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Thu Nov 3, 2011

"Knowledge, Representation and Proof in the Modern Era"


Location: McKenna Hall, Room 210-214


9:00am: Douglas Jesseph, University of South Florida
"Leibniz on the Eliminability of Infinitesimals: Strategies for Finding Truth in Fiction"

10:20am: Andrew Arana, Kansas State University & Sebastien Maronne, Université de Toulouse
"Complexity and opacity in early modern geometry"

11:40am: Mary Domski, University of New Mexico

Tue Nov 8, 2011

Tue Nov 15, 2011

Continuity, Contiguity, Contingency: Islam and Copernicus Reconsidered


Location: 216 DeBartolo

F. Jamil Ragep
Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University

Since the rediscovery in the 1950s that Copernicus used mathematical devices in his astronomy that had originally been developed by Islamic astronomers, there has been much discussion about how he might have come to know of these devices, or whether he might have reinvented these on his own. But as the number of coincidences between Copernican astronomy and Islamic astronomy has continued to mount, we may be in a position to ask another question: what difference does it make? In other words, even if we knew that Copernicus had "borrowed" much of his astronomy, even his heliocentric hypothesis, from Islamic sources, what would the implications be for our understanding of history of science or even history in general? Would we need to rethink such staples of western history as the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Rise of the West, and civilizational boundaries? Or would it be simpler just to demote the Copernican Revolution (as has often been done)? In this talk, we will explore some of these questions, and try to understand how this Copernican question can open up numerous other questions of intellectual, social and political history and historiography.…

Fri Nov 18, 2011

Philosophers and Evolution: What's the Problem?


Location: Andrews Auditorium, Geddes Hall

Massimo Pigliucci Department of Philosophy, Lehman College-CUNY

A bit more than half a century ago, C.P. Snow pointed out that there is a large divide between the humanistic and scientific cultures. Snow, who crossed the divide, having started his career as a scientist and having become a writer, was puzzled by the extent of the hostility. As he pointed out, many of his literary colleagues would deride scientists for not knowing much about Shakespeare, at the same time that they were quite proud of knowing nothing about the second principle of thermodynamics. The divide still runs deep today, for example because of mutual mistrust between philosophers and scientists. The latter seem to think of philosophy as a waste of time, or a “pleasing gloss” on the history of science. The former often endorse pseudoscientific notions that are rightly scorned by the scientific community. This talk will examine the divide between the two cultures through specific examples pertaining to philosophical treatments of the theory of evolution. The goal is to diagnose the problem and, hopefully, propose some constructive solution.

Mon Nov 28, 2011

HPS Post-doctoral Fellowship, 2012-2013

Location: University of Notre Dame

 Postdoctoral Fellowship in History and Philosophy of Science


The History and Philosophy of Science Graduate Program at the University of Notre Dame seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow, beginning August 2012. The fellowship is for one year initially and is renewable for a second year. Applicants must have completed all requirements for the doctoral degree by June 30, 2012.…

Sat Dec 3, 2011

Wed Dec 7, 2011

Fri Dec 9, 2011

Thu Dec 15, 2011