Please see the Centre for Reasoning pages for further information on the Centre.
Evidence seminars. These tend to focus on the epistemology and methodology of current science, mathematics and medicine. These normally take place weekly. Please contact Jon Williamson if you would like to attend.
Workshops and Conferences
10 October 2023. Symposium on evidence-based policy and regulation (MINANS, online talks). Organised by Alexandra Trofimov .
3.00-4.20pm: Bert Leuridan (Antwerp). Rethinking Evidence-Based Management
4.30-5.50pm: Jaakko Kuorikoski (Helsinki). The Logic of Regulatory Impact Assessment: From Evidence to Evidential Reasoning.
15.30-15.50 David Corfield (Kent), Introduction: Applied Category Theory from a Philosophical Point of View
15.50-16.50 Toby St Clere Smithe (Topos Institute, Oxford), Understanding the Bayesian Brain with Categorical Cybernetics
17.00-18.00 John Baez (UC Riverside), Applied Category Theory
30 May 2023. Symposium on evidence-based law. Organised by Alexandra Trofimov .
3pm – 3.15pm: Welcome
3.15pm – 4pm: Alexandra Trofimov (Kent) ‘Introduction to project: EBL+ New Philosophical Foundations for Evidence Based Law’
4pm – 4.15pm: Break
4.15pm – 5pm: Rebecca Helm (Exeter) ‘Plea Based Sentence Reductions: Ethics and Empiricism’
5pm – 5.30pm: Alexandra Trofimov (Kent) ‘Applying Evidential Pluralism to Plea Based Sentence Reductions’
16 May 2023. Symposium on causal enquiry in the social sciences (MINANS). Organised by Jon Williamson .
3.15-4.30 Gary Goertz and Stephan Haggard. Large-N Qualitative Analysis (LNQA): Evidential Pluralism in the Social Sciences
4.45-6.00 Rosa Runhardt: The ontological status of general causal mechanisms in the social sciences
28 March 2023. Symposium on scientific method (MINANS, online talks). Organised by Jon Williamson .
7 March 2023. EBM+ workshop. Organised by Michael Wilde. (HMG)
What?: “Meet the author” session with Prof. Trish Greenhalgh (Oxford).
When?: 3-5pm, Tuesday 7th March, 2023.
Where?: Online on MS Teams. (Please contact Michael for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Please join us for a “meet the author” session with Prof. Trish Greenhalgh (Oxford) to discuss the recent paper: Greenhalgh T, Fisman D, Cane DJ, et al. Adapt or die: how the pandemic made the shift from EBM to EBM+ more urgent, BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine 2022;27:253-260.
3-4pm: Reading group on the paper.
4-5pm: Discussion with Prof. Trish Greenhalgh.
22 November 2022. Symposium on scientific method (MINANS, online talks). Organised by Jon Williamson .
3.20-4.20 Rani Lill Anjum (NMBU): Identifying philosophical bias in scientific methods and practices.
4.30-5.30 Caterina Marchionni (Helsinki) & Till Grüne-Yanoff (KTH): Economic modeling and horizontal progress.
What can the philosophy of science learn from recent epistemology? It has recently been argued that work on the theory of knowledge can shed light upon a number of issues in the philosophy of science, for example, issues concerning the aim of science, scientific progress, and the nature of evidence and probability. This workshop will involve an author-meets-critics session to evaluate such arguments as they appear in the upcoming book by Alexander Bird: Knowing Science (OUP, 2022).
1000 – Opening remarks: Alexander Bird (Cambridge) on Knowing Science
1030 – Nicholas Emmerson (Birmingham) on Scientific progress
1130 – Break
1145 – Jon Williamson (Kent) on Probability
1245 – Lunch
1400 – Yafeng Shan (Kent) on Social knowledge
1500 – Break
1515 – Helen Beebee (Leeds) on The aim of science
1615 – Closing remarks
This event has received funding from the British Society for the Philosophy of Science and the Mind Association.
13-15 July 2022: The Kuhn centennial conference: Thomas Kuhn and the 21st century philosophy of science. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
27-28 June 2022: New perspectives on causation in the life sciences. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
16 June 2022: Graded modalities. Organised by David Corfield.
31 May 2022: Symposium on Diversity of Evidence. (MINANS) 12-6pm, KLT2. Organised by Alexandra Trofimov and Jon Williamson.
