The Conference

11th Munich-Sydney-Tilburg/Turin (MuST) conference
Turin, 11-13 June 2017

Science is there to explain the world, to render it intelligible. But what counts as a scientific explanation of an observed phenomenon? How should one quantify explanatory power? What is the role of explanation in reasoning? Philosophers and scientists have given various answers: subsumption under general laws (the D-N model), unificatory value, identifying causally productive processes, statistical relevance, cognitive salience, and so on. The 11th MuST (Munich-Sydney-Tilburg/Turin) conference investigates the scope of different models of explanation, fosters a dialogue between them and evaluates their role in scientific reasoning in general. Philosophers and scientists alike are invited to contribute to this event (click here for the Call for Papers instructions)!

Questions we are interested in include, but are not limited to:

  • What is a scientific explanation?
  • How should we formalize explanatory power, and what is the relation between categorical and gradual accounts of explanation?
  • How can one justify Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE)?
  • What is the relation between philosophical and scientific (psychology, cognitive science, …) models of explanation?
  • Are specific models of explanation only suited for specific sciences?
  • Are there fundamental differences between explanations in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities?
  • How is explanation related to concepts such as causality, confirmation, and unification?

Mark Colyvan, Sydney
Vincenzo Crupi, Turin
Paul Griffiths, Sydney
Stephan Hartmann, Munich
Jan Sprenger, Turin

The conference is a joint venture of three major research centers in philosophy of science: