IUHPST/DLMPST

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Bulletin No 20

INTERNATIONAL UNION OF HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE,
DIVISION OF LOGIC, METHODOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
MINUTES OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2007

I. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND ASSESSORS OF THE DIVISION, 2004-2007

Executive Committee:

  • President, ADOLF GRÜNBAUM, University of Pittsburgh, 2510 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260-2510, USA.
  • First Vice-President, HAIM GAIFMAN, 715 Philosophy Hall, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.
  • Second Vice-President, DANIEL ANDLER, Université Paris à Sorbonne (Paris IV), 1 rue Victor Cousin, 75005 Paris, France.
  • Secretary-General, DAG WESTERSTÅHL, Göteborg University, Department of Philosophy, Box 200, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden.
  • Treasurer, ULF SCHMERL, Fakultät für Informatik, Universität der Bundeswehr München, 85577 Neubiberg, Germany.
  • Past President, MICHAEL RABIN, Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Pierce Hall, 29 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

Assessors:

  • NANCY CARTWRIGHT (UK)
  • MARIA CARLA GALAVOTTI (Italy)
  • RUDOLF HALLER (Austria)
  • GÜROL IRZIK (Turkey)
  • MARGARET MORRISON (Canada)
  • YOSAKU NISHIWAKI (Japan)
  • VICTOR RODRIGUEZ (Argentina)

Former Presidents:

  • Michael Rabin (USA)
  • Wesley Salmon† (USA)
  • Jens-Erik Fenstad (Norway)
  • L. J. Cohen (UK)
  • Dana S. Scott (USA)
  • Stephen C. Kleene† (USA)
  • Georg Henrik von Wright† (Finland)
  • Yehoshua Bar-Hillel† (Israel)
  • Stephan Körner† (UK)
  • Andrzej Mostowski† (Poland)
  • Jaakko Hintikka (Finland, USA)
  • Patrick Suppes (USA)
  • Jerzy Łoś† (Poland)

The Executive Committee of the Division is composed of the President, the Vice-Presidents, the Secretary-General, the Treasurer, and the immediate Past President. The Council consists of the Executive Committee plus the Assessors.

II. COMMITTEES FOR THE 13TH INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS
(BEIJING, CHINA, AUGUST 9-15, 2007)

Local committees:

Advisory Committee

GU Bing-lin (chair), Kim Jae-youl (chair), XIE Wei-he (vice-chair), HU Xian-zhang (vice-chair), SUN Jia-guang (vice-chair), LI Qiang, QIU Ren-zong, WANG Sun-yu.

Organizing Committee

XIE Wei-he (chair), CAI Shu-shan (executive vice-chair), WANG Qi-long (vice-chair), WANG Yu-ping (vice-chair), ZENG Guo-ping (vice-chair), ZOU Chong-li (vice-chair), GUO Gui-chun (standing member), XU Fei (standing member), JU Shi-er (standing member), CHENG Xiao-tang (standing member), HUANG Hua-xin (standing member), ZHOU Jian-she (standing member), LIU Zheng-guang (standing member), Wen Bang-yan, LI Bo-cong, CHEN, Xiao-ping, ZHANG Yi, LU Shi-rong, MENG Qing-wei, HE Xiang-dong, WAN Xiao-long, WANG Qian, LI Cheng-zhi.

Academic Committee

WANG Ning (chair), CAI Shu-shan, CHEN Jia-ying, CHEN Yong-guo, CHENG Ching-ying, LIN Yun-king, LIU Da-chun, WANG Yu-ping, WANG Qi-long, WU Guo-sheng, WU Tong, ZHAO Shi-lin, ZOU Chong-li.

Secretariat

WANG Wei (secretary-general), SHENG An-feng (vice secretary-general), ZHOU Yun-cheng (vice secretary-general), ZHANG Cheng-gang, JIANG Jin-song, YANG Jian, BAO Ou, YU Jing-long, WANG Na, YANG Ren-jie, HE Hua-qing, HU Ming-yan, JIN Ping-yue, LI Dawei, WANG Fang, TIAN Xiao-fei, YUAN Hang, WANG Cheng-wei, LIU Xiaoling.

General Program Committee

Clark Glymour (chair), Shafi Goldberg, Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Rohit Parikh, Hans Rott, QIU Ren-zong, WANG Wei (LOC representative), Dag Westerståhl (EC representative).

Sectional Program Committees

A Logic

  • A.1 Mathematical Logic: Sy Friedman (chair), Andrea Cantini, Wilfrid Hodges, Michael Makkai.
  • A.2 Philosophical and Applied Logics: Albert Visser (chair), Max Cresswell, Richmond Thomason, Heinrich Wansing.
  • A.3 Logic and Computation: Amir Pnueli (chair), Stephen Cook, Tony Pittasi, Alexander Razborov.

