Upcoming Events

The Fortunes of the Speculative Sciences in the Early Modern Period

William Hogarth The Analysis of Beauty

William Hogarth The Analysis of Beauty*

Friday 30 October
Rogers Room, Woolley Building A22
Sponsored by The Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science
Click here to register

Workshop Theme
The category of the Speculative Sciences has a long pedigree going all the way back to Aristotle. However, in the seventeenth century the status and classification of the speculative sciences underwent significant change. Natural philosophy, for example, moved from being a speculative science to an experimental or practical science. Furthermore, in some quarters there was increasing hostility to ‘speculative philosophy’ and a general devaluing of the epistemic status of the speculative sciences. This workshop will examine the causes and implications of such changes, the defenders of the speculative sciences, and the various reconfigurations of this category in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

This workshop is being run in conjunction with the visit to the Centre of Professor Mordechai Feingold from Caltech.


  • 9.00–9.50
    James Franklin (UNSW)
    ‘Late scholastic successes in the speculative sciences’
  • 10.00–11.00
    Mordechai Feingold (Caltech)
    ‘Experimental philosophy in seventeenth-century England’
  • 11.10–12.00
    Paul Oslington (Alphacrucis)
    ‘Speculation about economic order in 18th century Britain’
  • 12.00–2.00
    Lunch in the Philosophy Common Room,
  • 2.00–2.50
    John Gascoigne (UNSW)
    ‘The teaching of natural philosophy and natural history in the dissenting academies of the late 17th and 18th centuries'
  • 3.00–3.50 Peter Anstey (Sydney)
    ‘The role of principles in the speculative sciences’

More information
For more information please contact Professor Peter Anstey.

*William Hogarth
The Analysis of Beauty, Plate I, 1753
original copper engravings on thick wove paper
39 x 50 cm
University of Sydney Art Collection
Donated by Lynette Jensen in honour of the Philosophy Department, the University of Sydney 2015

Aviation Cultures Mk. II: Technology, Culture, Heritage

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Join the Aviation Cultures conversation on Twitter at #aviationcultures

Download the preliminary conference abstracts. (Updated 7 October 2015)

DC10 and altimeter

10–11 December 2015
The University of Sydney and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences

Aviation has formed a significant aspect of Australian life for over a century, yet its cultural impact has only recently begun to be explored. From science to sociology, fashion to fiction, this will be the first event to offer a truly national approach to interpreting the technologies, cultures and collections that embody Australia’s aviation heritage. Hosted by the University of Sydney and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, we welcome participation by curators, scholars, authors and students of our flying past. Three themes will characterise our discussions, in the hope of creating a common language and a mission for the future: technology, culture and heritage.

For submissions or more information, please contact:
Peter Hobbins

This event has been made possible with the support of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

Click here Update 4 September 2015: Download the preliminary conference programme.