CfP: Reasoning in Physics

Modern Physics provides an extremely rich testing ground for philosophical theories of scientific reasoning. In recent times, we have seen the emergence of many new forms of theory confirmation (analogue simulation, the no-alternatives argument, anthropic reasoning, …), necessitated by the empirical inaccessibility of some of the most prominent theories of modern physics and cosmology (string theory, cosmic inflation, …). This workshop will bring together researchers working on the epistemological problems posed by contemporary physical theory, in order to better understand some of these new patterns of physical reasoning and their relationship to traditional theories of scientific reasoning and argumentation in general (e.g. Bayesianism). Another key theme of the workshop will be to explore the ability of traditional Bayesian confirmation theory to account for the wide range of argumentative patterns used by physicists. Relevant issues include, for example, the role and epistemological status of toy models in physics, the ability of Bayesianism to distinguish between neutral and disconfirming evidence, the possibility of providing a Bayesian account of anthropic probabilities, and the question of how strongly a theory can be confirmed in the absence of direct empirical evidence.

We invite submissions of extended abstracts for talks (for 30 + 15-minute presentations) on any subject relating to `Reasoning in Physics', broadly construed (see the conference website for a partial list of relevant themes). Submissions should include a title and an extended abstract (about 500 words including references) and should be prepared for blind peer review. Please send all submissions to by 10 November. All submissions will receive a response by 17 November.

Submission Deadline: 10 November 2016
Notification: 17 November 2016
Conference Registration: