PSA 2004

The nineteenth biennial meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association was held at the Radisson Hotel in Austin, Texas, from November 18-20, 2004, in conjunction with the annual meeting of the History of Science Society,held at the nearby Hyatt Regency Hotel. These pages are preserved for archival purposes only.

The PSA 2004 Program Committee

  • Cristina Bicchieri (Carnegie Mellon University)
  • David Hilbert (University of Illinois, Chicago)
  • Carl Hoefer (ICREA and Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)
  • Harold Kincaid (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
  • Fred Kronz (University of Texas, Austin)
  • Roberta Millstein (California State University, Hayward)
  • Alan Richardson (University of British Columbia)
  • Miriam Solomon (Temple University), Chair
  • Andrea Woody (University of Washington, Seattle)

Meeting Program

*Indicates student speaker

Thursday November 18, 12:00-3:00 pm

Governing Board Meeting: LAKEVIEW

Thursday, November 18, 4:00-6:30 pm

Concurrent sessions A

A1: Symmetries and Transitions (Symposium): TRAVIS I
Proposer: Chris Smeenk (UCLA)
Chair: Fred Kronz (University of Texas, Austin)
Elena Castellani (University of Florence) and Katherine Brading (University of Notre Dame): Curie’s Principle, Encore
Laura Ruetsche (University of Pittsburgh): Johnny’s so long at the ferromagnet
Chris Smeenk (UCLA): The Elusive Higgs Mechanism
Christopher A. Martin (Indiana University): On Gauge Symmetry, its Breaking, and Renormalization

A2: Confirmation and Inductive Logic (Symposium): TRAVIS II
Proposer: Branden Fitelson (University of California, Berkeley)
Chair: Christopher Hitchcock (California Technological University)
James Joyce (University of Michigan): The Varieties of Bayesian Theories of Evidential Support
Branden Fitelson (University of California, Berkeley): Logical Foundations of Evidential Support
Patrick Maher (University of Illinois, Urbana): A Conception of Inductive Logic

A3: What Can Philosophy of Science Learn from Archaeology and Vice Versa? Alison Wylie’s Thinking from Things (Workshop): TRAVIS III
Proposer: Lynn Hankinson Nelson (University of Washington, Seattle)
Chair: Harold Kincaid (University of Alabama, Birmingham)
William Bechtel (University of California, San Diego): Interconnected Mechanisms and the Unity of Science
William Krieger (California State Polytechnic University, Pomona): Interpreting the Interpretative Dilemma: Wylie and Archeological Explanation
Helen E. Longino (University of Minnesota): Wylie on Values in Science
Elizabeth Potter (Mills College) A Wylie Model of Confirmation
Lynn Hankinson Nelson (University of Washington, Seattle) Philosophy from the Ground Up
Response: Alison Wylie (Barnard College and Columbia University)

A4: Experimental Collaborations (Workshop): OLD PECAN STREET
Proposer: Kent Staley (St Louis University)
Chair: John Forge (Griffith University, Australia)
Henry Frisch (Fermi Institute, University of Chicago): Some Thoughts on the Evolution of the Collider Detector at Fermilab
Kent Staley (St Louis University) and William Rehg (St Louis University): The CDF Collaboration and Argumentation Theory: the Role of Process in Objective Knowledge
Deborah Perron Tollefsen (University of Memphis): Scientific Collaboration and Collective Epistemic Agency

A5: Applying Science (Workshop): THE SKYLINE
Proposers: Rens Bod (Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam), Mieke Boon (University of Twente) and Marcel Boumans (Economics, University of Amsterdam)
Chair: Marcel Boumans (Economics University of Amsterdam)
Introduction: Marcel Boumans (Economics, University of Amsterdam)
Susan Sterrett (Duke University): Models of Phenomena and Models of Machines
Michael Heidelberger (Tubingen University): Models in Fluid Mechanics
Mieke Boon (University of Twente): Explaining Basic Sciences in the Engineering Sciences
Rens Bod (Institute for Logic, Language and Computation, University of Amsterdam): From Theory to Technology: Rules versus Exemplars
Discussants: Margaret Morrison (University of Toronto) and Hans Radder (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

A6: Philosophy of Biology I: Topics in Philosophy of Biology (Contributed Papers): LAKEVIEW
Chair: Richard Burian (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Marcel Weber (University of Basel, Switzerland): Indeterminism in Neurobiology: Some Good and Some Bad News
Warren Schmaus (Illinois Institute of Technology): Evolutionary and Neuroscience Approaches to the Study of Cognition
Heather A. Jamniczky* (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary): Biological Pluralism and Homology
Gry Oftedal* (University of Oslo): Heritability and Genetic Causation

