|Event date||September 08, 2014 - September 11, 2014|
|Submission deadline||January 31, 2014|
|Location||University of Cologne|
|Host(s)||Marie I. Kaiser and Alexander Reutlinger|
International Conference on
“Causality and Complexity in the Sciences”
University of Cologne
September 8-11, 2014
DFG Research Group Causation | Laws | Dispositions | Explanation
This conference is an event in the conference series “Causality in the
CONFIRMED PLENARY SPEAKERS
Laura Franklin-Hall (New York University)
Mara Harrell (Carnegie Mellon University)
Paul Humphreys (University of Virginia)
Meinard Kuhlmann (University of Bielefeld)
Álvaro Moreno (University of the Basque Country)
Gry Oftedal (University of Oslo)
Cosma Shalizi (Carnegie Mellon University)
William Wimsatt (University of Chicago)
CALL FOR PAPERS
The aim of this conference is to investigate epistemological,
metaphysical and conceptual aspects of causality in the sciences dealing
with complex systems. We invite submissions of abstracts (800-1000
words) focusing on the following questions regarding the relationships
between causality and complexity:
1. Conceptual Issues Regarding Complexity and Causation
• What is an adequate explication of complexity?
• Which lessons can we learn from a particular explication of
complexity regarding our concept of causality?
• What is causal complexity? Is it a genuine kind of complexity? How
does it differ from other notions of complexity?
2. Complexity, Causality and Scientific Explanation
• Can the behavior of a complex system be explained in terms of its
parts and their interactions?
• Are the explanations of the behavior of complex systems typically
mechanistic explanations or, more generally, causal explanations? Or do
they constitute a distinct kind of non-mechanistic or non-causal
explanation (e.g., mathematical explanations)?
• Which role do idealizations and “ignoring causal details” play in the
explanation of the behavior of a complex system?
• Do causal explanations of complex behaviors pose a challenge to
received views of scientific understanding?
3. Complexity, Causation, and Emergence
• Is the macro-behavior of complex systems emergent?
• If so, is emergence to be understood as an epistemic or as a
• Are causal facts about complex systems typically emergent facts?
• Do the insights in the causal structure of complex systems require
that received philosophical assumptions about causation (e.g. the
non-existence of downward causation) ought to be revised?
4. Epistemic Strategies for Dealing with (Causal) Complexity
• How do scientists in different fields deal with the (causal)
complexity of the subjects they investigate? Is it possible to identify
general, trans-disciplinary strategies (e.g., reductionistic methods,
randomized controlled trials, experiments, computational strategies,
• How can the adequacy of such strategies be assessed?
• Does the application of such strategies give rise to certain kinds of
Note: We would like to emphasize that submissions dealing with the
interplay of causality and complexity will be preferred to submissions
addressing only either one of the topics.
Deadline for submission: January 31, 2014
Notification of acceptance: Early April, 2014
Conference: September 8-11, 2014
Please submit your abstract to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information please visit the website of the conference
In case you have any further question please contact the local
Marie I. Kaiser (email@example.com)
Alexander Reutlinger (Alexander.Reutlinger@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Steering committee of the conference series “Causality in the
Isabelle Drouet (Philosophy, Paris-Sorbonne)
Phyllis Illari (Science and Technology Studies, UCL)
Bert Leuridan (Philosophy, Ghent)
Julian Reiss (Philosophy, Durham)
Federica Russo (Ferrara and Kent)
Erik Weber (Philosophy, Ghent)
Jon Williamson (Philosophy, Kent)