Reconsidering Empiricism in the Philosophy of Science

31 March 2021, 11.50 AM - 1 April 2021, 5.45 PM


This workshop aims to explore empiricism in the philosophy of science from new perspectives. It aims to analyse not just the more dominant understanding of empiricism that is usually associated with Bas van Fraassen, but also the less-focused on empiricism associated with Nancy Cartwright.

Talks will be given on historical surveys of various branches of empiricisms in early philosophy of science (Logical Empiricism, Mach, Pragmatism), on the differences and similarities between the van Fraassen and Cartwright tradition, on empiricist accounts of causality, on new approaches to empiricism, and criticisms of empiricism in the philosophy of science, amongst others.

Programme (All times BST)

Weds 31st March

11:50am-12:00pm: Introduction to the workshop

12:00pm-12:45pm: Thomas Uebel: “Varieties of Logical Empiricism”

12:50pm-1:35pm: John Preston: “Descriptivism: An Empiricist Tradition, Through the Lens of Ernst Mach”

1:35pm-2:20pm: Lunch

2:20pm–3:05pm Parysa Mostajir: “Pragmatism Empiricism in the History of Philosophy of Science”

3:15pm-4:00pm: David Cobb: “Methodological and Sceptical Empiricism in the Philosophy of Science”

4:15pm-5:00pm: Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam: The Empirical Stance Revisited

5:05pm–5:50pm: Nancy Cartwright: Philosophy in the Earthly Plane

Thursday 1st April

11:55am-12:00pm: Brief welcome back

12:00pm-12:45pm: Hans Radder: “Empiricism must, but cannot, presuppose real causation”

12:50pm - 1:35pm: Christopher Clarke: “Defending Empiricism about Causation”

1:35pm-2:20pm Lunch

2:20pm-3:05pm Karim Thebault: “Universal Reasoning”

3:10pm-3.55pm: Nora Boyd: Empiricism with Enriched Evidence

4:00pm-4:45pm: James Ladyman: Title TBC

4.50pm-5.35pm: Alexander Bird: “Against Empiricism”

Contact information

For registration, please email


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