PSA Newsletter: Vol. 5 No. 4: December 1999

**************************************************************************** PSA NEWSLETTER: Volume 5 : Number 3 : OCTOBER 1999 ****************************************************************************

Edited for the Philosophy of Science Association by Malcolm Forster, http://philosophy.wisc.edu/forster/

IN THIS ISSUE:

  1. NEW SCIENCE STUDIES PROGRAM, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  2. PSA 2000: Contributed papers DEADLINE, 1 March 2000.
  3. CALL FOR PAPERS, Monist 84:2, Submission DEADLINE, April 2000.
  4. LAKATOS AWARD in Philosophy of Science, 15 April 2000 deadline.

ENDNOTES:

  1. The purpose of this letter
  2. INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSIONS
  3. DIRECTIONS FOR SUBSCRIBING OR UNSUBSCRIBING

1. NEW SCIENCE STUDIES PROGRAM, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This new SCIENCE STUDIES program is designed to encourage interdisciplinary cooperation among UW-Madison faculty who make science, technology or medicine (STM) their object of study. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is seeking one or two tenure-track or tenured faculty beginning August 2000 for the new program. Consideration of applications will begin February 7, 2000.

For the job advertisement, visit http://philosophy.wisc.edu/job2000.htm

Candidates' specific fields or disciplines are less important than a demonstrable commitment to research and teaching in the interdisciplinary domain of science studies.


 

2. PSA 2000: Contributed papers DEADLINE, 1 March 2000.

PSA 2000, Vancouver, Canada:

Deadline for submitting Contributed papers: 1 March 2000.

Please visit http://scistud.umkc.edu/psa2k/ for further information.


3. CALL FOR PAPERS: Monist 84:2 (April 2001)
Submission Deadline April 2000.

Probability as a Guide to Life.

Fifty percent of all college graduates, but only twenty percent of all churchgoers, drink alcohol. What is the probability that Alma, a church- going college graduate, drinks alcohol? There is, as yet, no general solution to the problem of the reference class, of which Alma's case is an instance. The problem is pervasive in the application of statistical knowledge.

It is philosophical in nature: what grounds inference to single-case probabilities from knowledge about the classes in which they fall? According to Richard von Mises, a founder of the philosophical study of probability, the very question is nonsense: probabilities apply only to classes. But the probabilities of classes are, in themselves, of no help in decision and action, for it is single cases we face, and we face them one at a time.

Will recent developments in the area of probabilistic causality help solve this problem? Or is the relationship between the reference class problem and causality entirely superficial? Is the problem purely a problem for epistemology, as Hans Reichenbach suggested? Does the Bayesian treat the reference class problem in a distinctive way? Can analysis of Simpson's paradox throw light on the problem? The present issue of the Monist will be devoted to these and related issues in the foundations of probability.

Advisory editors:

Henry Kyburg, Jr. (Rochester; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Mariam Thalos (Buffalo; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Anyone interested in contributing a paper is invited to submit an abstract, proposal or draft to the advisory editors. Full drafts of submissions are due April 2000.


4. LAKATOS AWARD in Philosophy of Science - 2000.

Deadline for receiving letters from referees, 15 April 2000.

The Award is for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, widely interpreted, in the form of a book published in English during the previous six years. The Award is in memory of Imre Lakatos and has been endowed by the Latsis Foundation. For information, visit:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/Depts/Philosophy/LakatosAward.htm

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ENDNOTES:

A. The purpose of this newsletter

The PSA Newsletter is published electronically on an "as needed" basis by the Philosophy of Science Association to disseminate information. The newsletter is moderated and is restricted to information pertinent to members of the Association (e.g., official business of the Association, information about upcoming meetings or other information likely to be of interest to a broad range of membership). It is NOT intended for ongoing discussions of intellectual topics within philosophy of science.

B. INSTRUCTIONS FOR SUBMISSIONS

Send information for possible inclusion in a future issue of the newsletter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please include PSA somewhere in the subject title (to aid electronic searches). It should also be noted that this is a READ-ONLY service; please do NOT submit material to the list. It should be sent to the editor.

C. DIRECTIONS FOR SUBSCRIBING OR UNSUBSCRIBING

Send an email message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your command on the subject line (leave the body of the message blank).

To subscribe, type on the subject line: SUBSCRIBE <your name> For instance: SUBSCRIBE Malcolm Forster To unsubscribe, type on the subject line: UNSUBSCRIBE