Webster University's 14th Annual Philosophy Conference

Webster University Philosophy Department welcomes you to the 14th Annual Philosophy Conference on Friday, March 29, 2019 in the Sunnen Lounge, University Center.

Our Keynote Speaker, is Dr. Catherine Z. Elgin, Professor of Philosophy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the author of True Enough, Considered Judgment, Between the Absolute and the Arbitrary, With Reference to Reference, and co-author with Nelson Goodman of Reconceptions in Philosophy and Other Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Elgin will present "Science and Public Policy: Bridging the Epistemic Gap." Dr. Elgin's Abstract will address:
"Policy makers are practical. Their job is to design executable plans of action. They rely on scientists for information, expecting that information to be clear, determinate, exact, and demonstrably true. Science cannot provide it. It relies on models and idealizations that are known to be false. They are inexact and based on assumptions about facts, methods, instruments, and measurements. They are justified by measurements with margins of error. They are open to revision and correction based on further findings. These, I maintain are features, not bugs. But the stereotype of science as a source of exact, incontrovertible truth leads policy makers and the public to misunderstand the contributions of science. I will discuss how scientific models afford understanding. I will then ask how the models science has the capacity to develop can be of use to policy makers, even though they are not wholly accurate or immune from error."


  • Keynote Speaker's presentation is at 12:15 PM.
  • We will have two sessions of student presentations:
    • Morning Session will go from 10-11:30 AM.
    • Afternoon Session will go from 1:20-5 PM.

Lunch will be provided.


These conferences are made possible through the efforts of the student Philosophy Coalition, with support from the Webster University Philosophy Department, the College of Arts & Sciences, the office of the Provost, and the Faculty Speakers Committee. 

Friday, March 29, 2019 at 10:00am to 5:00pm


Divisions, College of Arts & Sciences




FREE and Open to Public

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