Sorin Bangu


Professor, Philosophy



I have (some) competence in two areas of analytic philosophy. One is contemporary philosophy of science, broadly understood. I work in philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of physics, and very often address issues at their boundary. I also venture into metaphysics and epistemology (especially when they are scientifically relevant), philosophy of logic and history of science and mathematics. Another area in which I have longstanding interests is the history of analytic philosophy: Quine and especially later Wittgenstein. I am involved in the activities of the Wittgenstein Archives Bergen and a co-editor of the open access journal Nordic Wittgenstein Review. (More details on my personal webpage)

I'm currently in charge of the Research Group in Philosophy of Science.

Grants/Awards (selection)

  • Research grant awarded in Dec. 2018 by Research Council of Norway (RCN) for Aug. 2019 - Aug. 2024. Budget ca. 15 mil. NOK, out of which ca. 10 mil from RCN (1.1 mil. €) Title: Mathematics with a Human Face. Set Theory within a Naturalized Wittgensteinean Framework. Collaborator K. Cahill (Univ. of Bergen)
  • Visiting Fellow at Wadham College, Univ. of Oxford for Trinity Term 2022 (21 April - 18 June)
  • Visiting Fellowship at Institute Vienna Circle (14 Nov. - 14 Dec. 2022)

Talks (selection of recent invited presentations)

Professional service (selection)

Administrative academic work

  • MA studies coordinator Dept. of Phil. 2020
  • Co-representative in the Philosophy PhD Network including Univ. of Uppsala, Bologna, Bucharest, Helsinki and Bielefeld
  • External reviewer for US National Science Foundation (NSF) grants 2018

Professional organizations


For teaching materials see mitt uib

Postdoctoral supervision:

  • Jeffrey Schatz (PhD Univ. of Calif. Irvine 2019) Co-supervision with Kevin Cahill in the project Mathematics with a Human Face: Set Theory within a Naturalized Wittgensteinean Framework. Aug. 2020-Aug. 2023.

PhD students:

  • Martin Sætre (Wittgenstein’s Philosophy of Mathematics) Co-supervision with Kevin Cahill in the project Mathematics with a Human Face: Set Theory within a Naturalized Wittgensteinean Framework. Defense Fall 2023.
  • Ragnhild Jordahl (Metaphysics, Necessity, Laws of Nature. Defended 23 April 2020) Co-supervision with Ole Hjortland
  • Mark Young (Hist. and Phil. of Science. Defended 26 April 2019) Currently postdoctoral researcher at the Dept. of Values, Technology and Innovation, TU Delft. From Jan 2021, Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Univ. of Vienna

MA students:

  • Olav Sem (Against free will. Fall 2023)
  • Luca Caiti (Skepticism and IBE. Fall 2022-Spring 2023)
  • Steffen Haakonsen (Scientific Realism. 2017)
  • Carl-Fredrik Bassøe (Causation and Digraphs. 2016) Co-supervision with Uwe Wolter, Comp. Science Dept.
  • Sindre Søderstrøm (The Normative force of Logic. 2016) Co-supervision with Ole Hjortland

Recent courses

For Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Univ. of Bergen:

Before coming to Univ. of Bergen I have taught at Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2010-2012), Univ. of Cambridge (2008-2010), Univ. of Western Ontario (2007) and Univ. of Toronto (2005-2006). For more information see my personal webpage.





The Explanatory and Heuristic Power of Mathematics. Synthese, 2023. Topical collection. Co-editors: Marianna Antonutti-Marfori and Emiliano Ippoliti.


SELECTED PAPERS (complete list and downloadable versions on my personal webpage)


  • Wittgenstein on Proof and Concept-Formation. Philosophical Quarterly. open access
  • Mind the gap: Noncausal Explanations of Dual Properties. Philosophical Studies. open access
  • Finite-Size Scaling Theory: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Critical Phenomena. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 100: 99-106 (2023) Co-author: Vincent Ardourel. link
  • Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99.4: 669–82 (2021) link
  • The Appearance of Skepticism: Possibility, Conceivability and Infinite Ascent. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51:2, 94-107 (2021) open access
  • Hard and Blind: On Wittgenstein’s Genealogical View of Logical Necessity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 102(2): 439-458 (2021) open access
  • Discontinuities and Singularities, Data and Phenomena: For Referentialism. Synthese 196: 1919–1937 (2019) link
  • The 'Miracle' of Applicability? The Curious Case of the Simple Harmonic Oscillator. (Co-author Robert Moir) Foundations of Physics 48(5): 507-525 (2018) link
  • Scientific Explanation and Understanding: Unificationism Reconsidered. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7(1): 103-126 (2017) link
  • Numerical Methods, Complexity and Epistemic Hierarchies. (Co-author Nicholas Fillion) Philosophy of Science 82.5: 941-955 (2015) link
  • Indispensability and Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64(2): 255-277 (2013) link
  • On the Role of Bridge Laws in Inter-theoretic Relations. Philosophy of Science 78(5): 1108-1119 (2011) link
  • On Bertrand's Paradox. Analysis 70: 30-35 (2010) link
  • Understanding Thermodynamic Singularities. Phase transitions, Data and Phenomena. Philosophy of Science 76.4: 488-505 (2009) link
  • Reifying Mathematics? Prediction and Symmetry Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39.2: 239-58 (2008) link
  • Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism. Synthese 160: 13-20 (2008) link
  • Steiner on the Applicability of Mathematics and Naturalism. Philosophia Mathematica (3)14: 26-43 (2006) link


  • On the Grammar of Mathematical Propositions. In Contributions/Beiträge to International Wittgenstein Symposium 2023: 100 Years of Tractatus LogicoPhilosophicus — 70 Years after Wittgenstein’s Death. A Critical Assessment 6. - 12. Aug 2023. Pp. 29-37. (2023) Eds. A. Pichler; E. Heinrich-Ramharter; F. Stadler. Kirchberg am Wechsel [OA]
  • Factivism in Historical Perspective. Understanding the Gravitational Deflection of Light. Ch. 6 (pp. 62-77) in Scientific Understanding and Representation: Mathematical Modeling in the Life and Physical Sciences. Eds. I. Lawler, K. Khalifa, E. Shech. Routledge, 2022. link
  • Phase Transitions. Chapter 36 in The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Physics. Edited by Eleanor Knox and Alastair Wilson. Pp. 512-523. Routledge (2021) link
  • Later Wittgenstein and the Genealogy of Mathematical Necessity. In Wittgenstein and Naturalism. K. Cahill and T. Raleigh. (eds.) Pp. 151-173. Routledge (2018) link
  • Symmetry. In The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. R. Batterman. (ed.) Pp. 287-313. Oxford Univ. Press (2013) link 

Book reviews, symposium contributions

  • [Critical notice] Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Mathematics by Juliet Floyd. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2021 (Cambridge Elements in Philosophy of Mathematics). In Philosophia Mathematica 30(1): 103-110 (2022). Co-author Jeffrey Schatz.
  • Marc Lange Because Without Cause (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017) British Journal for Philosophy of Science. BJPS Review of Books. (2017) link
  • Peter Vickers Understanding Inconsistent Science (Oxford Univ. Press, 2013) Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. (2014) link
  • Structures, Fictions, and the Explanatory Epistemology of Mathematics in Science. Metascience 22(2): 247-273 (2013) Invited contribution to a symposium on Christopher Pincock's Mathematics and Scientific Representation, Oxford Univ. Press, 2012. Co-symposiasts: M. Balaguer and E. Landry. Responses by C. Pincock. link