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  1. Peter Lipton, Pergamon.
    Is there anything you know entirely off your own bat? Your knowledge depends pervasively on the word of others. Knowledge of events before you were born or outside your immediate neighborhood are the obvious cases, but your epistemic dependence on testimony goes far deeper that this. Mundane beliefs — such as that the earth is round or that you think with your brain — almost invariably depend on testimony, and even quite personal facts — such as your birthday or the (...)
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  2. Peter Lipton, Cambridge Contributions:.
    To admit at a cocktail party that one does philosophy of science is a good way to end the conversation. Many people have only the haziest idea what philosophers do and many people think that philosophy and science have nothing to do with each other. So I will begin with some general remarks about the philosophy of science, before turning to the great Cambridge tradition in the subject. Finally, because the only way properly to appreciate philosophy is to worry a (...)
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  3. Peter Lipton, Epistemic Options.
    Bas van Fraassen wants to be an empiricist, but he is deeply dissatisfied with traditional versions of empiricism. So he is developing a new approach: epistemological voluntarism. Let me be blunt. Van Fraassen is an outstanding philosopher, and his new epistemology is important. But The Empirical Stance is a difficult book, because voluntarism is a difficult position to articulate. In what follows I attempt to clarify the situation a little, or at least to explain why it resists clarification.
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  4. Peter Lipton, From Metaphysics to Method.
    The stimulating programme of The Dappled World is metaphysics in the service of methodology. To say that the world is dappled is to say that the laws of nature only apply to certain regions. A central argument for this claim is epistemic. Although the laws, especially laws of physics, are typically thought of as universal, in fact we have only managed to construct precise quantitative models for a very limited range of cases, most of which lie within the artificially simplified (...)
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  5. Peter Lipton, The Medawar Lecture 2004 the Truth About Science.
    The attitudes of scientists towards the philosophy of science is mixed and includes considerable indifference and some hostility. This may be due in part to unrealistic expectation and to misunderstanding. Philosophy is unlikely directly to improve scientific practices, but scientists may find the attempt to explain how science works and what it achieves of considerable interest nevertheless. The present state of the philosophy of science is illustrated by recent work on the ‘truth hypothesis’, according to which, science is generating increasingly (...)
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  6. Peter Lipton (2011). Mathematical Understanding. In John Polkinghorne (ed.), Meaning in Mathematics. Oup Oxford.
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  7. Peter Lipton (2009). Causation and Explanation. In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oup Oxford.
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  8. Peter Lipton (2009). Science and Religion : The Immersion Solution. In John Cornwell & Michael McGhee (eds.), Philosophers and God: At the Frontiers of Faith and Reason. Continuum. 31--46.
    This essay focuses on the cognitive tension between science and religion, in particular on the contradictions between some of the claims of current science and some of the claims in religious texts. My aim is to suggest how some work in the philosophy of science may help to manage this tension. Thus I will attempt to apply some work in the philosophy of science to the philosophy of religion, following the traditional gambit of trying to stretch the little one does (...)
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  9. Peter Lipton (2008). Best Explanation. In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. 193.
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  10. Peter Lipton (2008). CP Laws, Reduction, and Explanatory Pluralism. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.
     
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  11. Peter Lipton (2008). 1 Evidence and Explanation. In Andrew Bell, John Swenson-Wright & Karin Tybjerg (eds.), Evidence. Cambridge University Press. 19--10.
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  12. Peter Lipton (2007). Alien Abduction: Inference to the Best Explanation and the Management of Testimony. Episteme 4 (3):238-251.
    This paper considers how we decide whether to believe what we are told. Inference to the Best Explanation, a popular general account of non-demonstrative reasoning, is applied to this task. The core idea of this application is that we believe what we are told when the truth of what we are told would figure in the best explanation of the fact that we were told it. We believe the fact uttered when it is part of the best explanation of the (...)
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  13. Peter Lipton (2007). Accepting Contradictions. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press.
     
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  14. Peter Lipton (2007). Précis of Inference to the Best Explanation, 2nd Edition. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421–423.
  15. Peter Lipton (2007). Replies. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):449–462.
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  16. Peter Lipton (2007). The Ravens Revisited. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 (61):75-95.
