Infinite Idealizations in Science, June 8-9, 2016 at LMU Munich

The Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy invites abstracts for the following event:

Infinite Idealizations in Science

MCMP, LMU Munich

 June 8-9, 2016

Infinite idealizations are assumptions that play an important role in physics, biology, economics, and many others sciences. Putative examples include an infinite population size in population genetics, an infinite number of components in the theory of phase transitions and an infinite number of persons consuming an infinite number of (infinitely divisible) goods in large-scale economic models. Although these idealizations are generally uncontroversial in the scientific community, they have been at the center of recent philosophical debates about reduction, explanation and the status of models in science. Yet, philosophers of the particular sciences addressing these issues have largely kept within the confines of their own specialist literature. One of our goals for the conference is to bring philosophers of physics, biology, economics, etc. together in conversation about infinite idealizations, thereby mapping what similarities and differences such idealizations may have across these fields.

Some of the questions this workshop aims to explore include (but are not limited to):
·       Are infinite idealizations compatible with reduction?
·       Can a model invoking an infinite idealization have explanatory power?
·       What explains the success of theories that appeal to infinite idealizations?
·       Are infinite idealizations compatible with scientific realism?
·       Are infinite idealizations substantially different from other idealizations?
·       Should infinite idealizations be understood as approximations?

Call for Abstracts

We invite submissions from both philosophers and scientists exploring infinite idealizations both within and between specific scientific theories and disciplines. Abstract submissions, consisting of one short (max. 100 word) and one extended (500–1000 word) abstract, will be double-blind reviewed and should be submitted through our automated submission system by the end of March 11, 2016.
Please prepare your submission for blind review by removing any identifying information from both your short and extended abstracts, uploading the latter as a PDF file. You will be able to revise your submission any number of times before the deadline (March 11, 2016).
The conference language is English.
Please feel free to contact the organizers with any questions you may have.

Dates and Deadlines
  • Deadline for submission: March 11, 2016.
  • Notification of acceptance: March 28, 2016.
  • Deadline for registration: March 30, 2016.
  • Conference: June 8–9, 2016.