Kent W. Staley

Philosophy and History of Science

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Saint Louis University




Henle Conference on Experimental and Theoretical Knowledge, March 26-27, 2010

Saint Louis University hosts the Henle conference biennially. The topic varies. The next Henle conference will be in the area of Philosophy of Science, on the topic of "Experimental and Theoretical Knowledge."

Go to the Conference Website!


The  Saint Louis Area Philosophy of Science Association held its second one-day conference on January 30, 2010. See the SLAPSA website.

Error and Methodology in Practice

Edited with the help of Jean Miller and Deborah Mayo, a collection of workshop papers from the ERROR06 conference, published as a special issue of Synthese.

Nobel News

On October 7, 2008 the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa, as well as to Yoichiro Nambu. Kobayashi and Maskawa won the prize, according to the announcement "for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature"

In 2001 I published a paper on Kobayashi and Maskawa's work that explored its philosophical, theoretical, and experimental background. The paper was published in Physics in Perspective, vol. 3 (2001), pp. 210-229. Here is a draft of that paper that is missing a number of photographs:

Lost Origins of the Third Generation of Quarks: Theory, Philosophy, and Experiment

Most of that paper found its way into the first chapter of my book:

The Evidence for the Top Quark: Objectivity and Bias in Collaborative Experimentation (Cambridge UP, 2004).

Recent Papers

These are not final drafts. Please do not quote without permission (or else see the published version, if there is one).

Evidence and Justification in Groups with Conflicting Background Beliefs Episteme (forthcoming)

Evidence and Justification (forthcoming in Greg Morgan (ed.) Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein)

Internalist and Externalist Aspects of Justification in Scientific Inquiry (w/ Aaron Cobb) Synthese (forthcoming)

Strategies for Securing Evidence through Model Criticism

Using Inferential Robustness to Establish the Security of an Evidence Claim

Probability in Fine-tuning Design Arguments

Error-Statistical Elimination of Alternative Hypotheses, Synthese 163 (2008): 397-408.

The CDF Collaboration and Argumentation Theory: The Role of Process in Objective Knowledge (with Bill Rehg), Perspectives on Science 16 (2008): 1-25.

Evidential Collaborations: Epistemic and Pragmatic Considerations in ‘Group Belief ’Social Epistemology, 21
(2007), 321–34.

Agency and Objectivity in the Search for the Top Quark. In Peter Achinstein (ed.), Scientific Evidence: Philo-
sophical Theories and Applications
. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005, pp. 165–84.

Robust Evidence and Secure Evidence Claims. Philosophy of Science, 71 (2004), 467–88.

What Experiment Did We Just Do? Counterfactual Error Statistics and Uncertainties about the Reference Class.
Philosophy of Science 69 (2002), 279–99.