A7: Philosophy of Physics I: Topics in Philosophy of Physics (Contributed Papers): TREATY OAK
Chair: Larry Sklar (University of Michigan)
Robert Bishop (University of Konstanz, Germany and Wolfson College, Oxford): Patching Physics and Chemistry Together
Axel Gelfert* (University of Cambridge): Mathematical Rigor in Physics: Being Realistic about Exact Results
Mathias Frisch (University of Maryland, College Park): Causation, Counterfactuals and the Past Hypothesis
Daniel Parker* (University of Maryland, College Park): Thermodynamic Irreversibility: Does the Big Bang Explain What it Purports to Explain

Thursday, November 18, 7:00-8:30 pm

HSS and PSA Opening Reception: Hyatt Regency, Texas Foyer

Friday, November 19, 7:45-8:45 am

Editorial Board Meeting, Philosophy of Science (Continental Breakfast)

Friday, November 19, 9:00-11:45 am

Concurrent Sessions B

B1: The Semantic View of Theories, Scientific Structuralism and Structural Realism (Symposium): TRAVIS I
Proposer: Elaine Landry (University of Calgary)
Chair: Elaine Landry (University of Calgary)
Martin Thomson-Jones (Oberlin College), Models, the Semantic View, and Scientific Representation
Bas C. Van Fraassen (Princeton University), All Scientific Representation is Structural Representation
Steven French (University of Leeds) and Juha Saatsi* (University of Leeds), Realism about Structure: The Semantic View and Non-linguistic Representations
Stathis Psillos (University of Athens), The Structure, the Whole Structure and Nothing but the Structure?
Katherine Brading (Notre Dame University) and Elaine Landry (University of Calgary), Shared Structure and Scientific Structuralism

B2: Simulation, Instrumentation and Representation at the Nanoscale (Symposium): TRAVIS II
Proposer: Alfred Nordmann (Technische Universitat Darmstadt and University of South Carolina)
Chair: Alfred Nordmann (Technische Universitat Darmstadt and University of South Carolina)
Eric Winsberg (University of South Florida in Tampa) Climbing the Multiscale Ladder: Up and Down the Epistemology of Nano-Science Simulation
Paul Humphreys (University of Virginia), Observation at the Nanoscale
Johannes Lenhard (University of Bielefeld), Surprised by a Nanowire: How Simulation is Changing the Mode of Scientific Understanding
Otavio Bueno (University of South Carolina), Representation at the Nanoscale

B3: Four Case Studies on Chance in Evolution (Symposium): TRAVIS III
Proposer: Robert Richardson (University of Cincinnati)
Chair: Lindley Darden (University of Maryland)
John Beatty (University of British Columbia): Chance and History: Darwin on Orchids (and Especially Twisted Orchids)
Robert C. Richardson (University of Cincinnati): Chance and the Patterns of Drift: A Natural Experiment
Robert A. Skipper (University of Cincinnati): "Chancy Dynamics and Genetic Draft: The Elimination of Drift?"
Michael R. Dietrich (Dartmouth College): Nothing Left to Chance? The Place of Random Drift in the Neutralist/Selectionist Controversy
Discussant: Roberta Millstein (California State University, Hayward)

B4: Individual and Communal Scientific Knowers (Workshop): OLD PECAN STREET
Proposer: Catherine Hundleby (University of Windsor, Ontario)
Chair: Sharyn Clough (Oregon State University)
Carla Fehr (Iowa State University) Social Conceptions of Scientific Objectivity: How do we get there from here?
Heidi Grasswick (Middlebury College): Scientific Communities: What’s left for Individuals?
Catherine Hundleby (University of Windsor, Ontario): Epistemological Affirmative Action
Kristina Rolin (Helsinki School of Economics), Individuals, Communities and the Reliability of Testimony
Commentators: Lorraine Code (York University), Helen Longino (University of Minnesota), Lynn Hankinson Nelson (University of Washington, Seattle)

B5: Philosophy of Physics II: Quantum Mechanics (Contributed Papers): THE SKYLINE
Chair: Jeremy Butterfield (Oxford University)
Mario Castagnino (Department of Physics, Universidad de Buenos Aires) and Olimpia Lombardi (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid): Self-Induced Decoherence and the Classical Limit of Quantum Mechanics
Christian Wuthrich* (University of Pittsburgh): To Quantize or not to Quantize: Fact and Folklore in Quantum Gravity
Joseph Berkovitz (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) and Meir Hemmo (University of Haifa): How to Reconcile Modal Interpretations of QM with Relativity
Jeffrey A. Barrett (University of California, Irvine): Relativistic Quantum Mechanics through Frame-Dependent Constructions

B6: History of Philosophy of Science (Contributed Papers): LAKEVIEW
Chair: Gary Hardcastle (Bloomsburg University)
Thomas Mormann (University of the Basque Country, Spain): Carnap’s Conventionalism versus Differential Topology
Greg Frost-Arnold* (University of Pittsburgh): Unity of Science and the Elimination of Metaphysics in Logical Empiricism
Laura Snyder (St John’s University): Confirmation for a Modest Realism

