Conference: “A dialogue between Kant and the sciences” (TU Dortmund, 9-11 July 2015)

We are pleased to announce the international conference A dialogue between Kant and the sciences, that will be held at the Technische Universität Dortmund on July 9-11, 2015.  


  • Brigitte Falkenburg
  • Katharina Kraus
  • Silvia De Bianchi

 Conference Abstract

The conference explores the potential of Kant’s philosophy to contribute to current debates in thehistory and philosophy of science by bringing together scholars who study this issue for variousscientific areas and through different methods. Specific emphasis will be given to the cross-relationsbetween the “hard” sciences (e.g., mathematics and physics) and the “soft” sciences (e.g.,anthropology and psychology), as well as to the role of ethics in science. In the current debate thereis a gap to be filled that concerns the crucial question as to which role ethics is meant to play in bothhard and soft sciences in Kant’s view and which lesson, if any, we can obtain from Kant’s reflection.In order to fill this gap, three methodological approaches will be pursued: Firstly, with respect to thehistory of the sciences, we will investigate the influence of Kant’s philosophy on the historicaldevelopment of the natural, social, and psychological sciences in the 19th and 20th century.Secondly, in systematic respects, we will examine the relevance of Kant’s philosophy for theories ofscientific reasoning, and for theories of specific sciences, considering both the natural and thehuman sciences. Thirdly, taking up Kant’s own proposal that theoretical, scientific reasoningremains incomplete without the ethical perspective, we will explore the potential of Kant’s practicalphilosophy to develop an ethics of science and to account for the practical dimension of specificscientific enterprises.By examining the relation between Kant and the sciences from these three perspectives – thehistorical, the systematic-theoretical, and the ethical, this conference will make a significantcontribution both to Kant studies and to contemporary history and philosophy of science. Thisconference indeed offers a novel, more comprehensive approach by examining Kant’s philosophy inrelationship with both the “hard” and the “soft” sciences framed within a more general picture of aphilosophy of science in practice.


Kant and the Scope of Analogy in the Life Sciences

12:30 Silvia De Bianchi (Barcelona)

From the History of the Earth to Ethics: A Kantian Perspective

13:30    — Lunch Break —

3. Kant and the “Soft” Sciences: Themes from Psychology

15:00 Katharina Kraus (Freiburg)

Kant on Scientific Psychology: The idea of the soul as regulative principle

16:00 Patrick Frierson (Washington)

Character in Kant’s Moral Psychology: Responding to the Situationist Challenge

17:00    — Group Picture —

19:30  — Conference Dinner —

Saturday (July 11, 2015)

4. Kant and the “Hard” Sciences: Physics

10:00 Jonathan Everett (London)

A Kantian Account of Mathematical Modelling

11:00    — Coffee Break —

11:30 Hernán Pringe (Buenos Aires/Santiago de Chile)

Cassirer and Bohr:

Leibnizian and Kantian approaches to the concept of symbol in quantum physics

12:30 Brigitte Falkenburg (Dortmund)

From Heisenberg to Scheibe:

Kant’s Impact on the German “Kopenhagen” School of Quantum Mechanics

13:30    — Lunch Break —

5. Kant’s Legacy in the History of Philosophy of Science

14:30  David Hyder (Ottawa)

Kant’s Theory of Time and its Impact on 19th Century Biology and Physics

15:30 Peter McLaughlin (Heidelberg)


16:30 — Coffee Break —

6. Conclusions of the Conference

17:00  Kristina Engelhard (Köln)/Dietmar Heidemann (Luxemburg)

Kant’s Legacy

18:00 — End of Conference —

Here you can find the link to the event page.

Printable Version