Lydia Patton Curriculum Vitae Associate Professor

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Associate Professor

Virginia Tech 231 Major Williams

220 Stanger St. (MC 0126)

Blacksburg, VA 24061

Areas of Specialization

Philosophy of Science, History of Philosophy of Science, Kant and Neo-Kantianism
Areas of Competence

History of Analytic Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Mathematics

Ph.D. in Philosophy, McGill University, 2004

B.A. mcl in Philosophy, University of Kentucky, 1996

Academic Positions

Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy Associate Professor, 2012-present

Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy Assistant Professor, 2007-2012

Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science Visiting Fellow, fall 2009

University of Notre Dame Visiting Professor, spring 2006

University of Chicago Harper-Schmidt Collegiate Assistant Professor

and Postdoctoral Fellow, 2004-2007

Editorial Positions

HOPOS: The Journal of the International

Society for the History of Philosophy of Science Editorial Board, 2014-

Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy Associate Editor, 2014-

Books and Journal Issues Edited

“Ontology and Methodology,” special issue of Synthese, edited with Deborah Mayo and Benjamin Jantzen. In preparation.

Philosophy, Science, and History: A Guide and Reader. Routledge, 2014.

Papers in Collections

8. “Methodology of the Sciences,” in The Oxford Handbook of German Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century, ed. Michael Forster and Kristin Gjesdal. Oxford University Press, 2015.

Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals

7. “Hilbert’s Objectivity,” Historia Mathematica 41.2 (2014): 188-203.

6. “Experiment and Theory Building,” Synthese 184.3 (2012): 235-46.

5. “The Paradox of Infinite Given Magnitude: Why Kantian Epistemology Needs Metaphysical Space,” Kant-Studien 102.3 (2011): 273-89.

4. “Reconsidering Experiments,” HOPOS: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1.2 (2011): 209-26.

3. “Anti-Psychologism about Necessity: Friedrich Albert Lange on Objective Inference,” History and Philosophy of Logic 32.2 (2011): 139-52.

2. “Signs, Toy Models, and the A Priori: from Helmholtz to Wittgenstein,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 40.3 (2009): 281-89.

1. “The Critical Philosophy Renewed,” Angelaki 10.1 (2005): 109-18.

Work in Progress

Laws of Nature, collection edited by Walter Ott and Lydia Patton. Oxford University Press (UK), under contract.

“The Neo-Kantian Reaction to Analytic Philosophy,” guest editor of a special issue of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, under contract.

“Early Analytic Methods of Inference,” in Innovations in the History of Analytical Philosophy, edited Sandra Lapointe and Christopher Pincock. Palgrave McMillan, under contract. Draft manuscript delivered, final version due 1 September 2015.

“Helmholtz on the Mind,” in Philosophy of Mind in the Nineteenth Century, edited Sandra Lapointe. Routledge, under contract. Draft manuscript submitted, final version due June 2015.


Entries in Reference Works

r3. “Hacking, Ian,” Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, ed. Robert Audi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.

r2. “Hermann von Helmholtz,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Zalta, 2008, updated 2010, 2014.

r1. With Nadeem Hussain, “Friedrich Albert Lange,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward Zalta, 2012.


t4. Hermann Cohen, “The Relationship of Logic to Physics,” from the Introduction to the ninth edition of Friedrich Lange’s History of Materialism, in The Neo-Kantian Reader, ed. Sebastian Luft, Routledge, 2015.

t3. With David Hyder. Hermann Cohen, “‘Introduction’ to The Principle of the Infinitesimal Method and its History,” in The Neo-Kantian Reader, ed. Sebastian Luft, Routledge, 2015.

t2. Émilie du Châtelet, “On the Divisibility and Subtlety of Matter,” Chapter 9 of Foundations of Physics, in Philosophy, Science, and History, Routledge, 2014.

t1. Ernst Cassirer, “Hermann Cohen and the Renewal of Kantian Philosophy.”

  • 2005. Angelaki 10 (1): 95-108.

  • The Neo-Kantian Reader, ed. S. Luft. Routledge, 2015.

