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Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science Presents

Meghan Page, "The Role of Historical Science in Methodological Actualism"

9/13/19, 3:35 PM

About this event

The Role of Historical Science in Methodological Actualism

Meghan Page

Department of Philosophy, Loyola University

Abstract: Much of the most reliable information about the nature of climate change comes from investigations into the deep past. However, most philosophical accounts of historical science imply that historical reconstructions exploit our knowledge of the world’s causal structure rather than contribute to it. I challenge these accounts by examining an important distinction in geology between uniformitarianism and actualism. I argue that actualism (the preferred methodology of geologists) often requires the use of historical reconstructions to determine whether processes that are presumed to be stable may drastically alter over large time periods. As a result, historical science helps uncover the causal structure of natural processes

This public lecture is free, no registration is required.
Contact: Janet McKernan mcps@umn.edu 612-625-6635
Event Location
  • Coffman Memorial Union Theater
  • 300 Washington Ave SE
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA - United States