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Profile: James Robert Brown (University of Toronto)
  1.  62
    James Robert Brown (1991). The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences. Routledge.
    The book concludes with chapters on the nature of Einstein's work and on the interpretation of quantum mechanics which stand as a test of the author's central ...
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  2.  4
    James Robert Brown (2001). Who Rules in Science?: An Opinionated Guide to the Wars. Harvard University Press.
    This eye-opening book reveals how little we've understood about the ongoing pitched battles between the sciences and the humanities--and how much may be at ...
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  3.  59
    James Robert Brown (1999). Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction to the World of Proofs and Pictures. Routledge.
    Philosophy of Mathematics is clear and engaging, and student friendly The book discusses the great philosophers and the importance of mathematics to their thought. Among topics discussed in the book are the mathematical image, platonism, picture-proofs, applied mathematics, Hilbert and Godel, knots and notation definitions, picture-proofs and Wittgenstein, computation, proof and conjecture.
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  4.  23
    James Robert Brown (1989). The Rational and the Social. Routledge.
    THE SOCIOLOGICAL TURN The problem we are concerned with is just this: How should we understand science? Are we to account for scientific knowledge (or ...
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  5.  48
    James Robert Brown (2008). Politics, Method, and Medical Research. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):756-766.
    There is sufficient evidence that intellectual property rights are corrupting medical research. One could respond to this from a moral or from an epistemic point of view. I take the latter route. Often in the sciences factual discoveries lead to new methodological norms. Medical research is an example. Surprisingly, the methodological change required will involve political change. Instead of new regulations aimed at controlling the problem, the outright socialization of research seems called for, for the sake of better science. I (...)
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  6.  81
    James Robert Brown (2004). Peeking Into Plato's Heaven. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1126-1138.
    Examples of classic thought experiments are presented and some morals drawn. The views of my fellow symposiasts, Tamar Gendler, John Norton, and James McAllister, are evaluated. An account of thought experiments along a priori and Platonistic lines is given. I also cite the related example of proving theorems in mathematics with pictures and diagrams. To illustrate the power of these methods, a possible refutation of the continuum hypothesis using a thought experiment is sketched.
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  7. James Robert Brown (2004). Why Empiricism Won't Work. In C. Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science.
    A defence of a priori knowledge of nature via thought experiments. The article is part of a pair, the counter-view argued by John Norton.
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  8.  40
    James Robert Brown (1986). Thought Experiments Since the Scientific Revolution. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1 (1):1 – 15.
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  9. James Robert Brown (2010). The Laboratory of the Mind: Thought Experiments in the Natural Sciences. Routledge.
    Newton's bucket, Einstein's elevator, Schrödinger's cat – these are some of the best-known examples of thought experiments in the natural sciences. But what function do these experiments perform? Are they really experiments at all? Can they help us gain a greater understanding of the natural world? How is it possible that we can learn new things just by thinking? In this revised and updated new edition of his classic text _The Laboratory of the Mind_, James Robert Brown continues to defend (...)
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  10.  49
    James Robert Brown (1997). Proofs and Pictures. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (2):161-180.
    Everyone appreciates a clever mathematical picture, but the prevailing attitude is one of scepticism: diagrams, illustrations, and pictures prove nothing; they are psychologically important and heuristically useful, but only a traditional verbal/symbolic proof provides genuine evidence for a purported theorem. Like some other recent writers (Barwise and Etchemendy [1991]; Shin [1994]; and Giaquinto [1994]) I take a different view and argue, from historical considerations and some striking examples, for a positive evidential role for pictures in mathematics.
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  11.  33
    James Robert Brown (1994). Smoke and Mirrors: How Science Reflects Reality. Routledge.
    In Smoke and Mirrors , James Robert Brown fights back against figures such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Michael Ruse and Hilary Putnam who have attacked realistic accounts of science. This enlightening work also demonstrates that science mirrors the world in amazing ways. The metaphysics and epistemology of science, the role of abstraction, abstract objects, and a priori ways of getting at reality are all examined in this fascinating exploration of how science reflects reality. Both a defense of science and (...)
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  12.  45
    James Robert Brown (2008). Philosophy of Mathematics: A Contemporary Introduction to the World of Proofs and Pictures. Routledge.
    1. Introduction : the mathematical image -- 2. Platonism -- 3. Picture-proofs and Platonism -- 4. What is applied mathematics? -- 5. Hilbert and Gödel -- 6. Knots and notation -- 7. What is a definition? -- 8. Constructive approaches -- 9. Proofs, pictures and procedures in Wittgenstein -- 10. Computation, proof and conjecture -- 11. How to refute the continuum hypothesis -- 12. Calling the bluff.
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  13. James Robert Brown (2004). Why Thought Experiments Transcend Experience. In Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Science. Blackwell 23-43.
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  14.  96
    James Robert Brown & Yiftach J. H. Fehige, Thought Experiments. Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
  15.  34
    Leng Mary & James Robert Brown (2001). Critical Studies/Book Reviews. Philosophia Mathematica 9 (2):244-246.
