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  1. Stathis Psillos (1999). Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. Routledge.
    Scientific Realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it to be. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study, which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and modern skeptical empiricism. Scientific Realism explains that the (...)
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  2. Elina Pechlivanidi & Stathis Psillos, What Powers Are Not.
    This paper analyses and criticizes the idea that powers are representable as vectors. Mumford and Anjum have recently developed a vector model of powers as part of their account of dispositional causation. The purpose of this model is to represent dispositionality, i.e. a sui generis type of modality introduced by their power-based ontology, as well as to explain various features of their account of causation. In this paper, we criticise both the claim that powers are vectors and the concomitant claim (...)
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  3. Stathis Psillos (2002). Causation and Explanation. Routledge.
    What is the nature of causation? How is causation linked with explanation? And can there be an adequate theory of explanation? These questions and many others are addressed in this unified and rigorous examination of the philosophical problems surrounding causation, laws and explanation. Part 1 of this book explores Hume's views on causation, theories of singular causation, and counterfactual and mechanistic approaches. Part 2 considers the regularity view of laws and laws as relations among universals, as well as recent alternative (...)
     
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  4. Stathis Psillos (2005). Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. Routledge.
    Scientific realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and to modern sceptical empiricism. _Scientific Realism_ explains that the history (...)
     
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  5.  27
    Stathis Psillos (2015). Evidence: Wanted, Alive or Dead. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):357-381.
    This paper is meant to link the philosophical debate concerning the underdetermination of theories by evidence with a rather significant socio-political issue that has been taking place in Canada over the past few years: the so-called ‘death of evidence’ controversy. It places this debate within a broader philosophical framework by discussing the connection between evidence and theory; by bringing out the role of epistemic values in the so-called scientific method; and by examining the role of social values in science. While (...)
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  6.  84
    Stathis Psillos (2004). A Glimpse of the Secret Connexion: Harmonizing Mechanisms with Counterfactuals. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):288-319.
    Among the current philosophical attempts to understand causation two seem to be the most prominent. The first is James Woodward’s counterfactual approach; the second is the mechanistic approach advocated by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver, Jim Bogen and Stuart Glennan. The counterfactual approach takes it that causes make a difference to their effects, where this difference-making is cashed out in terms of actual and counterfactual interventions. The mechanistic approach takes it that two events are causally related if and only (...)
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  7. Stathis Psillos (2001). Is Structural Realism Possible? Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S13-S24.
    This paper examines in detail two paths that lead to Structural Realism (SR), viz. a substantive philosophical position which asserts that only the structure of the world is knowable. The upward path is any attempt to begin with empiricist premises and reach a sustainable realist position. (It has been advocated by Russell, Weyl, and Maxwell among others.) The downward path is any attempt to start from realist premises and construct a weaker realist position. (It has been recently advocated by Worrall, (...)
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  8. Stathis Psillos (2006). The Structure, the Whole Structure, and Nothing but the Structure? Philosophy of Science 73 (5):560-570.
    This paper takes issue with Ontic Structural Realism (OSR). It is structured around the three elements of the title. Section 2 highlights a substantive non-structural assumption that needs to be in place before we can talk about the structure. Then, by drawing on some relevant issues concerning mathematical structuralism, it claims that (a) structures need objects and (b) scientific structuralism should focus on in re structures. But then pure structuralism is undermined. Section 3 discusses whether the world has ‘excess structure’ (...)
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  9. Stathis Psillos (2011). Moving Molecules Above the Scientific Horizon: On Perrin's Case for Realism. [REVIEW] Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):339-363.
    This paper aims to cast light on the reasons that explain the shift of opinion—from scepticism to realism—concerning the reality of atoms and molecules in the beginning of the twentieth century, in light of Jean Perrin’s theoretical and experimental work on the Brownian movement. The story told has some rather interesting repercussions for the rationality of accepting the reality of explanatory posits. Section 2 presents the key philosophical debate concerning the role and status of explanatory hypotheses c. 1900, focusing on (...)
