It is widely acknowledged that non-empirical theory assessment plays some role in determining the status of scientific theories in physics and beyond. There is much disagreement, however, on the evaluation of this fact. Does the increasing reliance on non-empirical assessment in fundamental physics reflect a productive empowering of theoretical reasoning or does it indicate an act of desperation in the absence of empirically testable hypotheses? This core question is related to a number of more specific conceptual issues. Are there any promising strategies for evaluating the epistemic status of non-empirical theory assessment? Under which conditions does non-empirical theory assessment amount to significant confirmation? How flexible can scientists be when selecting the toolbox of non-empirical assessment? What is its scope?  What are the core conceptual problems of the approach? How seriously do those problems constrain the relevance of the approach? To what extent can those problems be solved or held in check? The present workshop takes an in depth look at those issues and aims to provide incentives and directions for further research on the topic. 


  • Elena Castellani (Florence)
  • Cristin Chall (Bonn and South Carolina)
  • Karen Crowther (Geneva)
  • Radin Dardashti (Wuppertal)
  • Richard Dawid (Stockholm)
  • Stephan Hartmann (Munich)
  • Casey McCoy (Stockholm)
  • Tushar Menon (Oxford)
  • Martin Sahlén (Uppsala)
  • Karim Thèbault (Bristol)


Program Stockholm Workshop 2019 (78 Kb)