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Event: Conference: Reviving Instrumentalism in Philosophy of Science

Event date July 15, 2019 - July 16, 2019
Submission deadline May 12, 2019
Location UK
Host(s) The Department of Philosophy – Durham University
Event website/information For further info, write to

Reviving Instrumentalism in Philosophy of Science

Announcement and Call for Abstracts

The Department of Philosophy – Durham University, supported by The British Society for Philosophy of Science (BSPS) and the Knowledge for Use (K4U) project, is organizing a two-day conference entitled “Reviving Instrumentalism in Philosophy of Science”. The conference will take place on the 15th  and 16th July 2019 at Durham University.

Instrumentalism in the philosophy of science is a position with a long history. However, and due to the rise of realism in the last forty years or so, Instrumentalism has been unfortunately neglected and has since fallen out of favour. The conference aims to bring instrumentalism back to the fore, by providing an opportunity for both proponents and opponents to discuss the merits of instrumentalism and challenges that may be leveled against it. Staunch realists of the more selective or local kind may even find in it a viable option in areas such as fundamental physics. In essence, this conference is a modest effort to restore Instrumentalism to its rightful place at the heart of the realism debate and to suggest new ways of taking the debate forward.



15th – 16th July 2019



School of Education, Room ED130, Durham University, Leazes Road, Durham, DH1 1TA


Keynote Speakers:

Nancy Cartwright (Durham University)

Julian Reiss (Durham University)

Darrell P. Rowbottom (Lingnan University)

  1. Kyle Stanford (University of California Irvine)
  2. Brad Wray (Aarhus University)


Abstract Submission:

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words. Submissions should be either .docx or .pdf format. Each submission should include the author’s name, institution and e-mail address. Submissions should also include a CV of no more than 2,000 words. All submissions should be sent to with subject heading “Instrumentalism Conference Speaker”.


We hope to be able to offer modest bursaries to junior scholars and PhD students wishing to submit an abstract (subject to ongoing funding applications).



Sunday 12th May 2019



The British Society for Philosophy of Science (BSPS) and Durham University’s Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS) and Knowledge for Use (K4U)




Please confirm your attendance by sending an email with your details to with subject heading “Instrumentalism Conference Attendee”.


Please e-mail with any questions related to the conference.

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