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  10. Stathis Psillos (2011). Living with the Abstract: Realism and Models. Synthese 180 (1):3-17.
    A natural way to think of models is as abstract entities. If theories employ models to represent the world, theories traffic in abstract entities much more widely than is often assumed. This kind of thought seems to create a problem for a scientific realist approach to theories. Scientific realists claim theories should be understood literally. Do they then imply the reality of abstract entities? Or are theories simply—and incurably—false? Or has the very idea of literal understanding to be abandoned? Is (...)
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  11.  49
    Stathis Psillos (1995). Is Structural Realism the Best of Both Worlds? Dialectica 49 (1):15-46.
    In a recent series of papers, John Worrall has defended and elaborated a philosophical position – traced back to Poincaré– which he calls structural realism. This view stands in between scientific realism and agnostic instrumentalism and intends to accommodate both the intuitions that underwrite the ‘no miracles’ argument for scientific realism and the existence of scientific revolutions which lead to radical theoretical changes. Structural realism presents itself as the best of both worlds. In this paper I critically examine the epistemic (...)
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  12. Stathis Psillos (1996). On Van Fraassen's Critique of Abductive Reasoning. Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):31-47.
  13.  42
    Stathis Psillos (2007). The Fine Structure of Inference to the Best Explanation. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):441–448.
    Traditionally, philosophers have focused mostly on the logical template of inference. The paradigm-case has been deductive inference, which is topic-neutral and context-insensitive. The study of deductive rules has engendered the search for the Holy Grail: syntactic and topic-neutral accounts of all prima facie reasonable inferential rules. The search has hoped to find rules that are transparent and algorithmic, and whose following will just be a matter of grasping their logical form. Part of the search for the Holy Grail has been (...)
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  14. Stathis Psillos (2011). Choosing the Realist Framework. Synthese 180 (2):301 - 316.
    There has been an empiricist tradition in the core of Logical Positivism/Empiricism, starting with Moritz Schlick and ending in Herbert Feigl (via Hans Reichenbach), according to which the world of empiricism need not be a barren place devoid of all the explanatory entities posited by scientific theories. The aim of this paper is to articulate this tradition and to explore ways in which its key elements can find a place in the contemporary debate over scientific realism. It presents a way (...)
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  15. Stathis Psillos (1996). Scientific Realism and the 'Pessimistic Induction'. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):314.
    Philosophy of Science, Volume 63, Issue Supplement. Proceedings of the 1996 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep.
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  16. Stathis Psillos (2001). Predictive Similarity and the Success of Science: A Reply to Stanford. Philosophy of Science 68 (3):346-355.
    P. Kyle Stanford (2000) attempts to offer a truth-linked explanation of the success of science which, he thinks, can be welcome to antirealists. He proposes an explanation of the success of a theory T1 in terms of its predictive similarity to the true theory T of the relevant domain. After raising some qualms about the supposed antirealist credentials of Stanford's account, I examine his explanatory story in some detail and show that it fails to offer a satisfactory explanation of the (...)
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  17. Stathis Psillos (2000). Carnap, the Ramsey-Sentence and Realistic Empiricism. Erkenntnis 52 (2):253-279.
    Based on archival material from the Carnap and FeiglArchives, this paper re-examines Carnap's approach tothe issue of scientific realism in the 1950s and theearly 1960s. It focuses on Carnap's re-invention ofthe Ramsey-sentence approach to scientific theoriesand argues that Carnap wanted to entertain a genuineneutral stance in the realism-instrumentalism debate.Following Grover Maxwell, it claims that Carnap'sposition may be best understood as a version of`structural realism'. However, thus understood,Carnap's position faces the challenge that Newmanraised against Russell's structuralism: the claim thatthe knowledge of (...)
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  18.  42
    Stathis Psillos (2011). Making Contact with Molecules: On Perrin and Achinstein. In Gregory J. Morgan (ed.), Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. Oxford University Press 177.
