David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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The Value of Good Illustrative Examples: In order to speak as generally as possible about science, philosophers of science have traditionally formulated their theses in terms of elementary logic and elementary probability theory. They often point to real scientific examples without explaining them in detail and/or use artificial examples that fail to fit with intricacies of real examples. Sometimes their illustrative examples are chosen to fit their framework, rather than the science. Frequently these are non-scientific examples, which distances the discussion from its intended target. In the final analysis, philosophical discussions of explanation, confirmation, scientific realism, and the nature of theories are often too abstract, or too imprecise, or too disconnected with real science, to allow scientists to benefit from the discussion. This is a great loss for both parties. In my experience, working scientists are confronted with philosophical issues not only in their role as researchers, but also in their role as tertiary teachers of science.
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