5-6 May 2022: Mixed methods research and causal inference. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
29 March 2022: Symposium on Reliability in Science and Philosophy. Organised by Sam Taylor.
7-9 July 2021: British Society for the Philosophy of Science. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
28-29 June 2021: Alternative approaches to Causation: Beyond difference-making and Mechanism. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
1-3 June 2021: Philosophy and Methodology of Medicine. Organised by Michael Wilde in collaboration with LMU.
28 May 2021: Analogical Reasoning in philosophy and Science. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
13-14 May 2021: New Directions in Metaphilosophy. Organised by Yafeng Shan.
6-7 May 2021: Evidence and explanations of cognition. Organised by Sam Taylor.
12 May 2020: Knowledge-first epistemology applied to science. POSTPONED contact Michael Wilde.
11.30-12. Alexandra Trofimov: Clarifying the duty to inform. Video
12-12.30. Michael Wilde: Expanding the notion of evidence in evidence-based medicine. Video
lunch at the Gulbenkian
2.15-2.45. Jon Williamson: Evidential proximity, independence, and the evaluation of carcinogenicity. Video
2.45-3.15. Daniel Auker-Howlett: Domain expertise in evidence evaluation. Video
3.45-4.15. Virginia Ghiara: Collecting mechanistic evidence to design and evaluate immunisation programmes. Video
4.15-4.45. David Corfield: Health methodology and the psychosomatic approach to medicine. Video
This workshop will explore practical consequences of recent philosophical work on health. Talks will be accessible to the general public. The workshop is organised by the Health Methodology Group of the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent. This group works on the foundations of evidence-based medicine and values-based healthcare, as well as concepts of health and disease and problems to do with medicine and the law.
Juergen Landes, Munich
Soroush Rafiee Rad, Bayreuth
Jon Williamson, Kent
This symposium will provide a gentle introduction to inductive logic, including the Carnapian tradition and Bayesian approaches. We will outline some recent developments in the Carnapian tradition and explore in some depth an exciting new challenge for the Bayesian approaches: the entropy limit conjecture.
5 February 2019: Symposium on Health Methodology, University of Kent, 3-5.30pm, Room TBC. To attend please contact Jon Williamson.
Daniel Auker-Howlett: “Evaluating Evaluating evidence of mechanisms in medicine”
David Corfield: “How to understand ‘placebo’ and ‘psychosomatic'”
Virginia Ghiara: “New quality assessment tools for the NHS”
Michael Wilde: “Mechanistic evidence in medical consensus conferences”
This symposium will explore present some new work of the Health Methodology Group of the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent. This group works on the foundations of evidence-based medicine and values-based healthcare, as well as concepts of health and disease and problems to do with medicine and the law.
Jason Konek, Bristol
Camillia Kong, Oxford
Veli-Pekka Parkkinen, Bergen
In order to better understand some phenomenon, a scientist will sometimes build a model of the phenomenon. For example, to better understand some biomedical phenomenon, a scientist might try to build a model of the mechanism responsible for the phenomenon. Some philosophers also build models. For example, some epistemologists have appealed to formal models in an attempt to understand the nature of rational degrees of belief. How is this model-building activity supposed to aid understanding, given that the models are often highly idealized? And is this model-building activity even legitimate in philosophy? In this symposium, a group of philosophers will try to answer these questions by discussing the role of models in science and philosophy.
19 June 2018: Practical and Foundational Aspects of Type Theory, University of Kent.
2-3 May 2018: Connecting the medical humanities with healthcare, Royal Asiatic Society, London.
18-19 December 2017: Formal epistemology conference, University of Kent.
4-5 September 2017: Evidence of Mechanisms, University of Kent
3-5 July 2017: Mechanisms in Medicine, University of Kent.
22-23 June 2017: Big data in the social sciences, University of Kent.
18-19 May 2017: Reasoning Club Conference, Turin.
10.30 – 11.50 Nancy Cartwright – Two Approaches to EBHP: Intervention-centring, Context-centring. Slides. Audio.
