The global community, from UNESCO to NGOs, is committed to promoting the status of women in science, engineering and technology, despite long-held prejudices and the lack of role models. Previously, when equality was not firmly established as a key issue on international or national agendas, women’s colleges played a great role in mentoring female scientists. However, now that a concerted effort has been made by governments, the academic community and the private sector to give women equal (...) opportunities, the raison d’être of women’s universities seems to have become lost. This paper argues otherwise, by demonstrating that women’s universities in Japan became beneficiaries of government initiatives since the early 2000s to reverse the low ratio of women in scientific research. The paper underscores the importance of the reputation of women’s universities embedded in their institutional foundations, by explaining how female scientific communities take shape in different national contexts. England, as a primary example of a neoliberal welfare regime, with its strong emphasis on equality and diversity, promoted its gender equality policy under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry. By contrast, with a strong emphasis on family values and the male-breadwinner model, the Japanese government carefully treated the goal of supporting female scientists from the perspective of the equal participation of both men and women rather than that of equality. Following this trend, rather contradictorily, women’s universities, with their tradition of fostering a ‘good wife, wise mother’ image, began to be highlighted as potential gender-free institutions that provided role models and mentoring female scientists. By drawing on the cases of England and Japan, this paper demonstrates how the idea of equality can be framed differently, according to wider institutional contexts, and how this idea impacts on gender policies. (shrink)
The thesis that the practice and evaluation of science requires social value-judgment, that good science is not value-free or value-neutral but value-laden, has been gaining acceptance among philosophers of science. The main proponents of the value-ladenness of science rely on either arguments from the underdetermination of theory by evidence or arguments from inductive risk. Both arguments share the premise that we should only consider values once the evidence runs out, or where it leaves uncertainty; they adopt (...) a criterion of lexical priority of evidence over values. The motivation behind lexical priority is to avoid reaching conclusions on the basis of wishful thinking rather than good evidence. The problem of wishful thinking is indeed real---it would be an egregious error to adopt beliefs about the world because they comport with how one would prefer the world to be. I will argue, however, that giving lexical priority to evidential considerations over values is a mistake, and unnecessary for adequately avoiding the problem of wishful thinking. Values have a deeper role to play in science than proponents of the underdetermination and inductive risk arguments have suggested. (shrink)
In Beauty and Revolution in Science, James McAllister advances a rationalistic picture of science in which scientific progress is explained in terms of aesthetic evaluations of scientific theories. Here I present a new model of aesthetic evaluations by revising McAllister’s core idea of the aesthetic induction. I point out that the aesthetic induction suffers from anomalies and theoretical inconsistencies and propose a model free from such problems. The new model is based, on the one hand, on McAllister’s original (...) model and on further developments by Theo Kuipers in his “Beauty, a Road to the Truth?”. On the other hand, it is based on empirical findings about affection and emotion, and a naturalistic aesthetic theory. The new model is thus a naturalistic model with a wider explanatory range and much more internal consistency that McAllister’s. (shrink)
This book examines the role of the female and the feminine in Plato's philosophy, and suggests that Plato's views on women are central to his political philosophy. Morag Buchan explores Plato's writings to argue his notions of the inferior female and the superior male. While Plato appears to allow women equal opportunity and participation of political life in the Ideal State in The Republic , his motivation rests on masculine ideals. Women in Plato's Political Theory examines issues (...) including women's relationship to men, to reproduction, to rational thought and politics in Plato's work, and addresses more generally the problem of sexual identity in philosophy. This book is an important contribution toward a wider interpretation of Platonic philosophy. (shrink)
