Archives: 1995-1996

Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science
36th Annual Program


Culture’s Technology/ Technology’s Culture

November 5, 1995
CFA Concert Hall, Boston University College of Fine Arts
855 Commonwealth Avenue

Perry Hoberman

Leo Marx, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, emeritus

Commentator: Caroline Jones, Boston University

Philosophies of Nature: A Boston University Symposium In Honor of Erazim Kohák

November 13-17, 1995
Terrace Lounge, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Avenue

November 13th

Afternoon Session, 1pm – 5pm

  • God and Nature, and Early Greek Poetry

    Stephen Scully, Department of Classical Studies

  • Plato and Nature

    Stanley Rosen, Department of Philosophy

  • Aristotle on the Politics of Male, Female and Androgynous Human Nature

    Judith Swanson, Department of Political Science

  • Nature and Modern Concepts of the Classic: Observations on the History of Aesthetic Norms

    Wolfgang Haase, Institute for the Classical Tradition

November 14th

Morning Session, 9am – noon

  • The Contingency of Nature

    Robert Neville, Dean, School of Theology

  • Revolution and Reformation

    Alan Olson, Department of Religion

  • Nature as an Exegetical Principle in Medieval Judaism

    Marvin Fox, Department of Religion and Department of Philosophy

Afternoon Session, 2pm – 5pm

  • Is There a Buddhist Philosophy of Nature

    David Eckel,  Department of Religion

  • Human Nature: Anxiety, Sin and the Future

    Leroy Rouner, Institute for Philosophy and Religion

  • Yin and Yang: The Natural Dimension of Evil

    Livia Kohn, Department of Religion

November 15th

Morning Session, 9am – noon

  • Nature, Beauty, and Morality: Reflections on Adam Smith

    Charles Griswold,  Department of Philosophy

  • Limits to Human Nature: Moral Marginalia in the Enlightenment

    Knud Haakonsen, Department of Philosophy

  • Aristotelian and Newtonian Models in Hegel’s Philosophy of Nature

    Alfredo Ferrarin, Department of Philosophy

Afternoon Session, 2pm – 6pm

  • The Natural and Supernatural in Human Nature: Hegel on the Soul

    Klaus Brinkmann,  Department of Philosophy

  • Nature and Hope: The Project on Humanist Marxism

    Robert Cohen, Department of Philosophy and Department of Physics emeritus

  • Eternal Recurrence

    Krzysztof Michalski, Department of Philosophy

  • The Rationality of Conduct: Dewey and Oakeshott

    Victor Kestenbaum, Department of Philosophy

November 16th

Afternoon Session, 1pm – 5pm

  • What’s Human about Human Nature?

    Alan Wolfe,  Department of Sociology and The University Professors

  • Whose Nature? Which Morality?

    Lawrence Cahoone, Department of Philosophy

  • Nature as Presence and Experience

    Erazim Kohák, Department of Philosophy emeritus

  • Modernism and Human Nature

    John Westling, Provost

November 17th

Afternoon Session, 1pm – 5pm

  • Biology’s “Epistemological Contradiction”

    Alfred Tauber,  Center for Philosophy and History of Science

  • Decoding Relativity

    John Stachel, Department of Physics

  • Monism, But Not through Reductionism

    Tian Yu Cao, Department of Philosophy

  • The Relationship Between Philosophy and Physics

    Abner Shimony, Department of Physics and Department of Philosophy emeritus

Biology and Romanticism

*Funded in part by The Dibner Fund, through the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology

Wednesday, December 6, 1995
Terrace Lounge, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Ave

Coleridge and the Doctors

Trevor Levere, University of Toronto and the Dibner Institute

Apocalypse in White’s Natural History of Shelbourne

Stuart Peterfreund, Northeastern University and The Dibner Institute

Who were the Naturphilosophen?

