PSA 2012


General Information

The Twenty-Third Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association took place November 15–17, 2012, in San Diego, California, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. We met jointly with the 2012 Meeting of the History of Science Society. Below please find information about PSA2012, including directions for volunteering to chair a session, directions for applying for an NSF Travel Grant, and information concerning registration, hotel reservations, transportation to and within San Diego, and childcare.

To view photos from PSA 2012, visit our facebook page by clicking here.

For additional information (including information for publishers and book exhibitors), visit the 2012 HSS Meeting website. Please do not hesitate to direct questions or comments about the information below to the PSA Executive Secretary, Gary Hardcastle (

Associated Files

Chairing at PSA2012

Session chairs for PSA2012 will be selected from a pool of volunteers. Those interested in chairing a session at PSA2012 must complete the PSA2012 Chair Volunteer Form. Prospective volunteers are urged to read the following from Andrea Woody, PSA2012 Program Chair:

The number of requests we can accommodate will depend on the number of requests we receive; we will have approximately 30 sessions in need of chairs. Priority will be given to those who have the relevant expertise for the topic of the session, those who submitted a contributed paper or symposium material for PSA2012 that was not accepted for the program, and those who are PSA members. As no one may appear more than once in a substantive role on the PSA2012 program, those already on the PSA2012 program should not volunteer to chair (those on the HSS program are not, however, barred from also appearing on the PSA2012 program).

Volunteers for chairing at PSA2012 should complete the online form. If you encounter difficulty completing the online form, please contact Gary Hardcastle ( or Andrea Woody ( Volunteers will be accepted until August 25.

PSA2012 Registration

Early registration for PSA2012, the Twenty-Third Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association (Nov 15–17, 2012 in San Diego, California), is now available at Everyone attending PSA2012 is required to register for the conference; registrants have access to both the PSA and HSS meetings. Prospective registrants may log in to their respective accounts using the email and password used for previous PSA or HSS meetings or, alternatively, one may create a new account; this only takes a few minutes. Please do not hesitate to contact Gary Hardcastle ( or Greg Macklem of the HSS ( should you encounter any problems registering for PSA2012.Early Registration ends on September 15, 2012.

Hotel Reservations

PSA2012 and the 2012 HSS Meeting took place at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, 1380 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, California 92101 (Tel: (619) 291-2900 Fax: (619) 692-2337). The Sheraton San Diego is located on San Diego Bay, less than a mile from the San Diego International Airport and less than three miles from downtown San Diego.

Room reservations at the conference hotel, the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, may be made online at To receive the conference rate, rooms must be reserved no later than 14 October 2012.

In addition, a block of hotel rooms will be reserved for PSA graduate students at a reduced rate of approximately $112/night ($99/night plus taxes of approximately $13). Graduate students wishing to reserve a room at the reduced rate should contact Greg Macklem at These rooms will be available to graduate students through 31 August, 2012.

Should you locate a room at the Sheraton San Diego during the conference for less than the conference rate, please let Gary Hardcastle ( or Greg Macklem ( know as soon as possible, as it is important that we keep track of how many PSA and HSS registrants stay at the conference hotel.

In addition, a block of hotel rooms will be reserved for graduate students at a reduced rate of approximately $112/night ($98/night plus taxes of approximately $14). Through 31 August, 2012, these rooms will be available only to graduate students who are HSS or PSA student members. After August 31, 2012, these rooms will be available to all graduate students.

Travel Details

Traveling to San Diego
By Plane: San Diego is served by San Diego International Airport (SAN), less than a mile from the San Diego Sheraton. The San Diego Sheraton runs complimentary 24-hour airport shuttles (between 12-5 AM, call the hotel from the airport to request a shuttle).

By Train: The San Diego train station (known as the Santa Fe Depot) is serviced by Amtrak. The station is approximately 3 miles from the meeting hotel.

By Car: San Diego can be reached by car via Interstates 5, 8, or 15. Parking at the Sheraton San Diego ranges from $22-$30/day.

For more information regarding travel to San Diego, see the Sheraton San Diego website.

Traveling Within San Diego

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings during the PSA/HSS meetings (15-17 November), two 49-passenger motor coaches will offer conference-goers complimentary shuttle service from the Sheraton San Diego to various locations in downtown San Diego.

NSF Travel Grants

As in past years, a grant from the National Science Foundation will be used to provide money for travel and registration costs to graduate students, independent scholars (including retired scholars) and recent PhDs participating in the 2012 PSA or HSS meetings. Unlike past years, though, only U.S. citizens and individuals currently associated with U.S. institutions are eligible for an NSF Travel Grant. In order to be eligible for an NSF Travel Grant, applicants must participate in the 2012 conferences by, for example, presenting a paper, chairing a session, commentating on a paper, or participating in the governance of a society.

NSF Travel Grants are available in amounts up to $750 for domestic travel and $1000 for international travel. They can be used for transportation to and from the conference hotel and conference registration, but not for lodging or food. Money awarded through an NSF Travel Grant is paid after the conference in the form of reimbursement for expenses. Reimbursement forms will be emailed to recipients and will be available on the HSS and PSA meeting websites after the conferences.

If you are participating in PSA2012; a graduate student, independent scholar (including retired scholar), or recent PhD; and a U.S. citizen or currently associated with a U.S. institution, you are strongly encouraged to apply online for an NSF Travel Grant.

Please be aware that requests for travel funds regularly exceed the money available. Submitting an application for an NSF Travel Grant does not guarantee that we will be able to reimburse your travel costs.


In recognition of the particular challenges faced by those attending the meetings with children, we are working to reserve a family room in the conference space for the use of attendees with children. Additionally, our Local Arrangements Committee is preparing a Guide to San Diego that will highlight local attractions, events, and resources of interest to those attending the meetings with children. Watch the PSA2012 site for further information.

The PSA provides the following links to childcare services in the San Diego area. These links are provided only for informational purposes; no endorsement is intended.
From their webpage:
College Nannies, the nation's largest nanny resource, Builds Stronger Families® by offering a complete set of nanny placement, on-call nannies and professional babysitting services that lead to happy children and successful students. Choose the nanny service below that works best for your family. But don't worry if you don't see exactly what you are looking for - give us a call. We can help.
From their webpage:
Since 1981, Marion's Childcare has been the enduring standard in quality, experienced hotel babysitting. With over 30 years serving San Diego's finest hotels and resorts, we are called upon again and again by concierges and guests who trust our spotless record and personal, intuitive ability to match families with caregivers who are just right for them.
Attendees are also encouraged check with local daycares, particularly those affiliated with national chains, as they may have openings for drop-in care on weekdays.

Program Committee

  • Chair: Andrea Woody University of Washington
  • Gordon Belot University of Michigan
  • Alisa Bokulich Boston University
  • Carl Craver Washington Unviersity in St. Louis
  • Malcolm Forster University of Wisconsin
  • Steven French University of Leeds
  • Stephan Hartmann Tilburg University
  • Christopher Hitchcock CalTech
  • Kristen Intemann Montana State University
  • Harold Kincaid University of Alabama
  • Edouard Machery University of Pittsburgh (HPS)
  • John Manchak University of Washington
  • Jill North Cornell University
  • Kathleen Okruhlik University of Western Ontario
  • Wendy Parker Ohio University
  • Anya Plutynski University of Utah
  • Chris Smeenk University of Western Ontario
  • Chris Stephens University of British Columbia
  • Stephen Turner University of South Florida
  • C. Kenneth Waters University of Minnesota