Current Visitors


Michal Hladky

Michal Hladky is a Ph.D. student at the University of Geneva with research focus on simulations and counterfactual reasoning in neuroscience. His main interests are philosophy of science, logic and associated topics from scientific metaphysics and epistemology. Currently enrolled in Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) Doc.Mobility programme, he will be visiting the CPNSS at LSE, after his stay at the MCMP, Munich. For the analysis of simulations and in silico methods, Michal deploys the notions and tools from model theory. His mapping account of models and simulations, developed at the University of Geneva and at the MCMP will serve as a basis for the second part of his research to be conducted at the CPNSS. The analysis of epistemology and pragmatics of simulations require introduction of epistemic agents, their intentions, representations and heuristics they use. The goal is to develop a comprehensive analysis of interactions between these various aspects of simulation-based research strategies.

Dates of visit: 2 October 2019 – 30 June 2020


Research Project

Simulation and counterfactual reasoning in neuroscience

Realistic computer simulations aim at discovering mechanisms and causal relations underlying the studied phenomena. In biology, the established distinctions between in vivo and in vitro experiments has been extended by the notion of in silico experiments. But are in silico methods genuine experiments or experiments in name only? If they are understood as simulations, what is their epistemic power?

During his stay at the CPNSS/LSE, Michal Hladky will focus on the epistemology of simulations including the intentions, representations and heuristics deployed by epistemic agents. The correction criteria will be based on the mapping account of simulations developed at the University of Geneva and during his visit at the MCMP, Munich.


Lei Zhao

Zhao Lei is a Lecturer of the Research Center for Philosophy of Science and Technology at Shanxi University. He received his PHD degree in Philosophy of Science and Technology from Shanxi University in 2017. His research interests lie in general philosophy of science and philosophy of social science. His current work focuses on causation in the social sciences.

Dates of visit: 30 December 2019 – 30 December 2020


Research Project

Research on causation in the Social Sciences

Causation has long been a controversial notion, which yet remains at the heart of the social sciences. In order to attain causal knowledge, many social scientists appeal to casual mechanisms to uncover causal relations among the variables they consider. His project attempts to study the following issues: how far can causal realism be pushed within a mechanist account? in what realist sense can we claim that causal relations are ‘objective’? how can a causal realist perspective can be successfully applied in social science, and in such a way as to include a well justified claim that social causes are ‘objective’? And other related core problems would be also investigated. His research is funded by The Research Center for Philosophy of Science and Technology, Shanxi University.


Philippe Verreault-Julien

Philippe Verreault-Julien obtained his PhD in January 2019 from Erasmus University Rotterdam under the supervision of Julian Reiss (Durham University) and Jack Vromen (Erasmus University Rotterdam). His research mainly focuses on the epistemology of theoretical modelling, understanding, and explanation. His current research project, funded by the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC), aims to uncover the shared methodological features of philosophy and the sciences.

Dates of visit: 4 November 2019 – November 2021


Research Project

Methodological naturalism in philosophy and economics

Methodological naturalism is the view according to which the empiricist scientific methodology is adequate for both philosophy and the sciences. However, the validity of naturalism depends on the alleged distinctiveness between the philosophical and scientific methods. For if philosophy and science actually have significant methodological similarities, then this puts naturalism into question. This project pursues two objectives. First, to uncover the shared methodological features between philosophy and economic theoretical modelling. Second, to contribute to the metaphilosophical debate on naturalism. It aims to defend an original claim, viz. that some parts of science are more similar to philosophy than usually assumed.