B7: General Philosophy of Science I: Observation and Experiment (Contributed Papers): TREATY OAK
Chair: Robert Rynasiewicz (Johns Hopkins University)
Marcel Boumans (University of Amsterdam): Measurement Outside the Laboratory
Maarten Van Dyck* (Ghent University, Belgium): The Paradox of Conceptual Novelty and Galileo’s Use of Experiments
Hasok Chang (University College London): A Case for Old Fashioned Observability and a Reconstructed Constructive Empiricism
Laura Franklin* (Columbia University): Exploratory Experiments

Friday, November 19, 12:00-1:15

Lunchtime Round Table: LAKEVIEW

Discussion of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ report: Scientific Integrity in Policymaking
Chair: Sandra Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh)
Discussants: Jane Maienschein (Arizona State University), Kristin Shrader-Frechette (University of Notre Dame), James Bogen (Pitzer College), Naomi Oreskes (University of California, San Diego)

Friday, November 19, 1:30-3:10 p.m.

Concurrent sessions C

C1: Cognitive Studies of Science: Vision, Models and Agency in Scientific Cognition (Symposium): TRAVIS I
Proposer: Ronald Giere (University of Minnesota)
Chair: Richard Grandy
David Gooding (University of Bath), Visual Cognition: Where Cognition and Culture Meet
Nancy Nersessian (Georgia Institute of Technology), Model-Based Reasoning in Distributed Cognitive Systems
Ronald Giere (University of Minnesota), The Role of Agency in Distributed Cognitive Systems

C2: Heisenberg’s Closed Theories: From Axiomatics to Incommensurability (Workshop): TRAVIS II
Proposer: Alisa Bokulich (Boston University)
Chair: Antigone Nounou (University of Minnesota)
Melanie Frappier (University of Western Ontario): Heisenberg’s Answer to Quantum Physics’ Completeness Problem
Alisa Bokulich (Boston University): Heisenberg Meets Kuhn: Closed Theories and Paradigms
Michela Massimi (Cambridge University): Heisenberg, Pauli and the untranslatability of the old quantum theory lexicon: where Kuhnian incommensurability leaves us

C3: Evolution and Computation (Workshop): TRAVIS III
Proposer: Robert T. Pennock (Michigan State University)
Chair: Inmaculada de Melo-Martin (St Mary’s University, Texas)
Robert T. Pennock (Michigan State University): Models, Simulations, Instantiations and Evidence: The Case of Digital Evolution
Jeffrey C. Shank (Psychology, University of California, Davis): From Animats to Animals
Jeff Clune (Michigan State University) and Robert Pennock (Michigan State University): Beyond Kin Selection: How Digital Evolution Can Expand Understanding of Biological Altruism
Mark Bedau (Reed College): Computational Insights Into the Creativity of Evolution

C4: The Social Dynamics of Decision Making (Workshop): OLD PECAN STREET
Proposer: J. McKenzie Alexander (London School of Economics)
Chair: Brian Skyrms (University of California, Irvine)
J. McKenzie Alexander (London School of Economics): Social Networks and Multiplayer Games
Cristina Bicchieri (University of Pennsylvania): The Emergence of Fairness in the Ultimatum Game
Peter Vanderschraaf (Carnegie Mellon University): Local Interaction and Reciprocal Cooperation

C5: General Philosophy of Science II (Contributed Papers): Causality, Confirmation and Inference: THE SKYLINE
Chair: Jim Woodward (California Technological University)
Robert Northcott* (London School of Economics): Pearson’s Wrong Turning: against statistical measures of causal efficacy
Laura Perini (Virginia Polytechnic and State University): Visual Representations and Their Role in Confirmation
Richard Scheines (Carnegie Mellon University): The Similarity of Causal Inference in Experimental and Non-Experimental Studies

C6: Philosophy of Social Sciences (Contributed Papers): LAKEVIEW
Chair: Jane Duran (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Daniel Steel (Michigan State University): Mechanisms and Functional Explanations in Social Science"
Lawrence Shapiro (University of Wisconsin, Madison): Can Psychology be a Unified Science?
Julian Reiss (London School of Economics): Causal Instrumental Variables and Interventions

C7: Gender and Science (Contributed Papers): TREATY OAK
Chair: Mary Domski (California State University, Fresno)
Hugh Lacey (Swarthmore College): On the Interplay of the Cognitive and the Social in Scientific Practics"
Margret Grebowicz (University of Houston, Downtown): Consensus, Dissensus and Democracy: What is at Stake in Feminist Science Studies?
Kristen Intemann* (Coastal Carolina University): Feminism, Underdetermination and Values in Science

Friday November 19, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Concurrent sessions D

