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Profile: Thomas Nickles (University of Nevada, Reno)
  1. Thomas Nickles (2014). Kuhn's Philosophical Conception of Science as Evolutionary, Social, and Epistemological. Metascience 23 (1):37-42.
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  2. Thomas Nickles (2013). The Problem of Demarcation History and Future. In Massimo Pigliucci & Maarten Boudry (eds.), Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press. 101.
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  3. Thomas Nickles (2012). Matthew Lund . N. R. Hanson: Observation, Discovery, and Scientific Change . Amherst, NY: Humanity, 2010. Pp. 253. $26.00 (Paper). [REVIEW] Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):364-368.
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  4. Thomas Nickles (2012). 6 Some Puzzles About Kuhn's Exemplars. In Vasō Kintē & Theodore Arabatzis (eds.), Kuhn's the Structure of Scientific Revolutions Revisited. Routledge. 112.
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  5. Thomas Nickles, Scientific Revolutions. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  6. Thomas Nickles (2009). Life at the Frontier: The Relevance of Heuristic Appraisal to Policy. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 19 (4):441-464.
    Economic competitive advantage depends on innovation, which in turn requires pushing back the frontiers of various kinds of knowledge. Although understanding how knowledge grows ought to be a central topic of epistemology, epistemologists and philosophers of science have given it insufficient attention, even deliberately shunning the topic. Traditional confirmation theory and general epistemology offer little help at the frontier, because they are mostly retrospective rather than prospective. Nor have philosophers been highly visible in the science and technology policy realm, despite (...)
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  7. Thomas Nickles (2006). Heuristic Appraisal: Context of Discovery or Justification?. In. In Jutta Schickore & Friedrich Steinle (eds.), Revisiting Discovery and Justification. Springer. 159--182.
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  8. Thomas Nickles (2006). Problem of Demarcation. In J. Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. 1--188.
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  9. Thomas Nickles (2005). Problem Reduction: Some Thoughts. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 84 (1):107-133.
    Reduction was once a central topic in philosophy of science. I claim that it remains important, especially when applied to problems and problem-solutions rather than only to large theory-complexes. Without attempting a comprehensive classification, I discuss various kinds of problem reductions and similar relations, illustrating them, inter alia, in terms of the blackbody problem and early quantization problems. Kuhn's early work is suggestive here both for structuralist theory of science and for the line I prefer to take. My central claims (...)
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  10. Thomas Nickles (2004). Review of Gary L. Hardcastle (Ed.), Alan W. Richardson (Ed.), Logical Empiricism in North America: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, XVIII. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (7).
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  11. Thomas Nickles (2004). Review: Selectivity and Discord: Two Problems of Experiment. [REVIEW] Mind 113 (450):344-347.
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  12. Thomas Nickles (ed.) (2003). Thomas Kuhn. Cambridge University Press.
    Contemporary Philosophy in Focus offers a series of introductory volumes to many of the dominant philosophical thinkers of the current age. Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996), the author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, is probably the best-known and most influential historian and philosopher of science of the last 25 years, and has become something of a cultural icon. His concepts of paradigm, paradigm change and incommensurability have changed the way we think about science. This volume offers an introduction to Kuhn's life (...)
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  13. Thomas Nickles (2003). Thomas Kuhn's Legacy: Some Remarks. Social Epistemology 17 (2-3):253-258.
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  14. Thomas Nickles (2002). The Discovery-Justification (DJ) Distinction and Professional Philosophy of Science: Comments on the First Day's Five Papers. In Schickore J. & Steinle F. (eds.), Revisiting Discovery and Justification. Max-Planck-Institut. 67--78.
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  15. Thomas Nickles (2000). Kuhnian Puzzle Solving and Schema Theory. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):255.
