First Principles in Science: Their Epistemic Status and Justification

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Robin Hendry is a Professor and a Head of Department in the Department of Philosophy at Durham University. Robin’s research interests include philosophical issues in chemistry, metaphysical issues in science, in particular unity and natural kinds, and epistemology. In philosophy of chemistry, his research includes questions such as the nature of chemical substances and the chemical bond, the historical development of the concept of a substance, and foundational aspects of the chemical bond and its physical realization. Robin is the author of Philosophy of Chemistry (Amsterdam: North-Holland, 2012), co-edited with Paul Needham and Andrea Woody. He is also currently completing a monograph on the The Metaphysics of Chemistry as well as a textbook on the Philosophy of Chemistry. He holds a research fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. For more information, visit his website.

Kevin Hoover is a Professor of Economics at Duke University. Kevin’s research interests include macroeconomics, monetary economics, the history of economics, and the philosophy and methodology of empirical economics. Kevin is a former fellow of the National Humanities Center and a past recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation and the Trent Foundation. Kevin was the President of the History of Economics Society, past Chair of the International Network for Economic Method and former editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology. He is currently an associate editor of the journal History of Political Economy. He is the author of more than eighty academic articles and four books. For more information, visit his website.

Liz Irvine is a Lecturer at the Philosophy Department at the University of Cardiff. Liz works on the methodology in consciousness science, a topic she has systematically developed in her book Consciousness as a Scientific Concept: A Philosophy of Science Perspective published in 2012 with Springer. Liz also works on modelling and simulation methods in cognitive science and biology, as well as on the evolution and origin of language. She is a member of the University of Cardiff Language and Cognition Research Network. For more information, visit her website.

Milena Ivanova is a postdoctoral researcher at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. Milena works on philosophy of science and epistemology. Particularly, she is interested in the problem of theory choice in science, the role of aesthetic considerations in decision-making, the justification and epistemic status of scientific principles and the scientific realism debate. Milena has a particular interest in the history of philosophy of science and the development of the realism--anti-realism debate in the early 20th century as well as the interplay between philosophy and science. She has recently co-edited a special issue on Conventional Principles in Science, published in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. For more information, visit her website.

Samir Okasha is a Professor of Philosophy in the Philosophy department at the University of Bristol. His main research areas are philosophy of biology, philosophy of science and epistemology. Samir’s work in philosophy of biology is primarily focused on conceptual and foundational questions surrounding evolutionary theory. He also works on evidence and confirmation, causality, theory choice, skepticism and knowledge, and epistemological holism. Samir’s book Evolution and the Levels of Selection, published in 2006 by Oxford University Press, received the Lakatos Prize in 2009 for its outstanding contribution to philosophy of science. Between 2008-2011 Samir was the Principal Investigator on a major AHRC-funded research project, 'Evolution, Cooperation and Rationality', and is currently the Principal Investigator of the research project entitled 'Darwinism and the Theory of Rational Choice', funded by a European Research Council Advanced Investigator Award. For more information, visit his website.

Michael Stöltzner is an Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina. His main areas of research are philosophy and history of physics and applied mathematics; philosophy of elementary particle physics; core principles of mathematical physics, among them the principle of least action; history of logical empiricism; the development of formal teleology; and the role of models and ceteris paribus laws. For more information, visit his website.