Dr Peter Vickers, BSc, MA, PhD
(email at firstname.lastname@example.org)
In 2003 I received a BSc in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of York, followed by an MA (2005) in History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Leeds. This led to a PhD in history and philosophy of science (2009), also at Leeds, supervised by Prof. Steven French. The starting point was certain difficulties concerning the representation and reconstruction of inconsistent scientific theories. Gradually I developed a new methodology for analysing debates about inconsistencies in science which I called ‘theory eliminativism’. This was the major focus during my year as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, USA (2010-11). I received a contract from Oxford University Press to develop my PhD thesis into a book, entitled Understanding Inconsistent Science. I started as a lecturer at Durham University in 2011.
Philosophy aside I enjoy hiking, playing the piano (jazz, blues, and Rachmaninoff), and chess (especially outrageous sacrifices).
- Inconsistency in science
- Scientific realism/anti-realism
- Eliminativism and pluralism
- The methodology of philosophy of science (especially iHPS)
I have recently published on the nature of scientific theories, and on historical case studies in the scientific realism debate.
I am happy to supervise dissertations on any of the topics listed under 'Research Interests', and on closely related topics. Some examples of specific topics I would be happy to supervise are as follows:
'Are inferential restrictions in the face of inconsistency in science content-driven or logic-driven?'
'Should the scientific realist be motivated by 'mere' explanatory successes in science?'
'In what sense do scientific theories exist?'
'Under what circumstances is the elimination of a concept warranted?'
'Do the debates of philosophers of science suffer from a lack of knowledge of the history of science?'
'Which theory of concepts do/should our philosophical arguments assume?'
Works in Progress
Following the publication of my book Understanding Inconsistent Science I am looking to investigate the prospects for theory eliminativism in other debates, outside inconsistency in science. I am further looking to investigate the relationship between theory eliminativism and other eliminativist proposals which have been put forward, or which could be put forward. In the process the methodology of philosophy of science, and in particular its relationships with history of science and science itself, will come under the spotlight.
- Philosophical Issues in Science and Medicine
- HPSM MA Research Methods Module
- Knowledge and Reality
- Introduction to the History and Philosophy of Science
- Modern Philosophy I
- IT officer
- Seminar Organiser
- History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine
- Mind, Language, and Metaphysics
- Vickers, P. (2013). Understanding Inconsistent Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Vickers, P. (2011). A Brief Chronology of the Philosophy of Science. In The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum Press.
Journal papers: academic
- Vickers, P. (Published). Scientific Theory Eliminativism. Erkenntnis
- Vickers, P (2013). A Confrontation of Convergent Realism. Philosophy of Science 80(2): 189-211.
- Vickers, P (2012). Historical Magic in Old Quantum Theory?. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2(1): 1-19.
- French, S. & Vickers, P. (2011). Are There No Things That Are Scientific Theories?. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62(4): 771-804.
- Saatsi, J & Vickers, P (2011). Miraculous Success? Inconsistency and Untruth in Kirchhoff's Diffraction Theory. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62(1): 29-46.
- Vickers, P (2009). Can Partial Structures Accommodate Inconsistent Science?. Principia 13(2): 233-250.
- Vickers, P (2009). Was Newtonian Cosmology Really Inconsistent?. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40(3): 197-208.
- Vickers, P (2008). Frisch, Muller, and Belot on an Inconsistency in Classical Electrodynamics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59(4): 767-792.