    Looking at Thomas Kuhn's work from a cognitive science perspective helps to articulate and to legitimize, to some degree, his rejection of traditional views of concepts, categorization, theory structure, and rule-based problem solving. Whereas my colleagues focus on the later Kuhn of the MIT years, I study the early Kuhn as an anticipation of case-based reasoning and schema theory. These recent developments in cognitive psychology and artificial intelligence may point toward a more computational version of Kuhn's ideas, but they also (...)
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  16. Joke Meheus & Thomas Nickles (1999). Introductory Note. Foundations of Science 4 (4):373-374.
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  17. Joke Meheus & Thomas Nickles (1999). The Methodological Study of Creativity and Discovery -- Some Background. Foundations of Science 4 (3):231-235.
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  18. Thomas Nickles (1997). A Multi-Pass Conception of Scientific Inquiry. Danish Yearbook of Philosophy 32:11-44.
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  19. Thomas Nickles (1996). Deflationary Methodology and Rationality of Science. Philosophica 58.
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  20. Thomas Nickles (1996). Methods of Discovery. Biology and Philosophy 12 (1):127-140.
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  21. Thomas Nickles (1995). Review. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (2):87-102.
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  22. Thomas Nickles (1990). Discovery Logics. Philosophica 45 (1):7-32.
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  23. Thomas Nickles (1989). Heuristic Appraisal: A Proposal. Social Epistemology 3 (3):175 – 188.
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  24. Thomas Nickles (1989). Integrating the Science Studies Disciplines. In Steve Fuller (ed.), The Cognitive Turn: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives on Science. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  25. Thomas Nickles (1988). Questioning and Problems in Philosophy of Science: Problem-Solving Versus Directly Truth-Seeking Epistemologies. In Michel Meyer (ed.), Questions and Questioning. W. De Gruyter. 43--67.
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  26. Thomas Nickles (1988). Truth or Consequences? Generative Versus Consequential Justification in Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:393 - 405.
    Pure consequentialists hold that all theoretical justification derives from testing the consequences of hypotheses, while generativists maintain that reasoning (some feature of) the hypothesis from we already know is an important form of justification. The strongest form of justification (they claim) is an idealized discovery argument. In the guise of H-D methodology, consequentialism is widely supposed to have defeated generativism during the 19th century. I argue that novel prediction fails to overcome the logical weakness of consequentialism or to render generative (...)
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  27. Thomas Nickles (1987). From Natural Philosophy to Metaphilosophy of Science. In P. Achinstein & R. Kagon (eds.), Kelvin's Baltimore Lectures and Modern Theoretical Physics. Mit Press. 507--541.
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  28. Thomas Nickles (1987). Lakatosian Heuristics and Epistemic Support. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):181-205.
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  29. Thomas Nickles (1987). Twixt Method and Madness. In Nancy J. Nersessian (ed.), The Process of Science: Contemporary Philosophical Approaches to Understanding Scientific Practice. Distributors for the United States and Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  30. Thomas Nickles (1986). Remarks on the Use of History as Evidence. Synthese 69 (2):253 - 266.
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  31. Thomas Nickles (1985). Beyond Divorce: Current Status of the Discovery Debate. Philosophy of Science 52 (2):177-206.
    Does the viability of the discovery program depend on showing either (1) that methods of generating new problem solutions, per se, have special probative weight (the per se thesis); or, (2) that the original conception of an idea is logically continuous with its justification (anti-divorce thesis)? Many writers have identified these as the key issues of the discovery debate. McLaughlin, Pera, and others recently have defended the discovery program by attacking the divorce thesis, while Laudan has attacked the discovery program (...)
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  32. Thomas Nickles (1985). Book Review:Reason and the Search for Knowledge Dudley Shapere. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 52 (2):310-.
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  33. Thomas Nickles (1984). Positive Science and Discoverability. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:13 - 27.
