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Explanation and Reduction in the Sciences (The Third Jerusalem-MCMP Workshop in the Philosophy of Science)

Jerusalem, 8.-10. February 2018

Idea and Motivation

What is a scientific explanation? Which theories of scientific explanation should we embrace? What does it mean to say that some scientific explanations are reductive? To what extent do some scientific explanations support particular versions ontological reductionism or physicalism? The participants of this workshop will address these questions in the context of explanatory practices in cognitive science and physics.



Day 1 (Thursday, 8 February 2018)

09:30 - 09:50 Gathering and Refreshments
09:50 - 10:00 Opening
10:00 - 11:15 Ophelia Deroy: From Explanatory Gap to Explanatory Division in Cognitive Neuroscience
11:15 - 12:30 Oron Shagrir and Lotem Elber-Dorozko: Computation and the Mechanistic Hierarchy
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:15 Orly Shenker: Flat Physicalism
15:15 - 16:30 Stephan Hartmann: Hawking Radiation and Analogue Experiments: A Bayesian Analysis
16:30 - 16:45 Coffee Break
16:45 - 17:30 Reuben Stern: Antireductionist Interventionism
19:00 Conference Dinner

Day 2 (Friday, 9 February 2018)

09:00 - 10:15 Mario Günther: Interventionist Mental Causation and the Methods of Cognitive Neuroscience: The Explanatory Merit of Functional Reduction
10:15 - 11:30 Arnon Levy: Must the Best Explanation Be True?
11:30 - 11:45 Coffee Break
11:45 - 13:00 Ori Hacohen: Mental Representations in Cognitive Explanations
13:00 - 13:15 Concluding remarks

Day 3 (Saturday, 10 February 2018)

Day trip for participants


Practical Information


The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine)


The conference is supported by The Sydney M. Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicinethe Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences (GSN) and the Munich Center for Neurosciences (MCN).