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Alistair M. C. Isaac [8]Alistair Isaac [3]
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Profile: Alistair Isaac (University of Pennsylvania)
  1.  40
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2013). Objective Similarity and Mental Representation. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):683-704.
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  2.  25
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2013). Modeling Without Representation. Synthese 190 (16):3611-3623.
    How can mathematical models which represent the causal structure of the world incompletely or incorrectly have any scientific value? I argue that this apparent puzzle is an artifact of a realist emphasis on representation in the philosophy of modeling. I offer an alternative, pragmatic methodology of modeling, inspired by classic papers by modelers themselves. The crux of the view is that models developed for purposes other than explanation may be justified without reference to their representational properties.
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  3.  26
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2012). Quantifying the Subjective: Psychophysics and the Geometry of Color. Philosophical Psychology 26 (2):207 - 233.
    (2013). Quantifying the subjective: Psychophysics and the geometry of color. Philosophical Psychology: Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 207-233. doi: 10.1080/09515089.2012.660139.
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  4.  55
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2014). Structural Realism for Secondary Qualities. Erkenntnis 79 (3):481-510.
    This paper outlines and defends a novel position in the color realism debate, namely structural realism. This position is novel in that it dissociates the veridicality of color attributions from the claim that physical objects are themselves colored. Thus, it is realist about color in both the semantic and epistemic senses, but not the ontic sense. The generality of this position is demonstrated by applying it to other “secondary qualities,” including heat, musical pitch, and odor. The basic argument proceeds by (...)
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  5.  56
    Alistair Isaac & Jakub Szymanik (2010). Logic in Cognitive Science: Bridging the Gap Between Symbolic and Connectionist Paradigms. Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research (2):279-309.
    This paper surveys applications of logical methods in the cognitive sciences. Special attention is paid to non-monotonic logics and complexity theory. We argue that these particular tools have been useful in clarifying the debate between symbolic and connectionist models of cognition.
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  6.  48
    Alistair Isaac (2009). Prospects for Naturalizing Color. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):902-914.
    Paul Churchland has recently offered a novel argument for the “objective reality” of color. The strategy he employs to make this argument is an instance of a more general research program for interpreting perceptual content, “domain‐portrayal semantics.” In the first half of the article, I point out some features of color vision that complicate Churchland's conclusion, in particular, the context‐sensitive and inferential nature of color perception. In the second half, I examine and defend the general research program, concluding it is (...)
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  7.  40
    Alistair Isaac & Tomohiro Hoshi (2011). Synchronizing Diachronic Uncertainty. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (2):137-159.
    Diachronic uncertainty, uncertainty about where an agent falls in time, poses interesting conceptual difficulties. Although the agent is uncertain about where she falls in time, this uncertainty can only obtain at a particular moment in time. We resolve this conceptual tension by providing a transformation from models with diachronic uncertainty relations into “equivalent” models with only synchronic uncertainty relations. The former are interpreted as capturing the causal structure of a situation, while the latter are interpreted as capturing its epistemic structure. (...)
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  8.  2
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2014). Paul M. Churchland,Plato’s Camera: How the Physical Brain Captures a Landscape of Abstract Universals. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press , 304 Pp., $18.00. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 81 (1):161-165.
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  9.  8
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2014). Model Uncertainty and Policy Choice: A Plea for Integrated Subjectivism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:42-50.
    A question at the intersection of scientific modeling and public choice is how to deal with uncertainty about model predictions. This "high-level" uncertainty is necessarily value-laden, and thus must be treated as irreducibly subjective. Nevertheless, formal methods of uncertainty analysis should still be employed for the purpose of clarifying policy debates. I argue that such debates are best informed by models which integrate objective features with subjective ones. This integrated subjectivism is illustrated with a case study from the literature on (...)
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  10.  6
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (2014). Introduction. Erkenntnis 79 (S4):671-672.
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  11.  4
    Alistair M. C. Isaac (forthcoming). Review: Paul M. Churchland: Plato's Camera: How the Physical Brain Captures a Landscape of Abstract Universals. [REVIEW] Philosophical Explorations.