Ian Hacking


Premio Balzan 2014 per l'epistemologia e filosofia della mente

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 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 at 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, 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.

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 the emotions more generally, mathematical logic, and the role of poetical forms in philosophical argument and methodology.

Shiying Li (BA University of Madison, Wisconsin, 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 Graduate Fellows

Caroline Blaney
Caitlin Hamblin

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

2015-2017 Balzan Styles of Reasoning Graduate Fellows
Melissa Rees
Natalie Helberg
Maria Keller

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

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

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

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

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

Balzan Styles of Reasoning Research Output


Johanna Thoma, “Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract,” forthcoming in Philosophical Studies.
Johanna Thoma, “Temptation and Preference-Based Instrumental Rationality”, invited contribution to The Rationality of Self-Control, edited by José Bermudez, under contract with Cambridge University Press, submitted 2017.
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.


Jessica Wright, “Cognitive Control and Implicit Attitudes”, Pacific APA on March 28,2018.
Jessica Wright, “Cognitive Control and Rational Evaluation”, Canadian Society for Epistemology, 24: November 24, 2017.
Robert Mason, “Leibniz on the Determination of Individual Substances in Possible Worlds”, December 2017.
Lu-Vada Dunford, “The Transmission Dilemma for Revisionism”, MANCEPT Workshop on Collectivism in the Morality of War, Manchester University, UK.
Lu-Vada Dunford, “The Problem of Just War Theory for Terrorism”, EuroISME, Toledo Spanish Infantry Academy, Spain.
Michael Szlachta, “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.
Maria Keller, “Embodiment: Bodies and Embodied Experience”, 17th Annual University of Toronto Philosophy Graduate Conference May 8-9, 2017.
Griffin Klemick, “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.
Griffin Klemick, “Davidson’s Promise for Metaethical Naturalism”, York University Graduate Conference (The Legacy of Donald Davidson), April 2017.
Natalie Helberg, “Violence as Resistance: Autoimmunity and Anorexia”, Duquesne Women in Philosophy Conference: Critical Philosophies of Life, March 2017.
Griffin Klemick, “McDowell’s Conceptualism and Nonfocal Visual Awareness”, Western Canadian Philosophical Association, October 2016.
Griffin Klemick, “Peirce and ‘Objective Pragmatism’”, Boston University Graduate Conference in Philosophy, October 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.
Prach Panchakunathorn, “Moral Expressivism and the Inconsistency Problem”, 20th Annual Conference of the Philosophy and Religion Society,” Silpakorn University, Thailand, January 2016.
Johanna Thoma, “Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract”, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, Vancouver, BC, April 2015. Julia Smith, “Against Cohen’s Defense of the Equal Weight View”, American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meetings, Vancouver, BC, April 2015. James Davies, “Mathematical Fictionalists Cannot be Sceptics About Reference to Abstract Objects”, American Philosophical Association, Central Division Meetings, St Louis, MO, February 2015.

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

Theses Completed (with the Balzan Foundation gratefully acknowledged)

Johanna Thoma, Advice for the Steady: Instrumental Rationality and the Requirements of Decision Theory, 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.
Zachary Irving, Mind-Wandering is Unguided Attention.
David Suarez, Thinking Nature: Towards A Phenomenological Naturalism.
Dominic Alford-Duguid, Getting Properties in Mind. This thesis won the David Savan Prize for the best thesis written in the Philosophy Department in 2016.

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

Excerpt from the: The Balzan Prizewinners’ Research Projects: An Overview 2018