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  17. Paul Dicken & Peter Lipton (2006). What Can Bas Believe? Musgrave and Van Fraassen on Observability. Analysis 66 (291):226–233.
  18. Peter Lipton (2006). Methodological Socialism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (5):88-98.
  19. Peter Lipton (2006). What Can Bas Believe? Musgrave and Van Fraassen on Observability. Analysis 66 (3):226 - 233.
    There is a natural objection to the epistemic coherence of Bas van Fraassen’s use of a distinction between the observable and unobservable in his constructive empiricism, an objection that has been raised with particular clarity by Alan Musgrave. We outline Musgrave’s objection, and then consider how one might interpret and evaluate van Fraassen’s response. According to the constructive empiricist, observability for us is measured with respect to the epistemic limits of human beings qua measuring devices, limitations ‘which will be described (...)
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  20. Peter Lipton (2005). Waiting for Hume. In Marina Frasca-Spada & P. J. E. Kail (eds.), Impressions of Hume. Oxford University Press. 59.
    It was David Hume’s great sceptical argument about non-demonstrative reasoning—the problem of induction—that hooked me on philosophy. I am still wriggling, but in the present essay I will not consider how the Humean challenge to justify our inductive practices might be met; rather, I ask why we had to wait until Hume for the challenge to be raised. The question is a natural one to ask, given the intense interest in scepticism before Hume for as far back as we can (...)
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  21. Peter Lipton (2004). Discussion – Epistemic Options. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 121 (2):147 - 158.
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  22. Peter Lipton (2004). Genetic and Generic Determinism: A New Threat to Free Will? In D. Rees & Steven P. R. Rose (eds.), The New Brain Sciences: Perils and Prospects. Cambridge University Press. 88.
    We are discovering more and more about the human genotypes and about the connections between genotype and behaviour. Do these advances in genetic information threaten our free will? This paper offers a philosopher’s perspective on the question.
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  23. Peter Lipton (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation. Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? The model of "inference to the best explanation" (IBE) -- that we infer the hypothesis that would, if correct, provide the best explanation of the available evidence--offers a compelling account of inferences both in science and in ordinary life. Widely cited by epistemologists and philosophers of science, IBE has nonetheless remained little more than a slogan. Now this influential work has been thoroughly revised and updated, and features a (...)
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  24. Peter Lipton (2004). Review: Discussion: Epistemic Options. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 121 (2):147 - 158.
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  25. Peter Lipton (2004). Review of Peter Clark (Ed.), Katherine Hawley (Ed.), Philosophy of Science Today. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (1).
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  26. Peter Lipton (2003). Is Explanation a Guide to Inference? A Reply to Wesley Salmon. In G. Hon & Sam S. Rakover (eds.), Explanation: Theoretical Approaches and Applications. Springer.
    Earlier in this volume, Wesley Salmon has given a characteristically clear and trenchant critique of the account of non-demonstrative reasoning known by the slogan `Inference to the Best Explanation'. As a long-time fan of the idea that explanatory considerations are a guide to inference, I was delighted by the suggestion that Wes and I might work together on a discussion of the issues. In the event, this project has exceeded my high expectations, for in addition to the intellectual gain that (...)
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  27. Peter Lipton (2003). Kant on Wheels. Social Epistemology 17 (2-3):215-219.
    At a New York cocktail party shortly after the war, a young and insecure physics postgraduate was heard to blurt out to a woman he had met there: ‘I just want to know what Truth is!’ This was Thomas Kuhn and what he meant was that specific truths such as those of physics mattered less to him than acquiring metaphysical knowledge of the nature of truth. Soon afterwards, he gave up physics, but rather than take up philosophy directly, he approached (...)
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  28. Martin Kusch & Peter Lipton (2002). Testimony: A Primer. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (2):209-217.
  29. Peter Lipton (2002). Hume's Problem: Induction and the Justification of Belief. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (4):579-583.
  30. Peter Lipton (2002). The Reach of the Law. Philosophical Books 43:254-260.
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  31. Peter Lipton (2001). Quest of a Realist. Metascience 10 (3):347-353.
