Balzan Research Project (2015-19) – Styles of Reasoning

The aim of the Balzan Styles of Reasoning research project is to continue and advance the important and wide-ranging work of Professor Ian Hacking, 2014 winner of the Balzan Prize, through the support of emerging researchers, conferences, and publications.

Although Hacking’s work covers a tremendous range, it is united by a single concern. He shows how our contemporary investigations of nature and of ourselves — our science, our mathematics, our philosophy, and our definitions of chance, illness, and the self — have been shaped by our concepts and their histories. Hacking’s socio-historical-philosophical examinations of the rise and fall of different styles of reasoning have had a lasting impact on the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. His work demonstrates his mastery of the formal techniques of logic and confirmation theory, as well as his depth of knowledge of contemporary science and its history. It has led to the introduction and elaboration of new conceptual structures; distinctive ways of understanding the possibility and growth of knowledge; and new understandings of the relation between thought, language, and cognition.

For its full 5-year duration, the Balzan Styles of Reasoning research project will support graduate students exploring styles of reasoning in the wide range of topics dealt with by Professor Hacking: philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of science and mathematics, and social and political philosophy. Funds are available to support both University of Toronto doctoral students and visiting international graduate students; however, visiting international graduate students always need to have independent external funding as well to be admitted at Toronto. The research project will also supply travel awards to Toronto graduate students presenting their research at international conferences.

In 2019, the Styles of Reasoning project will end in a major conference in Toronto, featuring contributions from leading established scholars and the emerging scholars whose research has been funded by the project.