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Michael N. Forster [54]Malcolm Forster [23]Malcolm R. Forster [23]Michael Forster [13]
Merlin H. Forster [2]Margaret Forster [2]M. C. Forster [1]M. Forster [1]

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Profile: Michael Förster (Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL))
Profile: Malcolm Forster (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Profile: Monte Forster (University of Calgary)
  1.  2
    Malcolm R. Forster (1987). Scientific Discovery Computational Explorations of the Creative Processes. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
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  2. Malcolm Forster & Elliott Sober (1994). How to Tell When Simpler, More Unified, or Less Ad Hoc Theories Will Provide More Accurate Predictions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):1-35.
    Traditional analyses of the curve fitting problem maintain that the data do not indicate what form the fitted curve should take. Rather, this issue is said to be settled by prior probabilities, by simplicity, or by a background theory. In this paper, we describe a result due to Akaike [1973], which shows how the data can underwrite an inference concerning the curve's form based on an estimate of how predictively accurate it will be. We argue that this approach throws light (...)
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  3.  15
    Margaret Forster, Tim Loughran & Bill McDonald (2009). Commonality in Codes of Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 90 (2):129 - 139.
    We create a database of company codes of ethics from firms listed on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and, separately, a sample of small firms. The SEC believes that "ethics codes do, and should, vary from company to company." Using textual analysis techniques, we measure the extent of commonality across the documents. We find substantial levels of common sentences used by the firms, including a few cases where the codes of ethics are essentially identical. We consider these results in (...)
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  4.  32
    Michael N. Forster (2011). German Philosophy of Language: From Schlegel to Hegel and Beyond. Oxford University Press.
    This book not only sets the historical record straight but also champions the Herderian tradition for its philosophical depth and breadth.
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  5.  7
    Michael N. Forster (2005). Wittgenstein on the Arbitrariness of Grammar. Princeton University Press.
    What is the nature of a conceptual scheme? Are there alternative conceptual schemes? If so, are some more justifiable or correct than others? The later Wittgenstein already addresses these fundamental philosophical questions under the general rubric of "grammar" and the question of its "arbitrariness"--and does so with great subtlety. This book explores Wittgenstein's views on these questions. Part I interprets his conception of grammar as a generalized version of Kant's transcendental idealist solution to a puzzle about necessity. It also seeks (...)
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  6.  2
    Michael N. Forster (1998). Hegel's Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit. University of Chicago Press.
    In Hegel's Idea of a Phenomenology of Spirit, Michael N. Forster advances an original reading of the work.
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  7.  78
    Malcolm Forster (2007). A Philosopher's Guide to Empirical Success. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):588-600.
    The simple question, what is empirical success? turns out to have a surprisingly complicated answer. We need to distinguish between meritorious fit and ‘fudged fit', which is akin to the distinction between prediction and accommodation. The final proposal is that empirical success emerges in a theory dependent way from the agreement of independent measurements of theoretically postulated quantities. Implications for realism and Bayesianism are discussed. ‡This paper was written when I was a visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of (...)
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  8.  53
    Michael N. Forster (2009). Kant and Skepticism. Princeton University Press.
    This book puts forward a much-needed reappraisal of Immanuel Kant's conception of and response to skepticism, as set forth principally in the Critique of Pure Reason.
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  9.  15
    Malcolm Forster (1988). Unification, Explanation, and the Composition of Causes in Newtonian Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 19 (1):55-101.
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  10. Michael Forster (2010). Wittgenstein on Family Resemblance Concepts. In Arif Ahmed (ed.), Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations: A Critical Guide. Cambridge University Press
     
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  11.  54
    Malcolm R. Forster (2006). Counterexamples to a Likelihood Theory of Evidence. Minds and Machines 16 (3):319-338.
    The likelihood theory of evidence (LTE) says, roughly, that all the information relevant to the bearing of data on hypotheses (or models) is contained in the likelihoods. There exist counterexamples in which one can tell which of two hypotheses is true from the full data, but not from the likelihoods alone. These examples suggest that some forms of scientific reasoning, such as the consilience of inductions (Whewell, 1858. In Novum organon renovatum (Part II of the 3rd ed.). The philosophy of (...)
