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  1. John Altmann, Artificial Brains & Holographic Bodies: Facing the Questions of Progress.
    This essay discusses the ambitious plans of one Dmitry Itskov who by 2045 wishes to see immortality achieved by way of Artificial Brains and Holographic Bodies. I discuss the ethical implications of such a possibility coming to pass.
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  2. Robert Arp, Barry Smith & Andrew D. Spear (2015). Building Ontologies with Basic Formal Ontology. MIT Press.
    In the era of “big data,” science is increasingly information driven, and the potential for computers to store, manage, and integrate massive amounts of data has given rise to such new disciplinary fields as biomedical informatics. Applied ontology offers a strategy for the organization of scientific information in computer-tractable form, drawing on concepts not only from computer and information science but also from linguistics, logic, and philosophy. This book provides an introduction to the field of applied ontology that is of (...)
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  3. Marina Paola Banchetti-Robino (2013). The Relevance of Boyle's Chemical Philosophy for Contemporary Philosophy of Chemistry. In Jean-Pierre Llored (ed.), The Philosophy of Chemistry: Practices, Methodologies, and Concepts.
  4. Robert W. Batterman (2002). The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence. Oxford University Press.
    Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
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  5. Jiri Benovsky (forthcoming). 'Nothing Over and Above' or 'Nothing'? On Eliminativism, Reductionism, and Composition. Polish Journal of Philosophy.
    In this article, I am interested in an issue concerning eliminativism about ordinary objects that can be put as the claim that the eliminativist is guilty of postulating the existence of something (atoms arranged tablewise) but not of something that is identical to it (the table). But, as we will see, this turns out to be a problem for everybody except the eliminativist. Indeed, this issue highlights a more general problem about the relationship between an entity and the parts the (...)
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  6. Suzanne Bliss & Jordi Fernández (2011). Does the Supervenience Argument Generalize? Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (4):321-346.
    We evaluate the scope of Jaegwon Kim's “supervenience argument” for reduction. Does its conclusion apply only to psychology, or does it generalize to all the special sciences? The claim that the supervenience argument generalizes to all the special sciences if it goes through for psychology is often raised as an objection to the supervenience argument. We argue that this objection is ambiguous. We distinguish three readings of it and suggest that some of them make it a plausible claim, whereas other (...)
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  7. Ingo Brigandt (2010). Beyond Reduction and Pluralism: Toward an Epistemology of Explanatory Integration in Biology. Erkenntnis 73 (3):295-311.
    The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. (...)
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  8. Ingo Brigandt (2007). Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:2007.09.01.
    Reductionism in the Philosophy of Science develops a novel account of reduction in science and applies it to the relationship between classical and molecular genetics. However, rather than addressing the epistemological issues that have been essential to the reductionism debate in philosophy of biology, the discussion primarily pursues ontological questions, as they are known, about reducing the mental to the physical. For Sachse construes reductionism as a purely philosophical endeavor and defends the possibility of reduction in principle, which may not (...)
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  9. Rodrigo Cid, Fundamentality: Structures, Powers, and a Supervenience Dualism.
    If we want to say what “fundamentality” means, we have to start by approaching what we generally see at the empty place of the predicate “____ is fundamental”. We generally talk about fundamental entities and fundamental theories. At this article, I tried to make a metaphysical approach of what is for something to be fundamental, and I also tried to talk a little bit of fundamental incomplete and complete theories. To do that, I start stating the notion of “entity” and (...)
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  10. Christopher Clarke (2016). The Explanatory Virtue of Abstracting Away From Idiosyncratic and Messy Detail. Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1429-1449.
    Some explanations are relatively abstract: they abstract away from the idiosyncratic or messy details of the case in hand. The received wisdom in philosophy is that this is a virtue for any explanation to possess. I argue that the apparent consensus on this point is illusory. When philosophers make this claim, they differ on which of four alternative varieties of abstractness they have in mind. What’s more, for each variety of abstractness there are several alternative reasons to think that the (...)
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  11. Matteo Colombo & Cory D. Wright (forthcoming). Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists. Brain and Cognition.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, (...)
