Milena Ivanova

About Me

I am a philosopher working on topics in the metaphysics and epistemology of science. I'm currently a Teaching Associate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science and a Bye-Fellow at Fitzwilliam College at the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Munich Centre for Mathematical Philosophy and a Lecturer at the University of Sydney. I obtained my PhD in Philosophy from the University of Bristol and my undergraduate degree in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Athens.

I am currently developing a project on the aesthetic nature of experiments, asking how beauty affects the construction, evaluation and reception of an experiment. In addition to a number of papers that set up a framework for analysing aesthetic considerations in the practise of experimental design and evaluation, I am also writing a monograph titled “Beautiful science”.

More generally my interests concern how scientific theories uncover truths about the world, the nature of scientific principles and the role of non-empirical values in science. I have worked extensively on the scientific realism debate and its history, the problem of theory choice and more recently on the concept of beauty in science. I have recently completed a monograph on the problem of holism in theory testing, to appear with Cambridge University Press Elements series

Current Activities

I am currently organising the following events:
    ○ Symposium The Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments to be presented at the British Society for Philosophy of Science in July 2021 ○ Workshop “Beautiful Experiments” ○ A British Society for Aesthetics funded conference “The Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments” ○ I am editing a collection titled “Towards an Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments: from design to significance” together with Alice Murphy. I am also running a reading group on Scientific Creativity and Imagination, schedule for this term can be found here:

    Teaching

    At the University of Cambridge, I coordinate the following:
      ○ Philosophy of science: metaphysics, epistemology, and values ○ Writing Support Seminars [with Emma Perkins]

      I also teach the following papers:
        ○ Metaphysics and Mind (Philosophy Tripos Part IA Paper 1)+info ○ Philosophy of Science (Natural Sciences Tripos Part IB Paper 6)+info ○ Philosophy of Science (Natural Sciences Tripos Part II Paper 5/Philosophy Tripos Part IB Paper 5)+info ○ Aesthetics (Philosophy Tripos Part II Paper 11)+info
      I supervise dissertations/extended essays on the following topics (get in touch if you are interested in working with me): ○ Philosophy of science (scientific realism, values in science, understanding and progress, experimentalism) ○ Aesthetics in science (beauty and sublime in science, creativity and scientific discovery) ○ History of philosophy of science (Pierre Duhem, Henri Poincare, Ernst Mach) ○ The status of scientific principles (relativized and pragmatic conceptions of a priorisity in science)

      Recent and Forthcoming Talks

      Forthcoming

    • Aesthetic values in the evolution of scientific experimentationVenues
    • The Nature of BeautyVenues
    • Aesthetics of ScienceVenues
    • Recent

    • Aesthetic values in the evolution of scientific experimentationVenues
    • How atoms became realVenues
    • Beauty, truth and understandingVenues
    • Pragmatic values in scienceVenues
    • Other

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

      I am married to this fellow philosopher, and we're together raising our daughter Cailyn.

Publications

Books

  • 2020. The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding. Edited with Steven French. Routledge. Press release. Description
  • Journal Articles

  • 2020. Reflections on the reception of Jean Perrin’s experiments by his contemporaries. HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  • 2017. Aesthetic Values in Science. Philosophy Compass. Preprint. Abstract
  • 2017. 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
  • Book Chapters

  • Forthcoming. Theory Virtues and Acceptance. In Lauener Series in Philosophy dedicated to Bas van Fraassen’s contribution to philosophy of science, ed. Michael Frauchiger. Abstract
  • 2020. Beauty, Truth and Understanding. The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding, ed. Steven French and Milena Ivanova. Abstract
  • 2020. Henri Poincaré. Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Philosophers. Preprint.
      Abstract
  • 2020. Methods in Science and Metaphysics. [With M. Farr.] Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics, ed. James Miller and Ricki Bliss.
      Abstract
  • 2014. Is There a Place for Epistemic Virtues in Theory Choice? In Virtue Scientia: Bridges Between Virtue Epistemology and Philosophy of Science (Ed. Abrol Fairweather), Synthese Library. Abstract
  • Edited Journal Special Issues

  • Forthcoming. First Principles in Science. Special issue of Synthese. [With C. Herfeld]
  • 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.
  • Blogposts

  • 2015. Aesthetics in Science. Auxiliary Hypotheses (Blog of the British Society for Philosophy of Science).
  • contact + cv philpapers google scholar

    Photography and site design by Matt Farr.