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100 entries most recently downloaded from the archive "PhilSci Archive"

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  1. Steven Weinstein, Review of "Space, Time, and Stuff", Frank Arntzenius, OUP 2012. [REVIEW]
    Review of "Space, Time, and Stuff" by Frank Arntzenius.
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  2. Steven Weinstein, Patterns in the Fabric of Nature.
    From classical mechanics to quantum �field theory, the physical facts at one point in space are held to be independent of those at other points in space. I propose that we can usefully challenge this orthodoxy in order to explain otherwise puzzling correlations at both cosmological and microscopic scales.
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  3. Shan Gao, An Exceptionally Simple Argument Against the Many-Worlds Interpretation: Further Consolidations.
    It is argued that the components of the superposed wave function of a measuring device, each of which represents a definite measurement result, do not correspond to many worlds, one of which is our world, because all components of the wave function can be measured in our world by a serious of protective measurements, and they all exist in this world.
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  4. Giuseppe Iurato, On the Role Played by the Work of Ulisse Dini on Implicit Function Theory in the Modern Differential Geometry Foundations: The Case of the Structure of a Differentiable Manifold, 1.
    In this first paper we outline what possible historic-epistemological role might have played the work of Ulisse Dini on implicit function theory in formulating the structure of differentiable manifold, via the basic work of Hassler Whitney. A detailed historiographical recognition about this Dini's work has been done. Further methodological considerations are then made as regards history of mathematics.
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  5. Hans Halvorson, Plantinga on Providence and Physics.
    Discussion of Alvin Plantinga's book, "Where the Conflict Really Lies".
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  6. Kevin Elliott & David Willmes (2014). Cognitive Attitudes and Values in Science. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):807-817.
    We argue that the analysis of cognitive attitudes should play a central role in developing more sophisticated accounts of the proper roles for values in science. First, we show that the major recent efforts to delineate appropriate roles for values in science would be strengthened by making clearer distinctions among cognitive attitudes. Next, we turn to a specific example and argue that a more careful account of the distinction between the attitudes of belief and acceptance can contribute to a better (...)
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  7. James Owen Weatherall (2013). The Scope and Generality of Bell's Theorem. Foundations of Physics 43 (9):1153-1169.
    I present what might seem to be a local, deterministic model of the EPR-Bohm experiment, inspired by recent work by Joy Christian, that appears at first blush to be in tension with Bell-type theorems. I argue that the model ultimately fails to do what a hidden variable theory needs to do, but that it is interesting nonetheless because the way it fails helps clarify the scope and generality of Bell-type theorems. I formulate and prove a minor proposition that makes explicit (...)
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  8. Simon Friederich, A Philosophical Look at the Higgs Mechanism.
    On the occasion of the recent experimental detection of a Higgs-type particle at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, the paper reviews philosophical aspects of the Higgs mechanism as the presently preferred account of the generation of particle masses in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics and its most discussed extensions. The paper serves a twofold purpose: on the one hand, it offers an introduction to the Higgs mechanism and its most interesting philosophical aspects to readers not familiar (...)
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  9. Adam Caulton (2013). Discerning “Indistinguishable” Quantum Systems. Philosophy of Science 80 (1):49-72.
    In a series of recent papers, Simon Saunders, Fred Muller and Michael Seevinck have collectively argued, against the folklore, that some non-trivial version of Leibniz's principle of the identity of indiscernibles is upheld in quantum mechanics. They argue that all particles---fermions, paraparticles, anyons, even bosons---may be weakly discerned by some physical relation. Here I show that their arguments make illegitimate appeal to non-symmetric, i.e.~permutation-non-invariant, quantities, and that therefore their conclusions do not go through. However, I show that alternative, symmetric quantities (...)
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  10. Uljana Feest (forthcoming). Phenomenal Experiences, First-Person Methods, and the Artificiality of Experimental Data. Philosophy of Science.
    This paper argues that whereas philosophical discussions of first-person methods often turn on the veridicality of first-person reports, more attention should be paid to the experimental circumstances under which the reports are generated, and to the purposes of designing such experiments. After pointing to the ‘constructedness’ of first-person reports in the science of perception, I raise questions about the criteria by which to judge whether the reports illuminate something about the nature of perception. I illustrate this point with a historical (...)
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  11. Instructions Conference, Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation: A Challenge to Philosophy of Science (Pittsburgh; October 15-17, 2010).
    Conference instructions for [2010] Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation: A Challenge to Philosophy of Science (Pittsburgh; October 15-17, 2010).
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  12. Zilhão António, Moore's Problem.
    Moore’s problem or Moore’s ‘paradox’ arises from the fact that consistent propositions of the form of (1) and (2): (1) It is raining but I believe it is not raining (2) It is raining but I don’t believe it is raining strike us as being contradictory. Shoemaker explained this oddity by producing a proof that belief in such sentences is either inconsistent or self-refuting. For Sorensen many propositional attitudes have scopes smaller than the class of consistent propositions. Inaccessible consistent propositions (...)
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  13. William Bechtel, Understanding Biological Mechanisms: Using Illustrations From Circadian Rhythm Research.
    In many fields of biology, researchers explain a phenomenon by characterizing the responsible mechanism. This requires identifying the candidate mechanism, decomposing it into its parts and operations, recomposing it so as to understand how it is organized and its operations orchestrated to generate the phenomenon, and situating it in its environment. Mechanistic researchers have developed sophisticated tools for decomposing mechanisms but new approaches, including modeling, are increasingly being invoked to recompose mechanisms when they involve nonsequential organization of nonlinear operations. The (...)