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  12. Gabriele Contessa (2014). One's a Crowd: Mereological Nihilism Without Ordinary‐Object Eliminativism. Analytic Philosophy 54 (4):199-221.
    Mereological nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects—i.e. objects with proper material parts. One of the main advantages of mereological nihilism is that it allows its supporters to avoid a number of notorious philosophical puzzles. However, it seems to offer this advantage only at the expense of certain widespread and deeply entrenched beliefs. In particular, it is usually assumed that mereological nihilism entails eliminativism about ordinary objects—i.e. the counterintuitive thesis that there are no such things as tables, (...)
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  13. Antonella Corradini & Timothy O'Connor (eds.) (2010). Emergence in Science and Philosophy. Routledge.
    The concept of emergence has seen a significant resurgence in philosophy and the sciences, yet debates regarding emergentist and reductionist visions of the natural world continue to be hampered by imprecision or ambiguity. Emergent phenomena are said to arise out of and be sustained by more basic phenomena, while at the same time exerting a "top-down" control upon those very sustaining processes. To some critics, this has the air of magic, as it seems to suggest a kind of circular causality. (...)
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  14. Willem A. DeVries (2016). Just What is the Relation Between the Manifest and the Scientific Images? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (1):112-128.
    Robert B. Brandom’s From Empiricism to Expressivism ranges widely over fundamental issues in metaphysics, with occasional forays into epistemology as well. The centerpiece is what Brandom calls ‘the Kant-Sellars thesis about modality’. This is ‘[t]he claim that in being able to use ordinary empirical descriptive vocabulary, one already knows how to do everything that one needs to know how to do, in principle, to use alethic modal vocabulary – in particular subjunctive conditionals’. Despite claiming descent from Sellars, Brandom defends here (...)
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  15. Brian Epstein & Patrick Forber (2013). The Perils of Tweaking: How to Use Macrodata to Set Parameters in Complex Simulation Models. Synthese 190 (2):203-218.
    When can macroscopic data about a system be used to set parameters in a microfoundational simulation? We examine the epistemic viability of tweaking parameter values to generate a better fit between the outcome of a simulation and the available observational data. We restrict our focus to microfoundational simulations—those simulations that attempt to replicate the macrobehavior of a target system by modeling interactions between microentities. We argue that tweaking can be effective but that there are two central risks. First, tweaking risks (...)
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  16. Vincenzo Fano, Enrico Giannetto, Giulia Giannini & Pierluigi Graziani (2012). Complessità E Riduzionismo. ISONOMIA - Epistemologica Series Editor.
    The enormous increasing of connections between people and the noteworthy enlargement of domains and methods in sciences have augmented extraordinarily the cardinality of the set of meaningful human symbols. We know that complexity is always on the way to become complication, i.e. a non-tractable topic. For this reason scholars engage themselves more and more in attempting to tame plurality and chaos. In this book distinguished scientists, philosophers and historians of science reflect on the topic from a multidisciplinary point of view. (...)
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  17. Peter Fazekas (2009). Reconsidering the Role of Bridge Laws in Inter-Theoretical Reductions. Erkenntnis 71 (3):303 - 322.
    The present paper surveys the three most prominent accounts in contemporary debates over how sound reduction should be executed. The classical Nagelian model of reduction derives the laws of the target-theory from the laws of the base theory plus some auxiliary premises (so-called bridge laws) connecting the entities of the target and the base theory. The functional model of reduction emphasizes the causal definitions of the target entities referring to their causal relations to base entities. The new-wave model of reduction (...)
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  18. Raphaël Fiorese (2016). Stoljar’s Dilemma and Three Conceptions of the Physical: A Defence of the Via Negativa. Erkenntnis 81 (2):201-229.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical. But what does it mean to say that everything is physical? Daniel Stoljar has recently argued that no account of the physical is available which allows for a formulation of physicalism that is both possibly true and deserving of the name. As against this claim, I argue that a version of the via negativa—roughly, the view that the physical is to be characterised in terms of the nonmental—provides just such an account.
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  19. David J. Frost (2014). John Heil: The Universe As We Find It. [REVIEW] Philosophia 42 (1):243-249.