(Series copy) The new Oxford Readings in Feminism series maps the dramatic influence of feminist theory on every branch of academic knowledge. Offering feminist perspectives on disciplines from history to science, each book assembles the most important articles written on its field in the last ten to fifteen years. Old stereotypes are challenged and traditional attitudes upset in these lively-- and sometimes controversial--volumes, all of which are edited by feminists prominent in their particular field. Comprehensive, accessible, and intellectually daring, (...) the Oxford Readings in Feminism series is vital reading for anyone interested in the effects of feminist ideas within the academy. Can science be gender-neutral? In recent years, feminist critics have raised troubling questions about the practice and goals of traditional science, demonstrating the existence of a pervasive bias in the ways in which scientists conduct and discuss their work. This exciting volume gathers seventeen essays--by sociologists, scientists, historians, and philosophers--of seminal significance in the emerging field of feminist science studies. Analyzing topics from the stereotype of the "Man of Reason" to the "romantic" language of reproductive biology, these fascinating essays challenge readers to take a fresh look at the limitations--and possibilities--of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This article proposes a third way of reading Nietzsche's remarks on women, one that goes beyond misogyny and metaphor. Taking the depiction of women in the works of the middle period at face value shows that these works neither entirely demean women nor exclude them from the higher life. Nietzsche's middle period comprises HAH (1879-80, which includes "Assorted Opinions and Maxims" and "The Wanderer and His Shadow"), D (1881) and GS (1882). The works of this period do (...) not disqualify women from free spirithood, for some of their passages can be read as befitting some women of the future for this honour. (shrink)
This paper gives a philosophical outline of the initial foundations of politics as presented in the work of Plato and argues why this traditional philosophical approach can no longer serve as the foundation of politics. The argumentation is mainly based on the work of Latour (1993, 1997, 1999a, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008) and consists of five parts. In the first section I elaborate on the initial categorization of politics and science as represented by Plato in his Republic. In the (...) second section I discuss the gap between humans and non-humans and how they are tied together in actual real life political topics. In the third section I elaborate on the concepts of political and scientific discourse and how they are thought of as separated fields based on the ancient constitution of human society. In the fourth section I link the concepts of matter of fact and matter of concern. In a final section I present a redefinition of the nature of politics as represented in the work of Bruno Latour as an alternative foundation for the study of political systems. (shrink)
Academic physiology, as it was taught by John Hughes Bennett during the 1870s, involved an understanding of the functions of the human body and the physical laws which governed those functions. This knowledge was perceived to be directly relevant and applicable to clinical practice in terms of maintaining bodily hygiene and human health. The first generation of medical women received their physiological education at Edinburgh University under Bennett, who emphasised the importance of physiology for women due to its (...) relevance for the hygienic needs of the family and of society. With the development of laboratory-based science as a distinct aspect of medical education during the later nineteenth century, however, so the direct application of physiology to clinical practice diminished. The understanding of physiology as hygiene was marginalised by the new orthodoxy of scientific medicine. This shift in the physiological paradigm enabled medical women to stake out a specific field of interest within medicine which was omitted from the new definition of physiology as pure medical science: hygiene and preventive medicine. Women physicians were able to take advantage of the shift towards science as the basis of medical theory and practice to define their own specific role within the profession. (shrink)
Many people hold this truth to be self-evident that universities should enroll more female students in science and engineering; the main question then being how. Typical arguments include possible benefits to women, possible benefits to the economy, and the unfairness of the current female under-representation. However, when clearly stated and scrutinized these arguments in fact lead to the conclusion that there should be more women in scientific disciplines in higher education in the sense that we should expect (...) more women (which various kinds of discrimination may prevent), not that we should actively enroll more women. Outreach programs towards high school students may therefore be logically incompatible with the arguments supposed to justify them. They should purport to allow women to graduate in a field congruent with her abilities and desires, rather than try to draw as many of them to scientific disciplines as possible: one cannot try to ‘recruit’ as many female students as possible while claiming to help them choose more freely. (shrink)
This paper investigates reasons for practices and policies that are designed to promote higher levels of enrolment by women in scientific disciplines. It challenges the assumptions and problematic arguments of a recent article questioning their legitimacy. Considering the motivations for and merits of such programs suggests a practical response to the question of whether there should be programs to attract female science and engineering students.
