Philosopher of Science to Discuss Science and Methods of Modeling Society

Nancy CartwrightNancy Cartwright, professor of philosophy at Durham (England) University and the University of California San Diego, will speak about "Systems, Mechanisms, and the Modeling of Society" on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Lynch Auditorium as part of the Spring 2013 Science Conversations series. The lecture is open to the public.

Cartwright, who has published extensively on philosophy of science, received her doctorate in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship (also known as the Macarthur Genius Grant) in 1993. Publications include "The Dappled World" in which Cartwright argues for replacing the view of the world as governed by a few universal laws with a picture of the world as a patchwork of different kinds of beings interacting with each other.

Her lecture at UD will focus on causal connections between policies and outcomes.

"Who could object to using good scientific evidence to inform our predictions about whether our proposed policies will work?" asked Cartwright. "I want to focus on one central issue: should we experiment or should we model?"

This lecture is the second in the Science Conversations series, which brings prominent philosophers and historians of science to UD to discuss current issues. The series is an offshoot of the new concentration in history and philosophy of science, which has been offered since last fall.

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