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  20. Carl Gillett (2009). On the Implications of Scientific Composition and Completeness: Or, the Troubles, and Troubles, of Non-Reductive Physicalism. In T. O'connor & A. Corradini (eds.), Emergence in Science and Philosophy. Routledge
  21. Reinhardt Grossmann (1973). Ontological Reduction. Bloomington,Indiana University Press.
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  22. Hermann Haken & Helena Knyazeva (2000). Synergetik: zwischen Reduktionismus und Holismus. Philosophia Naturalis 37 (1):21-44.
    Die philosophischen Folgerungen der Synergetik, einer interdisziplinären Theorie der Evolution und Selbstorganisation komplexer nichtlinearer Systeme, werden in diesem Artikel zur Diskussion gestellt. Das sind der weltanschauliche Sinn des Begriffs von der „Nichtlinearität“, die konstruktive Rolle des Chaos in der Evolution, eine neue Vorstellung von diskreten Spektren evolutionärer Wege in komplexen Systemen, die Prinzipien des Aufbaus von komplexem evolutionärem Ganzen, der Integration von komplexen Strukturen, die sich mit verschiedenen Geschwindigkeiten entwickeln, die Methoden des nichtlinearen Managements komplexer Systeme. Die Synergetik entdeckt allgemeingültige (...)
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  23. Stephan Hartmann (2001). Effective Field Theories, Reductionism and Scientific Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (2):267-304.
    Effective field theories have been a very popular tool in quantum physics for almost two decades. And there are good reasons for this. I will argue that effective field theories share many of the advantages of both fundamental theories and phenomenological models, while avoiding their respective shortcomings. They are, for example, flexible enough to cover a wide range of phenomena, and concrete enough to provide a detailed story of the specific mechanisms at work at a given energy scale. So will (...)
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  24. Matthew C. Haug (2011). On the Distinction Between Reductive and Nonreductive Physicalism. Metaphilosophy 42 (4):451-469.
    Abtract: This article argues that the debate between reductive and nonreductive physicalists is best characterized as a disagreement about which properties are natural. Among other things, natural properties are those that characterize the world completely. All physicalists accept the “completeness of physics,” but this claim contains a subtle ambiguity, which results in two conceptions of natural properties. Reductive physicalists should assert, while nonreductive physicalists should deny, that a single set of low-level physical properties is natural in both of these senses. (...)
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  25. Chris Heathwood (2013). Reductionism in Ethics. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley
    An encyclopedia entry on the issue of whether morality is reducible -- that is, whether moral facts are identical to facts that can be expressed in non-moral terms.
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  26. John Heil (2003). Levels of Reality. Ratio 16 (3):205–221.
    Philosophers and non-philosophers have been attracted to the idea that the world incorporates levels of being: higher-level items – ordinary objects, artifacts, human beings – depend on, but are not in any sense reducible to, items at lower levels. I argue that the motivation for levels stems from an implicit acceptance of a Picture Theory of language according to which we can ‘read off’ features of the world from ways we describe the world. Abandonment of the Picture Theory opens the (...)
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  27. Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Simon Lohse, Emergence: Postulates and Candidates.
    In the first part of this article we will formulate postulates, which must be satisfied by a reasonable concept of emergence. The postulates will articulate conditions of adequacy for an appropriate explication of the concept of emergence. These conditions of adequacy are based primarily upon the philosophical and scientific history of the concept of emergence, in which the intended role of the concept is expressed. In the second part we will discuss and evaluate some candidates for the concept of emergence (...)
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  28. Andreas Hüttemann, Reimer Kühn & Orestis Terzidis (2015). Stability, Emergence and Part-Whole-Reduction. In Brigitte Falkenburg & Margret Morrison (eds.), Why More Is Different. Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems. Springer 169-200.
    We address the question whether there is an explanation for the fact that as Fodor put it the micro-level “converges on stable macro-level properties”, and whether there are lessons from this explanation for other issues in the vicinity. We argue that stability in large systems can be understood in terms of statistical limit theorems. In the thermodynamic limit of infinite system size N → ∞ systems will have strictly stable macroscopic properties in the sense that transitions between different macroscopic phases (...)
