CURRICULUM VITAE

Malcolm R. FORSTER

Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin‑Madison
Madison, Wisconsin, U. S. A. 53706

http://philosophy.wisc.edu/forster

mforster@wisc.edu
Updated November 2004

 

DEGREES and PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

·        July 1987 to present: Philosophy Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Full Professor since 1996).

·        Jan. 1986 ‑ June 1987.  Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

·        PhD in Philosophy, University of Western Ontario, October 28, 1984.

·        UNESCO/Poland “Copernicus” Research Fellowship ‑ History of Astronomy, in the History of Science at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw. Feb. 1979 ‑ Jan 1980.

·        MSc in Applied Mathematics, University of Otago, May 22, 1979.

·        Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Philosophy, with credit, University of Otago, May 22, 1979.

ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS:

·        Vilas Associate, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995 and 1996.

·        Sabbatical Awards, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1994–1995, and 20012-2002.

·        Faculty Development Grant, University of Wisconsin. “Recent Literature in Physics.” Fall, 1991.

·        NSF Grant: “A Whewellian Philosophy of Science”  $40,000. 1989.

WORK IN PROGRESS:

M. Forster (ed.) (~2008):  The Philosophy of Statistics, Volume 15 in the Handbook for Philosophy of Science, Kluwer Academic Publishers.  http://people.uleth.ca/~woods/HHPL_WP/hhpl.html

            (Under contract with Kluwer.)

CO-EDITED VOLUME:

In Jae Myung, M. Forster and Michael W. Browne (2000):  Special Issue on Model Selection, Journal of Mathematical Psychology, March 2000. “Guest Editors' Introduction”, pp. 1-2.

ARTICLES:

M. Forster (invited): “Causation, Prediction and Accommodation”, proceedings of the 3rd International Konstanz Summer School 2004, Causality, Uncertainty & Ignorance, Stephan Hartmann (ed), Mind and Machines (estimated date of publication, 2006).

M. Forster (forthcoming): “The Miraculous Consilience of Quantum Mechanics”, in Ellery Eells and James Fetzer (eds.), Probability and Science.

M. Forster and E. Sober (2004): ‘Reply to Boik and Kruse,’ in Mark Taper and Subhash Lele (eds), Likelihood and Evidence, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 181-190.

M. Forster and E. Sober (2004): ‘Why Likelihood,’ in Mark Taper and Subhash Lele (eds), Likelihood and Evidence, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 153-165.

M. Forster and Alexey Kryukov (2003): “The Emergence of the Macro-World: A Study of Intertheory Relations in Classical and Quantum Mechanics.” Philosophy of Science (Dec. 2003).

Martignon, Laura, Oliver Vitouch, Masonori Takezawa, and M. R. Forster (2003): “Naive and yet enlightened: From natural frequencies to fast and frugal decision trees.” In David Hardman and Laura Macchi (Eds.), Thinking: Psychological Perspective on Reasoning, Judgment,  and Decision Making.  Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 189-211.

M. Forster (2002):  Predictive Accuracy as an Achievable Goal of Science,” Philosophy of Science 69: S124-S134.

M. Forster (2001):  “The New Science of Simplicity” in A. Zellner, H. A. Keuzenkamp, and M. McAleer (eds.), Simplicity, Inference and Modelling, Cambridge University Press, 83-119.

M. Forster and Larry Shapiro (2000): “Prediction and Accommodation in Evolutionary Psychology,” Psychological Inquiry 11: 31-33.

M. Forster (2000):  “Key Concepts in Model Selection: Performance and Generalizability,” in a special issue of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology 44: 205-231.

M. Forster (2000):  “Hard Problems in the Philosophy of Science: Idealisation and Commensurability,” in R. Nola and H. Sankey (eds) After Popper, Kuhn, and Feyerabend, Kluwer,  231-250

M. Forster (1999)  “Model Selection in Science: The Problem of Language Variance.” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50: 83-102.

