Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

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Analogical Reasoning in Science and Mathematics (26 - 28 October 2018)


Idea and Motivation

Analogy is a powerful, yet controversial, tool of scientific reasoning. Indeed, many achievements in the history of science and mathematics have been driven by analogical inferences. Moreover, one can formulate conjectures about domains into which one does not have empirical access just based on analogy with other known domains. Nonetheless, from a logical point of view analogical inferences do not yield conclusions with certainty. So, what is it that justifies the use of analogy in science and mathematics? And how reliable is analogical reasoning? This conference will address such open philosophical problems.


Day 1 (26 October 2018)

14:00 - 14:30 Registration
14:30 - 15:30 Paul Bartha: "Finding a Home for Analogical Reasoning: Analogy and Models of Inductive Inference"
15:30 - 16:15 Antonella Foligno: "Models as Structures for Epistemic Representation"
16:15 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 17:30 Silvia De Bianchi: "The Many Roads to Analogical Arguments"
17:30 - 18:15 Deniz Sarikaya and Karl Heuer: "Analogical Results as Data for Theory Choice in Mathematical Research: The Case of Infinite Graph Theory"

Day 2 (27 October 2018)

10:00 - 11:00 Silvia Jonas: "Analogical Reasoning and Non-Empirical Domains"
11:00 - 11:45 Gavin Thomson: "Analogical Thinking and Applied Category Theory: An Inferentialist-Structuralist Approach"
11:45 - 12:15 Coffee Break
12:15 - 13:15 Mazviita Chirimuuta: "Your Brain is Like a Computer: Function, Analogy, Simplification"
13:15 - 15:00 Lunch
15:00 - 15:45 Wolfgang Pietsch: "A Causal Approach to Analogical Inference"
15:45 - 16:45 Jennifer Jhun: "Idealization in Analogical Reasoning"
16:45 - 17:15 Coffee Break
17:15 - 18:00 Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla and Alexander Gebharter: "Confirmation Based on Analogical Inference: Bayes meets Jeffrey"
18:00 Drinks
19:30 Conference Dinner

Day 3 (28 October 2018)

10:00 - 11:00 Benedikt Löwe: "What Makes Stories Similar?" Methodological Lessons Learned From an Empirical Research Project
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 - 12:30 Michele Ginammi: "Expecting the Rules of Chess to Reflect Those of the Solar System"


The conference is organized by the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (LMU Munich). The conference is partly funded by support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, META at the Politecnico di Milano and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 709265

Photo Credits

Header background: Der_Canoniker, "Nautilus pompilius". Some right reserved (desaturated from original). Source: