A. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND ASSESSORS
The new Executive Committee took office on 1 January 2008 with six members. But the number of members dropped effectively to four. Our first loss was when in 2009 our Past President, Adolf Grünbaum, asked to be dropped from the Executive Committee mailing list because of failing health. We sorely missed his experience and his generous optimism.
The second loss was our Secretary General, Peter Clark, who was compelled to stand down through a family tragedy. In effect the responsibilities of Secretary General were taken over by other members of the EC, and this explains the lack of a Secretary's Report. But we would hardly have survived without the generous help of Dag Westerståhl, the previous Secretary General, who agreed to stand in as Acting Secretary General until this meeting, in spite of his many other commitments.
The EC held its meetings by e-mail. This saved some money, and it allowed us to respond reasonably quickly when issues came up, and also to discuss some things at leisure.
Members of the EC and Assessors carried out various duties and contributed to a number of policy discussions - the Nominating Committee is one example among many. I record my personal warm thanks for all this help and support.
The DLMPS website announced by Dag Westerståhl at the 2007 General Assembly has been maintained and updated, and can now be found at www.dlmps.org. The site is expected to pay a key role in supporting the planned divisional Commissions.
One of the stated objectives of DLMPS is "to collect documents useful for the development of logic, methodology and philosophy of science", and it would be odd if we didn't collect our own General Assembly minutes. In fact these (from the 1962 Assembly onwards) have been published in the journal Synthese. We intend to continue publishing them there, but now they are all publicly available on our website too. We thank the journal Synthese for agreeing to this.
Another item on the website is the full membership list, including postal (not e-mail) addresses and some historical information. The list is up to date and includes verified contacts for all National Committees - with the exception of Monaco which seems to have no National Committee. We thank the many people who helped us to bring the list up to date; in some cases this involved volunteering to revive a National Committee.
C. IUHPS, DHST AND THE JOINT COMMISSION
DLMPS and its sister division DHST (formerly DHS) form the two divisions of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, IUHPS. Since 1999 the relations between the two Divisions have nominally been regulated by a Joint Agreement, which describes in particular (1) how responsibility for IUHPS is allocated between the two Divisions, and (2) the arrangements governing the Joint Commission, which arranges meetings of interest to both Divisions. An update of this Joint Agreement was agreed at the 2007 General Assembly.
In the event, neither of the two Executives was happy with this document, for various reasons. In April 2009 we approached the DHST Executive with a view to getting the facts about the Joint Commission straight. They responded by inviting representatives of our EC to have a lunch meeting with them during the 2009 Congress of DHST in Budapest. This very useful meeting led to several exchanges aimed at improving the Joint Agreement - until DLMPS decided to abandon the attempt and do what DHST does already, namely to count the Joint Commission as one of their Commissions, regulated by their Statutes. At the same time we agreed with DHST a plan to convert the DHST Teaching Commission into a Commission of both Divisions. The move to set up Commissions, including these two and two others internal to DLMPS, appears later on today's agenda and is certainly one of the major changes in the organisation of DLMPS since it was first set up in 1956. Since DHST already has Commissions, we were happy to be able to take advice from DHST on how to operate these.
So the arrangements for running IUHPS are no longer in any document agreed between the two Divisions. In practice this was no problem while the two Divisions kept in touch. But for the future I would recommend to my successor to make some arrangement with DHST about setting up an IUHPS web page on one or both of the Division websites. It should include the IUHPS Statutes (if this document can be found!), and might also include a shorter version of the Joint Agreement material about the Divisions' responsibility for IUHPS.
For 2010-2011 the responsibility for finding a Joint Commission Chair rested with DLMPS. We are immensely grateful to Imre Hronszky for taking up this post at short notice and in face of serious difficulties; the Joint Commission Symposium which he organised at this Congress is a most valuable part of the programme. We also thank DHST for the support and encouragement that they have given to Imre.