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  12.  61
    Malcolm R. Forster (2010). Miraculous Consilience of Quantum Mechanics. In Ellery Eells & James Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer 201--228.
  13.  87
    Malcolm Forster & Eric Saidel (1994). Connectionism and the Fate of Folk Psychology: A Reply to Ramsey, Stich and Garon. Philosophical Psychology 7 (4):437 – 452.
    Ramsey, Stick and Garon (1991) argue that if the correct theory of mind is some parallel distributed processing theory, then folk psychology must be false. Their idea is that if the nodes and connections that encode one representation are causally active then all representations encoded by the same set of nodes and connections are also causally active. We present a clear, and concrete, counterexample to RSG's argument. In conclusion, we suggest that folk psychology and connectionism are best understood as complementary (...)
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  14.  49
    Malcolm R. Forster, I. A. Kieseppä, Dan Hausman, Alexei Krioukov, Stephen Leeds, Alan Macdonald & Larry Shapiro (forthcoming). The Conceptual Role of 'Temperature'in Statistical Mechanics: Or How Probabilistic Averages Maximize Predictive Accuracy. Philosophy of Science.
  15.  69
    Michael N. Forster (1998). On the Very Idea of Denying the Existence of Radically Different Conceptual Schemes. Inquiry 41 (2):133 – 185.
    It has become very popular among philosophers to attempt to discredit, or at least set severe limits to, the thesis that there exist conceptual schemes radically different from ours. This fashion is misconceived. Philosophers have attempted to justify it in two main ways: by means of arguments which are a priorist relative to the relevant linguistic and textual evidence (and either independent of or based upon positive theories of meaning, understanding, and interpretation); and by means of arguments which are a (...)
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  16.  31
    Malcolm R. Forster (1995). Bayes and Bust: Simplicity as a Problem for a Probabilist's Approach to Confirmation. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (3):399-424.
    The central problem with Bayesian philosophy of science is that it cannot take account of the relevance of simplicity and unification to confirmation, induction, and scientific inference. The standard Bayesian folklore about factoring simplicity into the priors, and convergence theorems as a way of grounding their objectivity are some of the myths that Earman's book does not address adequately. 1Review of John Earman: Bayes or Bust?, Cambridge, MA. MIT Press, 1992, £33.75cloth.
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  17.  16
    Michael N. Forster (1989). Hegel and Skepticism. Harvard University Press.
    This book should cause a re-evaluation of Hegel, and German Idealism generally, and contribute to a re-evaluation of the skeptical tradition in philosophy.
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  18. Malcolm R. Forster & Alexey Kryukov (2003). The Emergence of the Macroworld: A Study of Intertheory Relations in Classical and Quantum Mechanics. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1039-1051.
    Classical mechanics is empirically successful because the probabilistic mean values of quantum mechanical observables follow the classical equations of motion to a good approximation (Messiah 1970, 215). We examine this claim for the one‐dimensional motion of a particle in a box, and extend the idea by deriving a special case of the ideal gas law in terms of the mean value of a generalized force used to define “pressure.” The examples illustrate the importance of probabilistic averaging as a method of (...)
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  19.  15
    Michael N. Forster (2006). Socrates' Demand for Definitions. Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 31:1-47.
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  20.  53
    M. N. Forster (2013). The German Historicist Tradition, by Frederick C. Beiser. Mind 122 (485):257-262.
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  21.  60
    Malcolm R. Forster (1986). Unification and Scientific Realism Revisited. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:394 - 405.
    Van Fraassen has argued that quantum mechanics does not conform to the pattern of common cause explanation used by Salmon as a precise formulation of Smart's 'cosmic coincidence' argument for scientific realism. This paper adds to this list some common examples from classical physics that also do not conform to Salmon's explanatory schema. This is bad news and good news for the realist. The bad news is that Salmon's argument for realism does not work; the good news is that realism (...)
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  22.  40
    Malcolm Forster, Chapter 3: Simplicity and Unification in Model Selection.
    This chapter examines four solutions to the problem of many models, and finds some fault or limitation with all of them except the last. The first is the naïve empiricist view that best model is the one that best fits the data. The second is based on Popper’s falsificationism. The third approach is to compare models on the basis of some kind of trade off between fit and simplicity. The fourth is the most powerful: Cross validation testing.