M. Forster (1999): “How Do Simple Rules ‘Fit to Reality’ in a Complex World?”  Minds and Machines  9: 543-564.

M. Forster (1995):  “Bayes and Bust: Simplicity as a Problem for a Probabilist’s Approach to Confirmation,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46: 399-424.

M. Forster (1995):  “The Golfer’s Dilemma: A Reply to Kukla on Curve-Fitting,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46: 348-360.

M. Forster  and Eric Saidel (1994):  “Connectionism and the Fate of Folk Psychology,”  Philosophical Psychology 7: 437 - 452.

M. Forster (1994):  “Non-Bayesian Foundations of Statistical Estimation, Prediction and the Ravens Example” Erkenntnis  40: 357 - 376.

M. Forster and E. Sober (1994):  “How to Tell when Simpler, More Unified, or Less Ad Hoc Theories will Provide More Accurate Predictions,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45: 1- 35.

E. Sober and M. Forster (1992):  “Lessons in Likelihood,” American Scientist 80: 212‑213.

M. Forster (1991):  “Preconditions of Predication: From Qualia to Quantum Mechanics,” Topoi 10: 13‑26.

M. Forster (1988):   “The Confirmation of Common Component Causes,” in A. Fine & J Leplin (eds.), PSA 1988, Vol. 1, pp.3‑9.

M. Forster (1988):   “Sober’s Principle of Common Cause and the Problem of Comparing Incomplete Hypotheses,” Philosophy of Science 55, (1988), pp.538‑59.

M. Forster (1988):  “Unification, Explanation, and the Composition of Causes in Newtonian Mechanics,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 19: 55‑101.

M. Forster (1988):   “Game Theory, Rationality, and Free Will,” in Cauchy, Venant, ed., Philosophy and Culture, V 3, Montreal Ed Montmorency, 1988, pp.82‑6.

M. Forster (1986):  “Unification and Scientific Realism Revisited,” in A. Fine and P. Machamer (eds.) PSA 1986, Volume 1, pp. 394‑405.

M. Forster (1986)  “Counterfactual Reasoning in the Bell‑EPR Paradox,” Philosophy of Science 53: 133‑144.

M. Forster (1986):   “Statistical Covariance as a Measure of Phylogenetic Relationship,” Cladistics 2: 297‑317.

M. Forster (1986)  Bell’s Paradox and Path Analysis,” in Weingartner P. and G. Dorn (eds.) Foundations of Physics, Vienna: Holder‑Pichler‑Tempsky, 1986, pp. 191‑226.

ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRIES:

M. Forster (invited): “Prediction”, Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science, edited by Stathis Psillos and Martin Curd.

Michael Reidy and M. Forster (forthcoming): “William Whewell (1794-1866).”  In Thomas Hockey (ed.) Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

M. Forster (1999):  “Parsimony and Simplicity.” In Robert A. Wilson and F. C. Keil (eds), The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 627-629.

M. Forster (1995):  “The Curve‑Fitting Problem,” in R. Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, Cambridge University Press., First and Second Edition.

BOOK REVIEWS:

M. Forster (1990):  “Review of Langley, P, H. A. Simon, G. L. Bradshaw, & J. M. Zytkow (1987). Scientific Discovery: Computational Explorations of the Creative Process.Philosophy of Science 57: 336-338.

M. Forster (1985):  “Review of N. Cartwright (1983) How the Laws of Physics Lie,” Philosophy of Science 52: 478‑479.

INVITED TALKS AND CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS:

2005    Pacific APA to be held at the St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, March 23-27, 2005.

2004    Invited plenary speech, 3rd International Summer School 2004, Causality, Uncertainty & Ignorance, University of Konstanz, Germany, 15-21 August 2004.

2004    Invited talk, workshop on model selection August 27 to 29, 2004, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

2004    Interview, March 26, 2004, Rotman Canada Research Chair, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.

2003    Invited presentation “Is Maxwell's Rule Right?”, conference on philosophical and  foundational problems in statistical physics, Utrecht (the Netherlands), 28-30 November, 2003, organized by Dennis Dieks and Jos Uffink.  http://www.philphys.nl/conferencesutrecht.html

2002       (with Alexey Kryukov) “Generalized Forces and the Emergence of the Ideal Gas Law:  The Quantum Mechanics of a Single Particle in a Box.”  Presented at PSA 2002, Milwaukee, Nov. 8th 2002.