Frederick Gregory, University of Florida, Gainesville and The Dibner Institute

Romantic Biology

Robert Richards, University of Chicago and The Dibner Institute


Wittgenstein on Mathematics

Thursday, January 25, 1996
Terrace Lounge, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Ave

Wittgenstein and Mathematics

Hilary Putnam, Harvard University

Wittgenstein, Gödel, and the Ineffability of Model Theory

Jaakko Hintikka, Boston University

Moderator: Burton Dreben, Boston University

Proof and Progress in Mathematics

Monday, February 12, 1996
Conference Auditorium, George Sherman Union
775 Commonwealth Ave.

Morning Session, 9am – Noon

  • The Evolution of Mathematics in the 1900s

    Arthur Jaffe, Harvard University

  • Physics Distorts, Proof is Essential

    Saunders MacLane, University of Chicago, emeritus

  • What is a Proof and What does it Prove?

    Jaakko Hintikka, Boston University

Afternoon Session, 2pm – 5pm

  • The Phenomenology of Mathematical Proof

    Gian-Carlo Rota, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Conjectures

    Barry Mazur, Harvard University

  • Moderator: David Kazhdan, Harvard University

Historical Examination and Philosophical Reflection on the Foundation of Quantum Field Theory

Cosponsored by the Boston University Physics Department
March 1st-3rd, 1996
Conference Auditorium, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave
& Department of Physics, Metcalf Center, 590 Commonwealth Ave

March 1st

Morning Session 1, 9:30am – 10:30am

  • Philosophers’ Interests in Quantum Field Theory

    Chairman, Robert Cohen, Boston University emeritus

    Tian Yu Cao, Boston University
    Michael Redhead, Cambridge University

Morning Session 2, 11:00am – 12:30pm

  • Chairman, Lawrence Sulak, Boston University
    Sheldon Glashow, Boston University and Harvard University

Afternoon Session, 2:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Three Approaches to the Foundation of Quantum Field Theory

    Chairman, Abner Shimony, Boston University
    Arthur Wightman, Princeton University
    Howard Georgi, Harvard University
    David Gross, Princeton University
    CommentatorSam Treiman, Princeton University

Evening Session, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

  • Quantum Field Theory and the Final Theory

    Chairman, Gerald Holton, Harvard University
    Steven Weinberg, University of Texas
    CommentatorLaurie Brown, Northwestern University
    CommentatorAbner Shimony, Boston University

March 2nd

Morning Session, 9:00am – 12:00pm

  • Mathematics, Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Field Theory

    Chairman, Yakir Aharonov, Boston University
    Michael Fisher, University of Maryland
    Arthur Jaffe, Harvard University
    Roman Jackiw, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Commentator: Howard Schnitzer, Brandeis University

Afternoon Session, 1:30pm – 4:30pm

  • Quantum Field Theory and Space-Time

    Chairman and Commentator, John Stachel, Boston University
    Bryce DeWitt, University of Texas
    Chris Isham, Imperial College, London
    Andy Strominger, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • Roundtable Discussion

    Moderator, James Cushing, University of Notre Dame
    Sidney Coleman, Harvard University
    Sheldon Glashow, Boston University and Harvard University
    Michael Redhead, Cambridge University
    Steven Weinberg, University of Texas

March 3rd

Workshop Morning Session, 9:00am – 12:00pm

  • The Ontology of Particles or Fields

Workshop Afternoon Session, 1:30pm – 3:30pm

  • Non-abelian Gauge Theory

Workshop Afternoon Session 2, 4:00pm – 6:00pm

  • Renormalization Group

Judaism and the Sciences: Medieval Encounters and Modern Resonances

March 11-13, 1996
Hillel House, 233 Bay State Road
Cosponsored with Boston University Hillel House

March 11th

Morning Session, 10:00am – 12:00pm

  • Maimonides’ Allegiances to Science and to Judaism

    Menachem Kellner, University of Haifa

  • The Logical and Scientific Premises of Maimonides’ Thought

    Alfred Ivy, New York University

Afternoon Session, 2:00pm – 6:00pm

  • Medical Astronomy from a Jewish Perspective

    Bernard Goldstein, University of Pittsburgh

  • The Role of Singularities in the Cosmogonies of Gersonides, Rosenzweig, and Contemporary Physics

