Balázs Gyenis









Short bio
Why HPS?
Wandering around
Other interests
Cool stuff


Why HPS?

Science and philosophy only drifted apart around the first half of the 20th century with the advent of professionalization of specialization. History shows that great thinkers, who we tend to label today as either scientists or as philosophers, were inseparably both, and were inseparably both for good reasons. This lesson in itself may indicate that a healthy philosophical outlook is best facilitated by a proper scientific understanding of the world. This thesis is accepted by many of us in the community.


in HPS

Why Pitt HPS?

If you already have your own answer to `Why HPS?' the answer to `Why Pitt HPS?' follows swiftly. I illustrate the steps in the imaginary proof with a couple of photos I took.

The Faculty

Earman teaching

John Earman teaching a graduate course. Classes are interactive, entertaining, and are just excellent in every respect. I learned and worked more at Pitt than anywhere else.

  David Charles videoconference

Video conference with David Charles during a class on Aristotle's Philosophy of Science. Pitt HPS works closely together with folks over Pitt Philosophy and CMU. Center visitors regularly co-teach with faculty members, and we also find the means to reach out to experts who are not residing in the area.


Celebration of the year of "10 students on the market - 10 job successes". The HPS Department makes a significant effort to help its graduates finding a job, and has a pretty straight placement record.

  BYP 2008

Beginning of the year party, 2008. There are many occasions when faculty and grad students have fun together. I mean besides the fun of working together, of course; writing joint papers with faculty members is hardly an exception.

Playing cards with the Grunbaums

Playing cards in Adolf Grünbaum's Maryland home with Thelma Grünbaum, Jim Tabery and Brian Hepburn. The one-on-one faculty-graduate student relationship is also super friendly.


Sandy Mitchell thanking John Norton for his professional service as a former Head of the Department.

The Center for Philosophy of Science

Rescher talk

Nicholas Rescher kicking out the semester. The Center organizes a number of Center and Lunch-Time Talks, workshops, and conferences. Free bagels and donuts twice a week!

  Curiel talk

Erik Curiel gives a talk for Center fellows. Every semester a number of visiting experts stay at the Center, and they are a great resource for the whole community.

Center lunch

Center lunch. These are organized by the first year HPS grad students. Free food twice a month!

  Poker Thursday

Poker Thursday with Center fellows and other grads in our home. You don't need to move out from Pittsburgh to socialize with folks from departments all over the world.

Grad student life

WIP talk

Benny Goldberg giving a WIP talk. Pitt HPS grads meet almost every Friday to test comp paper ideas or conference presentations on each other.

  Pitt/CMU conference

A session of the Pitt/CMU Graduate Conference in Philosophy with Jonathan Livengood on stage. Organizing these once every year gives us a chance to bring in and listen to graduate students from other departments.

HPS baby

One of the many HPS babies visiting the grad lounge. The central location of the lounge facilitates social interaction. In general we are a family friendly bunch; a third of the graduate students have young children of their own.

  Katie Steele

Katie Steele and Jackie Sullivan. Every semester visiting scholars come from many parts of the world and leave their mark on the life of the Department.

Job market post-mortem

Jim and Jackie delivers a job market post-mortem. We occasionally have grad student meetings to discuss issues regarding Departmental affairs and placement.

  Reading group

Yoichi Ishida, Peter Gildenhuys, and myself in our Mathematical Population Genetics reading group. We have many-many active reading groups covering a wide variety of topics.

Comp party

A comp paper party. Grad students tend to socialize with each other a fair amount, unlike in many other grad programs (I hear).


Grad student retreat. Every year after the comps are due we move out to the woods for two-three days to celebrate and to introduce new students to the Pitt way of life.


The magnificent art of Bryan Roberts. This is one of the most creative crowds I've encountered.


Philosophy of physics serenade for Gordon Belot and Laura Ruetsche. Many of us play music in professional bands; Elay, for instance, is a household name in the German punk scene!


Skiing in Seven Springs with Tom, Will, and Mike. Sporting together is fun; we used to have two permanent volleyball teams in the intramural tournament. My team competed under the guidance of Captain Eric Hatleback.

  Surprise birthday

Surprise birthday dinner in India Garden. Thank you guys, I also love you very much!

Connecting with the undergrads

Pitt Panther Tango Club

Alberto Dassieu visits the Panther Tango Club. Saeed and Emma is running the show, I help teaching tango there.

  Pitt Quidditch Club

The Pitt Quidditch team grabs the bronze medal of the 4th World Cup in New York. I was thrilled to accompany them as their graduate advisor!

And finally..

  UFO Cathedral

The second tallest higher education building in the world: the Cathedral of Learning. Our tower is full of mystery and adventure. Some say it is so well equipped that one could even live inside without anyone else noticing..


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