The History of Thermodynamics and Scientific Realism (Call for Papers)

A one-day workshop, to be held on Tuesday 12th May 2015, at Durham University, Durham, UK.

Keynote speakers: Keith Hutchison (Melbourne) Ben Marsden (Aberdeen) Owen Maroney (Oxford)

Themes of the meeting

*Shedding light on episodes in the history of thermodynamics (both distant and recent) which bear on the scientific realism debate. Especially thinking about cases where historical actors made use of false assumptions to achieve striking explanatory successes, and especially use-novel and temporally-novel predictive successes.

* Bringing case studies from thermodynamics to bear on philosophical positions, especially those coming under the broad heading of ‘scientific realism’.

* Discussions of ‘selective’ or ‘divide et impera’ realism which make reference to thermodynamics (past and present).

This event will comprise roughly equal numbers of historians and philosophers of science. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be emailed to, by 31st January 2014 at the latest.

Decisions will be made very soon thereafter. Some of the travel/accommodation costs of accepted speakers will be covered, but speakers should expect to cover some of the costs through their home institution. Please email if you require further details.