  19. Stathis Psillos (2006). What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):137-156.
    In the present paper, I offer a conceptual argument against the view that all properties are pure powers. I claim that thinking of all properties as pure powers leads to a regress. The regress, I argue, can be solved only if non-powers are admitted. The kernel of my thesis is that any attempt to answer the title question in an informative way will undermine a pure-power view of properties. In particular, I focus my critique on recent arguments in favour of (...)
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  20. Robin F. Hendry & Stathis Psillos (2007). How to Do Things with Theories: An Interactive View of Language and Models in Science. In Jerzy Brzeziński, Andrzej Klawiter, Theo A. F. Kuipers, Krzysztof Łastowski, Katarzyna Paprzycka & Piotr Przybysz (eds.), The Courage of Doing Philosophy: Essays Dedicated to Leszek Nowak. Rodopi 123--157.
  21. Stathis Psillos (2009). Regularity Theories. In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. OUP Oxford
     
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  22.  39
    Stathis Psillos (forthcoming). Broken Structuralism. Metascience:1-9.
    This essay offers a critical review of Steven French's The Structure of the World: Metaphysics & Representation. I challenge some of the reasons that French adduces against ‘thick’ objects as well as his conception of laws—which I think is problematic.
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  23. Stathis Psillos (2006). Thinking About the Ultimate Argument for Realism. In Colin Cheyne & John Worrall (eds.), Rationality and Reality: Conversations with Alan Musgrave. Springer 133--156.
    The aim of this paper is to rebut two major criticisms of the No-Miracles Argument for Realism. The first comes from Musgrave. The second comes from Colin Howson. Interestingly enough, these criticisms are the mirror image of each other. Yet, they both point to the conclusion that NMA is fallacious. Musgrave’s misgiving against NMA is that if it is seen as an inference to the best explanation, it is deductively fallacious. Being a deductivist, he tries to correct it by turning (...)
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  24. Stathis Psillos (2013). Semirealism or Neo-Aristotelianism? Erkenntnis 78 (1):29 - 38.
    Chakravartty claims that science does not imply any specific metaphysical theory of the world. In this sense, science is consistent with both neo-Aristotelianism and neo-Humeanism. But, along with many others, he thinks that a neo-Aristotelian outlook best suits science. In other words, neo-Aristotelianism is supposed to win on the basis of an inference to the best explanation (IBE). I fail to see how IBE can be used to favour neo-Aristotelianism over neo-Humeanism. In this essay, I aim to do two things. (...)
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  25. Stathis Psillos (2005). Scientific Realism and Metaphysics. Ratio 18 (4):385–404.
    When we think of scientific realism, there seem to be to ways to conceive of what it is about. The first is to see it as a view about scientific theories; the second is to see it as a view about the world. Some philosophers, most typically from Australia, think that the second way is the correct way. Scientific realism, they argue, is a metaphysical thesis: it asserts the reality of some types of entity, most typically, unobservable entities. I agree (...)
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  26. Stathis Psillos (2006). Ramsey’s Ramsey-Sentences. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 12:67-90.
    In the present paper I want to do two things. First, I want to discuss Ramsey’s own views of Ramsey-sentences. This, it seems to me, is an important issue not just (or mainly) because of its historical interest. It has a deep philosophical significance. Addressing it will enable us to see what Ramsey’s lasting contribution in the philosophy of science was as well as what its relevance to today’s problems is. Since the 1950s, where the interest in Ramsey’s views has (...)
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  27.  68
    Stathis Psillos (2014). Regularities, Natural Patterns and Laws of Nature. Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 29 (1):9-27.
    The goal of this paper is to outline and defend an empiricist metaphysics of laws of nature. The key empiricist idea is that there are regularities without regularity-enforcers. Differently put, there are natural laws without law-makers of a distinct metaphysical kind. This outline relies on the concept of a ‘natural pattern’ and more significantly on the existence of a network of natural patterns in nature. The relation between a regularity and a pattern will be analysed in terms of mereology. Here (...)
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  28. Fabio Gironi & Stathis Psillos (2012). Of Realist Turns: A Conversation with Stathis Psillos. Speculations:367-427.
