Call for papers
Our conference aims to address the role of hypothetical thinking in the formulation and development of scientific theories and models. More specifically, studying the role of hypothesis in the sciences could prompt at least three different investigations:
- One might investigate the methods and the forms of reasoning implicit in the work of scientists with the objective of determining how they had relied on hypotheses in their work.
- One might discuss how systematic inquiry into the natural world should be carried out and what role creating hypotheses played for practitioners of science.
- One might evaluate the ability of hypotheses to imagine and foresee new phenomena by considering their use as a form of inquiry that seeks to go beyond the immediately observable to the causal structure responsible for observed phenomenon.
Next year will mark the 550th anniversary of the birth of Nicolaus Copernicus. We think that it would be highly pertinent to discuss how our understanding of the role of hypotheses has changed since his time. Is the use of hypotheses still viable in current science, or has it been superseded by other scientific concepts or methods? The aim of our conference is to contribute to the dialogue between scientists, historians of science, philosophers of science, and logicians interested in scientific methods of reasoning.
We will focus on the following main topics:
- What are the merits and limits of hypothetical reasoning in science from both a historical and a methodological point of view?
- Is there anything that secures a special epistemological role for hypotheses? If so, does it emerge from our rational capacities or is it rather contextually driven? What factors should be further elucidated in order to explicate the context and power of hypothetical reasoning?
- What guarantees the transition from hypothetical thinking to well-established theory? Is such a transition really necessary for the effective study of modern-day science?
We invite you to address these topics from a historical, philosophical, and methodological point of view. Moreover, we welcome either a general approach to the above issues or a focus on case studies from more specific fields of scientific study.
We kindly invite you to submit abstracts related to one of the three topics mentioned above. The proposals should be in English (including abstract, title, academic affiliation, email address), and should contain a max. of 400 words; please send the work to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your abstract via the conference page.
We prefer latex source + pdf submissions, but other formats (e.g. doc or pdf itself) are also accepted.
The format of the conference
The format of the conference will be in-person.