    Norbert Samuelson, Temple University

  • Natural Science in the Biblical Commentary of Abraham ibn Ezra

    Herbert Davidson, University of California Los Angeles

  • Science and Cuzari

    Tzvi Langermann, National Library, Jerusalem

March 12th

Morning Session, 9:00am – 1:00pm

  • Science in the Jabne Stories: The Constructive Skepticism of the Bavli’s Foundational Mythology

    Menacham Fisch, Tel Aviv University

  • The Impact of the Scientific Imagination on Kabbalistic Ontology, Cosmology, and Epistemology

    Elliot Wolfson, New York University

  • Maimonides’ Treatise on Logic andn al-Farabi’s Paraphrase of the Organon

    Joel Kraemer, University of Chicago

  • When the Jews Learned Logic from the Pope: Hebrew Versions and Commentaries of the Tractatus of Peter of Spain

    Charles Manekin, University of Maryland

Afternoon Session, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Jewish Responses to Early Modern Science

    David Ruderman, University of Pennsylvania

  • Jews and the Royal Society During the Early Modern Period

    Matthew Goldfish, University of Arizona

March 13th

Morning Session, 9:00am – 1:00pm

  • Science in Kabbalstic Works of the Modern Period

    Moshe Idel, Hebrew University

  • Modern Traditional Judaism and Science: Why so Little so Late?

    Jay Harris, Harvard University

  • Orthodox Perceptions of Science and Technology in the Modern Period

    Michael Silber, Hebrew University

  • Halakhic Responses to Modern Science and Technology

    Shlomo Sternberg, Harvard University

Afternoon Session, 3:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Jewish Responses to Science in Totalitarian Societies: Insiders and Outsiders

    Yakov Rabkin, Universite de Montreal

  • Judaism Faces Up to AIDS

    Gad Freudenthal, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Topics in French Philosophy of Science: A Franco-American Dialogue

May 6-7, 1996
Terrace Lounge, George Sherman Union
776 Commonwealth Ave.
Cosponsored with the Cultural Service of the French Embassy

May 6th

Afternoon Session, 1:00pm – 5:00pm

  • Mathematics and Rationality in the Works of Jean Cavaillès

    Gilles Gaston Granger, Collège de France

  • Jean Cavaillès: Spinozist or Bourbakist?

    Gèrard Jorland, Ècole des Haute Ètudes en Sciences Sociales

  • Cavaillès’s Philosophy of Mathematics

    Hourya Sinaceur, Universitè de Paris I and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

    Commentator: Santiago Ramirez, UNAM Mexico

Evening Session, 7:00pm – 10:00pm

  • Epistemological Issues in the 1930s and Current Resonances

    Claude Imbert, Ècole Normale Supèrieure

  • National Contrasts in Cotemporary Philosophy of Science

    Pierre Jacob, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

    Commentator: Stanley Rosen, Boston University

May 7th

Morning Session, 9:00am – 12:00pm

  • Canguilhem and the Idea of Life

    Henri Atlan, Hôpital de l’Hotel-Dieu and Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem

  • Canguilhem’s Conceptions on the Normal and the Pathological

    Claude Debru, Institute de Recherche sur les Fondemonts et les Enjeux de Sciences et des Techniques

  • To Be Announced

    Jean Grayon, Universitè de Bourgogne

    Commentator: Arthur Goldhammer and Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University

Afternoon Session, 2:00pm – 6:00pm

  • Foucault: A Paradoxical Link Between Canguilhem and SSK

    François Balibar, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

  • The French Foucault and the American One

    Christian Delacampagne, French Consulate

  • Text Archaeology in French History and Philosophy of Science

    Catherine Chevalley, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

    Commentator: Jeffrey Mehlman, Boston University and Louis-Georges Schwartz, University of Iowa

Evening Session, 8:00pm – 10:00pm

  • Foucault, l’èpistemologie et l’histoire

    François Delaporte, Universitè de Picardie

    Commentator: Arnold Davidson, University of Chicago