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  23. Malcolm Forster (1991). Preconditions of Predication: From Qualia to Quantum Mechanics. Topoi 10 (1):13-26.
    Although in every inductive inference, an act of invention is requisite, the act soon slips out of notice. Although we bind together facts by superinducing upon them a new Conception, this Conception, once introduced and applied, is looked upon as inseparably connected with the facts, and necessarily implied in them. Having once had the phenomena bound together in their minds in virtue of the Conception men can no longer easily restore them back to the detached and incoherent condition in which (...)
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  24.  23
    Malcolm R. Forster (1988). Sober's Principle of Common Cause and the Problem of Comparing Incomplete Hypotheses. Philosophy of Science 55 (4):538-559.
    Sober (1984) has considered the problem of determining the evidential support, in terms of likelihood, for a hypothesis that is incomplete in the sense of not providing a unique probability function over the event space in its domain. Causal hypotheses are typically like this because they do not specify the probability of their initial conditions. Sober's (1984) solution to this problem does not work, as will be shown by examining his own biological examples of common cause explanation. The proposed solution (...)
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  25.  74
    Malcolm R. Forster & Alexei Krioukov, How to ‘See Through’ the Ideal Gas Law in Terms of the Concepts of Quantum Mechanics.
    Textbooks in quantum mechanics frequently claim that quantum mechanics explains the success of classical mechanics because “the mean values [of quantum mechanical observables] follow the classical equations of motion to a good approximation,” while “the dimensions of the wave packet be small with respect to the characteristic dimensions of the problem.” The equations in question are Ehrenfest’s famous equations. We examine this case for the one-dimensional motion of a particle in a box, and extend the idea deriving a special case (...)
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  26.  68
    M. Forster & Lawrence A. Shapiro (2000). Prediction and Accommodation in Evolutionary Psychology. Psychological Inquiry 11:31-33.
    Ketelaar and Ellis have provided a remarkably clear and succinct statement of Lakatosian philosophy of science and have also argued compellingly that the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution fills the Lakatosian criteria of progressivity. We find ourselves in agreement with much of what Ketelaar and Ellis say about Lakatosian philosophy of science, but have some questions about (1) the place of evolutionary psychology in a Lakatosian framework, and (2) the extent to which evolutionary psychology truly predicts new findings.
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  27.  35
    Malcolm R. Forster (1986). Counterfactual Reasoning in the Bell-Epr Paradox. Philosophy of Science 53 (1):133-144.
    Skyrms's formulation of the argument against stochastic hidden variables in quantum mechanics using conditionals with chance consequences suffers from an ambiguity in its "conservation" assumption. The strong version, which Skyrms needs, packs in a "no-rapport" assumption in addition to the weaker statement of the "experimental facts." On the positive side, I argue that Skyrms's proof has two unnoted virtues (not shared by previous proofs): (1) it shows that certain difficulties that arise for deterministic hidden variable theories that exploit a nonclassical (...)
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  28.  30
    Malcolm R. Forster (1999). How Do Simple Rules `Fit to Reality' in a Complex World? Minds and Machines 9 (4):543-564.
    The theory of fast and frugal heuristics, developed in a new book called Simple Heuristics that make Us Smart (Gigerenzer, Todd, and the ABC Research Group, in press), includes two requirements for rational decision making. One is that decision rules are bounded in their rationality –- that rules are frugal in what they take into account, and therefore fast in their operation. The second is that the rules are ecologically adapted to the environment, which means that they `fit to reality.' (...)
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  29.  50
    Michael N. Forster (2005). Schleiermacher's Hermeneutics. The Harvard Review of Philosophy 13 (1):100-122.
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  30.  16
    Malcolm R. Forster (2002). Predictive Accuracy as an Achievable Goal of Science. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S124-S134.
    What has science actually achieved? A theory of achievement should define what has been achieved, describe the means or methods used in science, and explain how such methods lead to such achievements. Predictive accuracy is one truth‐related achievement of science, and there is an explanation of why common scientific practices tend to increase predictive accuracy. Akaike’s explanation for the success of AIC is limited to interpolative predictive accuracy. But therein lies the strength of the general framework, for it also provides (...)