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  14. Samir Okasha (2014). The Evolution of Bayesian Updating. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):745-757.
    An evolutionary basis for Bayesian rationality is suggested, by considering how natural selection would operate on an organism’s ‘policy’ for choosing an action depending on an environmental signal. It is shown that the evolutionarily optimal policy, as judged by the criterion of maximal expected reproductive output, is the policy that, for each signal, picks an action that maximizes conditional expected output given that signal. This suggests a possible route by which Bayes-rational creatures might have evolved.
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  15. Shan Gao, On the Origin of Gravity.
    It is argued that the existence of a minimum interval of space and time may imply the existence of gravity as a geometric property of spacetime described by general relativity.
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  16. Joy Christian, Macroscopic Observability of Spinorial Sign Changes Under 2pi Rotations.
    The question of observability of sign changes under 2pi rotations is considered. It is shown that in certain circumstances there are observable consequences of such sign changes in classical physics. A macroscopic experiment is proposed which could in principle detect the 4pi periodicity of rotations.
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  17. Arkadiy Lipkin (2007). The “Object Theoretic Operational” View of Natural Science. SATS 8 (1):5-26.
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  18. Shan Gao, Comment on "Distinct Quantum States Can Be Compatible with a Single State of Reality".
    Lewis et al. recently demonstrated that additional assumptions such as preparation independence are always necessary to rule out a psi-epistemic model, in which the quantum state is not uniquely determined by the underlying physical state. Here we point out that these authors ignored the important work of Aharonov, Anandan and Vaidman on protective measurements, and their conclusion, which is based only on an analysis of conventional projective measurements, is not true.
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  19. Robert H. Ennis, Analysis and Defense of Sole Singular Causal Claims.
    To claim that x was the cause of y (or x caused y) is 1) to assume that x was one of a number of things, each of which together with the others was sufficient to have brought about y, and 2) to deem x responsible for the occurrence of y. A best-explanation argument, including application to cases, is offered in defense of this analysis, which holds that claiming that something is the cause is, in part, a speech act (deeming (...)
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  20. Shan Gao, On Uffink's Alternative Interpretation of Protective Measurements.
    Protective measurement is a new measuring method introduced by Aharonov, Anandan and Vaidman (1993). By a protective measurement, one can measure the expectation value of an observable on a single quantum system, even if the system is initially not in an eigenstate of the measured observable. This remarkable feature of protective measurements was challenged by Uffink (1999, 2012). He argued that only observables that commute with the system's Hamiltonian can be protectively measured, and a protective measurement of an observable that (...)
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  21. Shan Gao, On the Invariance of the Speed of Light.
    It has been argued that the existence of a minimum observable interval of space and time (MOIST) is a model-independent result of the combination of quantum field theory and general relativity. In this paper, I promote this result to a fundamental postulate, called the MOIST postulate. It is argued that the postulate leads to the existence of a maximum signal speed and its invariance. This new result may have two interesting implications. On the one hand, it suggests that the MOIST (...)
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  22. Chiara Lisciandra, Matteo Colombo & Marie Nilsenova (2013). Conformorality. A Study on Group Conditioning of Normative Judgment. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4):1-14.
    How does other people’s opinion affect judgments of norm transgressions? In our study, we used a modification of the famous Asch paradigm (1951, 1955) to examine conformity in the moral domain. The question we addressed was how peer group opinion alters normative judgments of scenarios involving violations of moral, social, and decency norms. The results indicate that even moral norms are subject to conformity, especially in situations with a high degree of social presence. Interestingly, the degree of conformity can distinguish (...)
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  23. Nick Huggett & Christian Wuthrich (2013). Emergent Spacetime and Empirical (in)Coherence. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):276-285.
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  24. James Krueger, Theoretical Health and Medical Practice.
    Discussions of the concept of disease have largely focused on whether a specific account successfully identifies necessary and sufficient conditions for a state to count as pathological. Correctly accounting for examples of pathology, however, is not the only basis for evaluating such accounts. Here, I argue that we should expect any understanding of health and disease to be consistent with important aspects of medical practice. Specifically, any such understanding should be consistent with the ways that we attempt to treat and (...)
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  25. Nick Huggett & Christian Wuthrich, Is Science Without Spacetime Possible?
    Numerous approaches to a quantum theory of gravity posit fundamental ontologies that exclude spacetime, either partially or wholly. This situation raises deep questions about how such theories could relate to the empirical realm, since arguably only entities localized in spacetime can ever be observed. Are such entities even possible in a theory without fundamental spacetime? How might they be derived, formally speaking? Moreover, since the fundamental entities can't be smaller than the derived by assumption (since relative size is a spatiotemporal (...)
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  26. Daniel Hartner, From Desire to Subjective Value: On the Neural Mechanisms of Moral Motivation.
    Increasingly, empirically minded moral philosophers are using data from cognitive science and neuroscience to resolve some longstanding philosophical questions about moral motivation, such as whether moral beliefs require the presence of a desire to motivate (Humeanism). These empirical approaches are implicitly committed to the existence of folk psychological (FP) mental states like beliefs and desires. However, data from the neuroscience of decision-making, particularly cellular-level work in neuroeconomics, is now converging with data from cognitive and social neuroscience to explain the processes (...)
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  27. Daniel Peterson, Physical Symmetries, Overarching Symmetries, and Consistency.