During 2010-2011 we have the presidency of IUHPS and hence responsibility for dealings with ICSU. We have handled a number of requests that came from or through ICSU, and the President attended an ICSU meeting of Scientific Unions in Paris in April 2010. Also at the start of 2010 DHST appointed an Assistant Secretary General, Karine Chemla, with the new task of handling consultations that came from ICSU. This seems a good idea which DLMPS might follow, provided that the membership list is kept up to date so that National Committees can be consulted by e-mail. We have invited Karine to attend a meeting of DLMPS Council at Nancy as a representative of the DHST Executive.
The 2007 General Assembly invited the Executive to start negotiations 'in a positive spirit' with CIPSH (Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines) about DLMPS becoming a member of CIPSH, which is in some sense a humanities equivalent of ICSU. This we have done, and we are waiting to hear from CIPSH whether our membership is approved.
D. THE NANCY CONGRESS
One major responsibility of the DLMPS is to appoint a Programme Chair and a General Programme Committee for the International Congress. We are very grateful to the members of the General Programme Committee, and to the Programme Chair Peter Schroeder-Heister in particular, for agreeing to take on these important jobs. We also noted two problems that have become almost traditional for DLMPS programme committees and are probably not independent. (1) The wide spread of interests in DLMPS, ranging from axiomatic set theory to philosophy of medicine, makes it hard to produce a coherent programme. (2) Among the large number of people involved in drawing up the programme, some people, particularly in what might be called the more fringe areas, do not take their job seriously, which can lead to less than ideal choices of speaker. We responded to problem (1) by borrowing an idea from DHST, that each Congress should have a published theme. The theme that we proposed for the Nancy Congress was 'Logic and Science facing the New Technologies'. We responded to problem (2) by encouraging the Programme Chair to work with a slimmer set of programme advisers. Our successors will need to judge whether these two moves were helpful. Another traditional problem with DLMPS programmes is that some groups, either subject or national groups, feel under-represented in the programme. We did nothing to counter this problem, regarding it as at least partly a matter of random variations. But we were happy to know that the Programme Committee made considerable efforts to have a good geographical coverage within a sound scientific programme.
This is given as an appendix.
The number of applications for membership has risen to five. All the current applications, including those in the formal agenda, are listed below with some extra information. The EC recommends admission of all five members.
Applications (b1) and (d1) are from countries which earlier lost their membership through non-payment of dues. These applications should be handled as new membership applications, not applications for reinstatement.
Since applications (d1) and (d2) were received after the agenda had been sent out, the Statutes imply that a decision to accept these two members will need the support of a majority of possible votes of the present members, not just a majority of the votes present at the General Assembly. If (as is unlikely) there are not enough votes available at the General Assembly, we will have to seek further votes by e-mail after the Congress.
(b1) Korea, ordinary membership with Category B.
Korea (strictly the Republic of Korea) is represented by the Korean Society for the Philosophy of Science. Korea was a member from 1983 to 1995.
(b2) The Société de Philosophie des Sciences, international membership with Category B.
The applicant provided the following information.
"Our society was founded in 2002, following a constituent assembly which 17 of us, most of the senior members of the profession, called on the occasion of the Joint Session which was organised in Paris, at Ecole Normale Supérieure.
Since then, we have held three plenary congresses, the first in Paris, the second in Geneva and the last in Paris again. The next congress will be held in Montreal.
We have recently revamped our website, which you may want to glance at http://www.sps-philoscience.org/. We intend it as a powerful tool to communicate and to collaborate.
At present we are finalising the set-up of a peer-reviewed internet-based bilingual journal, entitled Lato Sensu. Which brings me to the purpose of the Société: to bring together and to further the goals of all those who are involved in philosophy of science lato sensu, extending to other disciplines whose object is science (history, sociology, science studies proper....) but also logic, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of medicine, bio- and clinical ethics, etc., the focus remaining philosophy. We seek participation not only from scholars affiliated with academic organisations in France, both in philosophy and in other disciplines, especially the natural and social sciences, but from all those working in French-speaking areas of the globe and those involved in collaborations with, or with an active interest in the work of this community. French and English are the working languages of the Société, with an obligation for French native speakers to use French whenever circumstances allow.
