Eötvös University, Budapest

Pázmány P. sétány 1/A
Budapest, Hungary
Phone/Fax: (36-1) 372 2924
The web site of the seminar:
Philosophy of Science Seminar
Room 6.54 (6th floor)  Monday 4:00 PM


 3 June 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
László E. Szabó
Theoretical Physics Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences 
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Eötvös University, Budapest

 A kauzalitás ontológiai felfogása
(Ontological theory of causality)
Az okság Hume-i analíziséből kiindulva kritikailag áttekintjük a kauzalitás episztemikus, modális és valószínűségi felfogását. Kicsit bővebben időzünk Lewis kontrafaktuális analízisénél és  a "véletlen együttjárás" -ra vonatkozó ismert Sober-példánál. Ezt követően argumentumokat  hangoztatunk az okság ontológiai felfogása mellett (Salmon és Russell nyomdokain haladva). Vegül megbeszéljük a kauzalitás és a korreláció viszonyát.

10 June 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54 Language of presentation: English
Friedrich Steinle
Institute for Philosophy, Bern University
Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

  Discovering? Justifying?
Experiments in History and Philosophy of Science
The philosophical 'standard view' on experiment - finding the only epistemic function of experiment in the tests of well-formulated hypotheses - is closely connected to an implicit or explicit distinction of the contexts of discovery and justification. Recent studies, however, have opened more differentiated perspectives. In particular, there is a specific type of experiments discernible which I call "exploratory." Typically, it occurs in situations in which there is not only no theory available, but even the very concepts and categories of a subject field are opened to revision. Periods of exploratory experimentation often end up with a new conceptualization of the field, providing new outlooks and, at the same time, rendering other ones literally unspeakable.
Exploratory experimentation can be contrasted to a more theory-driven type in many respects epistemic, procedural, instrumental, situative. Though it might be tempting to attribute those two types again to a dichotomy between discovery and justification, a closer look makes clear that such a view is inappropriate. At the same time, fundamental shortcomings of that distinction itself become visible. In my talk, I shall both explicate those claims in general terms and substantiate them by cases of experimental research in the history of electricity. Moreover, I shall propose a more promising perspective onto research practice and discuss where and why some type of discovery-justification distinction might well be appropriate.

The 60-minute lecture is followed by a 10-minute break. Then we hold a 30-60-minute discussion. The language of the presentation is indicated in the following way:
English, except if all participants speak Hungarian
The participants may comment on the talks and are encouraged to initiate discussion through the Internet. The comments  should be written in the language of the presentation.

The organizer of the seminar: László E. Szabó (email: