Lullius Lectures

The congress will host the third edition of the Lullius Lectures, which will be in charge of Prof. Nancy Cartwright.

Nancy Cartwritgh is a Professor of Philosophy at Durham University and a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).


Lullius Lectures 2018

Mid-level theory: Without it what could anyone do?

Nancy Cartwright, Durham University &UCSD

Philosophy of science used to be criticized for excessive focus on fundamental theory. Now we do better. We study experimenting, modelling, representing, and a host of other practices as well as the role of values in science. What we don’t much study is non-fundamental theory – theory at the mid-level, which is where the heavy lifting is done. These lectures take us there.

Measurement practices are an example of mid-level theory par excellence. Mechanisms too are a big tool at mid-level. During the course of the lectures we will look at both, including mechanisms of 3 different kinds: structural mechanisms (like the ones familiar in philosophy of biology), ‘theories of change’ of the kind now widely required in policy planning and Jon Elster-type mechanisms, like priming and cognitive dissonance. The theory of the democratic peace, that democracies do not go to war with democracies, will serve as a running example.

Lecture 1. Tuesday 13th November. 15:30. Salón de Actos. Markers, mechanisms and measures.

Lecture 2. Wednesday 14th November. 9:30. Salón de Actos. Causal-chain models and theories of change.

Lecture 3. Friday 16th November. 11:30. Salón de Actos. Mechanisms and mid-level laws.


In addition, the steering committee of the society organizes a symposium on Nancy Cartwright’s work for Thursday 15, at 9h (Sala de Grados).