The Philosophy of Howard Stein, and Its Contemporary Interest

It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the publication of Howard Stein’s paper “Newtonian Space Time” in 1967 inaugurated the modern study of the foundations of physics. Thereafter, Stein’s work continued to set the standard in the philosophical community and beyond for the study of theories of spacetime structure (Newtonian and relativistic), the conceptual structure of quantum mechanics, the methodology of science in general and the character of scientific knowledge, and the history of physics and mathematics. This three-day conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stein’s landmark paper by providing an opportunity to reflect on Stein’s lasting influence for those working on a wide range of topics of vital interest to historians and philosophers of science. While speakers include Stein’s former colleagues, past students and friends, our focus is on his continuing influence on contemporary work, and we aim to demonstrate the relevance of Stein’s work for the next fifty years of our discipline.

Howard Stein is Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he spent most of his academic career (including his doctoral studies).  A bibliography of his work may be found here, with links to many papers found here.

Please see above for links to details of speakers, venue and (eventually) schedule. There is no fee to attend the conference but advance registration is requested; please register by following this link. If you have questions about the conference you may email pashby at

The conference organizing committee is composed of Erik Curiel (LMU Munich), Kevin Davey (Chicago), Thomas Pashby (Chicago), Karim Thébault (Bristol) and James Weatherall (UCI). We are grateful for the generous support of: