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  1. Alexander Rueger (2014). Idealized and Perspectival Representations: Some Reasons for Making a Distinction. Synthese 191 (8):1831-1845.
    I argue that an adequate understanding of the practice of constructing models in physics requires a distinction between two strategies that are commonly both labeled ‘idealization’. The formal characteristic of both methods is to let a parameter in the equations for a target system go to zero. But the discussion of examples from various applications of perturbation theory shows that there is in general a difference with respect to the aims such limiting procedures are supposed to serve; and with different (...)
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  2. Alexander Rueger (2011). Aesthetics. In Desmond M. Clarke & Catherine Wilson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe. Oup Oxford.
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  3. Patrick McGivern & Alexander Rueger (2010). Emergence in Physics. In Antonella Corradini & Timothy O'Connor (eds.), Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Routledge. 6--213.
    We examine cases of emergent behavior in physics, and argue for an account of emergence based on features of the phase space portraits of certain dynamical systems. On our account, the phase space portraits of systems displaying emergent behavior are topologically inequivalent to those of the systems from which they ‘emerge’. This account gives us an objective sense in which emergent phenomena are qualitatively novel, without involving the difficulties associated with downward causation and the like. We also argue that the (...)
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  4. Alexander Rueger & Patrick McGivern (2010). Hierarchies and Levels of Reality. Synthese 176 (3):379 - 397.
    We examine some assumptions about the nature of 'levels of reality' in the light of examples drawn from physics. Three central assumptions of the standard view of such levels (for instance, Oppenheim and Putnam 1958) are (i) that levels are populated by entities of varying complexity, (ii) that there is a unique hierarchy of levels, ranging from the very small to the very large, and (iii) that the inhabitants of adjacent levels are related by the parthood relation. Using examples from (...)
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  5. Alexander Rueger (2009). Enjoying the Unbeautiful: From Mendelssohn's Theory of “Mixed Sentiments” to Kant's Aesthetic Judgments of Reflection. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2):181-189.
  6. Alexander Rueger (2008). Beautiful Surfaces: Kant on Free and Adherent Beauty in Nature and Art. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 16 (3):535 – 557.
  7. Alexander Rueger (2008). The Free Play of the Faculties and the Status of Natural Beauty in Kant's Theory of Taste. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 90 (3):298-322.
    I argue that the free play of the faculties in Kant's theory of beauty should be interpreted as an activity that involves, over and above cognition, the aesthetic presentation of rational ideas. Two consequences of this proposal are then discussed: (1) Beauty in nature is not systematically prior to, or more basic than, artificial beauty; (2) genius and taste are connected more closely in the notion of the free play than Kant admits in the final version of his theory; this (...)
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  8. Alexander Rueger (2007). Kant and the Aesthetics of Nature. British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2):138-155.
    I try to identify the characteristic and distinguishing features of a theory of natural beauty (as opposed to the sublime) that can be found in Kant's Critique of Judgement. Lest this may seem superfluous, I argue first that, contrary to a common view, Kant's theory does not take the experience of beauty in nature as theoretically basic and that he does not deal with beauty in art only as a derivative case of aesthetic experience. I then try to understand what (...)
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  9. Alexander Rueger (2006). Connection and Influence: A Process Theory of Causation. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science 37 (1):77 - 97.
    A combination of process and counterfactual theories of causation is proposed with the aim of preserving the strengths of each of the approaches while avoiding their shortcomings. The basis for the combination, or hybrid, view is the need, common to both accounts, of imposing a stability requirement on the causal relation.
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  10. Alexander Rueger (2006). Eric Watkins, Kant and the Metaphysics of Causality Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 26 (6):446-449.
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  11. Alexander Rueger (2006). Functional Reduction and Emergence in the Physical Sciences. Synthese 151 (3):335 - 346.
    Kim’s model of ‘functional reduction’ of properties is shown to fail in a class of cases from physics involving properties at different spatial levels. The diagnosis of this failure leads to a non-reductive account of the relation of micro and macro properties.