    In this paper I provide an account of physical symmetries, which are defined relative to a specific physical theory, and overarching symmetries, which hold across many different physical theories. I outline two general strategies for uniting disparate physical symmetries under the same overarching symmetry, calling the first "realist" and the second "conventionalist". Finally, I argue that, should physicists and philosophers be interested in finding symmetries that do interesting and helpful physical and metaphysical work, the realist strategy would serve them better (...)
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  28. Adrian Currie, Narratives & Mechanisms.
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  29. Pierrick Bourrat, Time and Fitness in Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality.
    It is striking that the concept of fitness although fundamental in evolutionary theory, still remains ambiguous. I argue here that time, although usually neglected, is an important parameter in regards to the concept of fitness. I will show some of the benefits of taking it seriously using the example of recent debates over evolutionary transitions in individuality. I start from Okasha's assertion that once an evolutionary transition in individuality is completed an ontologically new level of selection emerges from lower levels (...)
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  30. Robert Fischer, TRUE Is False and Why It Matters.
    Here is a challenge to IBE's epistemic credentials. If a reason is an epistemic reason for a subject to believe a proposition, then that reason increases the likelihood of the proposition's truth. But IBE relies on considerations like simplicity which do not increase the likelihood that hypotheses are truth. So, the reasons given by inference to the best explanation are not epistemic reasons. I contend that this argument fails, but not because, e.g., simplicity is truth-conducive. Rather, I show that the (...)
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  31. Joan Roughgarden, Individual Based Models in Ecology: An Evaluation, or How Not to Ruin a Good Thing.
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  32. Matthew J. Barker & Joel D. Velasco (2014). Deep Conventionalism About Evolutionary Groups. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):971-982.
    We reject a widespread objectivism about kinds of evolutionary groups in favor of a new conventionalism. Surprisingly, being any one kind of evolutionary group typically depends on which of many incompatible values are taken by suppressed variables. This novel pluralism underlies almost any single evolutionary group concept, unlike familiar pluralisms claiming that multiple concepts of certain sorts are legitimate. Consequently, we must help objective facts determine which candidate evolutionary groups satisfy the definition of a given evolutionary group concept, regardless of (...)
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  33. Andrea Cappelli, Elena Castellani, Filippo Colomo & Paolo Di Vecchia, The Birth of String Theory: Introduction and Synopsis.
    This is a draft of the introduction to the collective volume "The birth of string theory" (CUP, 2012), including the book's index and preface. The book explores the history of the theory’s early stages of development, as told by its main protagonists. It journeys from the first version of the theory (the so-called Dual Resonance Model) in the late 1960s, as an attempt to describe the physics of strong interactions outside the framework of quantum field theory, to its reinterpretation around (...)
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  34. Adam Toon, Models, Sherlock Holmes and the Emperor Claudius.
    Recently, a number of authors have suggested that we understand scientific models in the same way as fictional characters, like Sherlock Holmes. The biggest challenge for this approach concerns the ontology of fictional characters. I consider two responses to this challenge, given by Roman Frigg, Ronald Giere and Peter Godfrey-Smith, and argue that neither is successful. I then suggest an alternative approach. While parallels with fiction are useful, I argue that models of real systems are more aptly compared to works (...)
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  35. Matthias Egg (2013). Delayed-Choice Experiments and the Metaphysics of Entanglement. Foundations of Physics 43 (9):1124-1135.
    Delayed-choice experiments in quantum mechanics are often taken to undermine a realistic interpretation of the quantum state. More specifically, Healey has recently argued that the phenomenon of delayed-choice entanglement swapping is incompatible with the view that entanglement is a physical relation between quantum systems. This paper argues against these claims. It first reviews two paradigmatic delayed-choice experiments and analyzes their metaphysical implications. It then applies the results of this analysis to the case of entanglement swapping, showing that such experiments pose (...)
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  36. Katherine Brading (2014). Presentism as an Empirical Hypothesis. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1101-1111.
    Within philosophy of physics it is broadly accepted that presentism as an empirical hypothesis has been falsified by the development of special relativity. In this article, I identify and reject an assumption common to both presentists and advocates of the block universe and then offer an alternative version of presentism that does not begin from spatiotemporal structure, which is an empirical hypothesis, and which has yet to be falsified. While some features of familiar presentism are lost, a sufficient core remains (...)
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  37. Katherine Brading, Physically Locating the Present: A Case of Reading Physics as a Contribution to Philosophy.
    In this paper I argue that reading history of physics as a contribution to history of philosophy is important for contemporary philosophy of physics. My argument centers around a particular case: special relativity versus presentism. By means of resources drawn from reading aspects of Newton's work as contributions to philosophy, I argue that there is in physics an alternative way to approach what we mean by "present" such that (without adding any preferred foliation or anything like that) presentism remains an (...)
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  38. Till Grüne-Yanoff, Appraising Non-Representational Models.
    Many scientific models are non-representational in that they refer to merely possible processes, background conditions and results. The paper shows how such non-representational models can be appraised, beyond the weak role that they might play as heuristic tools. Using conceptual distinctions from the discussion of how-possibly explanations, six types of models are distinguished by their modal qualities of their background conditions, model processes and model results. For each of these types, an actual model example – drawn from economics, biology, psychology (...)
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  39. Justin Garson, Broken Mechanisms: Function, Pathology, and Natural Selection.
    The following describes one distinct sense of ‘mechanism’ which is prevalent in biology and biomedicine and which has important epistemic benefits. According to this sense, mechanisms are defined by the functions they facilitate. This construal has two important implications. Firstly, mechanisms that facilitate functions are capable of breaking. Secondly, on this construal, there are rigid constraints on the sorts of phenomena ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. In this sense, there are no ‘mechanisms for’ pathology, and natural selection is (...)
