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Tufts philosophy professor to speak

March 10, 2009

Eliminative reasoning plays an important inferential role in the sciences; if you rule out all other possibilities, the remaining hypothesis, however improbable, must be the truth. Yet there are philosophical problems with this view. Professor Patrick Forber, who specializes in philosophy of biology and probability, will respond to these problems and argue that scientists can rely on eliminative reasoning to build a case for their hypotheses.

Philosopher of science and probability

On Friday, March 13 at 4:10 p.m. in the Lory Student Center, room 213-215, Professor Patrick Forber, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, will give a talk titled, A New Kind of Eliminative Inference. This event is free and open to the public.

(Photo at right: Professor Patrick Forber)

Reasoning in the sciences

This talk will delve into reasoning in science today and how it relies heavily on statistical evidence.  Forber argues that eliminative reasoning can play a role in science that is compatible with probabilistic approaches to evidence.  

The new kind of eliminative inference is a crucial part of case building, a scientific activity that determines the context for evaluating statistical evidence. I will illustrate the process of case building with examples taken from molecular evolutionary biology. 

Forber renowned in his field

Professor Forber has received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and has since acquired a bit of a superstar status in his field.

He has collaborated with E. Sober (Wisconsin/Stanford), B. Skyrms (UCI), M. Friedman (Stanford), K. Sterelney (ANU), P. Godfrey-Smith (Harvard), P. Suppes (CSLI), and P. Kitcher (Columbia) among others. He is currently working on issues in confirmation in science.

Colorado State University Department of Philosophy 
More information

Contact: Joycebeth Emanuel
Phone: (970) 491-6315