PSA Newsletter: Vol. 10 No. 1: March 2004

*************************************************************** PSA Newsletter: Volume 10 : Number 1: March 2004 ***************************************************************

Edited for the Philosophy of Science Association by Malcolm Forster,


  1. ANNOUNCEMENT: Michael Dickson appointed next Editor of Philosophy of Science.
  2. ANNOUNCEMENT: PSA election results.
  3. University of Pittsburgh Acquires Papers of Philosopher Richard C. Jeffrey.
  4. University of Pittsburgh Acquires Papers of Philosopher Wesley C. Salmon.
  5. CALL for PARTICIPATION: University of Konstanz Summer School: Causality, Uncertainty and Ignorance, August 15-21, 2004. Application Deadline: April 1, 2004.
  6. CALL for PAPERS: International Congress: Thought Experiments Rethought. September 24 -25, 2004, Ghent University, Belgium. Deadline for Abstracts: April 30, 2004.
  7. CALL for PARTICIPATION: Second Summer School on the Foundations of Physical Theories, Urbino (Italy) from July 5, to July 9, 2004 Application Deadline: May 31, 2004.
  8. JOB: Rotman Postdoctoral Fellowship in Philosophy of Science: Deadline: April 1, 2004.
  9. CALL for PAPERS: "Nanotech Challenges" HYLE, the International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, and TECHNE, the Journal of the Society for Philosophy and Technology, are planning a joint special issue on "Nanotech Challenges". Deadline: June 30, 2004.
  10. ANNOUNCEMENT: 5th Graduate Conference in Logic, Math, and Physics, May 9, 2004. Keynote address by David DeVidi. In conjunction with the 9th Annual Conference Contemporary Issues in Philosophy of Physics May 8th, 2004, and the Rotman Lecture, May 7, 2004. UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN ONTARIO, LONDON, ONTARIO, CANADA. Confirmed speakers for the physics conference include Han Halvorson (Princeton) and others. This year the Rotman Lecture will be given by Jeremy Butterfield (Oxford).
  11. Association for Informal Logic and Critical Thinking (AILACT) invites applications for its first annual Essay Prize. See Deadline: Aug. 31, 2004.
  12. SECOND CALL for papers: Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Engineering, Italy. Deadline: May 1, 2004.


PSA 2004 Biennial Meeting:
PSA website:
Philosophy of Science journal:
PhilSci Archives:

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1. ANNOUNCEMENT from PSA Secretary George Gale: Michael Dickson appointed next Editor-in-Chief of Philosophy of Science.

The PSA Editor Search Committee received five applications for the editorship of the journal. After a thorough review of the applications, and several weeks of spirited discussion among the committee members, Prof. Michael Dickson, of the University of South Carolina, was chosen as the leading candidate. His name was forwarded to the Governing Board of the Association, which approved his selection.

The choice was a difficult one: the field was an extremely strong one, certainly the strongest that I can remember. In the end, it came down to a judgment call by the committee.

The Committee and the officers thank the candidates very much for their applications: without the kind of generosity that their applying demonstrates, the Association simply couldn't remain the kind of high quality organization that it is.

Changes in paper submission procedures will be announced as they are worked out during the transition between editors.

  • Philip Kitcher, Chair
  • Jeffrey Bub
  • Noretta Koertge
  • Margaret Morrison
  • George Gale

2. ANNOUNCEMENT from PSA Secretary George Gale: PSA election results.

Here are the results of this round of elections:

Governing Board: Christopher Hitchcock, Kenneth Schaffner, C. K. Waters, Alison Wylie Nominating Committee: Jeff Barrett, Paul Griffiths, Peter Lipton.

All terms run from 1 Jan 04 until 31 Dec 05. Hitchcock and Wylie are second-time winners (will they never learn? :), and hence are ineligible to run for a third term until the election of '06.

Elliott Sober will select the chair of the Nom. Comm.