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  40. Gerald Doppelt, Does Structural Realism Provide the Best Explanation of the Predictive Success of Science?
    I examine Carrier’s and Ladyman’s structural realist (‘SR’) explanation of the predictive success of phlogiston chemistry. On their account, it succeeds because phlogiston chemists grasped that there is some common unobservable structure of relations underlying combustion, calcification, and respiration. I argue that this SR account depends on assuming the truth of current chemical theory of oxidation and reduction, which provides a better explanation of the success of phlogiston theory than SR provides. I defend an alternative version of inference-to-the-best-explanation scientific realism (...)
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  41. Cecilia Nardini & Jan Sprenger (2014). Bias and Conditioning in Sequential Medical Trials. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1053-1064.
    Randomized controlled trials are currently the gold standard within evidence-based medicine. Usually they are monitored for early signs of effectiveness or harm. However, evidence from trials stopped early is often charged with bias toward implausibly large effects. To our mind, this skeptical attitude is unfounded and caused by the failure to perform appropriate conditioning in the statistical analysis of the evidence. We contend that conditional hypothesis tests give a superior appreciation of the obtained evidence and significantly improve the practice of (...)
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  42. Jan Sprenger (2014). Testing a Precise Null Hypothesis: The Case of Lindley's Paradox. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):733-744.
    Testing a point null hypothesis is a classical but controversial issue in statistical methodology. A prominent illustration is Lindley’s Paradox, which emerges in hypothesis tests with large sample size and exposes a salient divergence between Bayesian and frequentist inference. A close analysis of the paradox reveals that both Bayesians and frequentists fail to satisfactorily resolve it. As an alternative, I suggest Bernardo’s Bayesian Reference Criterion: (i) it targets the predictive performance of the null hypothesis in future experiments; (ii) it provides (...)
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  43. Inkeri Koskinen (forthcoming). Critical Subjects Participatory Research Needs to Make Room for Debate. Philosophy of the Social Sciences:0048393114525857.
    Participatory methods in anthropology and other fields of cultural research aim at turning informants into collaborators or co-authors. Researchers generally accept the idea of different knowledge systems and continue the practice of avoiding the critical appraisal of alien systems that is common in ethnography. However, if informants are to be treated as collaborators, or ideally as colleagues, they become effectively a part of the research community. Helen Longino has formulated criteria according to which the objectivity of research communities can be (...)
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  44. Laszlo Kosolosky & Dagmar Provijn, William Harvey's Bloody Motion: Creativity in Science.
    In this paper, we show how the discovery of the circulation of the blood by William Harvey (1578-1657) sheds new light on traditional models of creativity in science. In particular, the example illustrates where both the enlightenment and the romantic view on creativity go astray. In the first section, we sketch the two views and present a (non-exhaustive) list of problems for both. In the remainder of the paper, we demonstrate how William Harvey’s discovery, as a historical case study of (...)
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  45. Mazviita Chirimuuta, Psychophysical Methods and the Evasion of Introspection.
    While introspective methods went out of favour with the decline of Titchener’s analytic school, many important questions concern the rehabilitation of introspection in contemporary psychology. Hatfield (2005) rightly points out that introspective methods should not be confused with analytic ones, and goes on to describe their “ineliminable role” in perceptual psychology. Here I argue that certain methodological conventions within psychophysics reflect a continued uncertainty over appropriate use of subjects’ perceptual observations and the reliability of their introspective judgements. My first claim (...)
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  46. Geoffrey Hellman & Stewart Shapiro (2013). The Classical Continuum Without Points. Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (3):488-512.
    We develop a point-free construction of the classical one-dimensional continuum, with an interval structure based on mereology and either a weak set theory or a logic of plural quantification. In some respects, this realizes ideas going back to Aristotle, although, unlike Aristotle, we make free use of contemporary . Also, in contrast to intuitionistic analysis, smooth infinitesimal analysis, and Eret Bishopgunky lineindecomposabilityCantor structure of ℝ as a complete, separable, ordered field. We also present some simple topological models of our system, (...)
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  47. Thomas Pashby (2014). Do Quantum Objects Have Temporal Parts? Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1137-1147.
    This article provides a new context for an established metaphysical debate regarding the problem of persistence. I contend that perdurance, a popular view about persistence which maintains that objects persist by having temporal parts, can be formulated in quantum mechanics due to the existence of a formal analogy between temporal and spatial location. However, this analogy fails due to a ‘no-go’ result which demonstrates that quantum systems cannot be said to have temporal parts in the same way that they have (...)
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  48. Grant Ramsey (2014). Human Nature in a Post-Essentialist World. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):983-993.
    In this essay I examine a well-known articulation of human nature skepticism, a paper by Hull. I then review a recent reply to Hull by Machery, which argues for an account of human nature that he claims is both useful and scientifically robust. I challenge Machery’s account and introduce an alternative account—the “life-history trait cluster” conception of human nature—that I hold is scientifically sound and makes sense of (at least some of) our intuitions about—and desiderata for—human nature.
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  49. Catherine Allamel-Raffin, From Intersubjectivity to Interinstrumentality: The Example of Surface Science.
    My aim is to show how a strategy used in the experimental sciences, which I name “interinstrumentality”, can minimize the role of sociological factors when one tries to understand how the debates about the interpretation of data come to an end. To defend this view, two examples are presented. The first is historical – the invention of the Scanning Tunneling Microscope (STM) – and the second is collected during an ethnographic study in a surface science laboratory. I would like to (...)
