Lorentz Center - Understanding and the Aims of Science from 31 May 2010 through 4 Jun 2010
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    Understanding and the Aims of Science
    from 31 May 2010 through 4 Jun 2010

 

Program

All lectures take place in room 201 of the Huygens Building, unless otherwise mentioned. Each lecture consists of about 35 min. talk and 10 min. discussion.

The presentations by young scholars take place in room 201 and room 335 on the Lorentz Center floor.

 

Monday May 31:    Aims of Science and the Place of Understanding

09.00 – 10.00           Arrival and registration

10.00 – 10.15           Introduction by Lorentz Center staff

10.15 – 10.30           Henk de Regt: Introduction to the workshop

10.30 – 11.15           F.A. Muller and Antigone Nounou: Understanding with and without explanation

11.15 – 11.45           Coffee break

11.45 – 12.30           Herman Verlinde: Horizons of Understanding of Space and Time 

12.30 – 13.30           Lunch break

13.30 – 14.00           Discussion

14.00 – 14.30           Discussion: formulating questions and aims for the workshop         

                                    (moderators: James McAllister & Henk de Regt)

14.30 – 15.15           Jan Faye: Understanding and interpreting quantum mechanics

15.15 – 15.45           Tea break

15.45 – 16.30           Dennis Dieks: Understanding and explanation in physics

16.30 – 17.00           Discussion

17.00 – 19.00           Wine and cheese welcoming party

 

Tuesday June 1:   Theories of Understanding I: Mechanism-Based Approaches

09.15 – 09.30           James McAllister: Introduction to today’s topic

09.30 – 10.15           Lindley Darden: Mechanistic understanding in the life sciences: cases from molecular and evolutionary biology

10.15 – 10.45           Coffee break

10.45 – 11.30           Gerard Nienhuis: Quantum optics as a mechanistic understanding of light

11.30 – 12.00           Discussion

12.00 – 13.00           Lunch break

13.00 – 13.40           Herman Verlinde: Lorentz Center Highlight in Sitterzaal (ground floor, left of the main entrance with the revolving doors)

14.00 – 14.20           Presentations by young scholars *

Room 335: Attilia Ruzzene Causal inference in the social science. Why causal mechanisms matter and how to find out about them

Room 201: Raoul Gervais A pragmatic theory of scientific explanation

14.25 – 14.45           Presentations by young scholars*

Room 335: Bart Karstens: The Tense Relation between Understanding and Evaluation in the History of Science

Room 201: Daniele Molinini: A Practice Driven approach to MEPP in terms of Conceptual Tools and Conceptual Resources

14.45 – 15.15           Tea break

15.15 – 16.00           Stephen Turner: Where explanation ends: understanding as the place the spade turns in the social sciences

16.00 – 16.45           Frank Hindriks: Idealization, mechanisms, and understanding in economics

16.45 – 17.30           Discussion

17.45                          Departure by bus to boat

18.00 – 22.00           Boat trip and dinner

22.00                          Departure bus via Central Station and Hotel Het Haagsche schouw to Lorentz Center

* In two parallel sessions, two Ph.D. students or recent Ph.D’s will be asked to prepare a 20min presentation about their Ph.D research. Senior researchers will be asked to attend one of these sessions.

 

Wednesday June 2: Theories of Understanding II: Unification- and Reduction-  

Based Approaches

09.15 – 09.30           Henk de Regt: Introduction to today’s topic

09.30 – 10.15           Victor Gijsbers: Unification and understanding            

10.15 – 10.45           Coffee break

10.45 – 11.30           Michael Strevens: Explanatory Autonomy and Explanatory Irreducibility

11.30 – 12.00           Discussion

12.00 – 13.30           Lunch break

13.30 – 13.50           Presentations by young scholars*

Room 335: Rogier Kievit Understanding and the aims of cognitive neuroscience

Room 201: Leo Pape Compression-driven progress in science

13.50 – 14.10           Presentations by young scholars *

                                    Room 335: Merel Lefevere A search for non-reductive unification

                                    Room 201: Ioannis Votsis Thinking about Scientific Understanding and Explanation as a Structural Realist

14.15 – 15.00           Maarten G. Kleinhans: A feeling for patterns in rivers: understanding and reductionist explanation in earth science

15.00 – 15.30           Tea break

15.30 – 17.00           Plenary discussion on:

- Mechanism based approaches versus unification- and reduction-based approaches

- Outstanding problems and future prospects

- What can scientists and philosophers learn from each other?

(moderator: Lindley Darden)

* In two parallel sessions, two Ph.D. students or recent Ph.D’s will be asked to prepare a 20min presentation about their Ph.D research. Senior researchers will be asked to attend one of these sessions.

 

Thursday June 3:  Simulations and the Provision of Understanding

09.15 – 09.30           Henk de Regt: Introduction to today’s topic

09.30 – 10.15           Rafaela Hillerbrand: The epistemology of computer simulations: Three types of understanding

10.15 – 10.45           Tea break

10.45 – 11.30           Wendy Parker: Simulation and understanding in the study of weather and climate

11.30 – 12.00           Discussion

12.00 – 13.30           Lunch break and informal discussion

13.30 – 14.15           Petri Ylikoski: Agent-based simulation and sociological understanding

14.15 – 14.30           Discussion

14.30 – 15.00           Tea break

15.00 – 15.45           Sabina Leonelli: Understanding data in the digital age: experimental biology in silico

15.45 – 16.00           Discussion

16.00 – 17.00           Discussion: What kind of understanding can simulations provide, if any? (moderator: Wendy Parker)

18.15                          Departure by bus to restaurant Scheltema

18.30 – 21.00           Workshop dinner at restaurant Scheltema

 

Friday June 4:       Understanding, Imagination, and Visualization

09.15 – 09.30           James McAllister: Introduction to today’s topic

09.30 – 10.15           James R. Brown: What do we see in a thought experiment?

10.15 – 10.45           Coffee break

10.45 – 11.30           Sander Bais: The pictorial languages of theoretical physics

11.30 – 12.00           Discussion

12.00 – 13.30           Lunch break and informal discussion

13.30 – 14.15           William Bechtel: Visualizing complex dynamic mechanisms in

biology

14.15 – 15.00           Henk de Regt: Visualization as a tool for scientific understanding

15.00 – 15.30           Tea break

15.30 – 16.15           Wrap up session: Two perspectives on scientific understanding - scientists and philosophers summarize and evaluate the results of the workshop (moderator: Jim Brown)



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