Besides the website and biennial congress, we have a yearly Prize for Young Scholars and the yearly Duhem Lectures. These lectures, and volumes stemming from the congresses, are published in a special series at the academic publisher Vuibert, which also now publishes a general series in philosophy of science with the same editor, Prof. Thierry Martin, our present President.
We are at present entirely self-supported, our only resources being membership fees and registration fees. The Ministry of Higher Education and Research has however encouraged us to seek their formal and financial support, and we are hopeful.
In all our activities, we follow internationally-sanctioned norms for our deliberations and selection procedures.
We are a very vital learned society, and the rise of remarkable young scholars with an enviable international reputation and a sense of the communal good is quite heartening to those of us who started the society and are approaching retirement. From the very start, we were fortunate to benefit from the trust, energy and creativity of these young people, now our esteemed colleagues, or soon to be. We have many plans for the future, and hope to contribute to the European and international development of our field."
(c) Estonia, ordinary membership with Category A.
The Baltic States were admitted as a member in 1995. There are contradictory records of whether this was as an Ordinary Member or an International Member. The Estonian National Committee proposes to resolve the problem by renaming the member as Estonia and making it an Ordinary Member with Category A (thus in practice doubling the dues paid). The EC recommends accepting this proposal.
(d1) Italy, ordinary membership with Category A.
Italy is represented by the Società Italiana di Logica e Filosofia delle Scienze (SILFS). Italy became a member of DLMPS before 1962, and hosted the International Congress in Florence in 1995. Its membership was terminated in 2007 Joined in 1983, with Category A. Membership was terminated in 1995 for non-payment of dues, though since 1991 its Category was set at D, which was probably unrealistic.
(d2) The European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA), international membership with Category A.
The following is taken from the website of EPSA at www.epsa.ac.at.
"The European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA) was established in 2007, registered in Vienna, Austria and hosted by the Institute Vienna Circle. EPSA was brought to life by the recognition that the time was ripe for a forum that would bring together professional philosophers of science and students from the whole of Europe (and the rest of the world) and foster collaboration and exchange of ideas among them.
The general aim of the EPSA is to promote and advance philosophy of science in Europe. It does so
Membership to EPSA is open to everyone, irrespective of nationality."
President: Michael Matthews (Australia).
Secretary: Costas Skordoulis (Greece).
The DHST Teaching Commission
In mid-2007 the Teaching Commission was reconstituted. Professor Michael Matthews (UNSW), accepted the position of President of the Commission and Professor Costas Skordoulis (University of Athens) accepted the position of Secretary of the Commission. The web site of the Teaching Commission was then established: http://dhst-tc.org This commission has over the past three years staged two conferences and has supported financially the First Regional Latin American conference of the IHPST group. It is sponsoring a symposium on The History of Science Textbooks at the coming July 2011 IHPST meeting in Thessaloniki (see Newsletter item # 9 above).
Proposed Aims of the Joint Commission
The following draft aims (adopted from the existing aims of the DHST Teaching Commission) are being considered by the council of the DLMPS at the July Nancy congress. It is proposed that the initial three aims or purposes of the Joint Teaching Commission be:
First, a disciplinary aim: to assist in the better and more informed teaching of history of science and philosophy of science as subjects in universities, and in high schools where appropriate.
[ELABORATION] This goal can be achieved by advertising teaching materials, books, web sites, holding symposia and conferences on teaching history and philosophy of science, etc. An important part of this function will be served by better and more sophisticated use of web communication, for instance by trying to link together the Teaching Committees (or their equivalents) of the different national History of Science and Philosophy of Science societies and associations. This linkage can also include web sites of historical and philosophical committees of different national and international science and mathematics disciplinary associations (Eg, those of the AAAS and AAPT in the USA).
Second, an applied aim: to promote the utilisation of history and philosophy of science in university and school science and humanities courses, and especially in programmes for the preparation of science teachers.