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  50. Wybo Houkes & Sjoerd D. Zwart, Transfer and Templates in Scientific Modeling.
    The notion of (computational) template has recently been discussed in relation to cross-disciplinary transfer of modeling efforts and in relation to the representational content of models. We further develop and disambiguate the notion of template and find that, suitably developed, it is useful in distinguishing and analyzing different types of transfer, none of which supports a non-representationalist view of models. We illustrate our main findings with the modeling of technology substitution with Lotka-Volterra Competition equations.
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  51. Thomas Meier, A Logical Reconstruction of Leonard Bloomfield's Linguistic Theory.
    In this work we present a logical reconstruction of Leonard Bloom- field’s theory of structural linguistics. First, the central notions of this theory are analyzed and discussed. In the following section, a recon- struction with the so-called structuralist approach in the philosophy of science is presented. After defining the general framework of Bloom- field’s theory, questions of lawlikeness and theoretical terms will be discussed. In a further step, this work aims to contribute to the dis- cussion of theory change and (...)
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  52. Iurato Giuseppe, A Πάρεργα Und Παραλειπŏμενα of J-M. Lévy-Leblond ''On the Conceptual Nature of the Physical Constants''.
    Starting, at first, from some little known but notable formal remarks made by the mathematician Gabriele Darbo about the qualitative dimensional analysis of the physical quantities, for then, above all, take into account some latest science education (d’après diSessa) and philosophy (d’après Gärdenfors) research results, it shall be possible, paraphrasing a celebrated 1851 work of Arthur Schopenhauer, work out a kind of Parerga und Paralipòmena of the basic J-M. Lévy-Leblond paper On the Conceptual Nature of the Physical Constants, published in (...)
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  53. Iurato Giuseppe, A Note on Oscar Chisini Mean Value Definition.
    Mainly on the basis of some notable physical examples reported in a 1929 Oscar Chisini paper, in this brief note it is exposed further possible historic-critical remarks on the definition of statistical mean which lead us towards the realm of Integral Geometry, via the Felix Klein Erlanger Programm.
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  54. Alexandre Marcellesi (2014). Is Race a Cause? Philosophy of Science 80 (5):650-659.
    Advocates of the counterfactual approach to causal inference argue that race is not a cause, and this despite the fact that it is commonly treated as such by scientists in many disciplines. I object that their argument is unsound since two of its premises are false. I also sketch an argument to the effect that racial discrimination cannot be explained unless one assumes race to be a cause.
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  55. Carl Wagner & Mark Shattuck, An Impossibility Theorem for Allocation Aggregation.
    In axiomatic approaches to expert opinion aggregation, so-called independence conditions have been ubiquitous. Such conditions dictate that the group value assigned to each decision variable should depend only on the values assigned by individuals to that variable, taking no account of values that they assign to other variables. This radically anti-holistic stricture on the synthesis of expert opinion severely limits the set of allowable aggregation methods. As we show, the limitations are particularly acute in the case of three or more (...)
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  56. Karen R. Zwier (2014). An Epistemology of Causal Inference From Experiment. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):660-671.
    The manipulationist account of causation provides a framework for assessing causal claims and the experiments used to test them. But its pertinence to the more general class of scientific experiments—particularly those experiments not explicitly designed for testing causal claims—is less clear. I aim to show (1) that the set of causal inferences afforded by any experiment is determined solely on the basis of contrasting case structures that I call “experimental series” and (2) that the conditions that suffice for causal inference (...)
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  57. Manjari Chakrabarty, Popper's Contribution to the Philosophical Study of Artifacts.
    This paper aims to critically discuss the versatility of Popper’s theory of three worlds in the analysis of issues related to the ontological status and character of technical artifacts. Despite being discussed over years and hit with numerous criticisms it is still little known that Popper’s thesis has an important bearing on the philosophical characterization of technical artifacts. His key perspectives on the reality, autonomy, and ontological status of artifacts are rarely taken into consideration by scholars known to be engaged (...)
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  58. Michael Webermann, Absolute Simultaneity and the Principle of Stable Causality.
    Einsteins relativity of simultaneity had a deep impact on the pilosophy of time. A first conclusion is that there is no such thing as absolute time. Furthermore according to relativity of simultaneity there is no present in which an open future could come into existence and then pass into a fixed past. According to relativity of simultaneity there is no becoming in a three-dimensional space. There are just changes in a four-dimensional world, often called "block universe". Although many authors refuse (...)
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  59. M. Hayden Thornburg, New Work for a Theory of Emergence.
    Many discussions of emergence focus on the putatively irreducible causal powers of emergents. I argue that the question of whether emergents are irreducible causes should be postponed in favor of the question of whether emergents are natural. David Lewis contends that scientifically interesting properties are natural: they account for resemblances and distinguish causally relevant and irrelevant properties. I consider bimanual coordination, as described by the HKB model, as an example of natural emergence. I conclude that emergent properties are those that (...)
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  60. -Preprint Volume-, Psa 2012.
    These preprints were automatically compiled into a PDF from the collection of papers deposited in PhilSci-Archive in conjunction with the PSA 2012.
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  61. Giovanelli Marco, Erich Kretschmann as a Proto-Logical-Empiricist: Adventures and Misadventures of the Point-Coincidence Argument.