Thought experiments are employed for a number of reasons and in many different disciplines. This paper explores the work of Novalis in relation to the method of thought experiments in theology, with a special focus on the encounter between Christianity and the science of his day. In a first step I revisit the ongoing philosophical discussion on thought experiments in order to highlight the lack of interest in the literary features of thought experiments. Step two is dedicated to a (...) discussion of the work of Novalis as far as his metaphysics of phantasy and imagination is concerned as it plays out in his romantic poetry. Building on the results of this discussion, in a third step I discuss the relationship (a) between thought experiments in theology and other disciplines, (b) between current discussions of thought experiments and previous periods of philosophical investigation into the ‘laboratory of the mind’, (c) between Christianity and science, and (d) between literary fiction and cognition. (shrink)
A feminist primer for philosophers of science -- The legacy of twentieth century philosophy of science -- What feminist science studies can offer -- Challenges from every direction -- The prospects of twenty-first century philosophy of science.
Feminist scholars have been remaking the landscape in political theory, and in this important book some of the most important feminist political theorists provide reconstructions of those concepts most central to the tradition of political philosophy. The goal is nothing less than the construction of a blueprint for a positive feminist theory.Many of these papers are completely new; others are extensions of important earlier work; two are reprints of classic papers. The result is a progress report on the continuing feminist (...) project to re-envision traditional political theory. As such, it constitutes essential reading not only for feminist thinkers but also for traditional philosophers and political theorists, who will need to come to terms with these contemporary critiques and re-readings. (shrink)
Fairness in evaluation processes for women in science and engineering is only one of a set of issues that need to be addressed to reach gender equality. This article uses concepts from Amartya Sen’s work on inequality to frame gender issues in science and technology policy. Programs that focus on increasing the number of women in science and engineering careers have not generally addressed a broader set of circumstances that intersect with gender at various economic (...) levels and stages of life. The agendas in research and innovation policies also need to reflect these issues, and fair allocation of resources within both science and technology needs to be on the agenda. Getting women into high-level positions is not enough. Articulating the full research and innovation agendas for women will require broader participatory processes. (shrink)
Feminist science scholars need models of science that allow feminist accounts, not only of the inception and reception of scientific theories, but of their content as well. I argue that a "Network Model," properly modified, makes clear theoretically how race, sex and class considerations can influence the content of scientific theories. The adoption of the "corpuscular philosophy" by Robert Boyle and other Puritan scientists during the English Civil War offers us a good case on which to test such (...) a model. According to these men, the minute corpuscles constituting the physical world are dead, not alive; passive, not active. I argue that they chose the principle that matter is passive in part because its contrary, the principle that matter is alive and self-moving, had a radical social meaning and use to the women and men working for progressive change in mid-seventeenth century England. (shrink)
Popper repeatedly emphasised the significance of a critical attitude, and a related critical method, for scientists. Kuhn, however, thought that unquestioning adherence to the theories of the day is proper; at least for ‘normal scientists’. In short, the former thought that dominant theories should be attacked, whereas the latter thought that they should be developed and defended (for the vast majority of the time). -/- Both seem to have missed a trick, however, due to their apparent insistence that each individual (...) scientist should fulfil similar functions (at any given point in time). The trick is to consider science at the group level; and doing so shows how puzzle solving and ‘offensive’ critical activity can simultaneously have a legitimate place in science. This analysis shifts the focus of the debate. The crucial question becomes ‘How should the balance between functions be struck?’. (shrink)