D1: Strategies of Modeling in Biology and Chemistry (Symposium): TRAVIS I
Proposer: Michael Weisberg (University of Pennsylvania) and Janet Stemwedel (San Jose State University)
Chair: Peter Godfrey-Smith (Australian National University and Harvard University)
Jay Odenbaugh (Lewis and Clarke College), A Message in the Bottle?: The Constraints of Experimentation on Scientific Reasoning
Michael Weisberg (University of Pennsylvania), Robustness Analysis
Janet Stemwedel (San Jose State University), Getting More With Less: Experimental Constraints and Stringent Tests of Model Mechanisms of Chemical Oscillators.
Anya Plutynski (University of Utah), The Molecular Revolution, Idealization and Population Genetics

D2: The Dimensions of Spacetime (Symposium): TRAVIS II
Proposer: Craig Callender (University of California, San Diego) and Nick Huggett (University of Illinois, Chicago)
Chair: Frank Artzenius (Rutgers University)
Craig Callender (University of California, San Diego): An Answer in Search of a Question: ‘Proofs’ of the Tri-Dimensionality of Space
Sean Carroll (Physics, University of Chicago): Why three dimensions of space just aren’t enough
David Hilbert (University of Illinois, Chicago) and Nick Huggett (University of Illinois, Chicago): Groups in Mind
Bradley Monton (University of Kentucky) :Quantum Mechanics and 3N-Dimensional Space

D3: Out of the Ditch: Lessons for Philosophy of Science from the Cold War (Workshop): TRAVIS III
Proposer: Heather Douglas (University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Chair: Jessica Wang (UCLA)
George Reisch (Open Court Publishing): Public Enlightenment in the 1930s: John Dewey, Logical Empiricism and the Unity of Science
Don Howard (University of Notre Dame): Social Normativity and the Epistemology of Science: Philosophy of Science in the Public Domain
Heather Douglas (University of Tennessee, Knoxville): Disentangling Science and Values in the 1950s: The Professionalization of Philosophy of Science in the Cold War
Alan Richardson (University of British Columbia): Mind the World Order: Liberation (Anti)Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science

D4: Experiment and Concept Formation (Workshop): OLD PECAN STREET
Proposer: Friedrich Steinle (University of Lyon, I)
Chair: Ryan Tweney (Bowling Green State University)
James Lennox (University of Pittsburgh): The Experimental Basis of Conceptual Innovation in William Harvey’s De Motu Cordis
Uljana Feest (Max Planck Institute, Berlin): Conceptual Presuppositions in Experimental Psychology: Understanding Discovery via an Analysis of Artifacts
Friedrich Steinle (Max Planck Institute, Berlin): Experiments, Concepts and Laws: The case of the two electricities
Commentator: Nancy Nersessian (Georgia Institute of Technology)

D5: Philosophy of Biology II: Topics in Evolutionary Theory (Contributed Papers): THE SKYLINE
Chair: Jonathan Kaplan (Oregon State University)
Samir Okasha (University of Bristol): Multi-Level Selection and the Major Transitions in Evolution
Andrew Hamilton* (University of California, San Diego) and Matt Haber* (University of California, Davis): Coherence, Consistency and Cohesion: Clade Selection in Okasha and Beyond
Mark Couch* (Columbia University) Functional Properties and Convergence in Biology
Ayelet Shavit (Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Hai Academic College): The Notion of ‘Group’ and Tests of Group Selection

D6: General Philosophy of Science III: Realism and Underdetermination (Contributed Papers): LAKEVIEW
Chair: Sherrilyn Roush (Rice University)
P.D. Magnus (SUNY Albany): Background Theories and Total Science
Gerald Doppelt (University of California, San Diego): Empirical Success or Explanatory Success: What does Current Scientific Realism Need to Explain? What does Current Scientific Realism Need to Explain?*
Juha Saatsi* (University of Leeds, UK): On the Pessimistic Induction and Two Fallacies

Friday November 19, 6:15-8:00 p.m.

Joint Reception at the Harry Ransom Center for the Humanities, University of Texas-Austin
Bus transportation will be arranged. Be sure to pay for the reception and transportation when you register for the conference (an additional $5).

Saturday November 20, 9:00-11:45 a.m.