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  29. Gregg Jaeger & Sahotra Sarkar (2003). Coherence, Entanglement, and Reductionist Explanation in Quantum Physics,". In A. Ashtekar (ed.), Revisiting the Foundations of Relativistic Physics. D. Reidel 523--542.
    The scope and nature of reductionist explanation in quantum physics is analyzed, with special attention being paid to the situation in quantum physics.
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  30. Jaegwon Kim (1992). Multiple Realization and the Metaphysics of Reduction. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1):1-26.
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  31. Jaegwon Kim (1985). Supervenience, Determination, and Reduction. Journal of Philosophy 82 (11):616-618.
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  32. Colin Klein (2009). Reduction Without Reductionism: A Defence of Nagel on Connectability. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):39 - 53.
    Unlike the overall framework of Ernest Nagel's work on reduction, his theory of intertheoretic connection still has life in it. It handles aptly cases where reduction requires complex representation of a target domain. Abandoning his formulation as too liberal was a mistake. Arguments that it is too liberal at best touch only Nagel's deductivist theory of explanation, not his condition of connectability. Taking this condition seriously gives a powerful view of reduction, but one which requires us to index explanatory power (...)
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  33. Christian List & Kai Spiekermann (2013). Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation. American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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  34. Holger Lyre (2013). Must Structural Realism Cover the Special Sciences? In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer 383--390.
    Structural Realism (SR) is typically rated as a moderate realist doctrine about the ultimate entities of nature described by fundamental physics. Whether it must be extended to the higher-level special sciences is not so clear. In this short paper I argue that there is no need to ‘structuralize’ the special sciences. By mounting concrete examples I show that structural descriptions and structural laws certainly play a role in the special sciences, but that they don’t play any exclusive role nor that (...)
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  35. Christophe Malaterre (2010). Les origines de la vie : émergence ou explication réductive ? Hermann.
    La vie est-elle un phénomène émergent ? Traduit-elle l'apparition de propriétés nouvelles au niveau d'un tout, qui seraient irréductibles aux propriétés et à l'organisation des composants de ce tout, ou encore imprédictibles à partir de ces mêmes éléments ? Développées à la charnière des XIXe et XXe siècles comme alternative aux deux approches antinomiques du vivant que sont le vitalisme et le mécanisme, la notion philosophique d'émergence connait aujourd'hui de nouveaux développements : avec la prise de conscience de la complexité (...)
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  36. Andrew Melnyk (2008). Can Physicalism Be Non-Reductive? Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1281-1296.
    Can physicalism (or materialism) be non-reductive? I provide an opinionated survey of the debate on this question. I suggest that attempts to formulate non-reductive physicalism by appeal to claims of event identity, supervenience, or realization have produced doctrines that fail either to be physicalist or to be non-reductive. Then I treat in more detail a recent attempt to formulate non-reductive physicalism by Derk Pereboom, but argue that it fares no better.
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  37. Andrew Melnyk (2006). Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes. In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell 31-50.
    The paper argues that a broadly functionalist picture of psychological phenomena is quite consistent with at least one interesting thesis of psychological reductionism.
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  38. Andrew Melnyk (2003). A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    A Physicalist Manifesto is the fullest treatment yet of the comprehensive physicalist view that, in some important sense, everything is physical. Andrew Melnyk argues that the view is best formulated by appeal to a carefully worked-out notion of realization, rather than supervenience; that, so formulated, physicalism must be importantly reductionist; that it need not repudiate causal and explanatory claims framed in non-physical language; and that it has the a posteriori epistemic status of a broad-scope scientific hypothesis. Two concluding chapters argue (...)
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  39. Andrew Melnyk (2002). Physicalism. In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Blackwell 573-587.
    Written with a student audience in mind, this article surveys the issues raises by the attempt to formulate, argue for, and explore the implications of a comprehensively physicalist view of the world.
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  40. Peter Menzies & Christian List (2010). The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences. In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press
    The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of those of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them.2 More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view about the (...)
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  41. Arciszewski Michal, Reducing the Dauer Larva: Molecular Models of Biological Phenomena in Caenorhabditis Elegans Research.
