From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics East Asia 2018 Summer Institute

An international summer institute in philosophy of science will be held July 19, 2018 (arrival date) until July 27 (departure date) in Taipei, Taiwan. The institute will be organized exclusively for PhD students and recent PhDs (regardless of employment) who apply and are subsequently accepted for admission. Preference will be given to applicants in the East Asian area including China (PRC), Hong-Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The summer institute will be part of a research project called “From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics” funded by the John Templeton Foundation.


Scientific metaphysics is based on the idea that metaphysics – the study of what the world is ultimately like – should be informed by the remarkable success of science. This project involves analyzing what kinds of practices are successful in science, and then asking what the world might ultimately be like such that these kinds of practices are successful. The inference from the form of successful practice to the general nature of the world is motivated by the idea that the practices of science have been adapted to work in the real world, that is, the world that scientists actually engage.


The 2018 Summer Institute will center on themes of the sponsored research project and the research of its four principal investigators: Alan Love (University of Minnesota, USA), C. Kenneth Waters (University of Calgary, Canada), Marcel Weber (University of Geneva, Switzerland), and William Wimsatt (University of Chicago, USA). Previous summer institutes were held in Basel, Switzerland and in Calgary, Canada.


The East Asia Summer Institute will be held over seven full days (not counting the arrival and departure days). A primary emphasis of the institute will be the professional development of junior scholars, both students and recent PhDs. It will offer an opportunity for participants to gain knowledge of important bodies of philosophical literature on metaphysics, scientifically informed metaphysics, and scientific practices. The institute is also aimed at developing an intellectual community among participants including graduate students and recent PhDs from East Asia and the graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and senior researchers associated with the project. This will help participants make connections with researchers who share interests in philosophy of science, philosophy of scientific practice, and metaphysics.


Confirmed participants will be expected to read sources from a select bibliography in advance of the summer institute. During the institute, time will be set aside for several distinct types of activity including seminar colloquia (lectures with extended open discussions), working group question preparation time, office hours, senior scholar interviews, and organized dinners.


Confirmed participants will receive stipends (to be paid after the institute concludes) to offset their travel, lodging, meeting, and meal costs. Although these expenses will not be reimbursed, the amount of each participant’s stipend will be based on the facilitators’ prediction of the individual’s anticipated expenses. Participants of previous institutes have indicated that stipends were sufficient to cover the costs of traveling to and participating in the summer institutes.


Ruey-Lin Chen of National Chung Cheng University will be the local coordinator of the East Asia Summer Institute. Applications can be found at here. Questions about the summer institute may be sent to Professor Chen ( or Professor Waters (


Application deadline: For full considerations, applications must be submitted by January