Spotlight on Research: Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science (CLPS)

Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science (CLPS)

by Erik Weber

Erik Weber is professor of Philosophy of Science at Ghent University, Belgium, and co-director of the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science.

Presentation and history

The Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science is part of the Department of Philosophy and Moral Science of Ghent University (UGent). It 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 four in 1993 to between twenty and twenty-five now. Diderik Batens retired in 2010. The centre is now directed by Erik Weber and Joke Meheus.

Research lines

Most of the research that is done at the centre fits into two central themes:

  • Logical analysis of scientific reasoning processes
  • Methodological and epistemological analysis of scientific reasoning processes

Examples of specific topics that fit into the first research line are: logical analyses of paraconsistent reasoning, reasoning under uncertainty, defeasible reasoning, abduction, causal reasoning, induction, analogical reasoning, belief revision, theory change, conceptual change, erotetic reasoning, argumentation, etc.

Examples of specific topics that fit into the second research line are: methodological and epistemological analyses of causation and mechanisms, scientific discovery, the structure of scientific theories and models, experiments and thought experiments, theory choice, theory dynamics, rationality, the social organisation of science, expertise, science policy, etc.

Working at the CLPS

The Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science is proud to be both a pleasant and efficient research environment. We aim at producing and publishing high quality research by means of careful planning, lively intellectual interaction among the members, intensive support of junior researchers by senior researchers and informal social activities. In a recent research assessment exercise (April 2012) the CLPS got the maximum score (“outstanding”) for all four criteria: quality of research output, visibility of the research group, scientific and social relevance, and long-term vision.

People with the required intellectual capacities and the right social skills who want to do research (at pre-doctoral or postdoctoral level) on one of the research topics of the CLPS (see above) can apply for a pre-doctoral or post-doctoral fellowship with the FWO (Research Foundation Flanders). If you consider such application, send your CV to Prof. Dr. Erik Weber, the director of the centre ( If we are convinced that you fit into our centre, we will help you with the application.

Besides the pre- and post-doctoral fellows, who perform research that they have planned themselves, the CLPS also has many pre- and post-doctoral researchers who work on research projects for which the permanent staff members of the centre have obtained research grants. Vacancies for this type of positions (in which the topic of research cannot be freely chosen) are announced on the website and via international mailing lists.

Visiting the CLPS

Thanks to the financial support of the Faculty Research Fund, we can provide financial assistance for foreign researchers with a minimum of two years’ postdoctoral experience for an academic stay at the CLPS (min. one month, max. six months, can be split up). This support consists of a fee of 1900 EUR per month. Applications for this scheme are judged by the board of the Faculty Research Fund. If you are interested in such a visit, send your CV to Prof. Dr. Erik Weber ( If we are convinced that you fit into our centre, we will help you apply for a grant for you.

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