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Profile: Sebastian Lutz (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
  1. Sebastian Lutz, Criteria of Empirical Significance: A Success Story.
    The sheer multitude of criteria of empirical significance has been taken as evidence that the pre-analytic notion being explicated is too vague to be useful. I show instead that a significant number of these criteria—by Ayer, Popper, Przełęcki, Suppes, and David Lewis, among others—not only form a coherent whole, but also connect directly to the theory of definition, the notion of empirical content as explicated by Ramsey sentences, and the theory of measurement; two criteria by Carnap and Sober are trivial, (...)
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  2. Sebastian Lutz, Choosing the Analytic Component of Theories.
    I provide a compact reformulation of Carnap’s conditions of adequacy for the analytic and the synthetic component of a theory and show that, contrary to arguments by Winnie and Demopoulos, Carnap’s conditions of adequacy need not be supplemented by another condition. This has immediate implications for the analytic component of reduction sentences.
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  3. Sebastian Lutz, Empirically Adequate but Observably False Theories.
    I show that a theory may be empirically adequate according to van Fraassen's definition even though it can be observationally determined that the theory is false. I suggest a modification of empirical adequacy that avoids this result.
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  4. Sebastian Lutz, Empirical Adequacy in the Received View.
    I show that the central notion of Constructive Empiricism, empirical adequacy, can be expressed syntactically and specifically in the Received View of the logical empiricists. The formalization shows that the Received View is superior to Constructive Empiricism in the treatment of theories involving unobservable objects or functions from observable to unobserv- able objects. It also suggests a formalization of ‘full empirical informative- ness’ in Constructive Empiricism.
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  5. Sebastian Lutz, Generalizing Empirical Adequacy II: Partial Structures.
    The companion piece to this article captures and generalizes empirical adequacy in terms of vagueness sets. In this article, I show that previous attempts to capture and generalize empirical adequacy in terms of partial structures fail. Indeed, the motivations for the partial structures approach are better met by vagueness sets, which can be used to generalize the partial structure approach.
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  6. Sebastian Lutz, Justifying Idealization by Abstraction.
    I show how omissions lead to robustness and can justify distortions, and I give inferentially relevant explications of abstraction and idealization. Abstraction is explicated as the omission of all and only those claims that use a specific vocabulary; idealization is explicated as the distortion of only those claims that use a specific vocabulary. With these explications, abstraction can justify idealization. As examples of how abstraction justifies idealization and leads to robustness, I discuss Beauchamp and Childress's four principles of biomedical ethics (...)
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  7. Sebastian Lutz, The Semantics of Scientific Theories.
    Marian Przełęcki’s semantics for the Received View is a good explication of Carnap’s position on the subject, anticipates many discussions and results from both proponents and opponents of the Received View, and can be the basis for a thriving research program.
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  8. Sebastian Lutz (2014). Generalizing Empirical Adequacy I: Multiplicity and Approximation. Synthese 191 (14):3195-3225.
    I provide an explicit formulation of empirical adequacy, the central concept of constructive empiricism, and point out a number of problems. Based on one of the inspirations for empirical adequacy, I generalize the notion of a theory to avoid implausible presumptions about the relation of theoretical concepts and observations, and generalize empirical adequacy with the help of approximation sets to allow for lack of knowledge, approximations, and successive gain of knowledge and precision. As a test case, I provide an application (...)
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  9. Sebastian Lutz (2014). What's Right with a Syntactic Approach to Theories and Models? Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Syntactic approaches in the philosophy of science, which are based on formalizations in predicate logic, are often considered in principle inferior to semantic approaches, which are based on formalizations with the help of structures. To compare the two kinds of approach, I identify some ambiguities in common semantic accounts and explicate the concept of a structure in a way that avoids hidden references to a specific vocabulary. From there, I argue that contrary to common opinion (i) unintended models do not (...)
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  10. Sebastian Lutz (2013). Empiricism and Intelligent Design I: Three Empiricist Challenges. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 78 (3):665-679.
    -/- Due to the logical relations between theism and intelligent design (id), there are two challenges to theism that also apply to id. In the falsifiability challenge, it is charged that theism is compatible with every observation statement and thus asserts nothing. I argue that the contentious assumptions of this challenge can be avoided without loss of precision by charging theism (and thus id) directly with the lack of observational assertions. In the translatability challenge, it is charged that theism can (...)
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  11. Sebastian Lutz (2013). Empiricism and Intelligent Design II: Analyzing Intelligent Design. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 78 (3):681-698.