[ELABORATION] This aim can also be achieved by advertising curricular materials especially national statements such as are found in the US Science Education Standards and the Norwegian Education Framework, bringing HPS&ST books and appropriate web sites to the attention of science teachers and teacher educators, holding symposia and conferences on teaching history and philosophy of science, maintaining a web site listing all relevant research literature and reports pertaining to the teaching of history [or philosophy] of science, etc. Again there are a number of national HPS&ST associations, and sub-groups within larger science education associations, that can be linked together on the web and hence back to the joint DHST/DLMPS Teaching Commission website. This applied purpose could be furthered by better linking the work of the joint Teaching Commission to that of the International History, Philosophy and Science Teaching Group (IHPST) that has been in existence for twenty years, that holds biennial international and regional conferences, that produces a widely distributed monthly web-based newsletter, and that has its own website (www.ihpst.org).
Third a cultural aim: to show that the history and philosophy of science can contribute positively to a better understanding and perhaps resolution of some of the major issues of contemporary cultural and intellectual conflict involving multiculturalism, globalization, modernization, and supposed science and religion conflicts.
[ELABORATION] Re-examination of the European Enlightenment and the contemporary appraisal of its core arguments could be one component of this cultural purpose that the joint Teaching Commission might promote. As an indicator of the current international interest in these three aims of the joint TC it can be noted that the Springer journal Science and Education: Contributions from the History and Philosophy of Science and Mathematics is now in its 20th year, is published ten times per year, has had hundreds of historians, philosophers and educators contributing to and reviewing for it, and has a large readership (there were 65,150 article-downloads in 2009, and 73, 507 to the end of November in 2010).
Chair: Tony Street (UK).
Secretary: Wilfrid Hodges (UK).
For the purposes of the Commission, 'Arabic Logic' means logic done in any of the traditions that are influenced in some way by the work of, among others, Ibn al-Muqaffa', Al-Farabi, Avicenna or Averroes; this includes the logic taught today in madrasas, as well as the logic developed in the Lebanon by the early modern Christian philosophers. Most publications in these traditions have been in Arabic, but 'Arabic Logic' is taken to cover derivative work in Persian, Kurdish or other languages. Important contributions to Arabic Logic have been made by scholars who have no Arabic but use translations.
The main aim of the Commission is to provide a forum for the growing international community of researchers on Arabic Logic, at all levels and from all backgrounds. A membership list will be maintained and will be available to all members via the Commission website; new members can join via this website. The website will also contain information on conferences relevant to Arabic Logic, and on publications in the field. The Commission hopes to sponsor some meetings on aspects of Arabic Logic. Other activities may evolve.
President/Chair: Sjoerd D. Zwart (Netherlands).
Statement of Aims:
The Commission takes technology to be the theory and practice of engineering. It considers the philosophy of technology therefore to refer to all philosophical issues regarding the goals, concepts and methods applied in the engineering sciences and engineering practices, broadly conceived, including their relation to foundational questions in the natural and social sciences. Instead of focusing on the relations between society and technology as such, the Commission encourages all philosophers to open the 'black box' of the in the words of Carl Mitcham 'humanities philosophy of technology,' and study its contents. Analytical philosophy of technology in the sense just described started the second half of the twentieth century, and gaining momentum the last two decades, nowadays, it has become an established and mature member of the philosophy community.
The aims of the Commission are twofold. First, it intends to raise awareness among general philosophers about the interesting epistemic, normative and conceptual questions raised by the practices of engineers and the more general philosophical implications of the answers to these questions. Second, the Commission would like to establish a platform for the growing number of researchers, philosophers and engineers alike, to discuss, criticize and announce philosophy of technology related events.
To these ends the Commission website will provide a membership list, accessible for all members, who will be given the opportunity to announce relevant meetings and publications. Moreover, the Commission would like to arrive at a situation in which it can sponsor some relevant events.
ADDING PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY TO THE NAME OF DLMPS:
A position paper for the General Assembly of DLMPS, Nancy 2011
1. The following letter was addressed to the Presidents of IUHPS/DLMPS and IUHPS/DHST on 27 June 2008, by Claude Debru on behalf of the French National Committee of History and Philosophy of Science:
At its General Assembly on May 27 2008, the French National Committee of History and Philosophy of Science decided to make a new proposal, taking place after the proposal made by Professor Alexandre Herléa (France), then President of the International Committee of the History of Technology (ICOHTEC, member of the DHS) at the General Assembly of DHS in Beijing in 2005 of changing the name of the Division of the History of Science into "Division of the History of Science and Technology".