2002      “Scientific evidence and the agreement of independent measurements:  Newton’s apple and causal modeling.”  Presented to the 65th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, Banff, Canada, July 28, 2002.

2001  Presentation to the Korean Society for the Philosophy of Science, June 29, 2001.

2001      Invited talks at Beijing Normal University, June 12, and University of Beijing, June 13, 14, 2001.

2001      Invited talk at the State University of Montana, Bozeman, March 30, 2001.

2001      Invited talk at the Max Planck Institute, Berlin, Germany, March 10, 2001.

2000      Symposium participant on Simplicity, Model Selection, and the Akaike Information Criterion, Vancouver, Canada, Nov. 1-3, 2000.

1999      “The Case of the Naked Causal Asymmetries.” Presentation to the workshop on Conditional Independence Structures and Graphical Models, The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, Toronto, Canada, Sept. 27, 1999.

1999      “Causal asymmetries in a simple two-variable model.” Presentation to Conditional Independence Structures, Seminar 1, the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, Toronto, Canada, Oct. 5, 1999.

1999   “Notice: No Free Lunches for Anyone, Bayesians Included”  presented at the 11th International Congress for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Krakow, Poland, Aug. 20, 1999.

1999   “Extrapolation Error: The Achilles’ Heel of Statistics?.”  Econometrics seminar, University of Wisconsin-Madison, March 19, 1998

1998  “The Hard Problems in the Philosophy of Science,” Dept. of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, December 3, 1998.

1998  “On the Irrationality of All Statistical Methods.” Presented at a NIPS workshop on Fast and Frugal Heuristics, Breckenridge, Colorado, December 4, 1998.

1998  “Why Forster and Sober Are Not Bayesian: A Reply”  Central Division APA meetings, Chicago, April 1998.

1997   Invited plenary talk at the Fifth World Meeting for the International Society of Bayesian Analysis, held in Istanbul, Turkey, August 15 - 18, 1997.

1997   The New Logic of Science: A Response to Kuhn.”  Presented at the Australasian Association of Philosophy meetings in Auckland, New Zealand, July 6 - 12, 1997.

1997   “The Modeling of Model Selection” Conference on “Methods for Model Selection.”  Bloomington, Indiana, August 3 - 4, 1997.

1997   “Akaike’s Non-Conventional Solution to the Curve-Fitting Problem: A Reply to Scott De Vito.”  Central Division APA meetings, Pittsburgh, April 23 - 26, 1997.

1997   “The New Science of Simplicity,” Tilburg, the Netherlands.  January 9 - 11, 1997.

1997   “Akaike’s Information Criterion”, Sociology Dept., UW-Madison, September 1997.

1996   Newton’s Apple, and the Prediction of Facts of a Different Kind” invited presentation at a Cognitive Science conference at Carleton University, May 1996.

1995   “A Problem for the Popperian Conception of Simplicity,” presented to the 10th International Congress for Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, held in Florence, Italy, August 19-25, 1995.

1995   “Bayes and Bust: A Reply to Bandyopadhyay,” Commentary, Central Division APA, April 29, 1995.

1994   “Aiming at Accurate Predictions in Science,” presented to the Statistics Department, University of Wisconsin, Madison.  December 7, 1994.

1994   “Is Statistics More Illuminating than Logic in Philosophy of Science?,”  SUNY at Buffalo, September 26, 1994.

1993   “Getting at the Truth with the Aid of Idealizations,” Auckland University, N.Z., June 11, 1993.

1993   “An Information-Theoretic Analysis of Some Possible Models of Classical Conditioning,” presented to the Neuroscience Interest Group, University of Otago, N. Z., July 14, 1993.

1993   “Getting at the Truth with the Aid of Idealizations,” Canterbury University, N.Z., July 29, 1993.

