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 groundbreaking 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 allows 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 are conducted. In each of the years of the project, funds are made available to support doctoral students, designated “Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows,” so that they can explore a style of reasoning in depth. 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 2016-17, the Balzan Styles of Reasoning Project at the University of Toronto supported ongoing Balzan Graduate Fellows with major scholarships, incoming Balzan Graduate Fellows with major scholarships, and Balzan Travel Fellows with more modest sums to cover the costs of their research and travel. One of the Balzan Fellows, Johanna Thoma, has had outstanding success. That success would not have been possible without the Balzan funding, as it was used to support her during a research trip to Stanford, which launched her career. Her accomplishments have provided international recognition of the Balzan Styles of Reasoning project.

In the fourth year of the research program, a highly successful conference on Styles of Reasoning was organized, with Professors Susan Haack and Robert Brandom as the keynote speakers and graduate student participants from the Toronto Styles of Reasoning project and beyond. Whereas the precise organization of panels for the conference depended in part on the specific research areas of the students working in them, the major two-day conference saw principal papers presented by students who have worked in the Styles of Reasoning Project, with commentaries by more established but still relatively junior researchers.

Balzan Styles of Reasoning Fellowships

2018-2019 Incoming Balzan Styles of Reasoning
Jack Beaulieu
Jovy Chan
Alexandra Gustafson
Shiying Li

Jack Beaulieu (BA, Philosophy, UBC) works on epistemology and epistemology and philosophical methodology, and argues that philosophical methodological reflection suffers from ignorance of non-Western philosophical methods. His work promises new challenges and insight into philosophical methodology and styles of reasoning.

Jovy Chan (BA, University of Hong Kong; MA, Chinese University of Hong Kong) is interested in the metaphysics of free will and legal philosophy. Her work challenges reasoning that philosophers have used to argue against the view that free will and determinism are compatible and explains how subtle shifts in context obscure fallacies in reasoning about free will.

Alexandra Gustafson (BA, Wooster College; MA, Brandeis University) is an eclectic philosopher working on the nature of romantic love and of the emotions more generally, on mathematical logic, and on the role of poetical forms in philosophical argument and methodology.

Shiying Li (BA, University of Wisconsin–Madison; MA, University of Chicago) is a philosopher with a background in philosophy and psychology. Her work on moral and political philosophy includes a project on the role of emotions in moral decision- making and practical reasoning.

2017-2018 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows
Caroline Blaney
Caitlin Hamblin

2017-2018 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Travel Fellowships
Michael Blezy
Lu-Vada Dunford
Michaela Manson
Robert Mason
Róbert Mátyási
Michael Szlachta
Jessica Wright
Matthew Wurst

2016-2017 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows
Natalie Helberg
Maria Keller
Melissa Rees

2016-2017 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Travel Fellowships
Dominic Alford-Duguid
Roberto Granieri
Rory Harder
Griffin Klemick
Michaela Manson
Robert Mason
Damian Melamedoff
Owen Pikkert
Hamish Russell

2015-2016 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows
Natalie Helberg
Zachary Irving
Maria Keller
Melissa Rees
David Suarez

2015-2016 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Visiting Fellows
Li Haosheng
Taro Okamura
Kristina Puck

2015-2016 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Travel Fellowships
James Davies
Griffin Klemick
Róbert Mátyási
Prach Panchakunathorn
Julia Smith
Johanna Thoma

Each student has produced a short report of what the Balzan Travel Fellowship enabled them to do.