In this article I examine the status of putative aesthetic judgements in science and mathematics. I argue that if the judgements at issue are taken to be genuinely aesthetic they can be divided into two types, positing either a disjunction or connection between aesthetic and epistemic criteria in theory/proof assessment. I show that both types of claim face serious difficulties in explaining the purported role of aesthetic judgements in these areas. I claim that the best current explanation of this (...) role, McAllister's 'aesthetic induction' model, fails to demonstrate that the judgements at issue are genuinely aesthetic. I argue that, in light of these considerations, there are strong reasons for suspecting that many, and perhaps all, of the supposedly aesthetic claims are not genuinely aesthetic but are in fact 'masked' epistemic assessments. (shrink)
Rudolf Carnap delivered the hitherto unpublished lecture ‘Theoretical Concepts in Science’ at the meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Paciﬁc Division, at Santa Barbara, California, on 29 December 1959. It was part of a symposium on ‘Carnap’s views on Theoretical Concepts in Science’. In the bibliography that appears in the end of the volume, ‘The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap’, edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp, a revised version of this address appears to be among Carnap’s forthcoming papers. But although (...) Carnap started to revise it, he never ﬁnished the revision,1 and never published the unrevised transcript. Perhaps this is because variants of the approach to theoretical concepts presented for the ﬁrst time in the Santa Barbara lecture have appeared in other papers of his (cf. the editorial footnotes in Carnap’s lecture). Still, I think, the Santa Barbara address is a little philosophical gem that needs to see the light of day. The document that follows is the unrevised transcript of Carnap’s lecture.2 Its style, then, is that of an oral presentation. I decided to leave it as it is, making only very minor stylistic changes—which, except those related to punctuation, are indicated by curly brackets.3 I think that reading this lecture is a rewarding experience, punctuated as the lecture is with odd remarks and autobiographical points. One can almost envisage.. (shrink)
In Beauty and Revolution in Science, James McAllister argues that a sophisticated rationalist image of science can accommodate two prominent features of actual scientific practice, namely, appeals to “aesthetic” criteria in theory choice, and the occurrence of scientific “revolutions”. The aesthetic criteria to which scientists appeal are, he maintains, inductively grounded in the empirical record of competing theories, and scientific revolutions involve changes in aestheic criteria bu continuity in empirical criteria of theory choice. I raise difficulties for McAllister's (...) account concerning: (a) the nature and scope of “aesthetic” criteria in science; (b) the rationality of appeals to aestheic criteria in science; (c) the rationality of scientific revolutions. (shrink)
This paper is a supplement to, and provides a proof of principle of, Kuhn vs. Popper on Criticism and Dogmatism in Science: A Resolution at the Group Level. It illustrates how calculations may be performed in order to determine how the balance between different functions in science—such as imaginative, critical, and dogmatic—should be struck, with respect to confirmation (or corroboration) functions and rules of scientific method.
Abstract Three main concepts of model in science are distinguished: (1) semantical model of a theory; (2) real model of another real thing; (3) mathematical model of a real thing. The last concept is the most important for the empirical sciences. The mathematical model is not identical with a theory: it is an ideal object which is directly described by the theory. We have here an intermediate level between reality and theory.
In the first part of this essay it is contended that Schutz''s project is best called the philosophical theory of the cultural sciences; in the last parts it is shown that he offers satisfactory rudiments of a theory of the historical sciences except where the differentia specifica of those sciences is concerned. The central part is devoted to women''s liberation as a case of contemporary history in relation to which Schutz''s thought about the historical sciences needs correction.