Book Reviews

b6. Natural Science (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant), ed. Eric Watkins. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2013.

b5. Discourse on a New Method, ed. Mary Domski and Michael Dickson. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2011.

b4. The Determinate World: Kant and Helmholtz on the Physical Meaning of Geometry, by David Hyder. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2011.

b3. Scientific Understanding, ed. Henk de Regt and Sabina Leonelli. Isis 101.4 (2010).

b2. Neo-Kantianism in Contemporary Philosophy, ed. Rudolf Makkreel and Sebastian Luft, Philosophy in Review 30.4 (2010).

b1. Hermann Cohen’s Critical Idealism, ed. Reinier Munk, and Yearning for Form and Other Essays on Hermann Cohen’s Thought, by Andrea Poma. European Journal of Philosophy 16.1 (2008): 142-8.

Papers Presented

“Kant on the Laws of Nature,” University of Virginia colloquium series, October 2, 2015.

“Geometry and Physics in the Nineteenth Century,” session on “Geometry and Philosophy” organized by Richard Zach, APA Pacific, British Columbia, April 3, 2015.

“Logic and the Unconditioned in William Hamilton,” Logic in Kant’s Wake II, workshop with Sandra Lapointe, Clinton Tolley, and Nick Stang, Montréal, March 18, 2015.

“Geometrical Figures in Physical Proofs,” American Mathematical Society Eastern Section, Washington, D. C., March 2015.

“Cassirer on the Human Sciences,” session “On Cassirer and the Neo-Kantian Legacy,” APA Central, St. Louis, Missouri, February 2015.

“Laws of Logic in Kant’s Wake,” Logic in Kant’s Wake I, workshop with Michael Forster, Jeremy Heis, Sandra Lapointe, Clinton Tolley, and Risto Vilkko, McMaster University, January 6-7, 2015.

“The Methodological Arguments of Mach’s Economy of Science,” the Tenth Congress of HOPOS, Ghent, Belgium, July 3, 2014.

“Conventions, Realism, and Inference,” Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy, UQÀM, Montréal, May 23, 2014.

“Space and Methodology in Helmholtz, Mach, and Kant,” Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy group session, Central APA, Chicago, February 27, 2014.

“Qualities and Things,” Workshop on Things, University of California Santa Cruz, June 2013.

“Theory Assessment as Ontological Argument,” Ontology and Methodology conference, Virginia Tech, May 5, 2013.

“Sympathetic Resonance: The Influence of Helmholtz's Theory of Acoustics,” Boston Colloquium for Philosophy of Science. Special session on the 150th anniversary of the publication of Hermann von Helmholtz’s On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music, with Eric Heller and David Cahan, March 22, 2013.

“The Geistes- and the Naturwissenschaften in the Nineteenth Century,” ASPECT, Virginia Tech, October 4, 2012.

“Experiment in the Unification of Electromagnetism and Optics,” STS Spring 2012 Seminar Series, Virginia Tech, February 10, 2012.

“Kant’s Neglected Anti-Metaphysical Arguments,” Washington and Lee, February 7, 2012.

“Hilbert’s Method of Analogy”

  • Eighth Congress of HOPOS, Budapest, Hungary, June 2010.

  • &HPS3, Indiana University at Bloomington, September 2010.

“Why Kant Needs the Principles,” APA Eastern Divison, December 30, 2009.

“Models of Interactive Effects”

Papers Presented

“The Unification of Electromagnetism and Optics,” Pitt Center for Philosophy of Science, fall 2009.

“Empirical Psychology, Physiology, and the A Priori,” the Seventh Congress of HOPOS, Vancouver, B.C., June 19, 2008.

“Humor and the Ethical Ideal,” Hermann-Cohen-Gesellschaft, Coswig (Anhalt), Germany, June 16, 2008.

“Models as Scientific Reasons,” University of California, Santa Cruz, February 2008.

“Ideas in History, Ideas in Opposition,” American Philosophical Association, Central Division, Chicago, Illinois, April 19, 2007.

“An Early Source of Cassirer’s Program for the Philosophy of Science,” the Sixth Congress of HOPOS, Paris, France, June 17, 2006.

“A Picture Theory to Map the ‘Pathless Wilderness’ of Mechanics,” Indiana University at Bloomington colloquium series, March 27, 2006.

“Logic and Philosophy of Science in the Early Marburg School,” History of Philosophy of Science Graduate Reading Group, University of Notre Dame, February 21, 2006.

“A Debate on Hermann von Helmholtz’s Sign Theory of Perception,” Fishbein Center Workshop, University of Chicago, February 18, 2005.

“Dirichlet’s Principle as an Historical Test Case for Function Theory in Physics,” American Physical Society, Montréal, Québec, March 22, 2004.