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  31.  51
    Michael N. Forster, Herder and Spinoza.
    What was the source of this great flowering? Much of the credit for it has tended to go to Jacobi and Mendelssohn, who in 1785 began a famous public dispute concerning the question whether or not Lessing had been a Spinozist, as Jacobi alleged Lessing had admitted to him shortly before his death in 1781. But Jacobi and Mendelssohn were both negatively disposed towards Spinoza. In On the Doctrine of Spinoza in Letters to Mr.
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  32. Michael N. Forster (ed.) (2005). Herder: Philosophical Writings. Cambridge University Press.
    Johann Gottfried von Herder is one of the most important German philosophers of the eighteenth century, who had enormous influence on later thinkers such as Hegel, Schleiermacher and Nietzsche. His wide-ranging ideas were formative in the development of linguistics, hermeneutics, anthropology and bible scholarship, and even today they retain their vitality and relevance to an extraordinary degree. This volume presents a translation of Herder's most important and characteristic philosophical writings in his areas of central interest, including philosophy of language, philosophy (...)
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  33.  19
    Michael N. Forster (2012). Kant's Philosophy of Language? Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 74 (3):485.
  34. S. L. Zabell, Brian Skyrms, Elliott Sober, Malcolm R. Forster, Wayne C. Myrvold, William L. Harper, Rob Clifton, Itamar Pitowsky, Robyn M. Dawes & David Faust (2002). 10. It All Adds Up: The Dynamic Coherence of Radical Probabilism It All Adds Up: The Dynamic Coherence of Radical Probabilism (Pp. S98-S103). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 69 (S3).
  35.  63
    Michael Forster (2007). Hermeneutics. In Brian Leiter & Michael Rosen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy. Oxford University Press
    For the purpose of this article, "hermeneutics" means the theory of interpretation, i.e. the theory of achieving an understanding of texts, utterances, and so on (it does not mean a certain twentieth-century philosophical movement). Hermeneutics in this sense has a long history, reaching back at least as far as ancient Greece. However, new focus was brought to bear on it in the modern period, in the wake of the Reformation with its displacement of responsibility for interpreting the Bible from the (...)
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  36.  14
    Malcolm R. Forster (1995). The Golfer's Dilemma: A Reply to Kukla on Curve-Fitting. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (3):348-360.
    Curve-fitting typically works by trading off goodness-of-fit with simplicity, where simplicity is measured by the number of adjustable parameters. However, such methods cannot be applied in an unrestricted way. I discuss one such correction, and explain why the exception arises. The same kind of probabilistic explanation offers a surprising resolution to a common-sense dilemma.
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  37.  53
    Michael Forster, The Liberal Temper in Classical German Philosophy: Freedom of Thought and Expression.
    Consideration of the German philosophy and political history of the past century might well give the impression, and often does give foreign observers the impression, that liberalism, including in particular commitment to the ideal of free thought and expression, is only skin-deep in Germany. Were not Heidegger's disgust at Gerede (which of course really meant the free speech of the Weimar Republic) and Gadamer's defense of "prejudice" and "tradition" more reflective of the true instincts of German philosophy than, say, the (...)
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  38. Cristina Bicchieri, Jason McKenzie Alexander, Kevin T. Kelly, Kevin Js Zollman, Malcolm R. Forster, Predrag Šustar, Patrick Forber, Kenneth Reisman, Jay Odenbaugh & Yoichi Ishida (2007). 10. Philosophy of Chemistry. Philosophy of Science 74 (5).
     
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  39.  53
    Michael N. Forster, Hegelian Vs. Kantian Interpretations of Pyrrhonism: Revolution or Reaction?
    This paper concerns a surprisingly sharp disagreement about the nature of ancient Pyrrhonism which first emerges clearly in Kant and Hegel, but which continues in contemporary interpretations. The paper begins by explaining the character of this disagreement, then attempts to adjudicate it in the light of the ancient texts.
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  40.  15
    Malcolm Forster (2004). The Debate Between Whewell and Mill on the Nature of Scientific Induction. In Dov M. Gabbay, John Woods & Akihiro Kanamori (eds.), Handbook of the History of Logic. Elsevier 10--93.