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  16.  14
    James Robert Brown (1992). "Science and Relativism: Some Key Controversies in the Philosophy of Science", by Larry Laudan. [REVIEW] Dialogue 31:333.
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  17.  57
    James Robert Brown (2004). Science, Truth, and Democracy. Journal of Philosophy 101 (11):599-606.
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  18. James Robert Brown (1987). The Shaky Game: Einstein, Realism, and the Quantum Theory Arthur Fine Chicaco, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1986. Pp. Xi, 186. $25.00. [REVIEW] Dialogue 26 (4):776.
  19. Nancy J. Nersessian, Dunja Jutronic, Ksenija Puskaric, Nenad Miscevic, Andreas K. A. Georgiou & James Robert Brown (2007). James Robert Brown: Thought Experiments and Platonism. Part Two. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (20):125-268.
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  20.  68
    James Robert Brown (2007). Counter Thought Experiments. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 (61):155-177.
    Let's begin with an old example. In De Rerum Naturua , Lucretius presented a thought experiment to show that space is infinite. We imagine ourselves near the alleged edge of space; we throw a spear; we see it either sail through the ‘edge’ or we see it bounce back. In the former case the ‘edge’ isn't the edge, after all. In the latter case, there must be something beyond the ‘edge’ that repelled the spear. Either way, the ‘edge’ isn't really (...)
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  21.  2
    James Robert Brown (1984). Scientific Rationality: The Sociological Turn. D. Reidel Publishing Company.
  22.  18
    James Robert Brown (2004). Money, Method and Medical Research. Episteme 1 (1):49-59.
    It's sometimes useful to start with a quiz, even if it seems irrelevant to the issues at hand. Suppose you have to organize a tennis tournament with, say, 1025 players. Match winners will go on to the next round while losers bow out until all have been eliminated except, of course, the final champion. Your problem is this: How many matches must you book for this tournament?
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  23.  76
    James Robert Brown (1998). What is a Definition? Foundations of Science 3 (1):111-132.
    According to the standard view of definition, all defined terms are mere stipulations, based on a small set of primitive terms. After a brief review of the Hilbert-Frege debate, this paper goes on to challenge the standard view in a number of ways. Examples from graph theory, for example, suggest that some key definitions stem from the way graphs are presented diagramatically and do not fit the standard view. Lakatos's account is also discussed, since he provides further examples that suggest (...)
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  24.  20
    James Robert Brown (2014). Explaining, Seeing, and Understanding in Thought Experiments. Perspectives on Science 22 (3):357-376.
    Theories often run into paradoxes. Some of these are outright contradictions, sending the would-be champions of the theory back to the drawing board. Others are paradoxical in the sense of being bizarre and unexpected. The latter are sometimes mistakenly thought to be instances of the former. That is, they are thought to be more than merely weird; they are mistakenly thought to be self-refuting. Showing that they are not self-contradictory but merely a surprise is often a challenge. Notions of explanation (...)
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  25.  56
    James Robert Brown (2002). Funding, Objectivity and the Socialization of Medical Research. Science and Engineering Ethics 8 (3):295--308.
    There has been a sharp rise in private funding of medical research, especially in relation to patentable products. Several serious problems with this are described. A solution involving the elimination of patents and public funding administered through extended national health care systems is proposed.
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  26.  25
    James Robert Brown (1992). Why Empiricism Won't Work. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:271-279.
    Thought experiments provide us with scientific understanding and theoretical advances which are sometimes quite significant, yet they do this without new empirical input, and possibly without any empirical input at all. How is this possible? The challenge to empiricism is to give an account which is compatible with the traditional empiricist principle that all knowledge is based on sensory experience. Thought experiments present an enormous challenge to empiricist views of knowledge; so much so that some of us have thrown in (...)
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  27.  48
    James Robert Brown (1983). Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind. International Philosophical Quarterly 23 (2):226-227.
  28.  59
    James Robert Brown (2007). Thought Experiments in Science, Philosophy, and Mathematics. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):3-27.
    Most disciplines make use of thought experiments, but physics and philosophy lead the pack with heavy dependence upon them. Often this is for conceptual clarification, but occasionally they provide real theoretical advances. In spite of their importance, however, thought experiments have received rather little attention as a topic in their own right until recently. The situation has improved in the past few years, but a mere generation ago the entire published literature on thought experiments could have been mastered in a (...)
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  29.  18
    James Robert Brown (2003). Kitcher's Mathematical Naturalism. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):1-20.
    Recent years have seen a number of naturalist accounts of mathematics. Philip Kitcher’s version is one of the most important and influential. This paper includes a critical exposition of Kitcher’s views and a discussion of several issues including: mathematical epistemology, practice, history, the nature of applied mathematics. It argues that naturalism is an inadequate account and compares it with mathematical Platonism, to the advantage of the latter.