“Friedrich Lange’s Formal Logic and the Physiology of Perception,” FCAR Research Group on Kant and Neo-Kantianism, McGill University, April 25, 2003.

“Fixing Meaning: Carnap’s ‘Empirical Deduction’ and Cohen’s Grundlegung,” European Conference for Analytic Philosophy IV, University of Lund, June 16, 2002.

Fellowships and Grants
Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (CLAHS)
  • Diversity Grant with Ashley Shew and Bernice Hausman for talk series “The ADA at 25 Years: Lived Experience and Further Directions,” 2015-16.
  • Symposium Grant with Ashley Shew, “Scientific and Everyday Images,” 2013-14.
  • Diversity Grant with Ashley Shew for panel “Dialogues on Accessibility,” 2012-3.
  • Niles Research Fellowship, “Instruments in Scientific Experiment,” 2012-13.
  • International Travel Grant, 2008, 2010, 2014.
  • Mentoring Grant, 2010.

McGill University Department of Philosophy

  • David Fate Norton and Mary J. Norton Dissertation Fellowship, 2003.

McGill University Faculty of Graduate Studies

  • McGill Major Fellowships (3), 1997-2000.

  • Max Binz Recruitment Fellowship, 1996-97.

Virginia Tech

  • “The Critique of Pure Reason and the Science of Perception,” seminar, fall 2012.

  • “Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason,” seminar, fall 2007, spring 2010, fall 2014.

  • “History of Philosophy of Science,” seminar, fall 2008, 2010, 2013, spring 2015.

  • “Kant’s Ethics,” seminar, fall 2011.

  • “History of Modern Philosophy,” undergraduate, spring 2008-12, fall 2013-14.

  • Knowledge in a Social World,” graduate and undergraduate, fall 2010.

  • “Philosophy of Science,” graduate and upper-level undergraduate, fall 2008.

University of Chicago

  • “Early Modern Philosophy and Science,” cross-listed, Depts. of Philosophy and History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine, spring 2007.

  • “Philosophical Perspectives on the Humanities,” Undergraduate Common Core Curriculum, three quarters per year (ancient, early modern, modern), 2004-2007.

University of Notre Dame

  • “History of the Philosophy of Science 1750-1900,” seminar cross-listed in the Philosophy Dept. and Program in History and Philosophy of Science, spring 2006.

Conferences and Panels Organized

“The ADA at 25 Years: Lived Experience and Further Directions,” Virginia Tech, 2015-16, organized with Ashley Shew and Bernice Hausman. Speakers: Rachel Adams and Kim Nielsen.

“Mathematical Sciences of Nature in Neo-Kantianism,” organized with Nick Stang and Clinton Tolley. North American Neo-Kantian Society symposium, APA Pacific, 4 April 2015. Speakers: Scott Edgar, Erich Reck (canceled), and Thomas Ryckman.

“Scientific and Everyday Images,” Virginia Tech, 2013-14, organized with Ashley Shew. Speakers: Timothy Bromage, Allan Franklin, Robert Rosenberger, Susan Wells, and Klaus Kornwachs (sponsored keynote for fPET 2014).

“Ontology and Methodology,” organized with Deborah Mayo & Benjamin Jantzen. Virginia Tech, May 4-5, 2013. Speakers: David Danks, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Kevin Hoover, Benjamin Jantzen, Deborah Mayo, Lydia Patton, Laura Ruetsche, Aris Spanos, Jim Woodward, Elay Shech, Hayley Clatterbuck, Erik Angner, Koray Karaça, Alexandre Marcellesi.

“Dialogues on Accessibility,” Virginia Tech, 2012-2013, organized with Ashley Shew. Speakers: Katherine Ott, Bess Williamson, Sarah Ovink, and Matthew Wisnioski.

Virginia Philosophical Association, 73rd meeting at Virginia Tech, local organizer.

“Ethics in Democracy,” organized conference at Virginia Tech, March 20, 2010. Speakers: Carol Gould, John Gulley, Judith Lichtenberg, and Tim Luke.

Conferences and Panels Organized

Meetings of the Society for Neo-Kantianism, APA Eastern Division, with Abraham Stone:

  • “Continuity, Motion and Modality,” December 29, 2012. Catherine Diehl, Abraham Stone, Nick Stang.