We initially characterize what we’ll call existence problems as problems where there is evidence that a putative entity exists and this evidence is not easily dismissed; however, the evidence is not adequate to justify the claim that the entity exists, and in particular the entity hasn’t been detected. The putative entity is elusive. We then offer a strategy for determining whether an existence problem is philosophical or scientific. According to this strategy (1) existence problems are characterized in terms of causal (...) roles, and (2) these problems are categorized as scientific or philosophical on the basis of the epistemic context of putative realizers. We argue that the first step of the strategy is necessary to avoid begging the question with regard to categorization of existence problems, and the second step categorizes existence problems on the basis of a distinction between two ways in which an entity can be elusive. This distinction between kinds of elusiveness takes as background a standard account of inference to the best explanation. Applying this strategy, we argue that the existence of a multiverse is a scientific problem. (shrink)
Functional reductionism concerning mental properties has recently been advocated by Jaegwon Kim in order to solve the problem of the 'causal exclusion' of the mental. Adopting a reductionist strategy first proposed by David Lewis, he regards psychological properties as being 'higher-order' properties functionally defined over 'lower-order' properties, which are causally efficacious. Though functional reductionism is compatible with the multiple realizability of psychological properties, it is blocked if psychological properties are subdivided or crosscut by neurophysiological properties. I argue that there is (...) recent evidence from cognitive neuroscience that shows that this is the case for the psychological property of fear. Though this may suggest that some psychological properties should be revised in order to conform to those of neurophysiology, the history of science demonstrates that this is not always the outcome, particularly with properties that play an important role in our folk theories and are central to human concerns. (shrink)
The most promising way to regard thought experiment is as a species of experiment, alongside concrete experiment. Of the authors who take this view, many portray thought experiment as possessing evidential significance intrinsically. In contrast, concrete experiment is nowadays most convincingly portrayed as acquiring evidential significance in a particular area of science at a particular time in consequence of the persuasive efforts of scientists. I argue that the claim that thought experiment possesses evidential significance intrinsically is contradicted by the (...) history of science. Thought experiment, like concrete experiment, has evidential significance only where particular assumptions--such as the Galilean doctrine of phenomena--are taken to hold; under alternative premises, in themselves equally defensible, thought experiment is evidentially inert. (shrink)
The widespread impression that recent philosophy of science has pioneered exploration of the “social dimensions of scientific knowledge‘ is shown to be in error, partly due to a lack of appreciation of historical precedent, and partly due to a misunderstanding of how the social sciences and philosophy have been intertwined over the last century. This paper argues that the referents of “democracy‘ are an important key in the American context, and that orthodoxies in the philosophy of science tend (...) to be molded by the actual regimes of science organization within which they are embedded. These theses are illustrated by consideration of three representative philosophers of science: John Dewey, Hans Reichenbach, and Philip Kitcher. [Copyright &y& Elsevier]. (shrink)
Epistemic trust is crucial for science. This article aims to identify the kinds of assumptions that are involved in epistemic trust as it is required for the successful operation of science as a collective epistemic enterprise. The relevant kind of reliance should involve working from the assumption that the epistemic endeavors of others are appropriately geared towards the truth, but the exact content of this assumption is more difficult to analyze than it might appear. The root of the (...) problem is that methodological decisions in science typically involve a complex trade-off between the reliability of positive results, the reliability of negative results, and the investigation's power (the rate at which it delivers definitive results). Which balance between these is the ‘correct’ one can only be determined in light of an evaluation of the consequences of all the different possible outcomes of the inquiry. What it means for the investigation to be ‘appropriately geared towards the truth’ thus depends on certain value judgments. I conclude that in the optimal case, trusting someone in her capacity as an information provider also involves a reliance on her having the right attitude towards the possible consequences of her epistemic work. 1 Introduction2 Epistemic Reliance within the Sciences3 Methodological Conventionalism4 Trust in Science5 Conclusions. (shrink)
This article considers 3 claims that cognitive sex differ- ences account for the differential representation of men and women in high-level careers in mathematics and sci- ence: (a) males are more focused on objects from the beginning of life and therefore are predisposed to better learning about mechanical systems; (b) males have a pro- ﬁle of spatial and numerical abilities producing greater aptitude for mathematics; and (c) males are more variable in their cognitive abilities and therefore predominate at the (...) upper reaches of mathematical talent. Research on cogni- tive development in human infants, preschool children, and students at all levels fails to support these claims. Instead, it provides evidence that mathematical and scientiﬁc rea- soning develop from a set of biologically based cognitive capacities that males and females share. These capacities lead men and women to develop equal talent for mathe- matics and science. (shrink)
