory. When, around the same time, in philosophy of mathematics, P. Benacerraf famously argued that numbers could not be abstract objects, his solution to the problem what arithmetic was about, then, was that it is the study of abstract ω-structures - treading, knowingly or unknowlingly, in the footsteps of the great N. Bourbaki, who characterised mathematics as: the study of abstract structure. When in philosophy of science in 1989, J.S. Worrall propounded structural realism as a new variety of a realist view of science, he construed knowledge gathered by science as structural; and when in 1997, S. French and J. Ladyman distinguished epistemic from ontic structural realism, and connected the last-mentioned to issues in the philososphy of physics, structure became an ontological category. Perhaps structure is the fundamental substance of physical reality. Ladyman suggested structure as the locus of modality. Also in philosophy of science, the idea of a structural explanation has arisen, in contrast to other types of explanaation, e.g. deductive-nomological and causal explanation. Looking back in the history of 20th-century philosophy, A. Eddington and B. Russell turned out to have held distinctively structuralist views, as S. French has argued, and work of M.A.H. Newman and F.P. Ramsey had everything to do with structure. When in 2013 researchers at the Institute for Advanced Study held `A Special Year on Univalent Foundations of Mathematics', they presented Homotopic Type Theory (HoTT) as the most structuralist foundational theory of mathematics and logic. Needless to add that category theory also holds the banner of structure high. This conference puts the very concept of structure center stage. Metaphysicists and philosophers of science, of physics mostly, will present their views, arguments and criticisms; they will attempt to reflect on the role and ramifications of the concept of structure therein; and they will engage with each other. A philosophical spectacle not to miss.

Monday 24 June

  • David Chalmers (New York, USA)

    Structuralism and the Limits of Scepticism

  • Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers, USA)

    Monastic Structural Realism

  • David Schroeren (Princeton, USA)

    Why is Spin Discrete? On the Metaphysical Significance of Symmetry Structure

  • Gijs Leegwater (ESPhil, EUR)

    The Structure of Many-Particle Systems in Quantum Mechanics

  • Lunch

  • Simon Saunders (Oxford, UK)

    Ontology and Invariant Predication

  • Kerry KcKenzie (San Diego, USA)

    Delusions of a Final Theory: Ontic Structuralism without the Fiction of Fundamentality

  • Conference Reception for all participants at the Erasmus Paviljoen

  • Laura Felline (Rome, Italy)

    Structural Explanation

  • Ajan Chakravartty (Miami, USA)

    Natural Kind Structure: Deflationism, Realism, and Hyperrealism

  • Lunch

  • James Ladyman (Bristol, UK)

    Natural Necessity is just the Stuff for Ontic Structural Realism

  • Steven French (Leeds, UK)

    What is This Thing Called Structure? - Rummaging in the Toolbox of Metaphysics for an Answer

Registration

Send an e-mail to: (obligatory: there is a maximum of 50 participants, excluding speakers).

Attendance

Free of charge.

Speakers Dinner

Monday evening 24 June 2019, presumably near Hotel New York, 20:00 hours onwards.

Conference Reception

Free for all participants, at Erasmus Paviljoen, Tuesday 25 June, 17:15 - 18:00 hours.

Funding

The Dutch National Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Book

Springer Verlag will publish an edited volume with contributions based on talks given at this confer- ence, possibly with additional contributions by others who sadly could not participate. Book series: Synthese Library. Provisional title: The Structure of Reality and the Reality of Structure.