    Interview with Stathis Psillos regarding realism in the philosophy of science and recent realist trends in Continental Philosophy.
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  29. Stathis Psillos, Cartwright's Realist Toil: From Entities to Capacities.
    In this paper I develop five worries concerning Cartwright’s realism about entities and capacities. The first is that while she was right to insist on the ontic commitment that flows from causal explanation, she was wrong to tie these commitments solely to the entities that do the causal explaining. This move obscured the nature of causal explanation and its connection to laws. The second worry is that when she turned her attention to causal inference, by insisting on the motto of (...)
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  30. Stathis Psillos (2000). Agnostic Empiricism Versus Scientific Realism: Belief in Truth Matters. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (1):57 – 75.
    This paper aims to defend scientific realism against two versions of agnostic empiricism: a naive agnostic position, which suggests that the only rational option is to remain agnostic as to the truth of theoretical assertions, and van Fraassen's more sophisticated agnostic empiricism - which may be called "Hypercritical Empiricism". It first argues that given semantic realism, naive agnostic empiricism cannot be maintained: there is no relevant epistemic difference between theoretical assertions and observational ones. It then focuses on van Fraassen's more (...)
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  31.  13
    Mikael Karlsson, Andre Kukla, Jarrett Leplin, David Papineau, Stathis Psillos & Howard Sankey (2006). Scientific Realism. In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Theoria. Oxford University Press 35-54.
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  32. Gabriele Taylor, Brian Mcguinness, Sir Michael Dummett, Patrick Suppes, Brian Skyrms & Stathis Psillos (2006). Cambridge and Vienna: Frank P. Ramsey and the Vienna Circle. Springer Netherlands.
     
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  33. Stathis Psillos (2002). Salt Does Dissolve in Water, but Not Necessarily. Analysis 62 (3):255–257.
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  34.  46
    Stathis Psillos (1994). A Philosophical Study of the Transition From the Caloric Theory of Heat to Thermodynamics: Resisting the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (2):159-190.
    I began this study with Laudan's argument from the pessimistic induction and I promised to show that the caloric theory of heat cannot be used to support the premisses of the meta-induction on past scientific theories. I tried to show that the laws of experimental calorimetry, adiabatic change and Carnot's theory of the motive power of heat were (i) independent of the assumption that heat is a material substance, (ii) approximately true, (iii) deducible and accounted for within thermodynamics. I stressed (...)
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  35. Stathis Psillos (2011). On Reichenbach's Argument for Scientific Realism. Synthese 181 (1):23 - 40.
    The aim of this paper is to articulate, discuss in detail and criticise Reichenbach's sophisticated and complex argument for scientific realism. Reichenbach's argument has two parts. The first part aims to show how there can be reasonable belief in unobservable entities, though the truth of claims about them is not given directly in experience. The second part aims to extent the argument of the first part to the case of realism about the external world, conceived of as a world of (...)
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  36.  9
    Stathis Psillos (2001). Author's Response. Metascience 10 (3):366-371.
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  37.  38
    Stathis Psillos (1997). How Not to Defend Constructive Empiricism: A Rejoinder. Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):369-372.
    No doubt my earlier paper has struck a sensitive nerve among existing and prospective constructive empiricists – hence their united reply.1 I shall, for brevity, introduce an imaginary single author of their critique and call him CE. In this rejoinder, I try to show, first, that CE’s counter-arguments do not refute my original arguments; and second, that a claim of CE’s paper is very close to the conclusion of my original paper. A central point of my original piece was that (...)
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  38. Stathis Psillos (2011). The Scope and Limits of the No Miracles Argument1. In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer 23--35.
  39.  40
    Stathis Psillos, Poincaré's Conception of Mechanical Explanation.
    Henri Poincaré’s views on the foundations of mechanics and the nature of mechanical explanation were influenced by the work of two of the most renowned nineteenth century scientists, James Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz. In order then to unravel Poincaré’s views and own contribution to the subject it is important to see the connection between Maxwell ’s and Hertz’s researches on the one hand and Poincaré’s on the other. Consequently, I start this paper with a brief account of Poincaré’s encounter (...)