B General Philosophy of Science

  • B.1 General Problems of Methodology and Scientific Reasoning: James Woodward (chair), Tim Maudlin, Sahotra Sarkar, Wolfgang Spohn.
  • B.2 Formal Approaches to Methodology: Luc Bovens (chair), Ilkka Niiniluoto, Oliver Schulte.
  • B.3 Historical and Sociological Aspects in the Philosophy of Science: Michael Friedman (chair), Martin Carrier, William Harper.

C Philosophical Issues of Particular Sciences

  • C.1 Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic: Solomon Feferman (chair), John Burgess, Dag Prawitz.
  • C.2 Philosophy of Physics: David Malament (chair), Jeremy Butterfield, Soshichi Uchii.
  • C.3 Philosophy of Biology: Elliott Sober (chair), Alain Leplege, M. Weber.
  • C.4 Philosophy of Cognitive Science, Psychology and Linguistics: Ned Block (chair), Nirmalangshu Mukherji, Dan Osherson.
  • C.5 Philosophy of Economics, Theories of Rationality, Decision Theory, Game Theory.
  • C.6 Philosophy of Social Sciences (C.5 and C.6 combined): Dan Hausmann (chair), Uskali Mäki, Richard Scheines.
  • C.7 Philosophy of Medicine: Anne Fagot-Largeault (chair), Kenneth Schaffner, WANG Wei.

D Science and Society

  • D.1 Ethical Issues in Scientific Practice and Technology.
  • D.2 Bioethics.
  • D.3 Science and Education (D.1, D.2, and D.3 combined): Philip Kitcher (chair), Martin Carrier, P. McLaughlin, Jürgen Mittelstrass.

III: MINUTES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY [FRIENDSHIP HOTEL] BEIJING, CHINA AUGUST 11, 2007

Ordinary Members Present:

Australia, Austria, Baltic Association for History and Philosophy of Science, Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, USA. (39 votes)

Ordinary Members Absent:

Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Romania, South Africa, Serbia, Switzerland. (18 votes)

International Members Present:

Association for Symbolic Logic, Institute Vienna Circle, Philosophy of Science Association, Polish Association of Logic and Philosophy of Science. (16 votes)

International Members Absent:

Charles Peirce Society, European Foundation for Logic, Language and Information. (3 votes)

Thus, the voting power at the Assembly was well above half of the total voting power, as required by the Statutes, article III.15.

Observers: By tradition, General Assemblies have been open to all congress participants. In addition, DHST was represented at the Assembly by Claude Debru (France), and CIPHS was represented by its President, In-Suk Cha (Korea), and its Vice-President, An Jiayao (China).

1. Opening.

After verification of the delegates, President Grünbaum called the meeting to order at 18.45.

2. The minutes of the previous General Assembly in Oviedo.

The minutes (which had been sent out with the call to the General Assembly on April 12, 2007, and were available at the Assembly), to appear in Synthese, were approved unanimously.

3. President's report

(3a) The Executive Committee met four times during the mandate period: (1) A short meeting at the LMPS Congress in Oviedo, August 2003, hosted by Luis Valdés-Villanueva, Chair of the local Organizing Committee; (2) London, March 2004, hosted by Michael Rabin, Past President (then visiting King's College in London); (3) Pittsburgh, May 2006, hosted by Adolf Grünbaum, President; and (4) yesterday in Beijing, hosted by CAI Shu-shan, Executive Vice-Chair of the local Organizing Committee.

(3b) As instructed by the General Assembly, the Executive Committee made a choice between the proposals by Lyon and Beijing for hosting the 13th LMPS congress, after obtaining some additional information from both. Beijing was chosen, but with a commitment of the Executive Committee to look favorably on a renewed French proposal for the 14th congress. The EC's work with preparations for the Beijing Congress started at the London meeting. In particular the decreasing participation of logicians and logicians from computer science was discussed at length, but in the end it was decided not to let this fact significantly alter the distribution and numbers of invited speakers in the various sections at the Beijing congress, although a general revision of the sections was carried out, as can be seen from the congress program.

(3c) A DHST-DLMPS Joint Conference, organized by DLMPS, was held in Paris in November 2006; see item 4d below.

