Laws, Regularities, and Natural Kinds 

This seminar offers an in-depth look at how natural kinds, laws, and regularities are understood across a range of scientific disciplines, including the human and social sciences. In addition to lectures from leading philosophers of science that focus on the individuation of natural and social kinds, laws and regularities, and the use of formal tools to study social dynamics and groups, participants will join a series of interdisciplinary conversations unpacking how these topics intersect with projects on natural law, human nature and theological anthropology, and political theology. 


Muhammad Ali Khalidi

Muhammad Ali Khalidi

Presidential Professor of Philosophy
CUNY Graduate Center

Session Speaker
Kinds in the Natural and Social Sciences

Holly Andersen

Holly Andersen

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Simon Fraser University

Session Speaker
Laws and Regularities

Şerife Tekin

Şerife Tekin

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Medical Humanities Program
University of Texas at San Antonio

Session Speaker
Psychiatric Kinds and the Concepts of Laws and Regularities in Psychiatry

Brandy Daniels

Brandy Daniels

Assistant Professor of Theology
University of Portland

Resident Theologian

Vincent Lloyd

Vincent Lloyd

Professor of Theology and Religious Studies 
Director, Center for Political Theology
Villanova University

Resident Theologian

Jonathan Tran

Jonathan Tran

Baines Associate Professor of Religion
Baylor University

Resident Theologian

You’ll also hear from the SET Foundations crew

Jennifer S. Jhun

Jennifer Jhun

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Duke University

Meghan Page

Meghan D. Page

Associate ​Professor of Philosophy
Loyola University Maryland

Dates: June 10-16

Location: San Diego, CA

Additional Details:

  • All participants will receive a $4,000 stipend.
  • Meals and lodging (La Jolla Shores Hotel) will be provided for all in-person participants for the duration of the seminar.
  • Additional funding opportunities of up to $25,000 are available.
  • Participants will receive access to the lectures online prior to the in-person portion of the seminar.

What sort of projects are you interested in?

We are interested in projects in theology and philosophy of religion that intersect with questions about laws, regularities, natural kinds and social dynamics. We hope that potential participants will, in their project description, explain why they think a deeper understanding of scientific practice will enhance their project. Some examples of potential questions are:

  • What scientific kinds are theologically relevant? 
  • Are traditional understandings of “natural law” in tension with scientific pluralism? 
  • Do humans play a role in constructing observed regularities? What is that role and how might it affect the philosophical or theological task? 
  • How do classifications in science (e.g. categories of mental disorder) interact with the way we frame questions in philosophy of religion or theology? How do they shape our understanding of being human? 
  • How do theological categories and scientific categories interact?
  • How do social dynamics and social classifications affect religious communities?

This school will also be useful for theologians and philosophers of religion who desire to engage with concrete scientific findings in their research. We welcome projects that seek a better understanding of scientific practice to enhance their engagement with scientific literature. Some examples of this approach are:

  • Projects engaging with specific characterizations of psychological kinds or biological kinds
  • Projects that engage theological interpretations of particular scientific theories and the metaphysical implications of empirical laws, regularities and natural kinds
  • Projects seeking to understand the use of formal tools to understand regularities in human and social sciences

Dependent Care Stipends

We are pleased to be able to offer dependent care stipends. Stipends are available to offset the costs of dependent care to enable the participant to attend the seminar. Stipends will be issued in the amount of $1,000 for those with dependents (children or adult dependents). Funds will be issued to all who meet the criteria below until the year’s funds are exhausted.

  • Be accepted and take part in SET Foundations Summer Seminar 2023
  • Annual household income of less than $171,000 USD
  • Have one or more dependents (children or adult dependents)

How do I Apply?


Applicants will be required to fill out the application form and attach the following documents:

  • CV
  • Project Proposal describing a paper or larger project in theology or philosophy of religion that intersects with scientific explanation (max 1000 words). For further details on the project proposal see here.
  • Writing Sample (example of Academic Work, published or unpublished)
  • References (References do not need to provide letters but should be in a position to speak on the applicant’s behalf and understand the merits of the project. 3 references required.)


Participants will be chosen on the basis of:

  • The quality of their project (significance, relevance, originality, likelihood for completion) 
  • Overall Academic Strength
  • Experience in and propensity for interdisciplinary work
  • Potential for long-term contributions to the project’s aims


Application Deadline:
January 29, 2023

Notification by:
Early March, 2023