5-7 September 2012
Keynes College Lecture Theatre 6, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
(N6 on this map)
Causality is a vibrant and thriving topic in philosophy of science. It is closely related to many other challenging scientific concepts, such as probability and mechanisms, which arise in many different scientific contexts, in different fields. For example, they are relevant to both causal inference (finding out what causes what) and causal explanation (explaining how a cause produces its effect). They are also of interest to fields as diverse as astrophysics, biochemistry, biomedical and social sciences. There has also been an explosion of interest in evidence, most obviously in biomedical contexts with the rise of ‘evidence-based medicine’, but also elsewhere, such as in social science. What is evidence? How do we decide what our best sources of evidence are?
This conference will examine the relation between causality and evidence. This involves questions about the foundations of the sciences, e.g. what is evidence and how does it contribute to causal knowledge? But it also involves questions about specific applications, e.g. how should we best deal with the many problems of evidence given by expert witnesses in court; and questions about policy-making, e.g. what constitutes evidence of causation that is relevant to the design of socio-economic and public health policies?
These questions are all of immense current concern. Pressure on health systems from ageing populations, the obesity epidemic, coupled with severe financial constraints on public policy, means governments are demanding answers with increasing urgency.
Confirmed speakers include: Atocha Aliseda, Iain Chalmers, Mathias Frisch, David Lagnado, Sandra Mitchell
AHRC symposium on the hierarchy of evidence: Mauricio Barreto, Brendan Clarke, Jeremy Howick, Mike Kelly, Elseljin Kingma, Jacob Stegenga, Kurt Straif
A special issue on the topic ‘Evidence and Causality in the Sciences’ has been secured with Topoi.
- 1 November 2012: deadline for submission.
- to be emailed to Phyllis Illari or Federica Russo
- further details about publication will be posted in due course
- 31 January 2013: notification of acceptance.
- 1 May 2013: final version of manuscripts.
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This conference is organised by Phyllis Illari and Federica Russo and hosted by the Centre for Reasoning at the University of Kent. It is the seventh event in the Causality in the Sciences series of conferences.
We are very grateful to the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Mind Association, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science, and the University of Kent School of European Culture and Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Centre for Reasoning for providing financial support.