Philosopher of Science to Discuss Science and Methods of Modeling Society
Nancy 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.