Balzan Styles of Reasoning Research Output


  • Granieri, Roberto.“Relativity, Categories, and Principles in the Divisio Aristotelea 67M/32DL.” Journal of Hellenic Studies (forthcoming).
  • __. Review of E. Berti- M. Crubellier, eds., Lire Aristote (2016). Elenchos, no. 37 (2016): 260–62.
  • __. Review of M. Griffin, Aristotle’s Categoriesin the Early Roman Empire (2015). ΣΥΖΗΤΗΣΙΣ, no. 3 (2016): 209–16.
  • __. Review of M. Vegetti - F. Ademollo, Incontro con Aristotele (2016). Ancient Philosophy, no. 37 (2017): 471–75.
  • __. “Systems of Predication. Aristotle’s Categories in Topics, I, 9.”Documenti e studi sulla tradizione filosofica medievale, no. 27 (2016): 1–18.
  • __. “Xenocrates and the Two-Category Scheme.”Apeiron, AoP (November 2019).
  • Helberg, Natalie. “Insubordinate Plasticity: Judith Butler and Catherine Malabou.” Hypatia (forthcoming).
  • Horne, Greg. “Decolonizing Agada’s Consolation Philosophy.” In Fanon Revisited, edited by George J. Sefa Dei. New York: DIO Press (forthcoming).
  • Klemick, Griffin. “C. I. Lewis Was a Foundationalist After All.” History of Philosophy Quarterly (forthcoming).
  • __. “Prospects for an Objective Pragmatism: Frank Ramsey on Truth, Meaning, and Justification.” In Pragmatism and Objectivity, edited by Sami Pihlström. London: Pickering & Chatto, forthcoming.
  • __. “Sellars’ Metaethical Quasi-Realism.” Synthese, no. 197 (2020): 2215–43.
  • Matthen, Mohan, and Zachary Weinstein. “Aesthetic Hedonism.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy, edited by Duncan Pritchard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.
  • Mátyási, Róbert. “Spinoza on Composition, Monism, and Beings ofReason,”Journal of Modern Philosophy 2, no. 1 (2020): 4.
  • __, and Karolina Hübner. Review of Samuel Newlands, Reconceiving Spinoza (2018). Mind129, no. 513 (2020): 307–14.
  • McClure, Emma. “Do Your Exercises: Reader Participation in Wittgenstein’s Investigations.” In Pedagogical Investigations: A Companion to Wittgenstein on Education, edited by Michael A. Peters and Jeff Stickney, 147–59. Singapore: Springer, 2017.
  • __. “Escalating Linguistic Violence: From Microaggressions to Hate Speech.” In Microaggressions and Philosophy, edited by Lauren Freeman and Jeanine Weekes Schroer,121–45.New York: Routledge, 2020.
  • __. “Theorizing a Spectrum of Aggression: Microaggressions, Creepiness, and Sexual Assault.” The Pluralist 14, no. 1 (2019): 91–101.
  • __. and Regina Rini. “Microaggression: Conceptual and Scientific Issues.” Philosophy Compass 15, no. 4 (2020): 1–11.
  • Melamedoff, Damien. “Against Existential Grounding.” Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7, no. 1 (2018): 3–11.
  • Munro, Daniel. “Visual and Bodily Sensational Perception: An Epistemic Asymmetry.” Synthese (forthcoming).
  • Nagel, Jennifer, and Jessica Wright. “The Psychology of Epistemic Judgement.” In The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, 2nd ed., edited by Sarah Robins, John Symons, and Paco Salvo. New York: Routledge, 2019.
  • Rehman, Rashad. “Ethics, Homelessness, and the Artes Liberales/Artes Serviles Distinction.” In The Ethics of Homelessness, edited by John Abbarno, 429–47. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2020.
  • __. “Josef Pieper’s Defense of the Geisteswissenchaften.” In Civility, Nonviolent Resistance and, the New Struggle for Social Justice, edited by Amin Asfari, 203–33. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2019.
  • __. “A Philological Reading of Alypius’ Curiositas in the Confessiones (VI, 8, 13).” Augustinianum 60, no. 2 (forthcoming, Dec. 2020).
  • __. Review of Josef Pieper, Rules of the Game in Social Relationships, translated by Dan Farrelly (2018). McGill’s ARC (forthcoming).
  • Riggs, Jared. “Conceptual Engineers Shouldn’t Worry about Semantic Externalism.” Inquiry (forthcoming).
  • Shaul, Dylan. “Faith in/as the Unconditional: Kant, Husserl, and Derrida on Practical Reason.” Derrida Today 12, no. 2 (2019): 171–91.
  • __. “Kristeva vis-à-vis Hegel: Forgiveness as Psychoanalytic Interpretation and Absolute Knowing.” Philosophy Today (forthcoming).
  • __. “Recognition and Hospitality: Hegel and Derrida.” Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 23, no. 2 (2019): 159–82.
  • Smith, Julia Jael. “Unacknowledged Permissivism.” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101, no. 1 (2020): 158–83.
  • __, and Benjamin Wald. “Collectivized Intellectualism.” Res Philosophica 96, no. 2 (2019): 199–227.
  • Steinberg, Etye. “Big Data and Personalized Pricing.” Business Ethics Quarterly 30, no. 1 (2020): 97–117.
  • __. “The Inapplicability of the Market-Failures Approach in a Non-Ideal World.” Business Ethics Journal Review 5, no. 5 (2017): 28–34.
  • Taylor, Evan. “Discordant Knowing: A Puzzle about Insight in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” Mind & Language (forthcoming).
  • Thoma, Johanna. “Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract.” Philosophical Studies (forthcoming).
  • __. “Temptation and Preference-Based Instrumental Rationality.” Invited contribution to The Rationality of Self-Control, edited by José Bermudez. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming. Submitted 2017