    One important aspect of biological explanation is detailed causal modeling of particular phenomena in limited experimental background conditions. Recognising this allows a new avenue for intertheoretic reduction to be seen. Reductions in biology are possible, when one fully recognises that a sufficient condition for a reduction in biology is a molecular model of 1) only the demonstrated causal parameters of a biological model and 2) only within a replicable experimental background. These intertheoretic identifications –which are ubiquitous in biology and form (...)
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  42. Paul Needham (1999). Reduction and Abduction in Chemistry-a Response to Scerri. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):169 – 184.
    Eric Scerri has proposed an account of how reduction might be understood in chemistry. He claims to build on a general aspect of Popper's views which survives his otherwise heavy criticism, namely adherence to actual scientific practice. This is contrasted with Nagel's conception, which Scerri takes to be the philosopher's standard notion. I argue that his proposal, interesting though it is, is not so foreign to ideas in the tradition within which Nagel wrote as Scerri would have us believe. Moreover, (...)
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  43. Khosrow Bagheri Noaparast (1995). Ethics and Reductionism. Journal of Psychology and Education 1 (3-5):9-38.
    In this paper Control theory alongside with reductionism purporsive behavior will be discussed. Human puposive action has been explained by the cybernectics long ago. control theory is attemping to do this task too. however, it faces problems of which one can be named as explaining an impossible goal.
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  44. Panu Raatikainen (2014). Chalmers' Blueprint of the World. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (1):113-128.
    A critical notice of David J. Chalmers, Constructing the World (Oxford University Press,2012).
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  45. Alexander Reutlinger (forthcoming). Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-Level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation. Synthese.
    In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo- Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level (...)
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  46. Jonathan Schaffer (2003). Is There a Fundamental Level? Noûs 37 (3):498–517.
    ‘‘Thus I believe that there is no part of matter which is not—I do not say divisible—but actually divided; and consequently the least particle ought to be considered as a world full of an infinity of different creatures.’’ (Leibniz, letter to Foucher).
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  47. Alexander Skiles (forthcoming). In Defense of the Disjunctive. Inquiry:1-13.
    Are there any disjunctive properties—features of things such as being either red or round, or Nelson Goodman’s infamous example of being grue? As esoteric as the question may seem at first, central issues about the metaphysics of properties hinge upon its answer, such as whether reductive views about special science properties can handle the phenomenon of multiple realizability. A familiar argument for a negative answer is that disjunctive properties fail to guarantee that their instances are similar in some genuine respect. (...)
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  48. Michael Strevens (forthcoming). Dappled Science in a Unified World. In H.-K. Chao, J. Reiss & S.-T. Chen (eds.), Philosophy of Science in Practice: Nancy Cartwright and the Nature of Scientific Reasoning. Springer
    Science as we know it is “dappled”. Its picture of the world is a mosaic in which different aspects of the world, different systems, are represented by narrow-scope theories or models that are largely disconnected from one another. The best explanation for this disunity in our representation of the world, Nancy Cartwright has proposed, is a disunity in the world itself: rather than being governed by a small set of strict fundamental laws, events unfold according to a patchwork of principles (...)
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  49. Michael Strevens (forthcoming). Ontology, Complexity, and Compositionality. In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Essays on Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science. Oxford
    Sciences of complex systems thrive on compositional theories – toolkits that allow the construction of models of a wide range of systems, each consisting of various parts put together in different ways. To be tractable, a compositional theory must make shrewd choices about the parts and properties that constitute its basic ontology. One such choice is to decompose a system into spatiotemporally discrete parts. Compositional theories in the high-level sciences follow this rule of thumb to a certain extent, but they (...)
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  50. John Sutton (1995). Reduction and Levels of Explanation in Connectionism. In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on cognitive science: theories, experiments, and foundations. Ablex 347-368.
    Recent work in the methodology of connectionist explanation has I'ocrrsccl on the notion of levels of explanation. Specific issucs in conncctionisrn hcrc intersect with rvider areas of debate in the philosophy of psychology and thc philosophy of science generally. The issues I raise in this chapter, then, are not unique to cognitive science; but they arise in new and important contexts when connectionism is taken seriously as a model of cognition. The general questions are the relation between levels and the (...)
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