This second edition of Women, Knowledge and Reality continues to exhibit the ways in which feminist philosophers enrich and challenge philosophy. Essays by twenty-five feminist philosophers, seventeen of them new to the second edition, address fundamental issues in philosophical and feminist methods, metaphysics, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, language, religion and mind/body. This second edition expands the perspectives of women of color, of postmodernism and French feminism, and focuses on the most recent controversies in feminist theory (...) and philosophy. The chapters are organized by traditional fields of philosophy, and include introductions which contrast the ideas of feminist thinkers with traditional philosophers. The collected essays illustrate both the depth and breadth of feminist critiques and the range of contemporary feminist theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
This book is an extensive survey and critical examination of the literature on the use of expert opinion in scientific inquiry and policy making. The elicitation, representation, and use of expert opinion is increasingly important for two reasons: advancing technology leads to more and more complex decision problems, and technologists are turning in greater numbers to "expert systems" and other similar artifacts of artificial intelligence. Cooke here considers how expert opinion is being used today, how an expert's uncertainty is or (...) should be represented, how people do or should reason with uncertainty, how the quality and usefulness of expert opinion can be assessed, and how the views of several experts might be combined. He argues for the importance of developing practical models with a transparent mathematic foundation for the use of expert opinion in science, and presents three tested models, termed "classical," "Bayesian," and "psychological scaling." Detailed case studies illustrate how they can be applied to a diversity of real problems in engineering and planning. (shrink)
Cognitive advancement is not always a matter of acquiring new information. It often consists in reconfiguration--in reorganizing a domain so that hitherto overlooked or underemphasized features, patterns, opportunities, and resources come to light. Several modes of reconfiguration prominent in the arts--metaphor, fiction, exemplification, and perspective--play important roles in science as well. They do not perform the same roles as literal, descriptive, perspectiveless scientific truths. But to understand how science advances understanding, we need to appreciate the ineliminable cognitive contributions (...) of non-literal, non-descriptive symbols. (shrink)
Hermeneutics, or interpretation, is concerned with the generation, transmission, and acceptance of meaning within the lifeworld, and was the original method of the human sciences stemming, from F. Schleiermacher and W. Dilthey. The `hermeneutic philosophy' refers mostly to Heidegger. This paper addresses natural science from the perspective of Heidegger's analysis of meaning and interpretation. Its purpose is to incorporate into the philosophy of science those aspects of historicality, culture, and tradition that are absent from the traditional analysis of (...) theory and explanation, to re-orient the current discussion about scientific realism around the hermeneutics of meaning and truth in science, and to establish some relationship between the current philosophy of natural science and hermeneutical philosophy. The paper has particular relevance to the history and social studies of science and technology. (shrink)
Robertson's earlier work, The New Renaissance projected the likely future impact of computers in changing our culture. Phase Change builds on and deepens his assessment of the role of the computer as a tool driving profound change by examining the role of computers in changing the face of the sciences and mathematics. He shows that paradigm shifts in understanding in science have generally been triggered by the availability of new tools, allowing the investigator a new way of seeing into (...) questions that had not earlier been amenable to scientific probing. (shrink)
The philosophy of science has lost its self-confidence. Structures in Science (2001) is an advanced textbook that explicates, updates and integrates the best insights of logical empiricism and its main critics. This "neo-classical approach" aims at providing heuristic patterns for research.The book introduces four ideal types of research programs (descriptive, explanatory, design and explicative) and reanimates the distinction between observational laws and proper theories without assuming a theory-free language. It explicates various patterns of explanation by subsumption and specification (...) as well as structures in reductive and other types of interlevel research. Its threefold analysis of theory evaluation leads to new characterizations of confirmation, empirical progress, and truth approximation. What emerges are partial analogies between progress in nomological research, presented in detail in From Instrumentalism to Constructive Realism (2000) and progress in explicative and design research. Finally, special chapters are devoted to design research programs, computational philosophy of science, the structuralist approach to theories, and research ethics.The