Milena Ivanova

Philosophy of Science | Epistemology | Metaphysics

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About Me

I work on various issues in philosophy of science, epistemology and metaphysics, in particular the aim of science, the nature of scientific principles, scientific methodology, theory choice and the role of non-empirical factors in scientific reasoning. My work is informed by the history of philosophy of science, especially the relationship between science and philosophy in the early twentieth century. I am particularly interested in the development of the scientific realism debate in the early 20th century. I also work on the intersection between virtue and social epistemology and applying them to the problem of social consensus in science.

I received my doctoral degree in 2013 from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol. My thesis, Realism, Conventionalism and Theory Choice, was supervised by James Ladyman and examined by Michael Friedman and Samir Okasha. My doctoral research was funded by the British Society for the Philosophy of Science (2009-2011) and the Royal Institute of Philosophy (2011-2012). Between 2013-2014, I was a lecturer in the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. Between 2015-2017 I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy. Currently I am a visiting research fellow at the University of Queensland where, apart from catching up on writing, I will also be giving talks around Australia and New Zealand.

Current Projects

I am currently developing several articles on the role of aesthetic values in science. In this work I explore empirical justifications of the link between aesthetic values and truth, the concept of beauty and its role in scientific reasoning, the role of exposure effect for scientists’ formation of aesthetic canons and investigate more generally the interplay between aesthetics and philosophy of science. I wrote a recent blogpost about this work. I was recently awarded a British Society for Aesthetics grant towards the organisation of the conference Aesthetics of Science with Steven French, to take place in Leeds on July 18-19 2017. I am also currently researching the role and justification of aesthetic values in the writings of Ernst Mach. Further to this project, I am writing an article on the development of instrumentalism in the early 20th century.

Teaching

At the MCMP I coordinated the following courses:
    Aesthetics of Science
    The A Priori in Science
At the University of Sydney, I coordinated the following courses:
    What Is This Thing Called Science?
    Philosophy of Science (Advanced)

Recent Activities

In 2016 I organised the workshop First Principles in Science: Their Epistemic Status and Justification with Catherine Herfeld, for which we are currently planning a special issue, and the 2016 Munich Summer School on Philosophy of Science for Female Students with Karolina Krzyżanowska and Sam Fletcher. Furthermore, I gave papers in Munich, at the Congrès de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences at the University of Lausanne, the British Society for the Philosophy of Science Annual Conference as well as the Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and Mind Association at Cardiff University and the Mach Centenary Conference in Vienna. I also run a career workshop for female students and have been serving as a mentor for female students at LMU.

In 2015 I organised, together with Catherine Herfeld and Kristina Liefke, the Summer School on Mathematical Philosophy for Female Students which took place at the MCMP in 2015. [Read our blogpost about the summer school.] I was also on the programme committee of the 8th Munich-Sydney-Tilburg conference, Objectivity in Science. I previously organised the conference Conventional Principles in Science, which took place at the University of Bristol in 2011. Together with Matt Farr I edited the proceedings in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. [Read our introduction to the special issue.].

I am the category editor of Varieties of Scientific Realism, Entity Realism and Convergent Realism for PhilPapers.

Other

My Erdös number is 4: Erdös→J. M. Anderson→K. Binmore→C. Paternotte→Me.

I am happily married to this fellow philosopher.

Publications

Journal Articles

  • In press. Aesthetic Values in Science. Philosophy Compass.
      Abstract
  • In press. Poincaré's Aesthetics of Science. Synthese. Preprint.
      Abstract
  • 2017. Virtues and Vices in Scientific Practice. Synthese. [With C. Paternotte.] Abstract
  • 2015. Conventionalism about what? Where Duhem and Poincaré part ways. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. Preprint. Abstract
  • 2015. Conventionalism, structuralism and neo-Kantianism in Poincaré׳s philosophy of science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. Preprint. Abstract
  • 2015. Conventional Principles in Science: On the foundations and development of the relativized a priori. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. [With M. Farr.] Preprint.
  • 2013. Theory Choice, Good Sense and Social Consensus. Erkenntnis. [With C. Paternotte.] Preprint. Abstract
  • 2013. Did Perrin's Experiments Convert Poincaré to Scientific Realism?. HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science. Preprint. Abstract
  • 2011. ‘Good Sense’ in Context: A Response to Kidd. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Abstract
  • 2011. Friedman's Relativized A Priori and Structural Realism: In Search of Compatibility. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Preprint. Abstract
  • 2010. Pierre Duhem’s Good Sense as a Guide to Theory Choice. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Preprint.
     Abstract
  • Edited Works

  • 2015. Conventional Principles in Science: On the foundations and development of the relativized a priori. Special issue of Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics. [With M. Farr]
  • Book Reviews

  • 2017. David Stump’s Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science: Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori. HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  • 2014. John Wright's Explaining Science's Success. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
  • 2013. Steven French and Juha Saatsi's Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Science and Education.
  • Works in progress

  • Beauty, Truth and Understanding. [Commissioned]
  • Mach, Duhem and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge. [Commissioned]
  • Talks

    Forthcoming

  • Beauty, truth and understandingVenues
  • Presented

  • Aesthetic Values in Science. Venues
  • The role and justification of aesthetic values in science. Venues
  • Mach, Duhem and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge. Venues
  • The evolution of constitutive principles. Venues
  • The A Priori in Science. Venues
  • Poincaré's aesthetics of science. Venues
  • Duhem’s solution to theory choice. Venues
  • Conventionalism about what? Where Duhem and Poincaré part ways. Venues
  • Conventionalism, Structuralism and Neo-Kantianism in Poincaré's Philosophy of Science. Venues
  • Does Duhem's 'Good Sense' Make Sense?. (With Cedric Paternotte.) Venues
  • Is There a Place for Epistemic Virtues in Theory Choice? Venues
  • Is the Relativized A Priori Incompatible with Scientific Realism?
     Venues
  • Can the Realist Solve the Problem of Underdetermination of Theory by Evidence? Venues
  • More Worries for Structural Realism: a Dilemma from the Relativized A Priori. Venues
  • Photography and site design by Matt Farr.