Concurrent sessions E

E1: Can Philosophy of Science Offer Help in Resolving Contemporary Biological Controversies? (Symposium): TRAVIS I
Proposer: Kristin Shrader-Frechette (Notre Dame University)
Chair: James Griesemer (University of California, Davis)
Kevin Elliott (Pennington Biomedical Research Labs and Louisiana State University), "Analysis of Anomaly in Scientific Controversy: Help for the Dispute over Low-Dose Biochemical Effects"
Deborah Mayo and Aris Spanos (Virginia Polytechnic and State University),"Philosophers of Science and Statistical Controversies in Ecological Testing"
Kristin Shrader-Frechette (University of Notre Dame), Idealized Models and Endangered Mammals: Resolving Conflicts over Population Viability Assessment (PVA)
Paul Thompson (Michigan State University), "How Risky Are Genetically Engineered Crops? How Philosophers Can Help Answer the Question

E2: Chemical Substances (Symposium): TRAVIS II
Proposer: Robin Hendry (University of Durham)
Chair: Andrea Woody (University of Washington, Seattle)
Paul Needham (University of Stockholm): Substance and modality
Joseph Earley (Chemistry, Georgetown University): The continuing problem of chemical combination
Paul Bogaard (Mount Allison University): After Substance: How Aristotle’s Argument Still Bears on the Philosophy of Chemistry
Robin Findlay Hendry (University of Durham): Elements and compounds and other chemical kinds

E3: Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics: Is Information the Way forward? (Workshop): TRAVIS III
Proposer: Christopher Timpson (Leeds University)
Chair and Moderator: Christopher Timpson (Leeds University)
Christopher G. Timpson (Leeds University): Opening Remarks: Information talk in quantum mechanics
Christopher A. Fuchs (Bell Labs) Quantum Mechanics as Quantum Information (and only a little more)
Jeffrey Bub (University of Maryland) Why the Quantum?
Anthony Valentini (Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ontario) Hidden Variables and Quantum Information
Panel Discussion: Christopher Fuchs (Bell Labs), Jeffrey Bub (University of Maryland) Anthony Valentini (Perimiter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Ontario) Armond Duwell (University of Pittsburgh)

E4: Philosophy of Biology III: Natural Selection and Evolution (Contributed Papers): OLD PECAN STREET
Chair: Peter Schwartz (Boston University)
Bence Nanay* (University of California, Berkeley): Can Cumulative Selection Explain Adaptation
Kenneth Reisman* (Stanford University) and Patrick Forber* (Stanford University): Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution
Stephen G. Morris* (Florida State University): Identifying the Explanatory Weakness of Strong Altruism
Jessica Pfeifer (University of Maryland, Baltimore County): Why the Causes of Selection and Drift May be Distinct

E5: Decision Theory (Contributed Papers): THE SKYLINE
Chair: Maralee Harrell (Carnegie Mellon University)
Franz Huber (Centre for Junior Research Fellows, University of Konstanz): What is the Point of Incremental Confirmation?
Christoph Schmidt-Petri (University of Konstanz/London School of Economics): Newcomb’s Problem and Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemmas
Jan-Willem Romeyn* (University of Groningen, The Netherlands): Theory Change and Bayesian Statistical Inference
Zachary Ernst (Florida State University): Robustness and Conceptual Analysis in Evolutionary Game Theory

E6: Race and Science (Contributed Papers): LAKEVIEW
Chair: David Papineau (Kings College, London)
Michael Root (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis): The Number of Black Widows in the National Academy of Sciences
Edouard Machery* (University of Pittsburgh) and Luc Faucher (Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal): Social Construction and the Concept of Race
Alberto Cordero (Graduate Center, CUNY and Queens College, CUNY): Nativism, Scientific Texture and the Moral Limits of Free Inquiry
Lisa Gannett (St Mary’s University, Halifax): Group Categories in Pharmacogenetics Research

E7: General Philosophy of Science IV: Scientific Models (Contributed Papers): TREATY OAK
Chair: Elisabeth Lloyd (Indiana University)
Chris Pincock (Purdue University): Overextending Partial Structures: Idealization and Abstraction
Tarja Knuuttila (University of Helsinki, Finland): Models, Representation and Mediation
James Justus* (University of Texas, Austin): Qualitative Scientific Modeling and Loop Analysis
Demetris Portides (University of Cyprus): Scientific Models and the Semantic View of Scientific Theories

Saturday November 20, 12:00-1:15 p.m.

PSA Business Meeting: LAKEVIEW
All PSA members are invited to attend.

HOPOS: The International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, Open House Meeting (Location TBA)
Chair: Saul Fisher, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Anya Plutynski, University of Utah, "Why Philosophers of Science Ought to Join HOPOS"
Warren Schmaus, Illinois Institute of Technology, "From the Hills of Virginia to the Capitals of Europe: The Astonishing Rise of HOPOS"
Alan Richardson, Univesity of British Columbia, "The Use and Advantage of Trained Historians in 20th Century History of Philosophy of Science."

Saturday November 20, 1:30-3:45 p.m.

Concurrent sessions F

F1: Reduction, Emergence and Condensed Matter Physics (Symposium): TRAVIS I
Proposers: Don Howard (University of Notre Dame) and Margaret Morrison (University of Toronto)
Chair: Harald Altmanspacher (IGPP, Germany)
Philip Stamp (University of British Columbia), Effective Hamiltonians and Effective Vacua
Margaret Morrison (University of Toronto), Reducing Theories and Emerging Phenomena
Robert W. Batterman (Ohio State University), Limiting Reductions and Emergence
Don Howard (University of Notre Dame), Entanglement Big and Small: On the Relation between Condensed Matter Physics and Particle Physics.