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  12. Alexander Rueger (2005). Perspectival Models and Theory Unification. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):579-594.
    Given that scientific realism is based on the assumption that there is a connection between a model's predictive success and its truth, and given the success of multiple incompatible models in scientific practice, the realist has a problem. When the different models can be shown to arise as different approximations to a unified theory, however, one might think the realist to be able to accommodate such cases. I discuss a special class of models (generated as non-uniform limits of a unified (...)
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  13. Alexander Rueger & Sahan Evren (2005). The Role of Symbolic Presentation in Kant's Theory of Taste. British Journal of Aesthetics 45 (3):229-247.
    Beauty, or at least natural beauty, is famously a symbol of the morally good in Kant's theory of taste. Natural beauty is also, we argue, a symbol of the systematicity of nature. This symbolic connection of beauty and systematicity in nature sheds light on the relation between the principles underlying the use of reflecting judgement. The connection also motivates a more general interpretive proposal: the fact that the imagination can symbolize ideas plays a crucial role in the theory of taste; (...)
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  14. Alexander Rueger (2004). Paolo Parrini, Wesley C. Salmon, and Merrilee H. Salmon, Eds., Logical Empiricism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 24 (2):140-143.
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  15. Alexander Rueger (2004). Reduction, Autonomy, and Causal Exclusion Among Physical Properties. Synthese 139 (1):1-21.
    Is there a problem of causal exclusion between micro- and macro-level physical properties? I argue (following Kim) that the sorts of properties thatin fact are in competition are macro properties, viz., the property of a (macro-) system of `having such-and-such macro properties'' (call this a `macro-structural property'') and the property of the same system of `being constituted by such-and-such a micro-structure'' (call this a `micro-structural property''). I show that there are cases where, for lack of reducibility, there is a prima (...)
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  16. Alexander Rueger (2002). Aesthetic Appreciation of Experiments: The Case of 18th-Century Mimetic Experiments. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (1):49 – 59.
    This article analyzes a type of experiment, very popular in 18th-century natural philosophy, which has apparently not led to insights into nature but which was aesthetically especially attractive. These experiments--"mimetic experiments"--allow us to trace a connection between aesthetic appreciation in science and in art contemporaneous with the science. I use this case as a problem for McAllister's theory of aesthetic induction according to which aesthetic standards in science tend to be associated with empirical success and propose an alternative mechanism that (...)
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  17. Alexander Rueger (2001). Explanations at Multiple Levels. Minds and Machines 11 (4):503-520.
    The preference for `reductive explanations', i.e., explanations of the behaviour of a system at one `basic' level of sub-systems, seems to be related, at least in the physical sciences, to the success of a formal technique –- perturbation theory –- for extracting insight into the workings of a system from a supposedly exact but intractable mathematical description of the system. This preference for a style of explanation, however, can be justified only in the case of `regular' perturbation problems in which (...)
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  18. Alexander Rueger (2001). Phil Dowe, Physical Causation Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 21 (4):254-256.
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  19. Alexander Rueger (2001). Physical Emergence, Diachronic and Synchronic. Synthese 124 (3):297-322.
    This paper explicates two notions of emergencewhich are based on two ways of distinguishinglevels of properties for dynamical systems.Once the levels are defined, the strategies ofcharacterizing the relation of higher level to lower levelproperties as diachronic and synchronic emergenceare the same. In each case, the higher level properties aresaid to be emergent if they are novel or irreducible with respect to the lower level properties. Novelty andirreducibility are given precise meanings in terms of the effectsthat the change of a bifurcation (...)
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  20. Alexander Rueger (2000). Robust Supervenience and Emergence. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):466-491.
    Non-reductive physicalists have made a number of attempts to provide the relation of supervenience between levels of properties with enough bite to analyze interesting cases without at the same time losing the relation's acceptability for the physicalist. I criticize some of these proposals and suggest an alternative supplementation of the supervenience relation by imposing a requirement of robustness which is motivated by the notion of structural stability familiar from dynamical systems theory. Robust supervenience, I argue, captures what the non-reductive physicalist (...)
