Nicholaos Jones University of Alabama, Huntsville
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  1. Nicholaos Jones (2014). Bowtie Structures, Pathway Diagrams, and Topological Explanation. Erkenntnis 79 (5):1135-1155.
    While mechanistic explanation and, to a lesser extent, nomological explanation are well-explored topics in the philosophy of biology, topological explanation is not. Nor is the role of diagrams in topological explanations. These explanations do not appeal to the operation of mechanisms or laws, and extant accounts of the role of diagrams in biological science explain neither why scientists might prefer diagrammatic representations of topological information to sentential equivalents nor how such representations might facilitate important processes of explanatory reasoning unavailable to (...)
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  2. Nicholaos Jones (2013). Don't Blame the Idealizations. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 44 (1):85-100.
    Idealizing conditions are scapegoats for scientific hypotheses, too often blamed for falsehood better attributed to less obvious sources. But while the tendency to blame idealizations is common among both philosophers of science and scientists themselves, the blame is misplaced. Attention to the nature of idealizing conditions, the content of idealized hypotheses, and scientists’ attitudes toward those hypotheses shows that idealizing conditions are blameless when hypotheses misrepresent. These conditions help to determine the content of idealized hypotheses, and they do so in (...)
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  3. Gregory S. Reed & Nicholaos Jones (2013). Toward Modeling and Automating Ethical Decision Making: Design, Implementation, Limitations, and Responsibilities. Topoi 32 (2):237-250.
    One recent priority of the U.S. government is developing autonomous robotic systems. The U.S. Army has funded research to design a metric of evil to support military commanders with ethical decision-making and, in the future, allow robotic military systems to make autonomous ethical judgments. We use this particular project as a case study for efforts that seek to frame morality in quantitative terms. We report preliminary results from this research, describing the assumptions and limitations of a program that assesses the (...)
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  4. Nicholaos Jones & Olaf Wolkenhauer (2012). Diagrams as Locality Aids for Explanation and Model Construction in Cell Biology. Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):705-721.
    Using as case studies two early diagrams that represent mechanisms of the cell division cycle, we aim to extend prior philosophical analyses of the roles of diagrams in scientific reasoning, and specifically their role in biological reasoning. The diagrams we discuss are, in practice, integral and indispensible elements of reasoning from experimental data about the cell division cycle to mathematical models of the cycle’s molecular mechanisms. In accordance with prior analyses, the diagrams provide functional explanations of the cell cycle and (...)
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  5. N. Jones (2011). Error and Inference: Recent Exchanges on Experimental Reasoning, Reliability, and the Objectivity and Rationality of Science * Edited by Deborah G. Mayo and Aris Spanos. Analysis 71 (2):406-408.
  6. Nicholaos Jones (2010). Nyāya-Vaiśesika Inherence, Buddhist Reduction, and Huayan Total Power. Journal of Chinese Philosophy 37 (2):215-230.
    This paper elaborates upon various responses to the Problem of the One over the Many, in the service of two central goals. The first is to situate Huayan's mereology within the context of Buddhism's historical development, showing its continuity with a broader tradition of philosophizing about part-whole relations. The second goal is to highlight the way in which Huayan's mereology combines the virtues of the Nyāya-Vaisheshika and Indian Buddhist solutions to the Problem of the One over the Many while avoiding (...)
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  7. Nicholaos Jones (2010). Review of Kurt Pritzl, O.P. (Ed.), Truth: Studies of a Robust Presence. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (4).
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  8. Nicholaos John Jones (2010). Mereological Heuristics for Huayan Buddhism. Philosophy East and West 60 (3):355-368.
    This is an attempt to explain, in a way familiar to contemporary ways of thinking about mereology, why someone might accept some prima facie puzzling remarks by Fazang, such as his claims that the eye of a lion is its ear and that a rafter of a building is identical to the building itself. These claims are corollaries of the Huayan Buddhist thesis that everything is part of everything else, and it is intended here to show that there is a (...)
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  9. Nicholaos Jones (2009). Fazang's Total Power Mereology: An Interpretive Analytic Reconstruction. Asian Philosophy 19 (3):199-211.