F2: Advances in Genomics and Its Conceptual Implications for Development and Evolution (Symposium): TRAVIS II
Proposer: Karola C. Stotz (University of Pittsburgh)
Chair: Paul Griffiths (University of Queensland, Brisbane)
Karola C. Stotz (University of Pittsburgh): With Genes Like That, Who Needs an Environment? Genomics Argument Against Genetic Determinism
Jeffrey Schwartz (University of Pittsburgh) and Bruno Maresca (International Institute of Genetics and Biophysics, Italy): Decisions, decisions: Heat Shock Proteins and Why Thomas Hunt Morgan Didn’t Become the Father of Evo-Devo.
Lenny Moss (University of Notre Dame): Redundancy, Plasticity and Detachment: the implications of recent molecular biology for evolutionary thinking.
Commentator: C. Kenneth Waters (University of Minnesota)

F3: In Memory of Richard Jeffrey (Symposium): TRAVIS III
Proposer: Alan Hajek (California Institute of Technology)
Chair: Isaac Levi (Columbia University)
Alan Hájek (California Institute of Technology): Reminiscences on Richard Jeffrey, and Some Reflections on The Logic of Decision
Persi Diaconis (Stanford University): Recent Developments in Bayesian Statistics
Brian Skyrms (University of California at Irvine): Radical Probabilism
Lyle Zynda (Indiana University, South Bend) Radical Probabilism Revisited: Are Probabilities and Desirabilities Enough?

F4: How Should Philosophy of Science Be Socially Relevant? (Symposium): TREATY OAK
Proposer: Janet Kourany (University of Notre Dame)
Chair and Commentator: J.L. Heilbron (University of California, Berkeley, Oxford University and Yale University)
Nancy Cartwright (London School of Economics and University of California, San Diego): Evidence for Use
Janet Kourany (University of Notre Dame): Getting Philosophy of Science Socially Connected
John Dupre (University of Exeter and ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society): The Role of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Research on the Biosciences

F5: Philosophy of Physics III: General Relativity (Contributed Papers): THE SKYLINE
Chair: Carl Hoefer (ICREA and Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)
David J. Baker* (Princeton University): Spacetime Substantivalism and Einstein’s Cosmological Constant
Edward Slowik (Winona State University): On the Cartesian Ontology of General Relativity: Or, Conventionalism in the History of the Substantival/Relational Debate
William L. Vanderburgh (Wichita State University): The Methodological Value of Coincidences: Further Remarks on Dark Matter and the Astrophysical Warrant for General Relativity
Peter Bokulich (Dibner Institute, MIT): Does Black Hole Complementarity Answer Hawking’s Information Loss Paradox?

F6: General Philosophy of Science V: Structural Realism (Contributed Papers): LAKEVIEW
Chair: Christopher Eliot (Hofstra University)
Mohamed Elsamahi (Southeast Missouri State University): A Critique of Localized Realism
Ioannis Votsis* (University of Bristol): The Upward Path to Structural Realism
Mark Newman* (University of California, San Diego): Ramsey Sentence Realism as an answer to the Pessimistic Meta-Induction
Angelo Cei* (University of Leeds, UK): Structural Distinctions: Entities, Structures and changes in science

Saturday November 20, 4:15-5:30 p.m.

Presidential Address: TRAVIS BALLROOM
Welcome: Miriam Solomon (Program Chair, PSA 2004, Temple University)
Presentation: From George Gale (Secretary-Treasurer of PSA, University of Missouri, Kansas City) on behalf of PSA to the 2003 winner of the Graduate Student Essay Contest: Jonathan Tsou (University of Chicago), for an essay entitled, The Justification of Concepts in Carnap’s Aufbau
Introduction to the Presidential Address: President-Elect Brian Skyrms (University of California, Irvine)
Address: Elliott Sober (University of Wisconsin), The Reality of Macro-Probabilitites.

Saturday November 20, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Presidential Reception
POOLSIDE at the Radisson Hotel (an indoor location will be announced in case of inclement weather)
Food, drink and musical entertainment. All those registered for PSA 2004 are welcome.

Saturday November 20, 10:30-12:00 p.m.

HSS Graduate Student Party
Hyatt, Big Bend Ballroom and Foyer
PSA graduate students are invited to attend.

Report to Governing Board of PSA on PSA2004 Program

Sandra Mitchell, PSA2002 Program Chair, passed on to me copies of many documents used in planning the program, and her report to the Governing Board. She was also available for questions about procedures. I would be happy to do the same for the PSA2006 Program Chair.