  • “Kant on Objects and Things,” December 30, 2011. Alan Kim, A. Stone, Nick Stang.

  • “Kant’s Responses to Newton on Space and Causality,” December 30, 2010. Robert DiSalle, Abraham Stone, Lydia Patton.

  • “Neo-Kantianism and Twentieth Century Philosophy,” December 28, 2009. Scott Edgar, Alan Kim, Hartwig Wiedebach.

“The Natural and the Neo-Kantian,” organized symposium, Seventh Congress of HOPOS, June 14-18, 2008. Speakers: Scott Edgar, Gary Hatfield, Alan Kim, Lydia Patton.
Thesis Advising

Ph.D. Thesis, Science and Technology Studies, Committee Member

Emrah Aktunç, “Experimental Knowledge in Cognitive Neuroscience,” thesis advisor Deborah Mayo, 2011. Assistant professor, tenure-track, Özyegin University.

M.A. Thesis Advisor

Richard Creek, “Kant’s Negative Answer to Molyneux’s Question,” 2014. Ph.D. program, Philosophy, University of Western Ontario.

Christopher Stiso, “Unconscious Perceptions and the Problem of Qualia,” 2013. Ph.D. program, HPS, Indiana University.

Lindley Slipetz, “On Distinguishing the Meaningless from the Meaningful: An Evolutionary Game Theoretic Approach to Ruth Millikan’s Teleosemantics,” 2013. Ph.D. program, Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of California, Irvine.

Heather Oldham, “A Critique of Langton on Kantian Substance,” 2009.

M.A. Thesis Committee Member

Steven Mischler, “Testimony Without Belief,” thesis advisor Walter Ott, 2014.

Blake Thompson, “On What We Confront in Perceptual Experience,” thesis advisor Walter Ott, 2013. M.A. program, Psychology, Seattle University.

Rachel Crowder, “Examining ‘The Adam Smith Problem’: The Individual, Society, and Value,” thesis advisor Michael Moehler, 2011.

Claudio D’Amato, “A Veritable Jekyll and Hyde: Epistemic Circularity and Reliabilist Theories of Justification,” thesis advisor Walter Ott, 2011. Ph.D. program, ASPECT, Virginia Tech.

External examiner

Tyson Gofton, “Analysis, Systematicity, and the Transcendental in Hermann Cohen’s System of Critical Idealism,” advisors Paul Franks, Robert Gibbs, U. of Toronto.

Service and Affiliations

Professional Service

“Kant and After” program committee, Tenth Congress of HOPOS (International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science), Ghent, Belgium, July 3-6, 2014.

Program committee for the twenty-fourth biennial meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, November 6-9, 2014.

Chair, Nominating and Elections committee of HOPOS, the International Society for the History of the Philosophy of Science, 2014-15.

President, North American Neo-Kantian Society (NANKS).

Editor of PhilPapers categories “Kant: Science, Logic, and Mathematics”; “Kant: Critique of Pure Reason”; and “Kant: Philosophy of Science”.

Member British Society for the Philosophy of Science (BSPS), American Philosophical Association (APA), International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science (HOPOS), North American Kant Society (NAKS), Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy (SSHAP), Philosophy of Science Association (PSA), Kantian Political Thought Standing Group of the European Consortium for Public Research.

Reviewer Routledge Press, Oxford University Press, the National Science Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the National Science Center of Poland, the Austrian Science Fund, Philosophy of Science, Synthese, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, Perspectives on Science, Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy, HOPOS, Philosopher’s Imprint, Techné, Social Epistemology, Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy.

Department and University Service

Graduate Program Director, M.A. Program, Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy, interim 2012-13, elected to three year term 2014-17.

Graduate Curriculum Committee, ex officio as Graduate Program Director, Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, 2012-13.

Quantitative and Computational Thinking task force, revisions to the Curriculum for Liberal Education, College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences, 2013-14.

With James Klagge, Department Annual Report for the B.A. and M.A. programs in Philosophy at Virginia Tech, 2013.

Strategic Planning Committee for Undergraduate Teaching, Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, 2012.

Colloquium Organizer, Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy, 2008-12.

Academic Assessment Committee, Virginia Tech Department of Philosophy, 2007-present.

Diversity Committee, Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences, 2009-12.

Virginia Tech Faculty Council, 2008-9.

Co-chair, University of Chicago Society of Fellows, 2005-6.

University of Chicago College Council, 2005-8.

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