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Simon Allzén joins the Vossius Center for two months in October 2021 as a Research Fellow with the project 'Evidence, Methodology and Inference in the History of Dark Matter'.

About the project

The overarching research question of the project can be roughly expressed as the following: is the methodological and evidential practices in cosmology and astronomy compatible with how philosophy of science understands that science is done? This research is in part historical which allows it to transcend the boundary between the humanities and sciences and help philosophers to better understand methodological nuance in science.

One particular aspect of the overarching research question that I will focus on during the visit is whether or not the epistemological history of dark matter can be captured by Bayesian confirmation theory. This question will in part be addressed in joint work with Vossius member Jaco de Swart. We follow the history of dark matter as discussed by de Swart (2017, 2020) to argue that dark matter's historical development actually forms a notable challenge to Bayesian Confirmation Theory. We aim to identify and address which particular features in two papers published in 1974 (Ostriker et al. and Einasto et al.) that contributed epistemically to the dark matter hypothesis.

About the researcher

Simon Allzén is PhD reseacher in Theoretical philosophy at Stockholm University.

My main interests lie in metaphysics and the philosophy of science, particularly in questions about how to understand the notions of fundamentality and structure. I did my MA in theoretical philosophy at the University of Gothenburg in which I investigated the explanatory role of metaphysics in science, and what consequences this could have for the justification of a particular ontological principle associated with certain versions of scientific realism.

I also have an interest in moral philosophy, particularly in metaethics and moral responsibility.