Multiscale Modeling and Emergence

7 – 8 February 2015
Center for Philosophy of Science
817 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA USA

 Advance registration is appreciated, but not required.
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For more detailed information see the conference web site.


There has been much interest of late in issues of emergence and reduction in the philosophy of science literature. The battle line is largely drawn between reductive “bottom-up” modeling and “top-down” modeling employing so-called “phenomenological” theories. This workshop aims to examine the nature and plausibility of structuring the debate in this way. We bring physicists and mathematicians together with philosophers interested in modeling systems across scales. Multiscale models and beginning to succeed in showing how to upscale from statistical/atomistic models to continuum/hydrodynamic models. A proper understanding of the mathematics involved in such multiscale modeling should show how overly simplified the philosophical debates have been and should refocus the debate on questions of explaining the (relative) autonomy of upper scale models and theories.

Invited speakers:

  • Julia Bursten, HPS, University of Pittsburgh
  • Elisa Davoli, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Giovanni Leone, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jill Millstone, Chemistry Department, University of Pittsburgh
  • Margaret Morrison, Philosophy Department, University of Toronto
  • Mark Wilson, Philosophy Department, University of Pittsburgh



  • Center for Philosophy of Science
  • The John Templeton Foundation