    Although seriously defective, 17th-century ideas about discovery, justification, and positive science are not as hopeless, useless, and out of date as many philosophers assume. They appear to underlie modern scientific practice. The generationist view of justification interestingly links justification with discovery issues while employing a concept of empirical support quite foreign to the modern, consequentialist concept, which identifies empirical evidence with favorable test results (predictive/explanatory success). In the generationist sense, justification amounts to potential discovery or "discoverability". A partial defense of (...)
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  34. Thomas Nickles (1982). Book Review:Science and Hypothesis Larry Laudan. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 49 (4):653-.
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  35. Thomas Nickles (1981). What is a Problem That We May Solve It? Synthese 47 (1):85 - 118.
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  36. Thomas Nickles (1981). Book Review:Theory and Meaning David Papineau. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 48 (3):500-.
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  37. Thomas Nickles (1980). Scientific Problems: Three Empiricist Models. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:3 - 19.
    One component of a viable account of scientific inquiry is a defensible conception of scientific problems. This paper specifies some logical and conceptual requirements that an acceptable account of scientific problems must meet as well as indicating some features that a study of scientific inquiry indicates scientific problems have. On the basis of these requirements and features, three standard empiricist models of problems are examined and found wanting. Finally a constraint inclusion-model of scientific problems is proposed.
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  38. Colin Howson & Thomas Nickles (1979). Review. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 14 (1):87-102.
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  39. Thomas Nickles (1978). Scientific Problems and Constraints. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:134 - 148.
    In this paper the relation between scientific problems and the constraints on their solutions is explored. First the historical constraints on the solution to the blackbody radiation problem are set out. The blackbody history is used as a guide in sketching a working taxonomy of constraints, which distinguishes various kinds of reductive and nonreductive constraints. Finally, this discussion is related to some work in erotetic logic. The hypothesis that scientific problems can be identified with structured sets of constraints is interesting; (...)
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  40. Thomas Nickles (1977). Davidson on Explanation. Philosophical Studies 31 (February):141-145.
    Davidson's defective defense of the consistency of (1) the causal interaction of mental and physical events, (2) the backing law thesis on causation, (3) the impossibility of lawfully explaining mental events is repaired by closer attention to the description-Relativity of explanation. Davidson wrongly allows that particular mental events are explainable when particular identities to physical events are known. The author argues that such identities are powerless to affect what features a given law can explain. Thus a great intelligence knowing all (...)
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  41. Thomas Nickles (1977). On the Independence of Singular Causal Explanation in Social Science: Archaeology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 7 (2):163-187.
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  42. Thomas Nickles (1976). On Some Autonomy Arguments in Social Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1976:12 - 24.
    Arguments, suggested by readings of Durkheim and Kroeber, for the integrity and autonomy of social theory are examined. These arguments may be construed as closure arguments on domains of social events and of social facts. Causal closure, ontic closure, and several kinds of nomic and explanatory closure are distinguished. Discussion of the relations of various kinds of closure, integrity, autonomy, etc. under plausible assumptions concerning causation and explanation leads to the conclusion that (a) one main strand of the integrity arguments (...)
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  43. Thomas Nickles (1976). Reply to Krimsky on D-N Explanation. Philosophia 6 (2):309-315.
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  44. Thomas Nickles (1974). Theory Generalization, Problem Reduction and the Unity of Science. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1974:33 - 75.
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  45. Thomas Nickles (1973). Explanation and Description-Relativity. Philosophy of Science 40 (3):408-414.
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  46. Thomas Nickles (1973). Two Concepts of Intertheoretic Reduction. Journal of Philosophy 70 (April):181-201.
  47. Thomas Nickles (1971). Covering Law Explanation. Philosophy of Science 38 (4):542-561.
    A serious problem for covering law explanation is raised and its consequences for the Hempelian theory of explanation are discussed. The problem concerns an intensional feature of explanations, involving the manner in which theoretical law statements are related to the events explained. The basic problem arises because explanations are not of events but of events under descriptions; moreover, in a sense, our linguistic descriptions outrun laws. One form of the problem, termed the problem of weak intensionality, is apparently solved by (...)
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