We propose the same modification for the name of the DLMPS, which could become "Division of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science and Technology", and thus to the name of IUHPS as well. We feel that this change would make us more ready to enter the new policy of ICSU of creating interdisciplinary research programmes. This proposal was also discussed at a more recent meeting of the COFUSI, which includes all French national committees. I am informing Mrs Catherine Bréchignac, President of the CNRS, of this proposal.
With warm regards, Professor Claude Debru
2. The Executive Committee of DLMPS felt that no decision about Professor Debru's proposal should be made before a General Assembly of DLMPS had a chance to discuss it. But we have done two things that might be seen as supporting Professor Debru's proposal. The first was to choose a theme for the Nancy Congress: 'Logic and science facing the new technologies'. The second was to include among the proposed new Commissions of DLMPS a Commission on Engineering and Technology.
In the paragraphs below we assemble some arguments that show how far philosophy of technology already is a part of the scope of DLMPS, making it entirely reasonable to add 'technology' to the name of DLMPS. We are aware of only one argument in the other direction, and we state it in Paragraph 11 below. For purposes of this document we have not distinguished between technology and engineering.
3. The last few decades have seen a steady increase of interest in the philosophy of technology. This seems to have several causes. Among philosophers of science, one could observe a natural generalization from pure science to applied science and hence to engineering. Also philosophy teachers who found themselves teaching technology students looked for helpful material for teaching these students. The material found was not just generalized from philosophy of science. For example the philosophy of engineering design has a significant input from aesthetics.
4. The development of a philosophy of technology gained a valuable focus in 2009 with the publication of the 1453-page Handbook of Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences, edited by Anthonie Meijers (North-Holland, Amsterdam). The Handbook is in six parts: I. Technology, Engineering and the Sciences; II. Ontology and Epistemology of Artifacts; III. Philosophy of Engineering Design; IV. Modelling in Engineering Sciences; V. Norms and Values in Technology and Engineering; VI. Philosophical Issues in Engineering Disciplines. The volume demonstrates the broad base that philosophy of technology has now achieved.
5. The connection of logic to philosophy of technology is essentially the same as its connection to philosophy of science. Namely, logic provides tools for formalizing definitions and arguments, and hence methods for modelling. The main relevant difference between science and technology is that in science the modelling is of the real world, and one asks about the faithfulness of the model to the world; whereas in technology an artefact is modelled before it is created, so that one asks about the faithfulness of the artefact to the model. But the notions of formalizing and modelling are essentially the same in both cases. As witness to this, two of the chapters in the section 'Modelling in the Engineering Sciences' in the Handbook above were written by logicians who are past or present Presidents of DLMPS (Wilfrid Hodges on semantics of modelling, Patrick Suppes on measurement). A third author in this chapter (Nancy Nersessian, on model-based reasoning) earlier this year became the first recipient of the Patrick Suppes prize for philosophy.
6. The place of philosophy of technology in the Congresses of DLMPS has been quite different in the 2000s from what it was in the 1960s. The published Proceedings of the Congresses in 1960, 1964 and 1968 contain nothing that one would naturally describe as philosophy of technology. But at Oviedo in 2003 there were a section on 'Ethics of Science and Technology', and a Symposium (provided by DHS) on 'Philosophy, Methodology and History of Technology'. At Beijing in 2007 a Symposium on Traditional Medicine had several talks with clear technological content. In Nancy there is a section on 'Methodological and Philosophical Issues in Technology'. Also the JC Symposium at Nancy, organized by Imre Hronszky as Chair of the Joint Commission between DLMPS and DHST, is on 'Development of cognition in technology and technosciences'. Its speakers include three of the authors of the Handbook discussed above (Gerhard Banse, Armin Grunwald, Joachim Schummer).
7. The message from Paragraphs 3-6 above is that adding philosophy of technology to the stated scope of DLMPS would be a natural expression of a trend that is already well established.