  • Davies, James. “Mathematical Fictionalists Cannot Be Sceptics about Reference to Abstract Objects.” American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meetings, St. Louis, MO, February 2015.
  • Dunford, Lu-Vada. “The Problem of Just War Theory for Terrorism.” Euro ISME, Toledo Spanish Infantry Academy, Spain.
  • __. “The Transmission Dilemma for Revisionism.” MANCEPT Workshop on Collectivism in the Morality of War, Manchester University, UK.
  • Helberg, Natalie. “Violence as Resistance: Autoimmunity and Anorexia.” Duquesne Women in Philosophy Conference: Critical Philosophies of Life, March 2017.
  • Keller, Maria. “Embodiment: Bodies and Embodied Experience.” 17th Annual University of Toronto Philosophy Graduate Conference, May 8–9, 2017.
  • Klemick, Griffin. “Davidson’s Promise for Metaethical Naturalism.” York University Graduate Conference (“The Legacy of Donald Davidson”), April 2017.
  • __. “McDowell’s Conceptualism and Nonfocal Visual Awareness.” Western Canadian Philosophical Association, October 2016.
  • __. “Peirce and ‘Objective Pragmatism.’” Boston University Graduate Conference in Philosophy, October 2016.
  • __. “Sellars was a Quasi-Realist, Not an Error Theorist.” Canadian Philosophical Association, May 2017; Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy, May 2017.
  • Mason, Robert. “Leibniz on the Determination of Individual Substances in Possible Worlds,” December 2017.
  • Panchakunathorn, Prach. “Moral Expressivism and the Inconsistency Problem.” 20th Annual Conference of the Philosophy and Religion Society, Silpakorn University, Thailand, January 2016.
  • Smith, Julia Jael. “Against Cohen’s Defense of the Equal Weight View.” American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division Meetings, Vancouver, BC, April 2015.
  • Szlachta, Michael. “Conditioned Freedom in Thomas Aquinas’s Disputed Questions on Truth.” LIV Reuniones filosóficas: Inteligencia y voluntad en Tomás de Aquino, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, April 2018.
  • Thoma, Johanna. “Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract.” American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, Vancouver, BC, April 2015.
  • __. “Risk Aversion and the Long Run.” Varieties of Agency Workshop at the Center for Humanities at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA, February 2016.Wright, Jessica. “Cognitive Control and Implicit Attitudes.” Pacific APA, March 28, 2018.
  • __. “Cognitive Control and Rational Evaluation.” Canadian Society for Epistemology, November 24, 2017.

All publications, conferences, websites, scholarships, and visitorships acknowledge the generosity of the Balzan Foundation in making this vital project possible.

Theses Completed
  • Jessica Wright “Owning Implicit Attitudes” (2020)
  • Johanna Thoma, “Advice for the Steady: Instrumental Rationality and the Requirements of Decision Theory” (2017) PhD thesis submitted to the University of Toronto, passed without corrections March 2017. This thesis won Canada’s most prestigious dissertation prize: a Governor General’s Gold Medal for the best graduate student in the humanities and social sciences at the University of Toronto, 2017.
  • Dominic Alford-Duguid, “Getting Properties in Mind” (2016) This thesis won the David Savan Prize for the best thesis written in the Philosophy Department in 2016.
  • David Suarez, “Thinking Nature: Towards a Phenomenological Naturalism” (2016)
  • Zachary Irving, “Mind-Wandering Is Unguided Attention” (2015)

All dissertations gratefully acknowledged the generosity of the Balzan Foundation