Center Discussion Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week - see calendar below), 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Meeting place: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science library, 737 Heller Hall

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 PhD students are also welcome to attend. For further information, contact Alan Love.

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For Fall 2019, the Center Discussion Group will be reading chapters from Kareem Khalifa's 2017 book Understanding, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge University Press). Professor Khalifa will visit MCPS in early November and give a colloquium presentation. During his visit, he also will join us for the Center Discussion Group to talk about themes and issues in his book. The University of Minnesota libraries has an electronic copy of the book, so it should be accessible for many people. However, if you have any difficulties securing a copy of the readings, please contact us


September 13: Khalifa, Kareem. 2017. Understanding, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 1 "The Philosophy of Understanding" pp 1-22. (pdf)
Megan Page (Loyola University) will be visiting.

September 20: Khalifa, Kareem. 2017. Understanding, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 2 "An Illustration: Bjorken Scaling" pp 23-50.

October 11:

October 18

November 1:

November 15:

December 6:

Previous Center Discussion Group topics