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  41.  37
    Michael N. Forster, Herder's Importance As a Philosopher.
    Herder has been sufficiently neglected in recent times, especially among philosophers, to need a few words of introduction. He lived 1744-1803; he was a favorite student of Kant's, and a student and friend of Hamann's; he became a mentor to the young Goethe, on whose development he exercised a profound influence; and he worked, among other things, as a philosopher, literary critic, Bible scholar, and translator. As I mentioned, Herder has been especially neglected by philosophers. This.
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  42.  48
    Malcolm Forster, The Whewell-Mill Debate in a Nutshell.
    What is induction? John Stuart Mill (1874, p. 208) defined induction as the operation of discovering and proving general propositions. William Whewell (in Butts, 1989, p. 266) agrees with Mill’s definition as far as it goes. Is Whewell therefore assenting to the standard concept of induction, which talks of inferring a generalization of the form “All As are Bs” from the premise that “All observed As are Bs”? Does Whewell agree, to use Mill’s example, that inferring “All humans are mortal” (...)
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  43.  33
    Michael N. Forster (2002). Herder's Philosophy of Language, Interpretation, and Translation: Three Fundamental Principles. Review of Metaphysics 56 (2):323 - 356.
  44.  18
    MR Forster (1999). Model Selection in Science: The Problem of Language Variance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (1):83-102.
    Recent solutions to the curve-fitting problem, described in Forster and Sober ([1995]), trade off the simplicity and fit of hypotheses by defining simplicity as the paucity of adjustable parameters. Scott De Vito ([1997]) charges that these solutions are 'conventional' because he thinks that the number of adjustable parameters may change when the hypotheses are described differently. This he believes is exactly what is illustrated in Goodman's new riddle of induction, otherwise known as the grue problem. However, the 'number of adjustable (...)
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  45.  37
    Malcolm R. Forster (1985). Book Review:How the Laws of Physics Lie Nancy Cartwright. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 52 (3):478-.
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  46.  4
    Michael Forster (2015). Does Western Philosophy Have Non-Western Roots? In Valentin Pluder & Gerald Hartung (eds.), From Hegel to Windelband: Historiography of Philosophy in the 19th Century. De Gruyter 141-158.
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  47.  41
    Malcolm Forster, The Einsteinian Prediction of the Precession of Mercury's Perihelion.
    Puzzle solving in normal science involves a process of accommodation—auxiliary assumptions are changed, and parameter values are adjusted so as to eliminate the known discrepancies with the data. Accommodation is often contrasted with prediction. Predictions happen when one achieves a good fit with novel data without accommodation. So, what exactly is the distinction, and why is it important? The distinction, as I understand it, is relative to a model M and a data set D, where M is a set of (...)
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  48.  41
    Malcolm Forster, Chapter 1: An Introduction to Philosophy of Science.
    Deductive logic is about the validity of arguments. An argument is valid when its conclusion follows deductively from its premises. Here’s an example: If Alice is guilty then Bob is guilty, and Alice is guilty. Therefore, Bob is guilty. The validity of the argument has nothing to do with what the argument is about. It has nothing to do with the meaning, or content, of the argument beyond the meaning of logical phrases such as if…then. Thus, any argument of the (...)
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  49.  35
    Malcolm Forster, Percolation: An Easy Example of Renormalization.
    Kenneth Wilson won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1982 for applying renormalization group, which he learnt from quantum field theory (QFT), to problems in statistical physics—the induced magnetization of materials (ferromagnetism) and the evaporation and condensation of fluids (phase transitions). See Wilson (1983). The renormalization group got its name from its early applications in QFT. There, it appeared to be a rather ad hoc method of subtracting away unwanted infinities. The further allegation was that the procedure is so horrendously (...)
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  50.  24
    Malcolm Forster, Unification and Evidence.
    The Value of Good Illustrative Examples: In order to speak as generally as possible about science, philosophers of science have traditionally formulated their theses in terms of elementary logic and elementary probability theory. They often point to real scientific examples without explaining them in detail and/or use artificial examples that fail to fit with intricacies of real examples. Sometimes their illustrative examples are chosen to fit their framework, rather than the science. Frequently these are non-scientific examples, which distances the discussion (...)
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