The Rotman Institute of Philosophy's Mission is to bring philosophers into productive engagement with scientists, policy makers and the public.

Originally founded in 2008, the Institute continues to foster outstanding and collaborative research thanks to the generous support of the Rotman Family Foundation and Western University.

Who We Are

Members of the Rotman Institute include scholars who work on history and the philosophy of science, research ethics, bioethics, science and values, and feminist approaches to science. We come together in a unique collaborative workspace to engage, explore and exchange ideas. This “philosophy laboratory” is the heart of the Rotman Institute.

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Rotman Projects

Research at the Rotman Institute takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together philosophers and scientists to focus on theoretical issues and their practical and ethical implications in areas of science from cosmology to conservation ecology, evolutionary biology, and medicine.

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What We Do

Philosophy of science has become disconnected from scientific practice. Philosophers have a valuable set of skills to contribute to the problems faced by scientists. We challenge assumptions and invoke philosophical and ethical concepts that range from the nature of causation to the demands of justice.

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The 2014 Rotman Summer Institute

Each year the Rotman Summer Institute brings graduate students together with exceptional faculty from around the world to focus on a topic of special interest where philosophy and science meet and interact.

This year’s Institute brings together philosophers of science and metaphysicians with historians of philosophy to discuss conceptual and historical issues concerning the nature and role of causal powers in science and the prospects of the debate between the neo-Aristotelian and neo-Humean approaches to causation and laws of nature. This is a unique event in blending historical and conceptual perspectives on a central philosophical issue and its relevance to the scientific image of the world. The goal for students is to come away from the course prepared to engage the philosophical and historical literature on causal powers and their place in science at a professional level. Students will attend lectures, participate in group discussions and present their own work. A special feature of the Institute will be specially designed ‘interactive’ sessions and round tables. Lecture topics include: powers and their place in mechanical philosophy; powers, causation and the problem of induction; causal structuralism and dispositional essentialism; causal powers and modern science.


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