Becsi nyari iskola

Miklos Redei redei at
Thu Jan 27 17:00:30 CET 2005

Kedves Kollegak,

Talan tobbeket erdekel az alabbi nyari iskola Becsben.

Redei Miklos 
Department of History and Philosophy of Science    other email: 
Faculty of Sciences, Lorand Eotvos University      redei at
Postal address:                                    fax: +36-1-372-2924
P.O. Box 32
H-1518 Budapest 112                                phone:+36-1-209-0555/6678 
Date:    Wed, 19 Jan 2005 14:49:53 +0100
From:    Franz Huber <franz.huber at UNI-KONSTANZ.DE>
Subject: VISU 2005: Chance and Necessity

Last Call for Application
Extended Deadline:  February 15, 2005


Chance and Necessity
Vienna, July 18–29, 2005
organized by the University of Vienna and the Institute Vienna Circle

A two-week high-level summer course on questions related to chance,
probability, and necessity from a historical and systematic

Main Lecturers:
Theodore M. Porter (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
Wolfgang Spohn (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Assistant Lecturers:
Franz Huber (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Deborah R. Coen (Cambridge, Mass., USA)

International Program Committee
John Beatty (Vancouver), Martin Carrier (Bielefeld), Maria Luisa Dalla
Chiara (Florence), Maria Carla Galavotti (Bologna), Malachi Hacohen
(Duke), Rudolf Haller (Graz), Rainer Hegselmann (Bayreuth), Michael
Heidelberger (Tübingen), Elisabeth Leinfellner (Vienna), James G.
Lennox (Pittsburgh), Paolo Mancosu (Berkeley), Paolo Parrini
(L’Aquila), Friedrich Stadler (Vienna), Roger Stuewer (Minneapolis),
Thomas Uebel (Manchester), Jan Woleński (Cracow), Anton Zeilinger
Michael Stöltzner (Secretary of the PC, Vienna)
Gloria Sultano (Secretary of the VISU, Vienna)

The Main Lecturers

Wolfgang Spohn studied philosophy, logic & philosophy of science, and
mathematics at the University of Munich. He acquired his MA in 1973 and
his Ph.D. in 1976 and completed his Habilitation in 1984. Until 1985 he
was research assistent at the Institute of Philosophy of Science under
Wolfgang Stegmüller at the University of Munich and subsequently Fellow
at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. In 1986 he was appointed professor
at the University of Regensburg, and in 1991 he received a chair at the
University of Bielefeld. Since 1996 he has held a chair for philosophy
and philosophy of science at the University of Konstanz. He has been in
charge of various research projects, most notably the DFG research group
titled "Logik in der Philosophie". From 1988-2001 he was editor-in-chief
of the journal Erkenntnis. Many of his papers deal with philosophical
logics, epistemology, inductive logic and probability, philosophy of
science, in particular the theory of causation and explanation,
philosophy of language and mind, decision theory, game theory, and the
theory of theoretical and practical rationality in general.

A Systematic Inquiry into Chance and Necessity
The lectures attempt to fulfil three tasks: First, they should provide
an overview of the topic at hand and its problems. There is a perfect
parallel between the case of chance and the case of necessity. To bring
out this parallel will be the second task of the course. Moreover, the
basic problem has to do with the fact that the objectivity involved in
chance and necessity is still poorly understood. A broadly projectivist
account of this objectivity appears to be as most revealing. So, the
third task of this course is to give a precise account of the
projectivist account of the objectivity of chance and natural

The course will address the following topics:
- General introduction into modality
- Subjective probability
- Objective probability: an overview
- David Lewis' conception of objective probability
- A projectivistic reconstrual of this conception
- Objectivistic conceptions of natural laws and causation
- Foundations for a subjectivistic account: ranking theory
- A ranking-theoretic account of laws of nature and causation
- How to objectify this account
-The probabilistic-deterministic parallel between chance and necessity

Theodore M. Porter studied history and history of science at Princeton,
where he took his Ph.D. in 1981 with a dissertation on the history of
statistics. He spent a year as member of a research group on the
“probabilistic revolution” at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research
(ZiF) of the University of Bielefeld (Germany) in 1982-1983.  His books
- The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900 (1986), The Empire of
Chance (1989), Trust in Numbers (1995), Cambridge History of Science,
vol. 7: Modern Social Sciences (2003) – focus on: statistical reasoning
penetrating the social and natural sciences, the history and the
implications of probability and statistics from the seventeenth century
to recent times, the relations of quantification and calculation to an
ideal of selfless or impersonal reasoning, and the relation of this
mechanical form of objectivity to the societies within which it has
flourished. His latest book, Karl Pearson: The Scientific Life in a
Statistical Age (2004), is about the unruly life of the founder of the
modern field of statistics, and about the historical vision,
philosophical sensibility, and moral ideals that framed this new field
for Pearson. Since 1991 Porter has been professor of history of science
in the Department of History at the University of California, Los