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  32. Peter Lipton (2001). What Good Is an Explanation? In G. Hon & S. Rakover (eds.), Explanation. Springer Netherlands. 43-59.
    We are addicted to explanation, constantly asking and answering why-questions. But what does an explanation give us? I will consider some of the possible goods, intrinsic and instrumental, that explanations provide. The name for the intrinsic good of explanation is `understanding', but what is this? In the first part of this paper I will canvass various conceptions of understanding, according to which explanations provide reasons for belief, make familiar, unify, show to be necessary, or give causes. Three general features of (...)
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  33. Peter Lipton (2000). Introduction: The Pull of Teleology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science-Part C 31 (1):1-10.
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  34. Peter Lipton (2000). Tracking Track Records, I. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 74 (1):179–205.
    From a reliabilist point of view, our inferential practices make us into instruments for determining the truth value of hypotheses where, like all instruments, reliability is a central virtue. I apply this perspective to second-order inductions, the inductive assessments of inductive practices. Such assessments are extremely common, for example whenever we test the reliability of our instruments or our informants. Nevertheless, the inductive assessment of induction has had a bad name ever since David Hume maintained that any attempt to justify (...)
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  35. Peter Lipton (1999). All Else Being Equal. Philosophy 74 (2):155-168.
    Most laws are ceteris paribus (cp) laws: they say not that all Fs are G but only that All Fs are G all else being equal. Most philosophical accounts of laws, however, have focused on strict laws. This paper considers how some of the standard philosophical problems about laws change when we switch attention from strict to cp laws and what special problems these laws raise. It is argued that some cp laws do not simply reflect the complexity of the (...)
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  36. Peter Lipton (1998). Binding the Mind. In J. Cornwell (ed.), Consciousness and Human Identity. Oxford University Press. 212--224.
    Several of the essays in this collection discuss the `binding problem', the problem of explaining in neurophysiological terms how it is that we see the various perceptual qualities of a physical object, such as its shape, colour, location and motion, as features of a single object. The perceived object seems to us a unitary thing, but its sensory properties are diverse and turn out to be processed in different areas of the brain. How then does the brain manage the integration? (...)
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  37. Peter Lipton (1998). Induction. In Martin Curd & Jan Cover (eds.), Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. Norton.
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  38. Peter Lipton (1998). The Best Explanation of a Scientific Paper. Philosophy of Science 65 (3):406-410.
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  39. Peter Lipton (1998). The Large, the Small and the Human Mind by Roger Penrose. Cambridge University Press, 1997, XVIII + 185 Pp. £14.95. [REVIEW] Philosophy 73 (1):125-139.
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  40. Peter Lipton (1996). 5. In David Papineau (ed.), Is the Best Good Enough? Oxford University Press. 93-106.
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  41. Peter Lipton (1996). Inductive Inference and its Natural Ground. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):492-494.
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  42. Peter Lipton (1995). Popper and Reliabilism. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 39:31-43.
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  43. Peter Lipton (1994). Review. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (3):585-588.
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  44. Peter Lipton (1994). Truth, Existence, and the Best Explanation. In A. A. Derksen (ed.), The Scientific Realism of Rom Harré. Tilburg University Press.
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  45. Peter Lipton (1993). Explaining Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):585.
     
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  46. Peter Lipton (1993). Is the Best Good Enough? Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93:89 - 104.
    Is it ever rational to believe that a scientific theory is even approximately true? The evidence, however extensive, will not entail the theory it supports: the grounds for belief always remain inductive. Consequently, the realist who holds that there can be rational grounds for belief remains hostage to wholesale Humean scepticism about induction. The Humean argument has yet to be conclusively turned, but that project is not my present concern. Instead, I propose to consider intermediate forms of scepticism which attempt (...)
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  47. Peter Lipton (1993). Making a Difference. Philosophica 51.
    An effect is typically explained by citing a cause, but not any cause will do. The oxygen and the spark were both causes of the fire, but normally only the spark explains it. What then distinguishes explanatory from unexplanatory causes? One might attempt to characterise this distinction in terms of intrinsic features of the causes. For example, some causes are changes while others are standing conditions, and one might claim that only the changes explain. Both the spark and the oxygen (...)
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  48. Peter Lipton (1993). Review. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):585-588.
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