13.15 – 14.35 Sarah Wieten – What good are pragmatic trials? Slides. Audio.
14.45 – 16.05 Mike Kelly – Inferring policy from evidence? The case of non-communicable disease and health inequalities in the UK. Slides. Audio.
24 March 2017: Symposium on the Principal Principle, GS8, University of Kent, 2-4pm.
Jon Williamson (University of Kent): The principal principle implies the principle of indifference
Christian Wallmann (University of Kent): On the unviability of the principal principle
Richard Pettigrew (University of Bristol): The principal principle does not imply the principle of indifference
Background. Recently, Hawthorne, Landes, Wallmann and Williamson argued in a joint paper that the principal principle implies the principle of indifference. Jon Williamson will present and defend their alrgument. Richard Pettigrew argues that 1) Hawthorne et al’s argument does not apply to Levi’s principal principle and that 2) Hawthorne et al’s argument presupposes the principle of indifference and is therefore circular. Christian Wallmann argues that the principal principle is itself unviable and that therefore Hawthorne et al’s argument does not support the principle of indifference.
20 March 2017: Symposium on objective Bayesianism, KS1, University of Kent, 3-5pm.
Fabrizio Leisen (University of Kent, Statistics)
Cristiano Villa (University of Kent, Statistics)
Jon Williamson (University of Kent, Philosophy)
Background. This interdisciplinary symposium is dedicated to objective Bayesianism—the thesis that in absence of any information there are still rational constraints on prior probability distributions. The symposium introduces objective Bayesianism and discusses its philosophical and statistical foundations. It then examines a particular prior distribution that is supposed to satisfy the tenets of objective Bayesianism. Finally, this prior is applied to a skewed t-model and an important invariance property is established within this model.
5-6 September 2016: Workshop. Buiding EBM, UCL.
20 June 2016: Workshop. New frontiers for evaluating evidence in medicine. UCL.
9-10 June 2016. Workshop. Type theory and philosophy. W1-SR6.
16 May 2016. Workshop: Explanation and evidence of mechanisms across the sciences, University of Kent.
9.00-10.00 Jürgen Landes – ‘Role of mechanisms in causal inference in pharmacology’
10.15-11.15 Gry Oftedal – ‘Intervention and explanation in research on targeted cancer treatment’
11.15-12.15 Julian Reiss – ‘Evidential reasoning about a target without extrapolation?’
13.45-14.45 Beate Krickel – ‘Against activities’
14.45-15.45 Phyllis Illari & Brendan Clarke – ‘Heuristics and inference methods’
16.00-17.00 Jaakko Kuorikoski – ‘Weighing Evidence: A Mechanism-Based Approach’
12 May 2016. Workshop: Processes, University of Kent.
9.15-11.00 John Dupre (Exeter) – ‘Process, Organisms, and Kinds.’
11.15-13.00 Johanna Seibt (Aarhus) – ‘What is (a) process?’
14.00-15.45 Thomas Crowther (Warwick) – ‘An Ontology of Processes’
16.00-17.45 James Williams (Deakin) – ‘Dangerous illusions of autonomy: a process critique of the concept of autopoiesis’
21 January 2016. EBM+ workshop. Amsterdam.
6 April 2017. Forecasting, Investment and Global Politics, 10am-1pm, GLT3.
28 February 2017. Ursula Martin (University of Oxford): The future of proof: will we need people in the age of computers? School of Computing Seminar, SW101, 4pm.
15 December 2016. Nick Chater: Joint Reasoning in Social Interaction: A Virtual Bargaining Approach, 3-4.30pm, GLT2.
23 November 2016. Neil Levy: The Rationality of Climate Change Skeptics, 3-5pm.
9 November 2016. Silvia Jonas: Realism, Evolution, and the A Priori, 12-2pm, CNW seminar room 8.
26 October 2016. David Corfield: A very gentle introduction to a new type theory, 3-5pm, RDC-G22.
3 October 2016. Room GS6:
1400—1530: Conrad and Sarah Heilmann: Two cheers for RCTs.
1530—1700: Jon Williamson: Establishing causal claims in medicine.
Some other talks relating to reasoning, inference and method can be found here.