Philosophy of Social Science Events

Upcoming Events | Past Events

Event: Workshop: Ampliative Reasoning in the Sciences

Event date May 18, 2017 - May 19, 2017
Submission deadline March 01, 2017
Location Ghent University
Host(s) Logical and Methodological Analysis of Scientific Reasoning Processes (LMASRP) Network
Event website/information



 Ghent University, 18 & 19 May 2017. 

The scope of this workshop

Charles Peirce introduced the term “ampliative” for reasoning in which the  conclusion of an argument goes beyond that what is already contained in its premises (Collected Papers 2.623).  This is how the term is still standardly used in contemporary  logic and philosophy of science, and how it is to be understood in the title of this workshop.

The workshop is devoted to the philosophical analysis of different forms of ampliative reasoning as they occur in scientific practice. Abduction – forming explanatory hypotheses starting from a phenomenon that requires explanation – is one such form. A second example is inductive generalisation based on (limited) observations. Other important types are reasoning by analogy and causal reasoning (in which we arrive at a conclusion about a causal relation starting from non-causal premises).

Ampliative reasoning can be studied by philosophers from three perspectives: formal (philosophical logic, probability theory), methodological (philosophy of science, epistemology) and historical (integrated history & philosophy of science). We aim at a mix of contributions from all these perspectives.

Examples of topics within the first perspective, are

  • Modeling ampliative reasoning processes (abduction, induction, analogical reasoning, …) by means of formal logics.
  • Modeling these ampliative reasoning processes by means of probability theory.
  • Prospects and limitations of the use of formal methods in the study of ampliative reasoning.

Examples of topics within the second perspective, are:

  • Varieties of evidence in causal reasoning.
  • Benefits and risks of abductive reasoning and inference to the best explanation.
  • Benefits and risks of inductive generalisations.
  • Drawing inferences based on scientific models.

Examples of topics within the third perspective, are:

  • Ampliative reasoning in the work of important early modern physical scientists , such as Copernicus, Newton, Galilei , …
  • Ampliative reasoning in the work of more recent influential scientists (19th and 20th century) both in the physical sciences and in the life sciences, the behavioural sciences and the social sciences.
  • Philosophical reflection on ampliative reasoning in the work of philosophers such as Mill, Whewell, Peirce, Popper, the logical empiricists, …

Keynote speakers

Chiara Ambrosio (University College London)
Ulrike Hahn (Birkbeck – University of London and LMU Munich)
Bert Leuridan (University of Antwerp)

How to submit an abstract

We welcome submissions on any topic that fits into the scope as described above. Send your abstract of 300 to 500 words to:  before 1 March 2017.
Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2017.


More information about the workshop (venue, registration, …) is available at The programme will be available there in April.


This workshop is organized by the scientific research network Logical and Methodological Analysis of Scientific Reasoning Processes (LMASRP) which is sponsored by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).

All information about the network can be found at

An overview of the previous workshops of the network can be found at

Bookmark the permalink.