My thanks to everyone--both officers and candidates-- who participated in this election. It's no easy thing to go out and find people willing to serve; nor is it any easier for those willing few to face the challenge of a race; and finally, it isn't easy for the 'winners' (!) to do the actual service. Our Association benefits mightily from all your contributions.

3. University of Pittsburgh Acquires Papers of Philosopher Richard C. Jeffrey.

The University of Pittsburgh Library System has acquired the personal and professional papers of the late Richard C. Jeffrey, professor of philosophy emeritus at Princeton University, who passed away on November 9th of 2002.

Jeffrey was born in 1926 in Boston, Mass. He earned his M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 1952 and his Ph.D. at Princeton University in 1957. He is considered to be one of the most influential philosophers of decision-making in the 20th century.

Jeffrey's philosophical career is intimately intertwined with the story of 20th century philosophy. Most of his teachers had participated in the development of Logical Positivism in Vienna and Berlin in the twenties and early thirties. He worked with Rudolf Carnap at Chicago, with Kurt Gödel at the Institute for Advanced Study, and with Carl Gustav Hempel at Princeton. His work is unified by his development of Bayesianism, the view that making up one's mind is a matter of adopting judgmental probabilities. Besides being the most influential philosopher working in decision theory, he was also a major proponent of developing and securing the heritage of logical empiricism, himself championing radical probabilism, a view that denies objective probability and abandons attempts to analyze judgment into a rational and an empirical component.

Among his many publications are works such as The Logic of Decision, McGraw Hill, 1965, a collection of essays entitled Probability and the Art of Judgment, Cambridge, 1992, and also two textbooks entitled Formal Logic: Its Scope and Limits, McGraw Hill, (first published in 1967) and Computability and Logic, with G. Boolos (first published in 1974).

His papers will now join those of his teachers Rudolf Carnap and Carl Gustav Hempel and other important representatives of philosophy of science at the Archives of Scientific Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

The papers were generously donated to the University by his wife Edith Jeffrey. We thank her for this gift to the research community and for her valuable support and advice throughout this process.

For more info on the archives or research in the Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh visit:

Archives of Scientific Philosophy
University Library System University of Pittsburgh
Center for Philosophy of Science

4. University of Pittsburgh Acquires Papers of Philosopher Wesley C. Salmon.

The University of Pittsburgh Library System has acquired the professional and scholarly papers of the late Wesley C. Salmon (1925-2001), University Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, who died in April of 2001 in a car accident.

Wesley Salmon, a prominent and internationally renowned philosopher of science, earned his doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1950, under Hans Reichenbach, one of the leading figures of 20th century philosophy of science.

After teaching at several universities, Salmon was appointed Norwood Russell Hanson Professor at Indiana University in 1963. He moved to the University of Arizona in 1973 and joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in 1981 as professor and chairman of philosophy, professor of history and philosophy of science, as well as resident fellow in the Center for Philosophy of Science. From 1983 until his retirement in 1999, he held the rank of University Professor of Philosophy, succeeding Carl G. Hempel in this post.

Salmon's work included research on the problems of space and time, the character of reasoning, probability and confirmation, and the problem of causality and scientific explanation. His achievements were recognized by two Festschrift books in his honor. His own influential writings include "The Foundations of Scientific Inference" (1967), "Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World" (1984), "Four Decades of Scientific Explanation" (1990), and "Causality and Explanation" (1998).

Salmon's work has built upon and enriched a distinguished scientific philosophical movement prominently represented by, among others, his teacher Hans Reichenbach, his colleague and intellectual inspiration Carl Gustav Hempel, and Rudolf Carnap, all of whose papers are already part of the Archives of Scientific Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh Library System.

The papers were generously donated to the University by his wife Merrilee Salmon, herself a Professor Emerita of the history and philosophy of science, philosophy, and of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh. We are grateful to her for this valuable gift to the research community.

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