Doing the work of Program Chair was mostly interesting and worthwhile; please read the comments below while bearing in mind that I am grateful for the opportunity and would have agreed to do it even if I had known how much work it was going to be! Because I care about PSA even more now than I did two years ago, I want to pass on some experiences and ideas.


PSA2002 successfully used, for the first time, web-based interactive software for planning conferences. Sandy Mitchell was given some teaching release and a research assistant, David Miller, who adapted the software Confman to PSA’s needs. Temple University could not give me much support (no research assistants or teaching reductions), but the Dean of CLA, Susan Herbst, gave a one-time grant of $2000 to pay for technical assistance in setting up the interactive conference website. A philosophy graduate student, Micah Sparacio, worked with me on finding suitable conference software; Confman was not suitable for technical reasons. We settled on OpenConf (see important features below), and Micah hosted a dedicated website ( [broken]) throughout 2003 and 2004. I produced and managed the conference website at [broken] and, ultimately, linked with the Phil-Sci Archive at the University of Pittsburgh in making available the accepted papers.

Important Features of OpenConf: OpenConf uses rankings along several dimensions. Rankings are (1) overall recommendation (from 1 to 6, with 6 being the best) (2) balance of conceptual and empirical (no judgment about which is better!) (3) new contribution to the field and (4) reviewer familiarity with the subject matter. Reviewers can, but do not have to, put in comments to the program committee and/or comments to the author(s). The system calculates the mean reviewer score for overall recommendation. After the first stage of reviewing is complete, the program chair can unlock the system so that everyone can read everyone else’s evaluations, and change their opinion if desired. (Speaking as a social epistemologist, this method of group decision making, which anchors first at individual’s independent opinions, is one of the better ones, empirically.) OpenConf processes submissions for blind review. Blind review of symposia and workshops is not possible (names are mentioned in the content of the proposal), but all papers were reviewed blind. All decisions about acceptance and rejection were made before the authors of papers, or any demographic facts about them, were known.

Review Procedure for Symposia and Workshops

Each proposal was read and evaluated by every program committee member (except that I did not make evaluations). After everyone had completed their evaluations, I unlocked the system so that everyone could read everyone else’s evaluations and vote again. We then accepted all symposia and workshops with scores exceeding 4.4. There were 13 such proposals (11 symposia and 2 workshops). Other symposia and workshops with high scores (all exceeding 4.0) were accepted based on the need to create balance in the program. Some symposia with scores between 4.0 and 4.4 were accepted as workshops rather than as symposia.

Results for Symposia and Workshops

SubmittedAcceptedAccepted as Workshop
USA, symposia24105 (4)*
International, symposia (including Canada)1343
TOTAL, symposia37148 (7)*
USA, workshops42
International, workshops42
TOTAL, workshops84
TOTAL Symposia + workshops4519 (18)*

*One symposium was accepted as a workshop, but the participants declined the invitation to present as a workshop.

Comparison with PSA 2002: PSA 2002 had 33 submitted proposals (I do not have figures for the number of symposia and the number of workshops submitted), 14 were accepted as symposia (3 international) and 7 as workshops (1 international). So the number of submissions is up (from 33 in 2002 to 45 in 2004), and the number of international acceptances is higher (from 4 in 2002 to 6 in 2004). The overall acceptance rate is lower (from 64% in 2002 to 42% in 2004).

Review Procedure for Papers

Each paper was read and evaluated by two committee members, who were typically experts on the topic of the paper. Papers with an average score of 5.0 or above were automatically accepted. There were 24 such papers. Papers with an average score below 3.5 were automatically rejected, with two exceptions for papers with 3.0 rankings (based on the need for balance in the program). Papers with scores between 3.5 and 5.0 were sometimes accepted—the higher the score, the more likely. (In only one case did we reject a paper with a 4.5 ranking, and this was because it was judged to be not really philosophy of science.) I made a recommendation about which of the borderline papers to accept, based on (a) my assessment of reviewer disagreement, which was frequent and (b) the need for balance in the program. I then unlocked the system so that reviewers’ comments were available to the whole program committee, and asked for the program committee’s thoughts on my recommendations. After some negotiations, the committee settled on a final list of 59 paper acceptances.

Results for Papers

There were 176 submissions and 59 acceptances, making an overall acceptance rate of 33.5%. The breakdown into demographic groups:

SubmittedAcceptedAcceptance Rate
Post-PhD Graduate Student1213731%
Graduate Student552240%
International (including Canada)712332%

None of the differences in acceptance rate is statistically significant (by Chi-square test at the .05 level of significance). It is notable that graduate students are performing at least as well as faculty, and that so many graduate students submitted papers. Also notable that only 20% of the submissions are from women. (I do not have figures for the demographics of PSA as a whole.).

