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Profile: K. Brad Wray (State University of New York, Oswego)
  1. K. Brad Wray (forthcoming). COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH, DELIBERATION, AND INNOVATION. Episteme.
    I evaluate the extent to which we could learn something about how we should be conducting collaborative research in science from the research on groupthink. I argue that Solomon has set us in the wrong direction, failing to recognize that the consensus in scientific specialties is not the result of deliberation. But the attention to the structure of problem-solving that has emerged in the groupthink research conducted by psychologists can help us see when deliberation could lead to problems for a (...)
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  2. K. Brad Wray (2014). Science and Systematicity. [REVIEW] Metascience 23 (1):1-4.
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  3. K. Brad Wray (2013). Explaining Science's Success: Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works, by Wright John. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):833-834.
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  4. K. Brad Wray (2013). Explaining Science's Success, by John Wright: Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works, Durham: Acumen, 2013, Pp. 256,£ 40.00 (Hardback). [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):833-834.
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  5. K. Brad Wray (2013). Success and Truth in the Realism/Anti-Realism Debate. Synthese 190 (9):1719-1729.
    I aim to clarify the relationship between the success of a theory and the truth of that theory. This has been a central issue in the debates between realists and anti-realists. Realists assume that success is a reliable indicator of truth, but the details about the respects in which success is a reliable indicator or test of truth have been largely left to our intuitions. Lewis (Synthese 129:371–380, 2001) provides a clear proposal of how success and truth might be connected, (...)
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  6. K. Brad Wray (2013). Social Epistemology. In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
  7. K. Brad Wray (2013). Specialization in Philosophy: A Preliminary Study. Scientometrics.
    I examine the degree of specialization in various sub-fields of philosophy, drawing on data from the PhilPapers Survey. The following three sub-fields are highly specialized: Ancient philosophy, seventeenth/eighteenth century philosophy, and philosophy of physics. The following sub-fields have a low level of specialization: metaphilosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of probability, philosophy of the social sciences, decision theory, and philosophy of race and gender. Highly specialized sub-fields tend to require extensive knowledge in some area beyond the typical training of a philosopher, (...)
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  8. K. Brad Wray (2013). The Future of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Topoi 32 (1):75-79.
    I examine the value and limitations of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In the interests of developing a social epistemology of science, I argue that we should draw on Kuhn’s later work, published in The Road since Structure. There, Kuhn draws attention to the important role that specialty formation plays in resolving crises in science, a topic he did not discuss in Structure. I argue that we need to develop a better understanding of specialty research communities. Kuhn’s later work provides (...)
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  9. K. Brad Wray (2013). The Future of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Topoi 32 (1):75-79.
    I examine the value and limitations of Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In the interests of developing a social epistemology of science, I argue that we should draw on Kuhn’s later work, published in The Road since Structure. There, Kuhn draws attention to the important role that specialty formation plays in resolving crises in science, a topic he did not discuss in Structure. I argue that we need to develop a better understanding of specialty research communities. Kuhn’s later work provides (...)
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  10. K. Brad Wray (2013). The Pessimistic Induction and the Exponential Growth of Science Reassessed. Synthese 190 (18):4321-4330.
    My aim is to evaluate a new realist strategy for addressing the pessimistic induction, Ludwig Fahrbach’s (Synthese 180:139–155, 2011) appeal to the exponential growth of science. Fahrbach aims to show that, given the exponential growth of science, the history of science supports realism. I argue that Fahrbach is mistaken. I aim to show that earlier generations of scientists could construct a similar argument, but one that aims to show that the theories that they accepted are likely true. The problem with (...)
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  11. K. Brad Wray (2012). Assessing the Influence of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Metascience 21 (1):1-10.
  12. K. Brad Wray (2012). Epistemic Privilege and the Success of Science. Noûs 46 (3):375-385.
    Realists and anti-realists disagree about whether contemporary scientists are epistemically privileged. Because the issue of epistemic privilege figures in arguments in support of and against theoretical knowledge in science, it is worth examining whether or not there is any basis for assuming such privilege. I show that arguments that try to explain the success of science by appeal to some sort of epistemic privilege have, so far, failed. They have failed to give us reason to believe (i) that scientists are (...)
