[MaFLa] megh ívó

Tamas Demeter demeter at webmail.phil-inst.hu
Mon Dec 3 11:45:58 CET 2012

Kedves Kollegák,

Mindenkit szeretettel meghívunk az MTA Filozófiai Intézetébe (Budapest, I. kerület, Úri u. 53.) a következő előadásokra.

Demeter Tamás

1. Prof. Hasok Chang (Cambridge HPS), 2012/12/10, 15 óra

"The Chemical Revolution Revisited: Theory-Choice, Incommensurability
and Pluralism"

I re-examine the history of the Chemical Revolution, with particular attention to
the way it has been used in the discussion of some key issues in the philosophy of
science. My assessment, made on the basis of a comprehensive list of epistemic
values, reaches the verdict that there was no compelling rational reason for
18th-century chemists to discard phlogiston. There was a strong degree of
methodological incommensurability, as Kuhn had suggested, in the choice between the
phlogiston paradigm and the oxygen paradigm. I also argue that there would have been
significant benefits in retaining (or reviving) phlogiston chemistry alongside
oxygen chemistry. With the help of this illustrative case I will also outline
general arguments in favour of pluralism in science.

2. Prof. Don Howard (Notre Dame), 2012/12/10, 17 óra

"Einstein and the Vienna Circle"

Albert Einstein's connections to the Vienna Circle were many and deep. Those
connections were personal as well as intellectual. His own philosophy of science was
importantly shaped in dialogue with Moritz Schlick, Philipp Frank, Hans Reichenbach,
and Rudolf Carnap. Vienna Circle logical empiricism was, in turn, importantly
influenced in its evolution not only by engagement with relativity theory but also
by Einstein's both critical and sympathetic inputs. But there is also widespread
misunderstanding about where, exactly, lay the most important points of agreement
and disagreement.

3. Prof. Don Howard (Notre Dame), 2012/12/11, 16 óra

"Einstein on principle and constructive theories"

This talk explains and contextualizes Einstein's most original contribution to the
methodology of science, namely, his distinction between "principle" theories and
"constructive" theories. Relativity theory was said to exemplify a "principle"
theory, one built around empirically well ground generalizations - in this case the
light and relativity principles - that would then constrain the search for deeper,
"constructive" models of the phenomena. Among Einstein's more provocative claims is
that progress in science is too often impeded by seeking constructive models
prematurely - supposedly the methodological error in Lorentz's electrodynamics - and
that progress is, therefore, often aided by seeking guidance first from the
appropriate physical principles. In the talk, other examples of the way in which the
principle/constructive distinction functions in Einstein's own work will be
discussed, and Einstein's distinctive view will be set in a larger context of
late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century discussions of the "physics of

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