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Workshop in History/Philosophy of Science, Paris (Dec 2004)

"Formal vs. Historical Accounts of Scientific Theory Change"

Paris/London/Konstanz Workshop on History and Philosophy of Science

Universit? Paris IV (Sorbonne)

December 13-14, 2004

For a number of years, logicians and philosophers of science have
developed formal models of belief change in logical and probabilistic
frameworks. A large body of literature now exists and is expanding, often
associated with work on non-classical logics and computer science. In
spite of the fact that many of these models are relevant to traditional
issues in the philosophy and methodology of science - such as the nature
of confirmation, explanation, theory change and truth - there has been
only little contact between these formal approaches and more historically
oriented work in the philosophy of science. Recent work on belief
revision, Bayesian epistemology and topics such as incommensurability or
truth approximation suggests that a dialogue between the two traditions in
the philosophy of science can be renewed to the benefit of both. To
encourage the dialogue, each paper presented at the workshop will be
commented on by someone from the other tradition.

The present workshop brings together scholars from Paris, London and
Konstanz. It is part of the Paris-based project Connaissance, Revision,
Preuve et Changement Scientifique which explores the merits and
limitations of formal and historical approaches to scientific theory
change. The workshop is the first step of a more regular cooperation
between British, French, German and other European researchers in the
relevant fields.

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