Comparison with PSA 2002: PSA 2002 had 147 total submissions, and 58 were accepted (overall acceptance rate of 39%) of which 18 were international. So the number of submissions is up, the acceptance rate is down, and the number of international acceptances is up.


These comments have been compiled from the comments of program committee members, as well as my own observations.

The number of submissions is up from PSA 2002 (the only year from which I have statistics) from 33 symposia and workshops in 2002 to 45 symposia and workshops in 2004, and from 147 papers in 2002 to 176 papers in 2004. This speaks to the health of the society. But it also means that (a) the program committee has even more work and (b) acceptance rates are down, to keep the meeting to the same size and the two associated issues of Philosophy of Science within budget.

The reviewing work was onerous, especially for papers. Each Program Committee member had to review 44 papers in about 6 weeks, in the middle of the academic year. There is no way that they could do this with the kind of care that usually goes into reviewing papers for publication in Philosophy of Science. A few program committee members managed to provide extensive comments, probably at cost to their health and sanity, but most only made cursory remarks, which made it difficult for me to adjudicate in cases of disagreement between reviewers. The Program Committee did a terrific job, given the constraints of their workload. The blind refereeing and decision making at least contributed to the impartiality of the process. But it was not the kind of careful process that goes into regular journal refereeing and editing. Program Committee members said that the work for PSA far exceeds work they have done for other program committees.

The PSA office (at HSS) did not provide much support. There was neither secretarial nor computer support for the work of putting together the program and communicating with authors. Since Temple University had few resources to help me (neither a graduate assistant nor secretarial support could be provided), I ended up spending a good deal of time on work that could easily have been delegated. The HSS office helped only with the local arrangements and with registration, and even then, only when prodded repeatedly by George Gale and myself.

The distinction between symposia and workshops, started in 2002, is not clear, either in the minds of the proposers or in the minds of the Program Committee. (We muddied it further by accepting some symposia as workshops; in some cases, workshops were symposia that didn’t make the cut.)<>/p>


PSA needs to have an office that can provide the secretarial and computer support that is now needed for an international academic society. It should not be left to each program chair to recreate the necessary infrastructure and try to persuade their institution to provide a graduate assistant/secretarial support.

PSA is decentralized in a way that makes it inefficient and difficult to work with: the newsletter and association webpage are at the University of Wisconsin under Malcolm Forster; George Gale (the secretary treasurer) is at University of Missouri; the PhilSci archive is at University of Pittsburgh and has a separate staff; the membership is run by the University of Chicago Press; the membership list is inextricably tangled with that of HSS so that communications are difficult; the Journal is at the University of South Carolina; the office is at HSS in South Florida (where HSS always comes first); and this year’s program is run through Temple University’s website and an offsite website managed by Micah Sparacio (in New Jersey). If it worked, the decentralization wouldn’t matter—it might even be a strength—but it hasn’t worked well for me.

The workload for committee members is too great. Some of us make the following suggestions (we do not all agree that they are good suggestions, but they are each worthy of mention): appoint a larger program committee, or add reviewers from e.g. the journal’s Editorial Board. no more automatic/large scale publication of papers; they can always be submitted to the journal independently (then reviewers aren’t as concerned about letting a not-so-good paper through; a paper that is ready for presentation may not yet be ready for publication) annual rather than biennial meetings, given the volume of acceptable papers. This would also address the loss of momentum that occurs in the off-meeting years, and acknowledge the growth of the society. no more submission of papers; submit only abstracts; and (optional) charge the program committee with selecting the 20 best papers for a journal issue or (another idea) let authors figure out themselves how they are going to submit their papers, or groups of papers, to various journals (not only Philosophy of Science) no more (automatic) publication of symposia (this might help encourage more real workshops, also). publication only of top ranked symposia and papers; the rest of the papers could be presented as works in progress. That way, the committee wouldn’t agonize as much about accepting interesting papers that aren’t really ready for publication.

If the two categories, symposium and workshop, are kept, the difference between the two should be clarified. Enter serious negotiations with HSS (and 4S, when we meet with them) to plan joint sessions. These could also take the form of mini-conferences before or after the meetings. We are so busy with our own fields that we often overlook the importance of these interdisciplinary events. A local arrangements committee to do the local arrangements in consultation with the PSA office. (I was surprised to find out that I was responsible for this. I could not devote as much time to it as I would have liked, because of my main responsibilities as Program Chair. Also, I’ve never been to Austin, Texas. It’s a good idea to have local arrangements done by someone who knows the city or at least visits beforehand.) Someone has already made an offer to do the local arrangements for PSA2006 in Vancouver!

Again, my sincere thanks for the privilege of working together with an excellent committee: Christina Bicchieri, David Hilbert, Carl Hoefer, Harold Kincaid, Fred Kronz, Roberta Millstein, Alan Richardson, and Andrea Woody, to put together PSA 2004.

Miriam Solomon
October 16, 2004