1993    Invited participant in a Conference on Non-Formal Theories of Reason (organized by Cliff Hooker and Hal Brown), Newcastle, Australia, August 2‑6, 1993.

1992   “Connectionism and the Fate of Folk Psychology” (with Eric Saidel) presented at the 1992 Society of Philosophy and Psychology meetings in Montreal, June 7‑10, 1992.

1991   “Learning and Generalization in Connectionist Networks,” presented to the 9th Congress for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, held at Uppsala, Sweden, August 7‑14, 1991.

1990   Invited participant in a weekend conference on “Inference from Phenomena” held at the University of Western Ontario on October 26‑28, 1990.

1989   Invited participant at week‑long conference on “Problems and Changes in Predication” held at University of California at Irvine, August 1989.

1988   “The Confirmation of Common Component Causes” read at the Philosophy of Science Association meetings held at Evanston, Illinois, October 27‑31, 1988.

1988   “Scientific Discovery”, July 27, 1988. Philosophy, University of Otago, New Zealand.

1988   “Proofs of Parsimony”, August 10, 1988. Philosophy, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

1987   “Fodor on the Analogy between Science and Cognition,” June 12, 1987. Psychology, Monash University, Australia.

1986   “Unification and Scientific Realism Revisited,” Philosophy of Science Association Meetings, Pittsburgh, 1986.

1986   “Whewell and the Problem of Component Causes” July 31, 1986.  Philosophy, University of Newcastle, Australia.

1986   “Whewell and the Problem of Component Causes” October 22, 1986.  Philosophy, University of California, Irvine.

1986   “Whewell and the Problem of Component Causes” October 28, 1986.  History and Philosophy of Science, University of Maryland, College Park.

1986   “Whewell and the Problem of Component Causes,” November 5, 1986.  Philosophy, University of Wisconsin‑Madison.

1986   “Whewell and the Problem of Component Causes” November 7, 1986.  Philosophy, Syracuse University.

1985   “The Realist Account of Cosmic Coincidences,” Australasian Association of Philosophy Meetings, Sydney, 1985.

1985   “The Objects of Perception,” Australasian Association of Philosophy Meetings, Sydney, 1985.

1983   Bell’s Paradox: What’s the Problem?” Section 8, 7th International Congress for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science, Salzburg 1983.  (Paper printed in Abstracts.)

1983   “Game Theory, Rationality, and Free Will,” XVII World Congress of Philosophy, Montreal 1983.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS, SERVICE:

·        Newsletter Editor and webpage manager for the Philosophy of Science Association, 1999 to present.

·        Member of the Philosophy of Science Association Program Committee for PSA 2002.

·        Co-organizer of a conference on “Methods for Model Selection” held at the University of Indiana, August 3 - 4, 1997, and co-editor of the proceedings in a special issue of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology, March 2000.

·        Occasional referee for Philosophical Psychology, Journal of Philosophical Logic, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Foundations of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Synthčse, Noűs, National Science Foundation, Philosophy of Science, Journal of Mathematical Psychology, Journal of Economic Methodology, and book proposals/manuscripts for Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.

·        Member of the Philosophy of Science Association, 1985 to present, British Society for the Philosophy of Science, 1994 to present.

DISSERTATIONS AND THESES:

·        Probabilistic Causality and the Foundations of Modern Science.  PhD dissertation (1984), University of Western Ontario. Supervisor: Jeffrey Bub.  This thesis looks at the conceptual puzzles of quantum mechanics as an instance of the more general problem of drawing theoretical inferences from statistical data, as in path analysis and causal modeling in the social sciences.

·        The Sneedian View of Theories, P.G.D.A. dissertation (1979), University of Otago, Supervisor: Alan Musgrave.  A critique of J. Sneed’s model‑theoretic reconstruction of scientific theories.

·        Mathematical Models of Pulsatile Blood Flow.  MSc dissertation in Applied Mathematics (1979), University of Otago. Supervisor: Ray Enlow.  A unified treatment of a number of mathematical results in the analysis of pulsatile motion of a Newtonian fluid in viscoelastic tubes of nearly circular cross‑section.