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  30.  5
    James W. McAllister, Lars Bergström, James Robert Brown, Martin Carrier, Nancy Cartwright, Jiwei Ci, David Davies, Catherine Elgin, Márta Fehér & Michel Ghins (2010). First Page Preview. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (4).
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  31.  51
    James Robert Brown (2003). Science and Constructive Mathematics. Analysis 63 (1):48–51.
  32.  62
    James Robert Brown (1982). The Miracle of Science. Philosophical Quarterly 32 (128):232-244.
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  33.  12
    James Robert Brown (1995). Critical Notice of Roy Sorensen Thought Experiments. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (1).
    This book adds to the growing literature on thought experiments. There are numerous examples drawn from the sciences and philosophy. The principle claim is that thought experiments are a limiting case of real experiments. It is a moderate empiricist view, in contrast to, e.g., the Platonism of Brown or the strict empiricism of Norton. Highly recommended.
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  34.  1
    James Robert Brown & Noah Stemeroff (forthcoming). Smooth Move Einstein. Metascience:1-4.
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  35.  60
    James Robert Brown & James Davies (2011). Grounding Concepts: An Empirical Basis for Arithmetical Knowledge – C.S. Jenkins. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):208-211.
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  36.  44
    James Robert Brown (1980). Counting Proper Classes. Analysis 40 (3):123 - 126.
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  37.  35
    James Robert Brown (1985). Rescher's Evolutionary Epistemology. Philosophia 15 (3):287-300.
  38.  19
    James Robert Brown (2013). Marco Panza and Andrea Sereni. Plato's Problem: An Introduction to Mathematical Platonism. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. ISBN 978-0-230-36548-3 (Hbk); 978-0-230-36549-0 (Pbk); 978-1-13726147-2 (E-Book); 978-1-13729813-3 (Pdf). Pp. Xi + 306. [REVIEW] Philosophia Mathematica (1):nkt031.
  39.  54
    James Robert Brown (2002). Thomas Kuhn. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (1):143-149.
  40. James Robert Brown (2002). Smoke and Mirrors: How Science Reflects Reality. Routledge.
    Realism is an enlightening story, a tale which enriches our experience and makes it more intelligible. Yet this wonderful picture of humanity's best efforts at knowledge has been badly bruised by numerous critics. James Robert Brown in _Smoke and Mirrors_ fights back against figures such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Michael Ruse and Hilary Putnam who have attacked realist accounts of science. But this volume is not wholly devoted to combating Rorty and others who blow smoke in our eyes; the (...)
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  41.  43
    James Robert Brown (2010). D Avid B Ostock . Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction. Philosophia Mathematica 18 (1):127-129.
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  42.  50
    James Robert Brown (1985). Von Neumann and the Anti-Realists. Erkenntnis 23 (2):149 - 159.
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  43.  14
    James Robert Brown (1980). History and the Norms of Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:236 - 248.
    Starting from the assumption that the history of science is, in some significant sense, rational and thus that historical episodes may serve as evidence in choosing between competing normative methodologies of science, the question arises: "Just what is this history-methodology evidential relation?" After examining the proposals of Laudan, a more plausible account is proposed.
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  44.  9
    James Robert Brown (1987). Einstein's Brand of Verificationism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 2 (1):33 – 54.
    (1987). Einstein's brand of verificationism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science: Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 33-54. doi: 10.1080/02698598708573301.
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  45.  5
    Jim Mackenzie, Ron Good & James Robert Brown (2014). Postmodernism and Science Education: An Appraisal. In Michael R. Matthews (ed.), International Handbook of Research in History, Philosophy and Science Teaching. Springer 1057-1086.
    Over the past 50 years, postmodernism has been a progressively growing and influential intellectual movement inside and outside the academy. Postmodernism is characterised by rejection of parts or the whole of the Enlightenment project that had its roots in the birth and embrace of early modern science. While Enlightenment and ‘modernist’ ideas of universalism, of intellectual and cultural progress, of the possibility of finding truths about the natural and social world and of rejection of absolutism and authoritarianism in politics, philosophy (...)
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  46. James Robert Brown (1995). Underdetermination and the Social Side of Science. Dialogue 34:147.
     
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  47.  9
    James Robert Brown & Michael T. Stuart (2013). Katerina Ierodiakonou and Sophie Roux, Eds.Thought Experiments in Methodological and Historical Contexts. Leiden: Brill, 2011. Pp. Vii+233. €99.00. [REVIEW] Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 3 (1):154-157.
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  48.  29
    James Robert Brown (1988). Abstract Objects Bob Hale Oxford: Blackwell, 1987. Pp. 282. $75.00. [REVIEW] Dialogue 27 (04):729-.
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  49.  37
    James Robert Brown (2004). Review of M. Giaquinto, The Search for Certainty: A Philosophical Account of Foundations of Mathematics. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (449):177-179.
  50.  31
    James Robert Brown (2010). The Philosophy of Mathematical Practice. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (1):111 – 115.
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