Matters of Substance: Philosophical, Medical and Scientific Perspectives, 1700-1900

Durham University St Chad’s College 28-30 August 2006

Objectives The objectives of the conference are: (i) to identify the conceptual, theoretical and experimental context of the identification of the elements in 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century chemistry; (ii) to identify the conceptual, theoretical, experimental and clinical context of substances in 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century medicine and pharmacology; (iii) to identify central historiographical issues and sources in the investigation of the development of the concept of chemical substance; (iv) to identify and address, through the work of historical and contemporary philosophers, key philosophical questions connected with the concept of chemical substance, which will include differing conceptions of substance identity and its relationship to microphysical structure and experimental methods, and the distinction between elements, compounds and mixtures.

Rational The concept of a chemical substance is central to the foundations of both the physical and biomedical sciences. This conference will make and renew contacts between philosophers and historians of science and medicine working on this relatively neglected topic, and thereby stimulate further research and interdisciplinary collaboration. The session topics are as follows:

Session 1: The Elements and Chemical Practice Session 2: Historiographical Issues of Substance: Sources and Practices Session 3: Medical Substances Session 4: Philosophical Issues of Substance

Speakers Dr. Hasok Chang (UCL), Prof D. M. Knight (Durham), Prof Helge Kragh (Aarhus), Prof Andreas-Holger Maehle (Durham), Dr. Jonathan Simon (Institut Louis Pasteur), Georgette Taylor (UCL), Dr. M.D. Eddy (Durham), PD Dr. Ursula Klein (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science), Dr. Robin Hendry (Durham), Prof E.J. Lowe (Durham), Dr Paul Needham (Stockholm) and Dr John Christie (Leeds).


Registration The registration fee the conference is £30. Registration forms will be posted to the workshop’s webpage shortly. Attendees will be able to book accommodation and meals in St Chad’s College.

For more information, please contact: Dr Matthew D Eddy ([email protected]) or Dr Robin F Hendry ([email protected])

This conference is being sponsored by the British Academy, Durham University’s Dean of Arts Research Fund and the British Society for the Philosophy of Science.