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  13. K. Brad Wray (2011). Kuhn's Evolutionary Social Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
    Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction; Part I. Revolutions, Paradigms, and Incommensurability: 2. Scientific revolutions as lexical changes; 3. The Copernican revolution revisited; 4. Kuhn and the discovery of paradigms; 5. The epistemic significance of incommensurability; Part II. The Evolutionary Perspective: 6. Kuhn's historical perspective; 7. Truth and the end of scientific inquiry; 8. Scientific specialization: taking stock of the evolutionary dimensions of Kuhn's epistemology; Part III. Kuhn's Social Epistemology: 9. Kuhn's constructionism; 10. What makes Kuhn's epistemology a social epistemology?; (...)
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  14. K. Brad Wray (2010). Introduction: Collective Knowledge and Science. Episteme 7 (3):181-184.
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  15. K. Brad Wray (2010). Kuhn's Constructionism. Perspectives on Science 18 (3):311-327.
    Given Kuhn's remark that scientists work in different worlds before and after a scientific revolution (1996, p. 111; 2000, p. 221) it is not surprising that he is widely regarded as a social constructionist.1 Indeed, this is one issue about which Kuhn's fans and foes agree. Both the sociologists of science who were inspired by his work and many of his philosophical critics regard Kuhn's view as a form of constructionism. But, this apparent agreement may be to a large extent (...)
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  16. K. Brad Wray (2010). Philosophy of Science: What Are the Key Journals in the Field? Erkenntnis 72 (3):423 - 430.
    By means of a citation analysis I aim to determine which scholarly journals are most important in the sub-field of philosophy of science. My analysis shows that the six most important journals in the sub-field are Philosophy of Science , British Journal for the Philosophy of Science , Journal of Philosophy , Synthese , Studies in History and Philosophy of Science , and Erkenntnis . Given the data presented in this study, there is little evidence that there is such a (...)
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  17. K. Brad Wray (2010). Selection and Predictive Success. Erkenntnis 72 (3):365 - 377.
    Van Fraassen believes our current best theories enable us to make accurate predictions because they have been subjected to a selection process similar to natural selection. His explanation for the predictive success of our best theories has been subjected to extensive criticism from realists. I aim to clarify the nature of van Fraassen’s selectionist explanation for the success of science. Contrary to what the critics claim, the selectionist can explain why it is that we have successful theories, as well as (...)
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  18. K. Brad Wray (2009). The Epistemic Cultures of Science and WIKIPEDIA: A Comparison. Episteme 6 (1):38-51.
    I compare the epistemic culture of Wikipedia with the epistemic culture of science, with special attention to the culture of collaborative research in science. The two cultures differ markedly with respect to (1) the knowledge produced, (2) who produces the knowledge, and (3) the processes by which knowledge is produced. Wikipedia has created a community of inquirers that are governed by norms very different from those that govern scientists. Those who contribute to Wikipedia do not ground their claims on their (...)
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  19. K. Brad Wray (2008). The Argument From Underconsideration as Grounds for Anti-Realism: A Defence. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):317 – 326.
    The anti-realist argument from underconsideration focuses on the fact that, when scientists evaluate theories, they only ever consider a subset of the theories that can account for the available data. As a result, when scientists judge one theory to be superior to competitor theories, they are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that the superior theory is likely true with respect to what it says about unobservable entities and processes. I defend the argument from underconsideration from the objections of Peter (...)
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  20. K. Brad Wray (2007). A Selectionist Explanation for the Success and Failures of Science. Erkenntnis 67 (1):81 - 89.
    I argue that van Fraassen’s selectionist explanation for the success of science is superior to the realists’ explanation. Whereas realists argue that our current theories are successful because they accurately reflect the structure of the world, the selectionist claims that our current theories are successful because unsuccessful theories have been eliminated. I argue that, unlike the explanation proposed by the realist, the selectionist explanation can also account for the failures of once successful theories and the fact that sometimes two competing (...)
