Snyder, Laura J.

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Snyder, Laura J.


Education: Brandeis University, B.A. (summa cum laude); Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D., 1996, certificate in history and philosophy of science, 1996.


Office—Department of Philosophy, St. John's University, 8000 Utopia Pkwy., Queens, NY 11439. E-mail—[email protected]


Educator. St. John's University, Queens, NY, assistant professor, 1996-2003, associate professor of philosophy, 2003—. Visiting assistant professor at University of Chicago; visiting scholar at Cambridge University and the University of Pennsylvania; visit- ing fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge. Also worked as a researcher for a management consulting firm and as an editor for Prentice-Hall.


History of Philosophy of Science Society.


Summer stipend award, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2001; fellowship and research grant, American Philosophical Society, 2004; fellowships from Mellon Foundation, Fulbright Commission, and U.S. Department of Education.


(Editor, with Peter Achinstein) Scientific Methods: Conceptual and Historical Problems, Krieger Publishing (Malabar, FL), 1994.

Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. Contributor to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, an online resource. Contributor to periodicals, including Philosophy of Science, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, and Perspectives on Science.


Laura J. Snyder, a professor at St. John's University, is the author of Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society. In the work, Snyder examines the influential nineteenth-century debate between William Whewell, an Anglican cleric, scientist, and educator, and John Stuart Mill, a philosopher and political economist, over the nature of scientific reasoning. Whewell, one of the founding members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and a longtime Master of Trinity College, wrote widely in such fields as mineralogy, mechanics, geology, astronomy, moral philosophy, and architecture. The equally prolific Mill, whose principle of utility was the centerpiece of his ethical philosophy, published texts in logic, epistemology, economics, social and political philosophy, ethics, and metaphysics.

As Snyder wrote in a Perspectives on Science essay: "The Mill-Whewell debate has been characterized as a debate between a proponent of inductivism (Mill) and a noninductivist (Whewell)." She added, however, that "this representation of their debate is mistaken. Whewell is, in fact, an inductivist, as he himself insists. The debate between Mill and Whewell is not over whether to endorse an inductivist methodology, but rather over the nature of inductive reasoning in science. Specifically, their debate concerns the proper form of inductive reasoning in science and the types of conclusions it can yield."



Perspectives on Science, summer, 1997, Laura J. Snyder, "The Mill-Whewell Debate: Much Ado about Induction," p. 159.


St. John's University, (August 15, 2007), "Laura J. Snyder."