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  40. Stathis Psillos (2008). Carnap and Incommensurability. Philosophical Inquiry 30 (1-2):135-156.
    Relatively recent work on Carnap, based on his published papers and books as well as on his unpublished correspondence and other material, has suggested that Carnap and Kuhn might not have been miles apart when it comes to the issue of theory-change. Two prevailing thoughts are that a) Kuhnian ‘paradigms’ might be taken to be very similar to Carnapian ‘linguistic frameworks’ and b) Kuhnian ‘ incommensurability ’ between competing paradigms is consonant with Carnap’s thesis that when a linguistic framework is (...)
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  41. Stathis Psillos (2004). Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 11:83-91.
    Niiniluoto has offered an incisive and comprehensive review of the recent debates about abduction. There is little on which I disagree with him. So, in this commentary, I shall try to cast some doubts to the attempts to render Inference to the Best Explanation within a Bayesian framework.
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  42. Stathis Psillos (2007). Putting a Bridle on Irrationality : An Appraisal of Van Fraassen's New Epistemology. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press 288-319.
    Over the last twenty years, Bas van Fraassen has developed a “new epistemology”: an attempt to sail between Bayesianism and traditional epistemology. He calls his own alternative “voluntarism”. A constant pillar of his thought is the thought that rationality involves permission rather than obligation. The present paper aims to offer an appraisal of van Fraassen’s conception of rationality. In section 2, I review the Bayesian structural conception of rationality and argue that it has been found wanting. In sections 3 and (...)
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  43. Stathis Psillos (2009). Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):681-684.
  44. Stathis Psillos (2012). One Cannot Be Just a Little Bit Realist: Putnam and van Fraassen. In James R. Brown (ed.), Philosophy of Science: The Key Thinkers. Continuum Books 188.
  45. Stathis Psillos (2012). What is General Philosophy of Science? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):93-103.
    The very idea of a general philosophy of science relies on the assumption that there is this thing called science —as opposed to the various individual sciences. In this programmatic piece I make a case for the claim that general philosophy of science is the philosophy of science in general or science as such. Part of my narrative makes use of history, for two reasons. First, general philosophy of science is itself characterised by an intellectual tradition which aimed to develop (...)
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  46. Stathis Psillos, Scientific Realism with a Humean Face.
    This paper offers an intellectual history of the scientific realism debate during the twentieth century. The telling of the tale will explain the philosophical significance and the prospects of the scientific realism debate, through the major turns it went through. The emphasis will be on the relations between empiricism and scientific realism and on the swing from metaphysics-hostile to metaphysics-friendly versions of realism.
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  47. Stathis Psillos (2007). Causal Explanation and Manipulation. In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Springer 93--107.
  48. Stathis Psillos (2007). Yemina Ben-Menahem, Conventionalism: From Poincare to Quine. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 27 (4):243-245.
     
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  49.  20
    Stathis Psillos (2015). Induction and Natural Necessity in the Middle Ages. Philosophical Inquiry 39 (1):92-134.
    Drawing the complex terrain of the theories of induction and of the various ways to ground inductive knowledge in the middle ages is the aim of this paper. There have already been two excellent attempts to draw this terrain. The first is by Julius R. Weinberg and the second by E. P. Bos. My attempt differs from theirs in two major respects. The first is that it is more detailed in the examination of the various theories and their relations. The (...)
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  50. Stathis Psillos, The a Priori: Between Conventions and Implicit Definitions.
    A thumbnail sketch of the philosophical thinking about the a priori would surely include that it has been dominated by two major approaches: the Kantian absolute conception of it and the Millian-Quinean absolute rejection of it (section 2). Yet, one can find in the literature claims about the existence of a ›functional a priori‹, a ›relative a priori‹, a ›relativised a priori‹ and suchlike. They are all meant to carve a space between the two extremes. An important thought behind the (...)
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