Organiser, Chair, Fundraiser and Editor of the Book

F.A. Muller

Venue

Room C2.2 (2nd floor) Theil Building Woudestein Campus Erasmus University Rotterdam Burgemeester Oudlaan 50 The Netherlands

Details

Start:
24 June @ 14:00
End:
26 June @ 17:15
Website:
https://sorros2019.org/

In philosophy, the concept of structure has come to occupy center stage and seems to mesmerise many philosophical minds. When, during the 1960s, in philosophy of science, P.C. Suppes expounded a novel conception of a scientific theory as a set of models, these models were structures in the domain of discourse of set-theory. When, around the same time, in philosophy of mathematics, P. Benacerraf famously argued that numbers could not be abstract objects, his solution to the problem what arithmetic was about, then, was that it is the study of abstract ω-structures – treading, knowingly or unknowlingly, in the footsteps of the great N. Bourbaki, who characterised mathematics as: the study of abstract structure. When in philosophy of science in 1989, J.S. Worrall propounded structural realism as a new variety of a realist view of science, he construed knowledge gathered by science as structural; and when in 1997, S. French and J. Ladyman distinguished epistemic from ontic structural realism, and connected the last-mentioned to issues in the philososphy of physics, structure became an ontological category. Perhaps structure is the fundamental substance of physical reality. Ladyman suggested structure as the locus of modality. Also in philosophy of science, the idea of a structural explanation has arisen, in contrast to other types of explanaation, e.g. deductive-nomological and causal explanation.

Looking back in the history of 20th-century philosophy, A. Eddington and B. Russell turned out to have held distinctively structuralist views, as S. French has argued, and work of M.A.H. Newman and F.P. Ramsey had everything to do with structure. When in 2013 researchers at the Institute for Advanced Study held `A Special Year on Univalent Foundations of Mathematics’, they presented Homotopic Type Theory (HoTT) as the most structuralist foundational theory of mathematics and logic. Needless to add that category theory also holds the banner of structure high.

This conference puts the very concept of structure center stage. Metaphysicists and philosophers of science, of physics mostly, will present their views, arguments and criticisms; they will attempt to reflect on the role and ramifications of the concept of structure therein; and they will engage with each other. A philosophical spectacle not to miss.

Monday 24 June

  • David Chalmers (New York, USA)

    Structuralism and the Limits of Scepticism

  • Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers, USA)

    Monastic Structural Realism

  • David Schroeren (Princeton, USA)

    Why is Spin Discrete? On the Metaphysical Significance of Symmetry Structure

  • Gijs Leegwater (ESPhil, EUR)

    The Structure of Many-Particle Systems in Quantum Mechanics

  • Lunch

  • Simon Saunders (Oxford, UK)

    Ontology and Invariant Predication

  • Kerry KcKenzie (San Diego, USA)

    Delusions of a Final Theory: Ontic Structuralism without the Fiction of Fundamentality

  • Conference Reception for all participants at the Erasmus Paviljoen

  • Laura Felline (Rome, Italy)

    Structural Explanation

  • Ajan Chakravartty (Miami, USA)

    Natural Kind Structure: Deflationism, Realism, and Hyperrealism

  • Lunch

  • James Ladyman (Bristol, UK)

    Natural Necessity is just the Stuff for Ontic Structural Realism

  • Steven French (Leeds, UK)

    What is This Thing Called Structure? – Rummaging in the Toolbox of Metaphysics for an Answer

Registration

Send an e-mail to: (obligatory: there is a maximum of 50 participants, excluding speakers).

Attendance

Free of charge.

Speakers Dinner

Monday evening 24 June 2019, presumably near Hotel New York, 20:00 hours onwards.

Conference Reception

Free for all participants, at Erasmus Paviljoen, Tuesday 25 June, 17:15 – 18:00 hours.

Funding

The Dutch National Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Book

Springer Verlag will publish an edited volume with contributions based on talks given at this confer- ence, possibly with additional contributions by others who sadly could not participate. Book series: Synthese Library. Provisional title: The Structure of Reality and the Reality of Structure.

Organiser, Chair, Fundraiser and Editor of the Book

F.A. Muller

Venue

Room C2.2 (2nd floor)
Theil Building
Woudestein Campus
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
The Netherlands

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About the OZSW event calendar

The OZSW event calendar lists academic philosophy events organized by/at Dutch universities, and is offered by the OZSW as a service to the research community. Please check the event in question – through their website or organizer – to find out if you could participate and whether registration is required. Obviously we carry no responsibility for non-OZSW events.