A Historical Inquiry into Chance and Necessity
Chance and probability were never purely mathematical topics. In the
European tradition, they were full of religious and philosophical
significance from at least the period of the Renaissance. Since then
they have become increasingly integral to natural science, and at the
same time to social, political, medical, and economic affairs. The
course will survey this large historical trajectory by focusing on some
themes and moments of particular interest and significance, esp.:
- Subjective and objective probabilities. Probability in the eighteenth
century was a guide to right reasoning; statistics in the nineteenth
became the science of social collectives.
- Statistical models in the sciences.  Physics, physical chemistry, and
biology all developed statistical formulations in the late nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries.  But not without opposition, for
statistics challenged some basic ideals of scientific reasoning.
- A universe of chance.  Statistics meant the taming of chance, order
out of chaos.  Ironically, it therefore allowed the recognition of
chance and variation in the elementary phenomena of the world.
- In pursuit of objectivity. In the twentieth century, statistics became
above all a set of mathematical strategies of scientific inference,
which then were linked to canons of experimental design. In this guise,
statistics contributed to a reshaping of public policy, and with it, of
the public role of the scientist.
- Markets and gambling. Our story circles back to the science of
reasoning under uncertainty, which in the later twentieth century has
been applied with great ambition to business and investing.

The Assistant Lecturers

Franz Huber (University of Konstanz, Germany)
Franz Huber studied philosophy, literature, linguistics, and mathematics
at the University of Salzburg, where he acquired his MA in 2000. He
continued studying philosophy at the University of Erfurt, where he got
his Ph.D. in 2003 with a dissertation on theory evaluation. Since 2002
he is member of the Philosophy, Probability, and Modeling group at the
Center for Junior Research Fellows of the University of Konstanz.
Huber’s main interests lie in epistemology, philosophy of science, and
philosophical logic, with a particular focus on formal epistemology.
Apart from his work on theory evaluation and related issues such as
explanation and truthlikeness he has published papers on the subjective
interpretation of probability and probabilistic theory confirmation in
journals such as The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and
Philosophy of Science.

Deborah R. Coen (Cambridge, Mass., USA)
Deborah Coen earned a bachelor's degree in physics at Harvard before
turning to the history of science. She holds an M.Phil. from Cambridge
University and completed her Ph.D. in history of science at Harvard in
2004. She is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of
Fellows, and she will join the History Department at Barnard College,
Columbia University, in 2006. In her research, she is interested
broadly in how modern scientists have coped with error and uncertainty.
This has led her to investigate the history of statistical physics, the
relationship between laboratory and field science, and the history of
such "problematic" sciences as meteorology and experimental psychology.
She is completing a book on the probabilistic tradition in Austrian
science and its roots in nineteenth-century liberalism. Her current
research is on the development of the concept of "micro-climates" in
post-Habsburg Central Europe.

Cost of the Program: Euro 880,00
Lodging in student dormitories is available at approximately Euro 250,00
for the whole duration of the course.

Applicants should submit:
1.      A short educational curriculum vitae
2.      A list of their most recent courses and grades or a copy of their
3.      A one-page statement (in English), briefly describing their previous
work and their purpose in attending VISU-SWC
4.      A (sealed) letter of recommendation from their professor, including
some comment on their previous work
5.      A passport photo

Application deadline January 30, 2005
(Later applications may be considered if space is still available.)
A letter of admission together with a detailed syllabus will reach
successful applicants by mid-February, 2005.

The administration of VISU-SWC at the University of Vienna can assist
the candidates admitted in applying for funds and in the accreditation
of the course, but unfortunately, cannot offer financial assistance.
However, for a few gifted applicants who can demonstrate that, despite
serious documented efforts, they have not been able to obtain any
financial support, in particular due to economic difficulties in their
respective country, a tuition-waver grant, awarded by the Institute
Vienna Circle and the University of Vienna, will be provided.

Applications should be sent to Professor Friedrich Stadler, c/o
Institute Vienna Circle, Museumstrasse 5/2/19, A-1070 Vienna. For
further inquiries, please send email to Friedrich.Stadler at
or consult the IVC's Web site
or the University of Vienna’s Web site: http://www. (click
Vienna Summer University)

Dr. Franz Huber
Center for Junior Research Fellows
University of Konstanz
P.O. Box M 682
D-78457 Konstanz, Germany

mail: franz.huber at
phone: ++49/7531/88-4885 (office)
        ++49/7531/691020 (private)

MAFLA - Hungarian philosophers' mailing list
Archive & Help:
(maintained by HPS/Eötvös University)

More information about the MaFLa mailing list