Call for papers

5th Meeting of the Société de philosophie des sciences (SPS)
University of Lille 1 & University of Lille 3
June 25-27, 2014
« Metaphysics of science »

The 5th SPS meeting will take place from Wednesday June 25th to Friday June 27th 2014 in Lille (France). Its main theme is the metaphysics of science. The event will be hosted by the Universities of Lille 1 and Lille 3.

Internet website of the meeting:   

Program committee:
Anouk Barberousse (University of Lille 1, co-chair)
Francesca Merlin (IHPST, Paris, co-chair)

Minus van Baalen (CNRS/Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris)
Denis Bonnay (University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense)
Mauro Dorato (University of Roma 3)
John Dupré (University of Exeter)
Paul Egré (Jean Nicod Institute, Paris)
Michaël Esfeld (University of Lausanne)
Laura Felline (Catholic University of Louvain)
Henri Galinon (University Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand)
Elodie Giroux (University Jean-Moulin Lyon 3)
Philippe Huneman (IHPST, Paris)
Maël Lemoine (University of Tours)
Virginie Maris (CEFE, Montpellier)
Hugo Mercier (“Langage, Cerveau et Cognition” lab, Lyon)
Francesca Poggiolesi (CEPERC, Aix-Marseille)
Shahid Rahman (University of Lille 3)
Anne-Lise Rey (University of Lille 1)
Carlo Rovelli (Center of theoretical physics of Luminy, Marseille)
Stéphanie Ruphy (University Pierre-Mendès-France, Grenoble)
Howard Sankey (University of Melbourne)
Tero Tulenheimo (University of Lille 3)
Marion Vorms (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Marcel Weber (University of Geneva)
Jessica Wilson (University of Toronto)

Organizing committee:
Shahid Rahman (University of Lille 3, chair)

Anouk Barberousse (University of Lille 1)
Matthieu Gallais (University of Lille 3)
Camille Prost (University of Lille 3)


Structure of the meeting

The meeting will include three plenary conferences and a plenary debate, for a total of five invited speakers (in alphabetic order):
  • Carl Hoefer (Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University, London Ontario, Canada) – Plenary conference.
  • Max Kistler (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France) – Plenary debate with Emma Tobin.
  • Göran Sundholm (Universiteit Leiden, Nederland) – Plenary conference.
  • Claudine Tiercelin (Collège de France, Paris, France) – Plenary conference introducing the main theme of the meeting (“metaphysics of science”).
  • Emma Tobin (University College London, United Kingdom) – Plenary debate with Max Kistler.

Submissions are now open for proposals for:

(1) Symposia (in French or in English)
They should involve several presenters, typically 3-4, organized around a topic of interest. The total amount of available time for a symposium is about 1h30 or 2h00, depending of the number of presentations.

(2) Contributed papers (in French or in English).
They can have more than one author. The total amount of time for the oral presentation is 30 minutes, discussion included.

The SPS encourages the submission of symposia. In particular, symposia that make connections, or include, working scientists are warmly invited.

The main theme of the SPS 2014 meeting: “Metaphysics of science”

Metaphysics of science aims firstly at the examination of ontological issues stemming out of the sciences and, in particular, their discoveries, concepts, models and theories. From there, its objective is to reconstruct a “scientific image of the world”. Its project is to develop a naturalized metaphysics revealing the ontology which stems from scientific theories and practices.

In a broader sense, this theme includes any reflection on the relationship between science and metaphysics. Is metaphysics an a priori enterprise aiming at the study of the structure of the world and of our fundamental conceptual framework, and to which science cannot contribute? Or, on the contrary, should the latest scientific achievements nourish reflection in metaphysics?
This theme is not binding for submission. Proposals on any relevant topic in philosophy of science - broadly conceived as a reflection on science and, especially, on its concepts and practices - can be submitted (including philosophy of special sciences, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of technology, applied philosophy of science, reflections on the relationship science-society, bioethics and medical ethics, etc.). However, proposals on the theme of the meeting are encouraged. Plenary invited conferences and debates will concern the specific theme “metaphysics of science”.

Instructions for submission of proposals

Deadline for submission

The deadline for Symposium and Contributed Paper proposals, in French or in English, is January 20th, 2014.

Format of the proposals

Proposals should include both a short and long abstract. Short abstracts will be copied directly on the submission website. Long abstracts will be uploaded as attached documents (pdf and doc files are accepted).

Proposals for symposia should include:
  • The title of the proposed symposium
  • A short abstract of the proposal (up to 250 words) describing the general theme
  • A description of the topic and a justification of its importance to the discipline, followed by a short description of each presentation included in the symposium (up to 4 presenters and to 2500 words). This document should be uploaded as a separated file on the submission website.

Proposals for contributed papers should include:
  • The title of the proposed communication
  • A short abstract (up to 250 words)
  • A long description in a separated file (up to 1000 words)

In order to proceed with the blind review of the proposals, the uploaded files should be anonymous.

How to submit

Proposals should be electronically submitted through EasyChair at
First time users must register.

Notification of the program committee’s decision

Authors will be notified of the committee’s decision by February 14th, 2014.


-The meeting will result in the publication of a volume at Presses Universitaires de Franche-Comté (PUFC), in the new collection “Sciences: concepts et problèmes” directed by Thierry Martin (president of the SPS). Only contributions on the main theme of the meeting will be included in this volume. Authors interested in publishing their papers should provide a definitive text within three months from the meeting (up to 30 000 signs, including spaces). It will be evaluated by the program committee for publication.
-Contributed papers not dealing with the main theme of the meeting could be submitted for publication to the SPS journal Lato Sensu. Instructions for submissions will be posted soon on the website of the meeting: