Newton and Empiricism

Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
10-11 April 2010

Invited Speaker: Lisa Downing (OhioState)
Program Committee: Zvi Biener (WesternMichiganUniversity), J. E. McGuire
(University of Pittsburgh), and Eric Schliesser (University of Leiden)

Call for papers

Isaac Newton and John Locke are sometimes portrayed as dual fathers of the
British Enlightenment, with Newton providing the exemplar of human knowledge
and Locke providing the philosophical infrastructure required for
understanding the merit and reach of that exemplar. Yet their union was
neither simple nor unchallenged. Newton’s empiricism developed while
defending and revising his Principia against philosophical critique, and
Locke’s hospitability to Newtonian gravity and realization of Newton’s
achievement developed through successive drafts of the Essay and other
texts. Moreover, similar complexity exists in the work of Newton’s and Locke’s
intellectual heirs. This conference will focus on the compatibility and
incompatibility, tensions, and developing relations between Newton, Locke,
and their successors in Newtonianism and Empiricism.

The conference will take place on 10-11 April 2010 at the Center for
Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh. Possible conference
participants should note that Catherine Wilson (University of Aberdeen) will
deliver an Annual Lecture Series Talk for the Center for Philosophy of
Science on the afternoon of 9 April 2010. Conference participants are
encouraged to attend.

Partial travel stipends will be available for young scholars, who are highly
encouraged to submit abstracts.

The deadline for submitting abstracts (of approximately 750 words) is 1
December 2009. Email submissions are highly encouraged and can be sent to
Zvi Biener at [email protected]. If you do not receive confirmation of
receipt of your abstract within a week, please resubmit or contact the

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