    -/- If intelligent design (id) is to compete with evolutionary theory (et), it must meet the modified falsifiability challenge, that is, make some deductive or probabilistic observational assertions. It must also meet the modified translatability challenge, which it fails if et makes all the observational assertions of id, while id does not make all the observational assertions of et. I discuss four prominent but diverse formulations of id and show that each either fails one of the two challenges or is (...)
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  12. Sebastian Lutz (2012). Artificial Language Philosophy of Science. European Journal for Philosophy of Science (Browse Results) 2 (2):181–203.
    Abstract Artificial language philosophy (also called ‘ideal language philosophy’) is the position that philosophical problems are best solved or dissolved through a reform of language. Its underlying methodology—the development of languages for specific purposes—leads to a conventionalist view of language in general and of concepts in particular. I argue that many philosophical practices can be reinterpreted as applications of artificial language philosophy. In addition, many factually occurring interrelations between the sciences and philosophy of science are justified and clarified by the (...)
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  13. Sebastian Lutz (2012). Criteria of Empirical Significance: Foundations, Relations, Applications. Dissertation, Utrecht University
    This dissertation consists of three parts. Part I is a defense of an artificial language methodology in philosophy and a historical and systematic defense of the logical empiricists' application of an artificial language methodology to scientific theories. These defenses provide a justification for the presumptions of a host of criteria of empirical significance, which I analyze, compare, and develop in part II. On the basis of this analysis, in part III I use a variety of criteria to evaluate the scientific (...)
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  14. Sebastian Lutz (2012). On a Straw Man in the Philosophy of Science: A Defense of the Received View. Hopos 2 (1):77–120.
    I defend the Received View on scientific theories as developed by Carnap, Hempel, and Feigl against a number of criticisms based on misconceptions. First, I dispute the claim that the Received View demands axiomatizations in first order logic, and the further claim that these axiomatizations must include axioms for the mathematics used in the scientific theories. Next, I contend that models are important according to the Received View. Finally, I argue against the claim that the Received View is intended to (...)
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  15. Sebastian Lutz (2011). On an Allegedly Essential Feature of Criteria for the Demarcation of Science. The Reasoner 5 (8):125-126.
    Laudan’s argument against the possibility of a demarcation criterion for scientific theories rests on establishing that any criterion must be a necessary and sufficient condition. But Laudan’s argument at most establishes that any criterion must provide a necessary condition and a possibly different sufficient condition. His own claims suggest that such a criterion is possible.
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  16. Sebastian Lutz (2010). Concept Formation in Ethical Theories: Dealing with Polar Predicates. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2010 (August):1-8.
    In "A Danger of Definition: Polar Predicates in Metaethics," Mark Alfano (2009) concludes that the response-dependence theory of Prinz and others and the fitting-attitudes theory first articulated by Brentano are false because they imply empirically false statements. He further concludes that these statements cannot be avoided by revising the definitions of the terms 'good' and 'bad' used in the two theories. I strengthen Alfano's first conclusion by arguing that the two theories are false even if they imply empirically true but (...)
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  17. Sebastian Lutz & Stephan Hartmann (2010). Conventional and Objective Invariance: Debs and Redhead on Symmetry. [REVIEW] Metascience 19:15-23.
    This review is a critical discussion of three main claims in Debs and Redhead’s thought-provoking book Objectivity, Invariance, and Convention. These claims are: (i) Social acts impinge upon formal aspects of scientific representation; (ii) symmetries introduce the need for conventional choice; (iii) perspectival symmetry is a necessary and sufficient condition for objectivity, while symmetry simpliciter fails to be necessary.
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  18. Antigone M. Nounou, Mauro Dorato, Sebastian Lutz, Stephan Hartmann, Talal A. Debs & Michael L. G. Redhead (2010). A New Perspective on Objectivity and Conventionalism. Metascience 19 (1):3-27.
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  19. Daniel Cohnitz, Sören Häggqvist, Kristoffer Ahlstrom, Joshua Earlenbough, Bernard Molyneaux, Mark Fedyk, Jussi Haukioja, Jonathan Ichikawa & Sebastian Lutz (2009). The Role of Intuitions in Philosophical Methodology. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2.
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  20. Sebastian Lutz (2009). Ideal Language Philosophy and Experiments on Intuitions. Studia Philosophica Estonica 2 (2):117-139.
    Proponents of linguistic philosophy hold that all non-empirical philosophical problems can be solved by either analyzing ordinary language or developing an ideal one. I review the debates on linguistic philosophy and between ordinary and ideal language philosophy. Using arguments from these debates, I argue that the results of experimental philosophy on intuitions support linguistic philosophy. Within linguistic philosophy, these experimental results support and complement ideal language philosophy. I argue further that some of the critiques of experimental philosophy are in fact (...)
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