(3d) I would like to read the following letter from Michael Rabin, Past President, who was not able to attend this congress: "As Past President of DLMPS 2000-2004 and on the occasion of my leaving the DLMPS Executive Committee, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to President Grünbaum and to my colleagues on the Executive Committee for our shared efforts on behalf of advancing the all important goals of the DLMPS. In particular I want to thank Secretary-General Dag Westerståhl and Treasurer Ulf Schmerl for their stellar and invaluable service to DLMPS. It was a privilege working with you over the past eight years. Thanks to the hosts and organizers of the Beijing Congress for excellent work. I wish the Congress great success."

4. Secretary's report

(4a) I represented IUHPS—according to the new Joint DHST-DLMPS agreement—at a meeting with the ICSU unions in Paris in February 2004, and then at the 28th General Assembly of ICSU, our mother organization (whose acronym remains although its present name is The International Council for Science), which was held in Suzhou, China, in October 2005. Liu Dun from the Executive Committee of DHST was also present at the General Assembly. The main issue there was the Strategic Plan for ICSU 2006-2011, entitled Strengthening Science for the Benefit of Society (see the ICSU web site http://www.icsu.org). Its main goals are summarized under the headings International Research Collaboration, Science for Policy, and Universality of Science. The most significant structural change taking place within ICSU in order to further these goals is the establishment of four regional offices; one for Africa has been established in South Africa, one for South America and the Caribbean in Brazil, one for Asia and the Pacific Region recently in Malaysia; an office for the Arab region is also being planned. Few items discussed at this Assembly concerned IUHPS directly. In particular, the Grants Programme remains as was decided at the previous General Assembly, with no possibility for smaller grants to unions for conferences etc. However, the whole Programme is facing economic difficulties, and has been suspended for 2007; it is not yet clear when it will be resumed.

(4b) I attended the DHST International Congress in Beijing (also held in the Friendship Hotel) in July 2005 as a representative of DLMPS.

(4c) Relations between DLMPS and DHST have been good during the past four year period, and cooperation with both of its Secretary-Generals during the period, Juan José Saldaña and Efthymios Nicolaidis, has worked well. In particular Nicolaidis, who was present at the DHST-DLMPS Joint Conference in Paris in 2006 (see below), urged at the meeting with the Joint Commission there that these relations should become even stronger, and that the Executive Committee of each Division should regularly invite a representative of the other Division to its meetings, and share the minutes of these meetings with the other Division. I was accordingly invited to the meeting with the DHST Council in Athens in December 2006. Although I was unable to attend that meeting, I welcome this initiative from DHST, and hope that the next Executive Committee will follow up on them.

(4d) In 2006 it was the turn of DLMPS to organize a Joint DHST-DLMPS Meeting, and the Executive Committee gratefully accepted the offer by Jacques Dubucs at the Institut d'Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques (IHPST) to arrange a conference entitled "Calculability and Constructivity. Historical and Philosophical Aspects". The conference, which was a very successful event, was hosted by IHPST and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and took place November 17-18, with 13 invited speakers. Jacques Dubucs has been President of the Joint DHST-DLMPS Commission during the relevant period, and the Commission had an informal meeting during the Paris Joint Conference.

(4e) The revised Joint DHST-DLMPS Agreement was approved by the DHST General Assembly in 2005, and is presented (in slightly updated form) for approval at the present General Assembly (item 7 below).

(4f) I met with the Local Organizing Committee for the Beijing Congress in February 2007, to discuss various details concerning the congress arrangements. (The LOC covered all local expenses, and my university funded the travel.)

(4g) A DLMPS web site has finally been launched (see http://phil.gu.se/dlmps/), at present hosted at the Philosophy Department of Gothenburg University where I am working; I have undertaken to maintain it and keep it updated during the next four year period (if necessary). The site contains information about the DLMPS Council, National and International Members, previous and upcoming congresses, General Assembly minutes, the DLMPS statutes, Joint DHST-DLMPS conferences, the early history of DLMPS, links to the DHST and ICSU web sites, etc.

5. Treasurer's report

The development of the financial situation of DLMPS in the last four years does not look very spectacular — at least not at first sight. However, if we take a somewhat closer look, we will discover certain phenomena that give rise to concern. So let us go into the details and first have a look on the assets of the Division.

