Center Discussion Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week - see the calendar below), 1:30–3:00 pm Central time
Meeting place: online via Zoom

The Center discussion group (CtrDG) reads and discusses works of mutual interest in the philosophy of science, broadly construed. We have a tradition of reading works of important authors and then having them visit to discuss their work with the group. CtrDG visitors have included Nancy Cartwright, John Dupré, Margaret Morrison, Bas van Fraassen, William C. Wimsatt, and James Woodward, each of whose work we read during a semester preceding their separate visits.

Colleagues from area schools and fields outside philosophy regularly participate in our discussions. We continue to seek new participants. All faculty from the University of Minnesota and area colleges and universities are welcome to attend whenever they would like (and without invitation). Postdoctoral fellows and Ph.D. students are also welcome to attend. For further information, contact Alan Love (aclove@umn.edu).

Subscribe to our mailing list

Fall 2021

Please join our mailing list for the zoom invitation or email mcps@umn.edu

For Fall 2021, the Center Discussion Group will continue its collaboration with the Many Faces of Reproducibility. Our focus will be on the status of WEIRD ("White, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic") data in the human sciences, including medicine, psychology, and social science (among others). This is in conjunction with the Fall 2021 Symposium ("Data, Rigor, and Reproducibility in Light of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"), which will be held later in the semester (December 3) and focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in data with respect to the many dimensions of reproducibility in scientific research.

  • September 17: Henrich, J., S.J. Heine, and A. Norenzayan. 2010. The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33:61–83. (pdf)
  • October 1: Astuti, R., M. Bloch, N. Baumard, D. Sperber, W.M. Bennis, D.L. Medin, et al. 2010. Open Peer Commentary and Author Replies: The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33:83–135. (pdf)
  • October 15: Laajaj R., K. Macours, D.A. Pinzon Hernandez, O. Arias, S.D. Gosling, J. Potter, M. Rubio-Codina, and R. Vakis. 2019. Challenges to capture the big five personality traits in non-WEIRD populations. Science Advances 5(7):eaaw5226. (pdf)
  • October 29: Gardiner, G., D.Lee, E. Baranski, D. Funder, and the Members of the International Situations Project. 2020. Happiness around the world: A combined etic-emic approach across 63 countries. PLoS ONE 15(12): e0242718.
  • November 12: Kanazawa, S. 2020. What do we do with the WEIRD problem? Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences 14(4):342-346; (pdf)
    Rad, M.S., A.J. Martingano, and J. Ginges. 2018. Toward a psychology of Homo sapiens: Making psychological science more representative of the human population. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(45):11401-11405. (pdf)

  • December 10: Ghai, S. 2021. It’s time to reimagine sample diversity and retire the WEIRD dichotomy. Nature Human Behaviour 5:971–972. (pdf);
    Muthukrishna, M., A.V. Bell AV, J. Henrich J, et al. 2020. Beyond Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) psychology: measuring and mapping scales of cultural and psychological distance. Psychological Science 31(6):678-701. (pdf);
    Syed, M. 2021. WEIRD Times: Three Reasons to Stop Using a Silly Acronym.

Previous Center Discussion Group topics