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Profile: David Harker (East Tennessee State University)
  1. David W. Harker (forthcoming). How to Split a Theory: Scientific Realism and a Defence of Convergence Without Proximity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  2. David Harker (2015). Creating Scientific Controversies: Uncertainty and Bias in Science and Society. Cambridge University Press.
    For decades, cigarette companies helped to promote the impression that there was no scientific consensus concerning the safety of their product. The appearance of controversy, however, was misleading, designed to confuse the public and to protect industry interests. Created scientific controversies emerge when expert communities are in broad agreement but the public perception is one of profound scientific uncertainty and doubt. In the first book-length analysis of the concept of a created scientific controversy, David Harker explores issues including climate change, (...)
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  3. David William Harker (2013). Discussion Note: McCain on Weak Predictivism and External World Scepticism. Philosophia 41 (1):195-202.
    In a recent paper McCain (2012) argues that weak predictivism creates an important challenge for external world scepticism. McCain regards weak predictivism as uncontroversial and assumes the thesis within his argument. There is a sense in which the predictivist literature supports his conviction that weak predictivism is uncontroversial. This absence of controversy, however, is a product of significant plasticity within the thesis, which renders McCain’s argument worryingly vague. For McCain’s argument to work he either needs a stronger version of weak (...)
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  4. David Harker (2012). A Surprise for Horwich (and Some Advocates of the Fine-Tuning Argument (Which Does Not Include Horwich (as Far as I Know))). Philosophical Studies 161 (2):247-261.
    The judgment that a given event is epistemically improbable is necessary but insufficient for us to conclude that the event is surprising. Paul Horwich has argued that surprising events are, in addition, more probable given alternative background assumptions that are not themselves extremely improbable. I argue that Horwich’s definition fails to capture important features of surprises and offer an alternative definition that accords better with intuition. An important application of Horwich’s analysis has arisen in discussions of fine-tuning arguments. In the (...)
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  5. David Harker (2012). Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. [REVIEW] Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 103:627-628.
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  6. David W. Harker (2011). Review of Eric Barnes' The Paradox of Predictivism. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62.
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  7. David Harker (2010). Two Arguments for Scientific Realism Unified. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):192-202.
    Inferences from scientific success to the approximate truth of successful theories remain central to the most influential arguments for scientific realism. Challenges to such inferences, however, based on radical discontinuities within the history of science, have motivated a distinctive style of revision to the original argument. Conceding the historical claim, selective realists argue that accompanying even the most revolutionary change is the retention of significant parts of replaced theories, and that a realist attitude towards the systematically retained constituents of our (...)
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  8. David Harker (2008). On the Predilections for Predictions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):429-453.
    Scientific theories are developed in response to a certain set of phenomena and subsequently evaluated, at least partially, in terms of the quality of fit between those same theories and appropriately distinctive phenomena. To differentiate between these two stages it is popular to describe the former as involving the accommodation of data and the latter as involving the prediction of data. Predictivism is the view that, ceteris paribus, correctly predicting data confers greater confirmation than successfully accommodating data. In this paper, (...)
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  9. David Harker (2008). P. Kyle Stanford:Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives,:Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. Philosophy of Science 75 (2):251-253.
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  10. David Harker (2006). Accommodation and Prediction: The Case of the Persistent Head. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):309-321.
    A not unpopular thesis, when it comes to the confirmation of scientific theories, is that data which were used in the construction of a theory afford poorer support for that theory than data that played no role. Some compelling thought experiments have been offered in favour of this view, not as proof but rather to add some intuitive plausibility. In this paper I consider such thought experiments and argue that they do not support the thesis; the perceived importance of prediction (...)
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  11. Greg Frost-Arnold, J. Brian Pitts, John Norton, John Manchak, D. Tulodziecki, P. D. Magnus, David Harker & Kyle Stanford, Synopsis and Discussion. Workshop: Underdetermination in Science 21-22 March, 2009. Center for Philosophy of Science.
    This document collects discussion and commentary on issues raised in the workshop by its participants. Contributors are: Greg Frost-Arnold, David Harker, P. D. Magnus, John Manchak, John D. <span class='Hi'>Norton</span> , J. Brian Pitts, Kyle Stanford, Dana Tulodziecki.
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