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  21. K. Brad Wray (2007). Kuhnian Revolutions Revisited. Synthese 158 (1):61-73.
    I re-examine Kuhn’s account of scientific revolutions. I argue that the sorts of events Kuhn regards as scientific revolutions are a diverse lot, differing in significant ways. But, I also argue that Kuhn does provide us with a principled way to distinguish revolutionary changes from non-revolutionary changes in science. Scientific revolutions are those changes in science that (1) involve taxonomic changes, (2) are precipitated by disappointment with existing practices, and (3) cannot be resolved by appealing to shared standards. I argue (...)
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  22. K. Brad Wray (2007). The Cognition Dimension of Theory Change in Kuhn's Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (3):610-613.
    This is an essay review of Andersen, Barker and Chen's The Cognitive Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
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  23. K. Brad Wray (2007). Who has Scientific Knowledge? Social Epistemology 21 (3):337 – 347.
    I examine whether or not it is apt to attribute knowledge to groups of scientists. I argue that though research teams can be aptly described as having knowledge, communities of scientists identified with research fields, and the scientific community as a whole are not capable of knowing. Scientists involved in research teams are dependent on each other, and are organized in a manner to advance a goal. Such teams also adopt views that may not be identical to the views of (...)
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  24. K. Brad Wray (2006). Paul Boghossian, Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism Reviewed. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 26 (5):327-329.
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  25. K. Brad Wray (2006). Scientific Authorship in the Age of Collaborative Research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, A 37 (3):505-514.
    I examine two challenges that collaborative research raises for science. First, collaborative research threatens the motivation of scientists. As a result, I argue, collaborative research may have adverse effects on what sorts of things scientists can effectively investigate. Second, collaborative research makes it more difficult to hold scientists accountable. I argue that the authors of multi-authored articles are aptly described as plural subjects, corporate bodies that are more than the sum of the individuals involved. Though journal editors do not currently (...)
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  26. Jonathan Y. Tsou, Graeme Gooday & K. Brad Wray (2005). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):213-222.
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  27. K. Brad Wray (2005). Creativity in Science: Chance, Logic, Genius.. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 72 (4):656-658.
    This is a book review of Dean Simonton's Creativity in Science.
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  28. K. Brad Wray (2005). Does Science Have a Moving Target? American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1):47-58.
  29. K. Brad Wray (2005). Philosophy of Science After Mirowski's History of the Philosophy of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (4):779-789.
    This article critical examines Mirowski's recent article in SHPS. I argue that his externalist history of the philosophy of science is unacceptable to philosophers' own understanding of their field and practice.
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  30. K. Brad Wray (2005). Rethinking Scientific Specialization. Social Studies of Science 35 (1):151-164.
    My aim in this paper is to re-examine specialization in science. I argue that we need to acknowledge the role that conceptual changes can play in the creation of new specialties. Whereas earlier sociological accounts focus on social and instrumental changes as the cause of the creation of new specialties, I argue that conceptual changes play an important role in the creation of some scientific specialties. Specifically, I argue that conceptual developments played an important role in the creation of both (...)
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  31. K. Brad Wray (2003). Is Science Really a Young Man's Game? Social Studies of Science 33:137-49.
    It has often been remarked that science is a young man's game. Thomas Kuhn, for example, claims that revolutionary changes in science are almost always initiated by either young scientists or those new to a field. I subject Kuhn's hypothesis to testing. I examine 24 revolutionary scientific figures mentioned in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions to determine if young scientists are more likely to make revolutionary discoveries than older scientists. My analysis suggests that middle-aged scientists are responsible for initiating more (...)
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  32. K. Brad Wray (2003). James Robert Brown, Who Rules in Science?: An Opinionated Guide to the Wars Reviewed. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 23 (2):84-86.
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  33. K. Brad Wray (ed.) (2002). Knowledge and Inquiry: Readings in Epistemology. Broadview Press.
