Modeling Plakat

Metaphysics as Modeling

Contemporary and Kantian Issues

Trier University, Germany
October 7.-8. 2021


Katherine Brading
Kristina Engelhard
Brigitte Falkenburg
David Hommen
Siegfried Jaag
Michela Massimi
James O'Shea
L. A. Paul
Markus Schrenk
Lorenzo Spagnesi


The use of models such as the Lotka-Volterra model for predator/prey-population-dynamics or the billiard ball model of gases have proven to be tremendously useful in the natural sciences. Here, we adopt the minimal working assumption that a “model is an imagined or hypothetical structure that we describe and investigate in the hope of using it to understand some more complex, real- world ‘target’ system or domain” (Godfrey-Smith 2006a, 6).

Recently, philosophers have suggested that applying models in metaphysics is also a legitimate, beneficial and necessary enterprise (Godfrey-Smith 2006a, 2012; Nolan 2005; Paul 2012; Brading manuscript for a critique). As examples for models in metaphysics have been given: Humean supervenience and Armstrong’s anti-Humeanism (Godfrey-Smith 2006a, 16) or the neuron diagrams in theories of causation (Paul 2012, 14), etc.

The workshop takes place as part of the research group “Inductive Metaphysics” (, funded by DFG.

Kristina Engelhard (Trier), David Hommen (Trier), Siegfried Jaag (Düsseldorf), Markus Schrenk (Düsseldorf)

An updated programme is available here.

Attendance (both in-person and online) is free, but registration is required.

The event will be hybrid.

On site it will take place at Trier University, lecture hall A 9-A10.

For registration please contact PD Dr. David Hommen ( In case you want to attend the conference on site please register because the number of seats is limited due to Covid-measures. In case you want to attend the conference online you will get access data after your registration.