If we lived in a financially completely stable world where income and expenses of the Division were always the same and the purchasing power of our money completely constant as well, we would expect that the assets of the Division versus time could be represented by a periodic function in form of a saw-tooth:

Sawtooth graph

It reaches a local maximum in the year before the congress, takes its minimal value in the year where the congress takes place, and recovers in the following three years to reach again its maximum value in the year before the next congress, etc. Of course, the real world is far away from that stable model. The following table shows the development of the total assets of DLMPS in the last eight years:

Total Assets at December 31st
1999 77,418.83
2000 90,768.87
2001 110,776.63
2002 113,071.31
2003 95,691.32
2004 105,138.99
2005 115,061.20
2006 118,918.12
2007  

These figures can graphically be represented by the following curve:

GRAPH

Still, these figures do not look particularly alarming. Therefore let us go further into the details by looking at the Division's income. DLMPS has or had the following types of income:

  1. contributions of national and (since a few years) of international members
  2. support from other organizations
  3. royalties
  4. interest and profits

Support from other organizations, and here we have to name in particular ICSU, played an important role in the past, but this source has become completely dry, and it is not to be expected that it will ever be gushing again (nevertheless we are a member of ICSU and pay annual subscriptions to them). Royalties sometimes occur in our annual balances, but their importance is simply too poor (perhaps a hundred dollars per year, if at all) to be seriously taken into consideration. Hence, only contributions by members and interest or profits can seriously be considered as sources of income. The following table shows the development of contributions by members in the last eight years:

Contributions of Members
2000 15,767.84
2001 13,070.64
2002 12,302.22
2003 14,868.58
2004 10,479.31
2005 12,409.79
2006 12,199.26
2007  

Again a graphical representation of these figures might be useful:

GRAPH

These figures show that membership contributions in the last four years amount in the average to 12,000 USD per annum. And this figure does give rise to concern, as a simple calculation shows: 12,000 USD in a year means 48,000 USD in a four year period between two congresses. If the Division supports the congress by 40,000 USD (i.e. direct support to the organizers, publication of the proceedings, support of student participation etc.) there remain only 8,000 USD for all other costs. However, in the four years between two congresses there are usually three to four meetings of the Executive Committee in order to plan and to organize the next congress. Each of these meetings may cost around 8,000 USD. As a consequence we see that membership contributions do not cover the cost of the Division in a four year period.

But we have still some income due to interest or profits — perhaps these sources will finally cover our costs. In fact, from my predecessors in the office of the treasurer of DLMPS I inherited the savings of the Division. At that time these consisted in investment certificates and securities at fixed interest rate — both mainly based on Euros (or before on Deutsche Mark). As a consequence of this, we had considerable variations due to market prices of these papers and in addition even stronger variations due to the exchange rates between the Euro and the US dollar. In the beginning, the profit of these papers was quite good but became poorer and poorer in later years. Therefore I decided to convert these papers step by step to into securities at fixed interest rates, based on the US dollar. Hence there are no more variations due to exchange rates (note that according to the Statutes, I am responsible to the Division for the amounts in US dollars).

The actual volume of the savings of the Division is 64,000 USD. This allows an additional simple calculation: With an interest rate of about 4 percent, our savings yield about 2,500 USD a year or around 10,000 USD in a four year period. Clearly, this improves the balance of the Division — but obviously the amount is still not sufficient to cover the costs. (I hope that these figures will answer a somewhat angry letter I obtained last year from the treasurer of one of our national members asking me why the Division is collecting so much money on its bank accounts—and yet has so high subscription rates.)

The annual balances of the Division of the last four years, for which I am directly responsible together with the General Assembly, are presented next (see the Appendix).

Finally, let us have a brief look at the future. In a few minutes you are going to elect a new Executive Committee and among its new members you also elect the new treasurer who will be responsible of the financial matters of the Division in the next four or even in the next eight years.

I am very happy and perhaps a bit proud to be able to hand over to my successor the financial matters of the Division in a somewhat ordered and healthy state. I can tell my successor that the means available suffice to continue the work for the next four or even the next eight years.

For a longer term, however, I see dark clouds occurring in the sky if the income side of the Division cannot be improved. Here something has to be done. Just as an example, let me mention that we have or had two category-D members who stopped their contributions completely and a category-E member who reduced its contribution to category C. If we could convince only these three members or former members to assume again their former or regular contributions, the Division would have an income plus of 4,200 dollars per year! Moreover, we have to mention that we lost all of our South- and Central-American members. In addition there are relatively prosperous European countries that are not yet members of DLMPS.

Increasing the savings and in consequence the interests of the Division can also be achieved. The new Executive Committee and the new treasurer in particular will consider these possibilities. Even if we can see dark clouds in the sky, let us be aware that dark clouds are not Dooms-Day!

Discussion: Answering a question about if it would not be better to have the DLMPS accounts in Euros rather than US dollars, Ulf Schmerl said that for his part he would prefer to have both these currencies as official currencies of DLMPS. A significant advantage of the Euro is that European law restricts the bank charges on transactions within Europe, whereas transactions in US dollars often result in two or even three banks earning money on the transaction. Such a change, however, would require a change in the Statutes.