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  21. Alexander Rueger (1999). Peter Smith, Explaining Chaos Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 19 (5):375-378.
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  22. Alexander Rueger (1998). Local Theories of Causation and the a Posteriori Identification of the Causal Relation. Erkenntnis 48 (1):27-40.
    The need to find an intrinsic characterization of what makes a relation between events causal arises not only in local theories of causation like Salmon's process theory but also in global approaches like Lewis' counterfactual theory. According to the localist intuition, whether a process connecting two events is causal should depend only on what goes on between the events, not on conditions that hold elsewhere in the world. If such intrinsic characterizations could be found, an identification of the causal relation (...)
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  23. Alexander Rueger (1998). Ronald N. Giere and Alan W. Richardson, Eds., Origins of Logical Empiricism Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 18 (1):27-29.
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  24. Alexander Rueger & W. David Sharp (1998). Metaphysical Presuppositions of Scientific Practice: 'Atomism' Vs. 'Wholism'. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):1 - 20.
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  25. Alexander Rueger & W. David Sharp (1998). Metaphysical Presuppositions of Scientific Practice. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 28 (1):1-20.
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  26. Alexander Rueger (1997). Experiments, Nature and Aesthetic Experience in the Eighteenth Century. British Journal of Aesthetics 37 (4):305-322.
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  27. Alexander Rueger (1996). Risk and Diversification in Theory Choice. Synthese 109 (2):263 - 280.
    How can it be rational to work on a new theory that does not yet meet the standards for good or acceptable theories? If diversity of approaches is a condition for scientific progress, how can a scientific community achieve such progress when each member does what it is rational to do, namely work on the best theory? These two methodological problems, the problem of pursuit and the problem of diversity, can be solved by taking into account the cognitive risk that (...)
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  28. Alexander Rueger (1996). What Spacetime Explains. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):670-671.
  29. Alexander Rueger & W. David Sharp (1996). Simple Theories of a Messy World: Truth and Explanatory Power in Nonlinear Dynamics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):93-112.
    Philosophers like Duhem and Cartwright have argued that there is a tension between laws' abilities to explain and to represent. Abstract laws exemplify the first quality, phenomenological laws the second. This view has both metaphysical and methodological aspects: the world is too complex to be represented by simple theories; supplementing simple theories to make them represent reality blocks their confirmation. We argue that both aspects are incompatible with recent developments in nonlinear dynamics. Confirmation procedures and modelling strategies in nonlinear dynamics (...)
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  30. Alexander Rueger (1995). Brain Water, the Ether, and the Art of Constructing Systems. Kant-Studien 86 (1):26-40.
  31. Alexander Rueger (1995). Paul Hoyningen-Huene, Reconstructing Scientific Revolutions: Thomas S. Kuhn's Philosophy of Science. Trans. Alexander T. Levine. Foreword by Thomas S. Kuhn Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 15 (1):46-48.
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  32. Alexander Rueger (1995). Wesley Salmon and Gereon Wolters, Eds., Logic, Language, and the Structure of Scientific Theories. Proceedings of the Carnap-Reichenbach Centennial, University of Konstanz, 21-24 May 1991 Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 15 (4):286-287.
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  33. Alexander Rueger (1994). Stephen H. Kellert, In the Wake of Chaos: Unpredictable Order in Dynamical Systems Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 14 (6):396-398.
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  34. Alexander Rueger (1992). Paul Thagard, Conceptual Revolutions Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 12 (6):433-435.
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  35. Alexander Rueger (1990). Independence From Future Theories: A Research Strategy in Quantum Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:203 - 211.
    The paper argues that renormalization in quantum field theory was not a radically new - and possibly ad hoc - technique to save a badly flawed theory, but rather the culmination of a methodological strategy that physicists had been applying for a long time. The strategy was to obtain reliable results from unreliable theories by making the derivation of the results independent of possible future modifications of the theory. Examples of this practice include Bohr's use of the Correspondence (...)
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