CfP: 7th René Descartes Lectures: Philip Kitcher on Progress in Science, Mathematics, and Values

Every other year, a distinguished philosopher visits Tilburg University and the Tilburg Center for Logic, Ethics and Philosophy of Science (TiLPS) to present the René Descartes Lectures. It is a great pleasure to announce that Professor Philip Kitcher (Columbia University in the City of New York) will deliver the 2020 Descartes lectures on the topic: Pragmatic Naturalism: Progress in Science, Mathematics, and Values. Professors Michela Massimi (Edinburgh), Cheryl Misak (Toronto), and James Conant (Chicago/Leipzig) will provide commentaries on each one of Professor Kitcher’s three lectures.

Concurrently with the lectures, we will host a workshop on the topic of the lectures. For this workshop, we invite submissions in the form of extended abstracts (about 500 words) by April 30, 2020.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:
- The nature and possibility of progress in science, mathematics, or ethics
- Theories of progress—in particular, pragmatic and naturalistic theories of progress
- The normative criteria for individuating improvement (or regress) in science, mathematics, or ethics
- Historical case studies of progress in science, mathematics or ethics
- The causes of long-term improvement (or regress) in science, mathematics, or ethics
- Progress and human well-being
- Progress and realisms
- The social organization of inquiry and progress/regress
- Progress, diversity, and disagreement

Abstracts should be submitted via Easychair. Please submit your abstract in an anonymized form.

Notifications of acceptance will be made by early June. Members of the Descartes Lectures Program Committee are listed here. All questions about submissions should be directed to the Chair of the Descartes Lectures 2020 Committee, Dr Matteo Colombo (m.colombo[at]

For more information, including the abstracts of all lectures, visit our website