    The present paper attempts to show that a 1915 article by Erich Kretschmann must be credited not only for being the source of Einstein’s point-coincidence remark, but also for having anticipated the main lines of the logical-empiricist interpretation of general relativity. Whereas Kretschmann was inspired by the work of Mach and Poincaré, Einstein inserted Kretschmann’s point-coincidence parlance into the context of Ricci and Levi-Civita’s absolute differential calculus. Kretschmann himself realized this and turned the point-coincidence argument against Einstein in his second (...)
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  62. Flavia Padovani (2013). Genidentity and Topology of Time: Kurt Lewin and Hans Reichenbach. In. In Nikolay Milkov & Volker Peckhaus (eds.), The Berlin Group and the Philosophy of Logical Empiricism. Springer. 97--122.
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  63. -Preprint Volume-, Seventh Quadrennial Fellows Conference of the Center for Philosophy of Science.
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  64. Peter J. Lewis (2013). Retrocausal Quantum Mechanics: Maudlin's Challenge Revisited. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):442-449.
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  65. Peter J. Lewis (2013). The Doomsday Argument and the Simulation Argument. Synthese 190 (18):4009-4022.
    The Simulation Argument and the Doomsday Argument share certain structural similarities, and hence are often discussed together (Bostrom 2003, Aranyosi 2004, Richmond 2008, Bostrom and Kulczycki 2011). Both are cases where reflecting on one’s location among a set of possibilities yields a counter-intuitive conclusion—in one case that the end of humankind is closer than you initially thought, and in the second case that it is more likely than you initially thought that you are living in a computer simulation. Indeed, the (...)
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  66. Peter J. Lewis, Credence for Whom?
    There is an important sense in which an agent’s credences are universal: while they reflect an agent’s own judgments, those judgments apply equally to everyone’s bets. This point, while uncontentious, has been overlooked; people automatically assume that credences concern an agent’s own bets, perhaps just because of the name “subjective” that is typically applied to this account of belief. This oversight has had unfortunate consequences for recent epistemology, in particular concerning the Sleeping Beauty case and its myriad variants.
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  67. Peter J. Lewis, Maudlin's Challenge Revisited.
    In 1994, Maudlin proposed proposed an objection to the transactional interpretation (TI), involving an absorber that changes location depending on the trajectory of the particle. Maudlin considered this objection fatal. However, the TI did not die; rather, a number of responses were developed, some attempting to accommodate Maudlin's example within the existing TI, and others modifying the TI. I argue that none of these responses is fully adequate. The reason, I submit, is that there are two aspects to Maudlin's objection; (...)
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  68. Peter J. Lewis, A Note on the Simulation Argument.
    The point of this note is to compare the Doomsday Argument to the Simulation Argument. The latter, I maintain, is a better argument than the former.
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  69. Adrian Wüthrich (2012). Eating Goldstone Bosons in a Phase Transition: A Critical Review of Lyre's Analysis of the Higgs Mechanism. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 43 (2):281-287.
    In this note, I briefly review Lyre’s (2008) analysis and interpretation of the Higgs mechanism. Contrary to Lyre, I maintain that, on the proper understanding of the term, the Higgs mechanism refers to a physical process in the course of which gauge bosons acquire a mass. Since also Lyre’s worries about imaginary masses can be dismissed, a realistic interpretation of the Higgs mechanism seems viable. While it may remain an open empirical question whether the Higgs mechanism did actually occur in (...)
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  70. Samuel Schindler (2013). Theory-Laden Experimentation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):89-.
    The thesis of theory-ladenness of observations, in its various guises, is widely considered as either ill-conceived or harmless to the rationality of science. The latter view rests partly on the work of the proponents of New Experimentalism who have argued, among other things, that experimental practices are efficient in guarding against any epistemological threat posed by theory-ladenness. In this paper I show that one can generate a thesis of theory-ladenness for experimental practices from an influential New Experimentalist account. The notion (...)
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  71. Michael Esfeld, Dustin Lazarovici, Mario Hubert & Detlef Dürr (2013). The Ontology of Bohmian Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axt019.
    The article points out that the modern formulation of Bohm’s quantum theory, known as Bohmian mechanics, is committed only to particles’ positions and a law of motion. We explain how this view can avoid the open questions that the traditional view faces, according to which Bohm’s theory is committed to a wave-function that is a physical entity over and above the particles, although it is defined on configuration space instead of three-dimensional space. We then enquire into the status of the (...)
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  72. Charles H. Pence, It's Okay to Call Genetic Drift a “Force”.
    One hotly debated philosophical question in the analysis of evolutionary theory concerns whether or not evolution and the various factors which constitute it (selection, drift, mutation, and so on) may profitably be considered to be “forces” in the traditional, Newtonian sense. Several compelling arguments assert that the force picture is incoherent, due to the peculiar nature of genetic drift. I consider two of those arguments here – that drift lacks a predictable direction, and that drift is constitutive of evolutionary systems (...)
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  73. Benjamin Sheredos, Daniel Burnston, Adele Abrahamsen & William Bechtel (2014). Why Do Biologists Use So Many Diagrams? Philosophy of Science 80 (5):931-944.
    Diagrams have distinctive characteristics that make them an effective medium for communicating research findings, but they are even more impressive as tools for scientific reasoning. To explore this role, we examine diagrammatic formats that have been devised by biologists to (a) identify and illuminate phenomena involving circadian rhythms and (b) develop and modify mechanistic explanations of these phenomena.
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  74. David John Baker (2013). Identity, Superselection Theory, and the Statistical Properties of Quantum Fields. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):262-285.