    This anthology focuses on three areas in the theory of knowledge: epistemic justification; analyses of knowledge and scepticism; and recent development in epistemology. Each of the three sections includes a brief introduction to the readings, a series of study questions, and a list of suggested readings. Section 1 deals with coherentism, foundationalism, reliabilism, and includes articles by Chisholm, BonJour, Audi, Goldman, and Fumerton. Section 2 deals with the analysis of knowledge and Gettier problems, and a variety of forms and responses (...)
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  34. K. Brad Wray (2002). The Epistemic Significance of Collaborative Research. Philosophy of Science 69 (1):150-168.
    I examine the epistemic import of collaborative research in science. I develop and defend a functional explanation for its growing importance. Collaborative research is becoming more popular in the natural sciences, and to a lesser degree in the social sciences, because contemporary research in these fields frequently requires access to abundant resources, for which there is great competition. Scientists involved in collaborative research have been very successful in accessing these resources, which has in turn enabled them to realize the epistemic (...)
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  35. K. Brad Wray (2002). WH Newton-Smith, Ed., A Companion to the Philosophy of Science Reviewed. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 22 (2):136-128.
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  36. K. Brad Wray (2001). Collective Belief and Acceptance. Synthese 129 (3):319-33.
    Margaret Gilbert explores the phenomenon referred to in everyday ascriptions of beliefs to groups. She refers to this type of phenomenon as "collective belief" and calls the types of groups that are the bearers of such beliefs "plural subjects". I argue that the attitudes that groups adopt that Gilbert refers to as "collective beliefs" are not a species of belief in an important and central sense, but rather a species of acceptance. Unlike proper beliefs, a collective belief is adopted by (...)
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  37. K. Brad Wray (2001). Science, Biases, and the Threat of Global Pessimism. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S467-.
    Philip Kitcher rejects the global pessimists' view that the conclusions reached in inquiry are determined by the interests of some segment of the population, arguing that only some inquiries, for example, inquiries into race and gender, are adversely affected by interests. I argue that the biases Kitcher believes affect such inquiries are operative in all domains, but the prevalence of such biases does not support global pessimism. I argue further that in order to address the global pessimists' concerns, the scientific (...)
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  38. K. Brad Wray (2000). Invisible Hands and the Success of Science. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):163-175.
    David Hull accounts for the success of science in terms of an invisible hand mechanism, arguing that it is difficult to reconcile scientists' self-interestedness or their desire for recognition with traditional philosophical explanations for the success of science. I argue that we have less reason to invoke an invisible hand mechanism to explain the success of science than Hull implies, and that many of the practices and institutions constitutive of science are intentionally designed by scientists with an eye to realizing (...)
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  39. K. Brad Wray (1999). A Defense of Longino's Social Epistemology. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):552.
    Though many agree that we need to account for the role that social factors play in inquiry, developing a viable social epistemology has proved to be difficult. According to Longino, it is the processes that make inquiry possible that are aptly described as "social," for they require a number of people to sustain them. These processes, she claims, not only facilitate inquiry, but also ensure that the results of inquiry are more than mere subjective opinions, and thus deserve to be (...)
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  40. K. Brad Wray (1999). Shapin's the Scientific Revolution: What Will Philosophers Find? [REVIEW] Social Epistemology 13 (3 & 4):331 – 335.
    This is a book review of Steven Shapin's The Scientific Revolution.
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  41. K. Brad Wray (1999). The Role of Solidarity in a Pragmatic Epistemology. Philosophia 27 (1-2):273-286.
    I critically examine Rorty's social epistemology, specifically his claim that the end of inquiry is solidarity.
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  42. K. Brad Wray (1998). The Cambridge Companion to Bacon Markku Peltonen, Editor Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996, Xv + 372 Pp., $54.95, $18.95 Paper. [REVIEW] Dialogue 37 (03):643-.
    This is a book review of Markku Peltonen's edited volume, The Cambridge Companion to Bacon, a collection of papers on the philosophy of Francis Bacon.
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  43. K. Brad Wray (1998). The Cambridge Companion to Bacon. Dialogue 37 (3):643-645.
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