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).

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Spring 2021

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

For Spring 2021, the Center Discussion Group will continue its collaboration with the Many Faces of Reproducibility project and read philosophical papers on reproducibility.

  • January 22: Nosek, B.A. and T.M. Errington 2020. What is replication? PLoS Biology 18(3):e3000691. (pdf)
  • February 5: Machery, E. 2020. What is replication? Philosophy of Science 87:545–567. (pdf)
  • February 19: Bird, A. 2020. Understanding the replication crisis as a base rate fallacy. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. DOI: 10.1093/bjps/axy051 (pdf)
  • March 5: Wilson, B.M., C.R. Harris, and J.T. Wixted. 2020. Science is not a signal detection problem. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117:5559-5567.
  • Pek, J., D.T. Wegener, and G.H. McClelland. 2020. Signal detection continues to be part of science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117:13199-13200.
  • Wilson, B.M., C.R. Harris, and J.T. Wixted. Reply to Pek et al.: Science is not the signal detection problem it is ordinarily thought to be. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117:13201-13202. (pdf - all 3 readings)
  • March 19: Heesen, R. 2018. Why the reward structure of science makes reproducibility problems inevitable. The Journal of Philosophy 115:661–674. (pdf)
  • April 16: Romero, F. 2018. Who should do replication labor? Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science 1(4):516-537.
  • April 30: Hensel, W.M. 2020. Double trouble? The communication dimension of the reproducibility crisis in experimental psychology and neuroscience. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10:44.

Fall 2020

For Fall 2020, the Center Discussion Group will continue its collaboration with the Many Faces of Reproducibility project and read Why Trust Science? by Naomi Oreskes (Princeton University Press, 2019). Please secure a copy of the book through purchase or library loan if you plan to participate. (Note: there is an electronic copy available online from Wilson Library that allows for multiple users simultaneously.)

  • September 18: Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? (Princeton: Princeton University Press) Chapter 1 "Why Trust Science? Perspectives from the History and Philosophy of Science", pp. 15-43.
  • October 2: Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? (Princeton: Princeton University Press) Chapter 1 "Why Trust Science? Perspectives from the History and Philosophy of Science", pp. 43-68, and Chapter 2 "Science Awry", pp. 69-127.
  • October 16: Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? (Princeton: Princeton University Press) Chapter 2 "Science Awry", pp. 127-159.
  • October 30: Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? (Princeton: Princeton University Press) Chapter 3 "The Epistemology of Frozen Peas" (Lindee), pp. 163-180, and Chapter 4 "What Would Reasons For Trusting Science Be?" (Lange), pp. 181-190.
  • November 13: Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? (Princeton: Princeton University Press) Chapter 5 "Pascal's Wager Reframed" (Edenhofer/Kowarsch), pp. 191-201, and Chapter 6 "Comments on the Present and Future of Science, Inspired by Naomi Oreskes" (Krosnick), pp. 202-211.
  • December 4: Oreskes, N. 2019. Why Trust Science? (Princeton: Princeton University Press) Chapter 7 "Reply", pp. 215-244, and Afterword, pp. 245-255.

Previous Center Discussion Group topics