    The permutation symmetry of quantum mechanics is widely thought to imply a sort of metaphysical underdetermination about the identity of particles. Despite claims to the contrary, this implication does not hold in the more fundamental quantum field theory, where an ontology of particles is not generally available. Although permutations are often defined as acting on particles, a more general account of permutation symmetry can be formulated using superselection theory. As a result, permutation symmetry applies even in field theories with no (...)
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  75. Zurab Silagadze, Breaking the Light Speed Barrier.
    As it is well known, classical special relativity allows the existence of three different kinds of particles: bradyons, luxons and tachyons. Bradyons have non-zero mass and hence always travel slower than light. Luxons are particles with zero mass, like the photon, and they always travel with invariant velocity. Tachyons are hypothetical superluminal particles that always move faster than light. The existence of bradyons and luxons is firmly established, while the tachyons were never reliably observed. In quantum field theory, the appearance (...)
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  76. Nuel Belnap & Thomas Müller, CIFOL: Case-Intensional First Order Logic. (I) Toward a Theory of Sorts.
    This is Part I of a two-part essay introducing case-intensional first-order logic (CIFOL), an easy-to-use, uniform, powerful, and useful combination of first order logic with modal logic resulting from philosophical and technical modifications of Bressan’s General interpreted modal calculus (Yale University Press 1972). CIFOL starts with a set of cases; each expression has an extension in each case and an intension, which is the function from the cases to the respective case-relative extensions. Predication is intensional; identity is extensional. Definite descriptions (...)
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  77. Iurato Giuseppe, Bachelard, Enriques and Weyl: Comparing Some of Their Ideas.
    Some aspects of Federigo Enriques mathematical philosophy thought are taken as central reference points for a critical historic-epistemological comparison between it and some of the main aspects of the thought of other his contemporary thinkers like Gaston Bachelard and Hermann Weyl. From what will be exposed, it will be also possible descry eventual educational implications of the historic-epistemological approach.
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  78. Susan G. Sterrett, How Beliefs Make A Difference (PhD Dissertation).
    How are beliefs efficacious? One answer is: via rational intentional action. But there are other ways that beliefs are efficacious. This dissertation examines these other ways, and sketches an answer to the question of how beliefs are efficacious that takes into account how beliefs are involved in the full range of behavioral disciplines, from psychophysiology and cognition to social and economic phenomena. The account of how beliefs are efficacious I propose draws on work on active accounts of perception. I develop (...)
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  79. Vladislav E. Terekhovich, Probabilistic and Geometric Languages in the Context of the Principle of Least Action.
    This paper explores the question of the unifi�cation of the three basic languages of physics, the geometric language of forces, the geometric language of fi�elds or 4-dimensional space-time, and the probabilistic language of quantum mechanics. I will show that on the one hand, equations in each of these languages may be derived from any form of the Principle of Least Action (PLA). On the other hand, Feynman's `path integral' method could explain the physical sense of these particular forms of PLA. (...)
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  80. Susan G. Sterrett, How Beliefs Make A Difference (PhD Dissertation) SEARCHABLE Pdf.
    How are beliefs efficacious? One answer is: via rational intentional action. But there are other ways that beliefs are efficacious. This dissertation examines these other ways, and sketches an answer to the question of how beliefs are efficacious that takes into account how beliefs are involved in the full range of behavioral disciplines, from psychophysiology and cognition to social and economic phenomena. The account of how beliefs are efficacious I propose draws on work on active accounts of perception. I develop (...)
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  81. Jaakko Kuorikoski & Samuli Pöyhönen (2014). Understanding Nonmodular Functionality: Lessons From Genetic Algorithms. Philosophy of Science 80 (5):637-649.
    Evolution is often characterized as a tinkerer creating efficient but messy solutions. We analyze the nature of the problems that arise when trying to explain and understand cognitive phenomena created by this haphazard design process. We present a theory of explanation and understanding and apply it to a case problem—solutions generated by genetic algorithms. By analyzing the nature of solutions that genetic algorithms present to computational problems, we show, first, that evolutionary designs are often hard to understand because they exhibit (...)
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  82. Kyle Sereda, Was Leibniz the First Spacetime Structuralist?
    I argue that the standard interpretation of Leibniz as a relationist about space is mistaken, and defend a reading according to which his correspondence with Samuel Clarke actually suggests that Leibniz holds a view closely resembling modern spacetime structuralism. I distinguish my proposal from Belot's recent reading of Leibniz as a modal relationist, arguing for the superiority of my reading based on the Clarke correspondence and on Leibniz's conception of God's relation to the created world. I note a tension between (...)
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  83. Aboutorab Yaghmaie, Reflexive, Symmetric and Transitive Scientific Representations.
    Theories of scientific representation, following Chakrawartty's categorization, are divided into two groups. Whereas cognitive-functional views emphasize agents' intentions, informational theories stress the objective relation between represented and representing. In the first part, a modified structuralist theory is introduced that takes into account agents' intentions. The second part is devoted to dismissing a criticism against the structural account of representation on which similarity as the backbone of representation raises serious problems, since it has definite logical features, i.e. reflexivity, symmetry and transitivity, (...)
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  84. Nicolaas P. Landsman (2002). Getting Even with Heisenberg: PL Rose, Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project: A Study in German Culture, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1998, Xx+ 352 Pp. $35,£ 21.95, ISBN 0-7923-3794-8, Hbk. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 33 (2):297-325.
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  85. Nicolaas P. Landsman, Essay Review Of: Maximilian Schlosshauer, Decoherence and the Quantum-To-Classical Transition (Springer, Berlin, 2007).