The Assembly then unanimously approved the accounts of the Division as presented by the Treasurer (see Appendix).

6. Membership issues

The previous General Assembly had delegated to the Executive Committee to terminate the membership of non-paying members (item 5 in the minutes from the Oviedo General Assembly). Still, the Executive Committee felt that it would like the present General Assembly's approval of the exclusion of the following members:

National Members:

Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Georgia, Italy, Peru, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia.

International Members:

International Academy of Philosophy of Science, International Association of Philosophy of Science, Kurt Gödel Society, Society for the Study of Islamic Philosophy and Science.

Discussion: Gerhard Heinzmann (France) remarked that many members of the International Academy of Philosophy of Science certainly wanted that organization to be a member of DLMPS, and that he would make an effort to see to it that it reapplies for membership.

The exclusion of these members was then confirmed by the Assembly, with the remark that they are all welcome to reapply for membership in IUHPS/DLMPS.

7. Ratification of the revised Joint DHST-DLMPS Agreement.

A slightly updated version of the revised Joint DHST-DLMPS Agreement, already ratified by DHST, was approved unanimously by the Assembly. (The updated version can be found on the DLMPS web site.)

8. Eventual membership in CIPSH.

CIPSH (Conseil International de la Philosophie et des Sciences Humaines) is an organization belonging to UNESCO (see http://www.unesco.org/cipsh), somewhat parallel to ICSU but directed towards the humanities rather than the natural sciences. Our sister Division DHST is a member, and DLMPS has been invited to join as well. The Secretary-General of CIPSH, Maurice Aymard, had expressed in letter to Dag Westerståhl his enthusiasm over the possibility that DLMPS might joint CIPSH. Furthermore, he had asked the President of CIPSH, Prof. In-Suk Cha (Korea), as well as the Vice-President, Prof. An Jiayao (China), to attend the DLMPS General Assembly in Beijing; both were present at the Assembly. The President gave the floor to Prof. Cha, who made a brief presentation of the history, goals, and activities of CIPSH, again emphasizing that the organization would be very pleased to have DLMPS as a member.

After a brief discussion, Dag Westerståhl moved that the Assembly delegate to the new Executive Committee to start negotiations with CIPSH about the details of a DLMPS membership (while remaining in ICSU) in a positive spirit, and to make a decision in this matter. The motion was approved unanimously.

9. Election of officers to the new DLMPS Council.

The Nominations Committee (Adolf Grünbaum (chair), Maria Carla Galavotti, Michael Rabin, Victor Rodriguez) proposed the following candidates:

Executive Committee 2008-2011:

  • President: Wilfrid Hodges (UK).
  • 1st Vice-President: Soshichi Uchii (Japan).
  • 2nd Vice-President: Anne Fagot-Largeault (France).
  • Secretary-General: Peter Clark (UK).
  • Treasurer: Ralf Schindler (Germany).

(The Past President is automatically Adolf Grünbaum, USA.)

The slate of candidates was approved unanimously.

Assessors 2008—2011:

  • J. N. Butterfield (UK)
  • Cai Shushan (China)
  • N. da Costa (Brazil)
  • Anna Estany (Spain)
  • Joelle Proust (France)
  • M. Rédei (Hungary)
  • F. Stadler (Austria)

Discussion: Jan Woleński (Polish Association of Logic and Philosophy of Science) argued that it was not right to have an assessor from Brazil, since that country had just been excluded. Adolf Grünbaum and Dag Westerståhl replied that assessors do not represent the countries they live in, but are elected in their capacity of competent scholars that may assist the Executive Committee. The names of these countries are mentioned in the list only to indicate the geographical distribution of the assessors.

The slate of assessors was then approved by a substantial majority.

10. Host of the next LMPS Congress (2011).

The Executive Committee has received a proposal from the University of Nancy, France, to host the 14th LMPS International Congress. The proposal is supported by the French National Committee of History and Philosophy of Science, and was presented at the Assembly by Anne Fagot-Largeault and Gerhard Heinzmann. The President thanked the proposers and French National Committee for their generous and well prepared offer, and moved that it be accepted. The General Assembly unanimously accepted the proposal.

11. Closing.

Wilfrid Hodges (UK) thanked the outgoing Executive Committee, on behalf of the new Executive Committee and the General Assembly, for its dedicated and successful work during the past four years.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 20:30.

Respectfully submitted,
Dag Westerståhl
Secretary-General IUHPS/DLMPS

Financial Appendix, 2003-2006 (pdf file 68KB).