Ian Hacking
2014 Balzan Prize for Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind
Styles of Reasoning
Ian Hacking is University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto. The aim of his Balzan Styles of Reasoning research project is to contribute to his important and ground-breaking work through the support of young researchers, conferences, travel and publications. Although Professor Hacking’s work covers a tremendous range, it is united by a single concern. He shows how our contemporary investigations of nature and of ourselves – our sciences, mathematics, philosophy, and definitions of chance, illness, and the self – have been shaped by our concepts and their histories.
Hacking’s socio-historical-philosophical examinations of the rise and fall of different styles of reasoning have had a lasting impact on all the major domains of inquiry: science, social science and humanities. His work demonstrates his mastery of the formal techniques of logic and confirmation theory, as well as his tremendous learning in contemporary science and its history. It has led to the introduction and elaboration of new conceptual structures; distinctive ways of understanding the possibility and growth of knowledge; and new understandings of the relation between thought, language, and cognition.
The Balzan Styles of Reasoning research project will allow emerging scholars to continue to explore styles of reasoning in the wide range of topics dealt with by Professor Hacking: medicine, psychiatry, sociology, philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophical psychology, statistical inference, the philosophy of mathematics and logic, ethics, the philosophy of language, and history. In order to continue to advance the overarching project, detailed studies of different kinds of reasoning and inquiry will be conducted. In each of the years of the project, funds will be made available to support doctoral students so that they can explore in depth a style of reasoning. They are designated ‘Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows’. The plan is to support at least one graduate student in each of the philosophical areas most centrally connected to the Project: The Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, Philosophy of Science and Mathematics, and Social and Political Philosophy. Funds are also made available, via travel fellowships, to support graduate student members of the Styles of Reasoning community to disseminate the results of their research. In addition, for each of the four years of the project, money will be made available for one or more visiting international graduate students writing dissertations in relevant areas to further enrich the University of Toronto community of scholarship on Styles of Reasoning.
In the fourth year of the research program, an international conference will be held in which students who have contributed to the Styles of Reasoning project will return to the University of Toronto to report on the results of their research. Whereas the precise organization of panels for the conference will depend in part on the specific research areas of the students working in them, a major two-day conference is planned, with principal papers presented by students who have worked in the Styles Project and commentaries by more established but still relatively junior researchers.

2015-16 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows

Maria Keller
Melissa Rees
David Suarez
Zachary Irving
Natalie Helberg

2015-16 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Visiting Fellows

Kristina Pucko
Taro Okamura
Li Haosheng

2015-16 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Travel Fellowships

Julia Smith
James Davies
Griffin Klemick
Johanna Thoma
Robert Matyasi
Prach Panchakunathorn

Balzan Styles of Reasoning research output


-Johanna Thoma, “Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract,”
forthcoming in Philosophical Studies.
-Griffin Klemick, “Prospects for an Objective Pragmatism: Frank Ramsey on Truth,
Meaning, and Justification,” in Sami Pihlström, ed., Pragmatism and Objectivity,
London: Pickering & Chatto, forthcoming.

Theses Completed

-Zachary Irving, Mind-Wandering is Unguided Attention.
-David Suarez, Thinking Nature: Towards A Phenomenological Naturalism.


-James Davies: “Mathematical Fictionalists Cannot be Sceptics About Reference to Abstract Objects.” American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meetings, St Louis, MO, February 2015.
-Julia Smith: “Against Cohen’s Defense of the Equal Weight View.” American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, Vancouver, BC, April 2015.
-Johanna Thoma: “Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract.” American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, Vancouver, BC, April 2015.
-Prach Panchakunathorn: “Moral Expressivism and the Inconsistency Problem,” 20th Annual Conference of the Philosophy and Religion Society,” Silpakorn University, Thailand, January 2016.
-Johanna Thoma: “Risk Aversion and the Long Run.” Varieties of Agency Workshop at the Center for Humanities at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA, February 2016.
All publications, conferences, websites, scholarships and visitorships will acknowledge the generosity of the Balzan Foundation in making this vital project possible. The Deputy Supervisor, Professor Cheryl Misak, will provide annual reports on the progress of the project.

http://www.philosophy.utoronto.ca/research/balzan-research-project-2015- 19-styles-of-reasoning/

Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2016
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