8. Our sister Division of History of Science and Technology added 'and Technology' to its name at its General Assembly in Beijing in 2005. So far as we can discover, there was no controversy about extending the name. But the International Committee for the History of Technology has been a Scientific Section of DHS(T) since 1968, and several Commissions of DHS(T) already had a strong technology component - for example the Scientific Instruments Commission. So the addition did no more than reflect the facts on the ground.
9. Formally DLMPS is a division of one of the component Scientific Unions of ICSU. Its justification for being attached to ICSU is partly historical. But ICSU regularly consults its member organisations and expects to be able to call on their expertise for the projects that it runs or supports. Also much of the funding for DLMPS comes from national academies and the like, and presumably many of these are supporting what they see as the Division's contribution to international scientific collaboration. Hence one can reasonably ask whether philosophy of technology is as relevant as philosophy of science to the kinds of scientific collaboration that ICSU supports and encourages.
In answer to this question, we note that ICSU has for decades been including technology with science. Thus at its General Assembly in Bombay in 1966, ICSU set up a Committee for Science and Technology in Developing Countries and a Committee on Data for Science and Technology.
In 2002 DLMPS provided a member for an ICSU Ad Hoc Review Committee on the Responsibilities of Science and Society. To quote from the Executive Summary of the Report of that Committee: "As the move towards a global knowledge economy gathers momentum, with an increasing premium on scientific knowledge and high technology, the time is ripe for a new international initiative that will advance the welfare of science as well as society."
10. To include 'technology', the changes required in the Statutes are as follows. Article 1 should become:
"ARTICLE 1 The objectives of the Division of the Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, hereinafter designated as the Division, are:
In Articles 5 and 12, 'Philosophy of Science' should be replaced by 'Philosophy of Science and Technology'.
Proposals to alter the Statutes must be circulated in the General Assembly agenda at least four months before the General Assembly.
11. The one undoubtedly negative consequence of adding 'technology' to the name of DLMPS would be that the name of the Division would become even longer and even less focussed than it already is. We think it would be irrational to reject the change for this reason alone. If the General Assembly approves the addition of 'technology' in principle, it would be sensible for it to ask the next Executive Committee to bring a proposal about the name to the next General Assembly in 2015 together with the required change in the Statutes.
12. In the light of the points above, we make the following recommendations.
(a) We RECOMMEND that the General Assembly should agree in principle that 'philosophy of science' in the stated scope of the Division should be expanded to 'philosophy of science and technology', and should ask the Executive Committee to bring to the 2015 General Assembly proposals for changes in the Statutes and the name of the Division to give effect to this expansion.
(b) We RECOMMEND that the General Assembly should ask the Executive Committee to consult with the officers of DHST with a view to changing the name of the Union so as to include technology.
The Executive Committee, IUHPS/DLMPS
27 June 2011
Ilkka Niiniluoto and Tarja Knuuttila have addressed the following invitation to the General Assembly.
"July 22, 2011
Division of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science
International Union of History and Philosophy of Science
INVITATION to host the 15th International Congress of LMPS in Helsinki in 2015
On behalf of the Finnish National Committee on Philosophy of Science it is our privilege to invite the 15th International Congress of Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science to meet in Helsinki in 2015.
Finland has a strong tradition in logic and philosophy of science, starting with Eino Kaila's introduction of logical empiricism in the 1920s and continued by his students and successors like Georg Henrik von Wright and Jaakko Hintikka. Today Helsinki is a stronghold of LMPS with research groups on history of logic, model theory, proof theory, game-theoretic logic, philosophical logic, scientific realism, causation and explanation, modeling, and philosophy of the social sciences.
The local Organizing Committee would be composed by representatives of the University of Helsinki, Aalto University, University of Tampere, and the Philosophical Society of Finland.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is an easily accessible and attractive city in Northern Europe. The venue of the congress, with all the necessary facilities, is the Main Building of the University of Helsinki, located in the neo-classical centre of Helsinki. Hotels can be provided at a walking distance from this building.
We wish you welcome to Helsinki in 2015!
Professor of Theoretical Philosophy
Chancellor of the University of Helsinki
Docent of Theoretical Philosophy
Research Fellow of the Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Study"