CLPS - Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science

Department of Philosophy and moral sciences
Research focus 




28 April: seminar by Jaakko Kuorikoski (Helsinki).

11-13 May: workshop Mathematics as/in Science.

23-24 May: workshop Mechanisms in Ghent.



In 2015 we established a series of workshops on topics that are important for our research. This series is called Logic, Reasoning and Rationality. See for all information about this series.

This workshop series is the main activty of a scientific research network called that we coordinate. This network is called Logical and Methodologcial Analysis of Scientific Reasoning Processes. See for all information about this network.

In 2016 we started a seminar series called the Ghent-Brussels Seminars in Logic, History and Philosophy of Science. As the title suggests, this is a joint initiative with our colleagues of the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Free University of Brussels.



Our centre had organised many international conferences and workshops the last two decades. The most important ones are:

6th Formal Ethics conference (Formal Ethics 2019) (19-21 June 2019). 

7th Biennial Conference of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP2018) (30 June - 2 July 2018).

12th International Conference on Deontic Logic (DEON 2014) (12-14 July 2014) 

Trends in Logic XIV (8-11 July 2014):

HOPOS 2014 (3-5 July 2014):

Congress on Logic and Philosophy of Science (16-18 September 2013):

History and Philosophy of Computing (7-10 November 2011):

Causality and Explanation in the Sciences (19-21 September 2011):

Logic, Reasoning and Rationality. An International Congress in Honour of Diderik Batens (20-22 September 2010:

Philosophical Aspects of Symbolic Reasoning in Early Modern Science and Mathematics (27-29 August 2009):

Induction: Historical and Contemporary Approaches (8-10 July 2008).

The Social Sciences and Democracy: A Philosophy of Science Perspective (28-30 September 2006).

Thought Experiments Rethought (24-25 September 2004).

Causation and Explanation in the Natural and Social Sciences (15-18 May 2002).

International Congress on Discovery and Creativity (14-16 May 1998).

First World Congress on Paraconsistency (30 July-2 August 1997).





The Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science was founded in 1993 by Diderik Batens, who was then professor of logic and philosophy of science. Among the first members were Joke Meheus (then a pre-doctoral fellow of the FWO, the Research Foundation – Flanders) and Erik Weber (at that time a post-doctoral fellow of the FWO). In 1997 Erik Weber became professor in philosophy of science. In 2003 Joke Meheus became research professor, with logic as area of specialisation. The size of the centre grew gradually from 4 in 1993 to approximately 25 now. Diderik Batens retired in 2010. The centre is now directed by Erik Weber, Joke Meheus and  Maarten Van Dyck. The latter started to work at the centre in 2001 and became professor in history and philosophy of science in 2009.

Research lines

Non-classical logics for defeasible reasoning processes

The logic research in the centre focuses on defeasible reasoning processes (reasoning processes  in which a conclusion formulated at a certain stage may be withdrawn in view of new information or more insight in already available information) Adaptive logics, a specific subtype of non-classical logics were developed at the centre as a unified framework for studying defeasible reasoning. We do logical research at object-level (developing of new systems) and at meta-level (proving meta-theoretic results, studying relations between logical systems, …)

Formal Analysis of Human Reasoning

Because of its strong focus on defeasible reasoning, our logic research is directly relevant for (and is inspired by) the study of scientific reasoning processes. This creates a link with the centre’s research in philosophy of science research (see below). Examples of types of defeasible reasoning that occur frequently in the sciences are: abduction, inductive generalisation, causal reasoning and reasoning by analogy. A second important domain of application for our logical research is practical and moral reasoning: reasoning about actions, intentions, norms, values, … In our formal analysis of human reasoning processes we us the above-mentioned (qualitative) non-classical logics, but also quantitative formal methods (e.g. Bayesian methods).

Philosophy of Scientific Practice

With “scientific practice” we mean: reasoning pattern en behavioural patterns that occurs frequently in scientific research.  Important topics are causality and scientific explanation. In this research line (contrary to the previous one) scientific reasoning processes are studies from an epistemological and philosophy of science perspective.

Social Epistemology

Social epistemology studies the collective, social aspects of scientific research and other knowledge producing practices. Peer review and consensus formation are important topics with respect to the social organization of science. Outside the realm of science, there is e.g. our research into the functioning and efficiency of truth commissions.

Integrated History and Philosophy of Science (&HPS)

&HPS refers to research in which history of science and philosophy of science are integrated. This integrated research aims at a better understanding of the development of science, but is also relevant for contemporary issues in philosophy of science. For instance, if we investigate the epistemological and metaphysical concepts and assumptions of scientists in the past, this gives us better insight into what these scientists were doing and why they were doing it. These insights can be confronted with contemporary science and thus made relevant for contemporary debates in the philosophy of science.

Het logica-onderzoek van het Centrum voor Logica en Wetenschapsfilosofie heeft vooral betrekking op wetenschappelijke redeneerprocessen, maar recent is er ook aandacht voor morele redeneringen. Om deze redeneerprocessen te analyseren worden logische systemen ontwikkeld en toegepast. De meeste hiervan passen in het adaptieve-logica-programma van Diderik Batens, oprichter van het centrum en nu emeritus gewoon hoogleraar.

In het wetenschapsfilosofisch onderzoek van het centrum nemen de analyse van causaliteit in de wetenschappen en van wetenschappelijke verklaring een heel belangrijke plaats in. Daarnaast is er ook aandacht voor wetenschappelijke revoluties en ontdekking, voor historische en filosofische vragen met betrekking tot de ontwikkeling van de wiskunde en rond de ontwikkeling van de natuurkunde en voor sociaal-epistemologische vragen rond de optimale sociale organisatie van wetenschap.



Affiliated Members

Former Members