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  86. Elena Castellani (1998). Galilean Particles: An Example of Constitution of Objects. In , Interpreting Bodies. Princeton University Press. 181--194.
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  87. Nicholas Maxwell (2013). Has Science Established That the Cosmos is Physically Comprehensible? In A. Travena & B. Soen (eds.), Recent Advances in Cosmology. Nova Science Publishers.
    Most scientists would hold that science has not established that the cosmos is physically comprehensible – i.e. such that there is some as-yet undiscovered true physical theory of everything that is unified. This is an empirically untestable, or metaphysical thesis. It thus lies beyond the scope of science. Only when physics has formulated a testable unified theory of everything which has been amply corroborated empirically will science be in a position to declare that it has established that the cosmos is (...)
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  88. Irina Meketa, The False Dichotomy Between Experiment and Observation: The Case of Comparative Cognition.
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  89. Eleanor Knox, Abstraction and its Limits: Finding Space for Novel Explanation.
    Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of variable between theories can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of phase transitions as described by statistical mechanics (...)
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  90. Jill North, The Structure of a Quantum World.
    I argue that the fundamental space of a quantum mechanical world is the wavefunction's space. I argue for this using some very general principles that guide our inferences to the fundamental nature of a world, for any fundamental physical theory. I suggest that ordinary three-dimensional space exists in such a world, but is non-fundamental; it emerges from the fundamental space of the wavefunction.
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  91. Michael E. Cuffaro, On the Necessity of Entanglement for the Explanation of Quantum Speedup.
    Of the many and varied applications of quantum information theory, perhaps the most fascinating is the sub-field of quantum computation. In this sub-field, computational algorithms are designed which utilise the resources available in quantum systems in order to compute solutions to computational problems with, in some cases, exponentially fewer resources than any known classical algorithm. While the fact of quantum computational speedup is almost beyond doubt, the source of quantum speedup is still a matter of debate. In this paper I (...)
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  92. Austin Gerig, The Doomsday Argument in Many Worlds.
    You and I are highly unlikely to exist in a civilization that has produced only 70 billion people, yet we find ourselves in just such a civilization. Our circumstance, which seems difficult to explain, is easily accounted for if (1) many other civilizations exist and if (2) nearly all of these civilizations (including our own) die out sooner than usually thought, i.e., before trillions of people are produced. Because the combination of (1) and (2) make our situation likely and alternatives (...)
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  93. Randall McCutcheon, Identity Failure, Functional Forgetting and Bogus Stopping: A Defense of Conditionalization.
    General criticism of Frank Arntzenius's paper ``Some problems for conditionalization and reflection''.
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  94. Charles H. Pence, Charles Darwin and Sir John F. W. Herschel: Nineteenth-Century Science and its Methodology.
    In this essay, I review the relationship between Charles Darwin's methodology and the philosophy of science of Sir John F. W. Herschel. Darwin's exposure to Herschel's philosophy was, I argue, significant. Further, when we construct an appropriate reading of Herschel's philosophy of science (a surprisingly difficult feat), we can see that Darwin's three-part argument in the Origin is crafted in order to strictly adhere to Herschel's methodological guidelines.
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  95. Adam Caulton & Jeremy Butterfield (2012). On Kinds of Indiscernibility in Logic and Metaphysics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):27-84.
    Using the Hilbert–Bernays account as a spring-board, we first define four ways in which two objects can be discerned from one another, using the non-logical vocabulary of the language concerned. (These definitions are based on definitions made by Quine and Saunders.) Because of our use of the Hilbert-Bernays account, these definitions are in terms of the syntax of the language. But we also relate our definitions to the idea of permutations on the domain of quantification, and their being symmetries. These (...)
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  96. John Byron Manchak (2011). No No-Go: A Remark on Time Machines. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (1):74-76.
    We present a counterexample to Krasnikov's (2002) much discussed time machine no-go result. In addition, we prove a positive statement: a time machine existence theorem under a modest "no holes" assumption.
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  97. D. Krause, The Problem of Identity and a Justification for Non-Reflexive Quantum Mechanics.
    In this paper we try to justify our way of looking for an alternative approach to quantum mechanics, which is based on a non-classical logic. We consider two specific questions related to quantum theory, namely, entanglement and the indiscernibility of quanta. We characterize individuals, and then explain in what sense entanglement is a concept which can be applied to individuals in a restricted sense only. Then, we turn to indiscernibility and, after realizing that this concept is of a fundamental importance, (...)
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  98. Reiner Hedrich, String Theory – Nomological Unification and the Epicycles of the Quantum Field Theory Paradigm.
    String Theory is the result of the conjunction of three conceptually independent elements: (i) the metaphysical idea of a nomological unity of the forces, (ii) the model-theoretical paradigm of Quantum Field Theory, and (iii) the conflict resulting from classical gravity in a quantum world - the motivational starting point of the search for a theory of Quantum Gravity. String Theory is sometimes assumed to solve this conflict: by means of an application of the (only slightly extended) model-theoretical apparatus of (perturbative) (...)
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  99. Gordon Belot, Symmetry and Equivalence.
    This paper is concerned with the relation between two notions: that of two solutions or models of a theory being related by a symmetry of the theory and that of solutions or models being physically equivalent (in the sense of being equally well- or ill-suited to represent any given situation, relative to any reasonable interpretation). A number of authors have recently discussed this relation, some taking an optimistic view, on which there is a suitable concept of the symmetry of a (...)
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