    In his _Treatise on the Golden Lion_, Fazang says that wholes are _in_ each of their parts and that each part of a whole _is_ every other part of the whole. In this paper, I offer an interpretation of these remarks according to which they are not obviously false, and I use this interpretation in order to rigorously reconstruct Fazang's arguments for his claims. On the interpretation I favor, Fazang means that the presence of a whole's part suffices for the (...)
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  10. Nicholaos Jones (2009). General Relativity and the Standard Model: Why Evidence for One Does Not Disconfirm the Other. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (2):124-132.
    General Relativity and the Standard Model often are touted as the most rigorously and extensively confirmed scientific hypotheses of all time. Nonetheless, these theories appear to have consequences that are inconsistent with evidence about phenomena for which, respectively, quantum effects and gravity matter. This paper suggests an explanation for why the theories are not disconfirmed by such evidence. The key to this explanation is an approach to scientific hypotheses that allows their actual content to differ from their apparent content. This (...)
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  11. Nicholaos Jones (2008). Evidence and Falsification: Challenges to Gregory Peterson. Zygon 43 (3):599-604.
    In this reply to Gregory Peterson's essay "Maintaining Respectability," which itself is a response to my "Is Theology Respectable as Metaphysics?" I elaborate upon my claims that theology treats God's existence as an absolute certainty immune to refutation and that modern science constitutes the canons of respectable reasoning for metaphysical disciplines. I conclude with some comments on Peterson's "In Praise of Folly? Theology and the University.".
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  12. Nicholaos Jones (2008). Is All Abstracting Idealizing? The Reasoner 2 (4):4-5.
     
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  13. Nicholaos Jones (2008). Is Theology Respectable as Metaphysics? Zygon 43 (3):579-592.
    Theology involves inquiry into God's nature, God's purposes, and whether certain experiences or pronouncements come From God. These inquiries are metaphysical, part of theology's concern with the veridicality of signs and realities that are independent from humans. Several research programs concerned with the relation between theology and science aim to secure theology's intellectual standing as a metaphysical discipline by showing that it satisfies criteria that make modern science reputable, on the grounds that modern science embodies contemporary canons of respectability for (...)
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  14. Gregory R. Peterson & Nicholaos Jones (2008). Theology, the University, Metaphysics, and Respectability: In Praise of Folly? Theology and the University. Zygon 43 (3):563-604.
     
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  15. C. Haigh & N. Jones (2007). Techno-Research and Cyber-Ethics: Challenges for Ethics Committees. Research Ethics 3 (3):80-83.
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  16. Nicholaos John Jones (2004). The Logic of Soku in the Kyoto School. Philosophy East and West 54 (3):302-321.
    Can contradictions be meaningful? How can one assert 'P soku not-P' or 'P and yet not-P' without sacrificing intelligibility? Expanding on previous attempts, mainly by Dilworth and Heisig, to demystify the soku connective, a formal system is presented here for the logic of soku. Through a formal distinction between internal and external negation, grammatical features of the soku connective are shown to be logically irrelevant, and the principle of non-contradiction is preserved. Disparities with traditional logic are noted, with a focus (...)
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  17. Nicholaos Jones, Against Pluralistic and Inexact Ontologies.
    The ontologies of scientific theories include a variety of objects: point-mass particles, rigid rods, frictionless planes, flat and curved spacetimes, perfectly spherical planets, continuous fluids, ideal gases, nonidentical but indistinguishable electrons, atoms, quarks and gluons, strong and weak nuclear forces, ideally rational agents, and so on. But the scientific community currently regards only some of these objects as real. According to Paul Teller, a group sometimes can be justified in regarding competing ontologies as real and the ontologies we are justified (...)
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  18. Nicholaos Jones, Resolving the Bayesian Problem of Idealization.
    In "Bayesian Confirmation of Theories that Incorporate Idealizations", Michael Shaffer argues that, in order to show how idealized hypotheses can be confirmed, Bayesians must develop a coherent proposal for how to assign prior probabilities to counterfactual conditionals. This paper develops a Bayesian reply to Shaffer's challenge that avoids the issue of how to assign prior probabilities to counterfactuals by treating idealized hypotheses as abstract descriptions. The reply allows Bayesians to assign non-zero degrees of confirmation to idealized hypotheses and to capture (...)
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