present synopsis of Structures in Science highlights the main topics, the final emphasis being on design research and research ethics. (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to show how the degree of experimental validity of scientific procedures is crucially involved in determining two typical pragmatic modes in science, namely, the preservation of useful procedures and the disposal of useless ideas. The term 'pragmatic' will here be used following Schurz's characterisation of being internally pragmatic, as referring to that which proves useful for scientific or epistemic goals. The first part of the paper consists in a characterisation of the notion of (...) experimental validity. The second part is focused on several historical examples illustrating how the above pragmatic modes relate to the question of experimental validity. The Michelson-Morley experiment is presented as a case of a highly valid and useful experiment preserved through the development of different theories (like, on the one hand, the ether theory, upheld by Fitzgerald and Lorentz, and, on the other hand, Einstein's special theory of relativity). The concept of caloric will be discussed as an example of an idea that was discarded once it became useless, after heat was understood as a form of energy within the new frame provided by the kinetic theory of heat towards the middle of the 19th century. (shrink)
Subpart B of 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 46 (CFR) identifies the criteria according to which research involving pregnant women, human fetuses, and neonates can be conducted ethically in the United States. As such, pregnant women and fetuses fall into a category requiring “additional protections,” often referred to as “vulnerable populations.” The CFR does not define vulnerability, but merely gives examples of vulnerable groups by pointing to different categories of potential research subjects needing additional protections. In this (...) paper, I assess critically the role of this categorization of pregnant women involved in research as “vulnerable,” both as separate entities and in combination with the fetuses they carry. In particular, I do three things: (1) demonstrate that pregnant women qua pregnancy are either not “vulnerable” according to any meaningful definition of that term or that such vulnerability is irrelevant to her status as a research participant; (2) argue that while a fetus may be vulnerable in terms of dependency, this categorization does not equate to the vulnerability of the pregnant woman; and (3) suggest that any vulnerability that appends to women is precisely the result of federal regulations and dubious public perceptions about pregnant women. I conclude by demonstrating how this erroneous characterization of pregnant women as “vulnerable” and its associated protections have not only impeded vital research for pregnant women and their fetuses, but have also negatively affected the inclusion of all women in clinical research. (shrink)
Universalism in science, when conceived in methodological terms, leads to the problem of the limits of science. On the one hand, there is “methodological imperialism“ which in principle involves a form of universalism. On the other hand, there is the multivariate complexity - structural and dynamic, as well as epistemological and ontological - which represents a huge problem for methodological universalism, as may be seen with the obstacles for scientific prediction. Within the context of the limits of (...) class='Hi'>science, there is a better understanding of the issues of expansionism and imperialism. 1. Varieties of Methodological Universalism 1.1. Levels of Methodological Analysis 1.2. The Historical Dimension 2. The Limits for Methodological Universalism: The Problem of Complexity 2.1. Obstacles to Methodological Universalism Due to Complexity 2.2. Methodological Universalism and the Obstacles to Predictors from the Angle of Complexity 3. Coda: Limits of Science, Expansionism and Imperialism. (shrink)
In this introductory article, we provide a historical and philosophical framework for studying crisis discussions in psychology. We first trace the various meanings of crisis talk outside and inside of the sciences. We then turn to Kuhn’s concept of crisis, which is mainly an analyst’s category referring to severe clashes between theory and data. His view has also dominated many discussions on the status of psychology: Can it be considered a “mature” science, or are we dealing here with a (...) pre- or multi-paradigmatic discipline? Against these Kuhnian perspectives, we point out that especially, but not only in psychology distinctive crisis declarations and debates have taken place since at least the late 19th century. In these, quite different usages of crisis talk have emerged, which can be determined by looking at (a) the content and (b) the dimensions of the declarations, as well as (c) the functions these declarations had for their authors. Thus, in psychology at least, ‘crisis’ has been a vigorous actor’s category, occasionally having actual effects on the future course of research. While such crisis declarations need not be taken at face value, they nevertheless help to break the spell of Kuhnian analyses of psychology’s history. They should inform ways in which the history and philosophy of psychology is studied further. (shrink)
One of America's foremost public intellectuals, Jean Bethke Elshtain has been on the frontlines in the most hotly contested and deeply divisive issues of our time. Now in Real Politics , Elshtain gives further proof of her willingness to speak her mind, courting disagreement and even censure from those who prefer their ideologies neat. At the center of Elshtain's work is a passionate concern with the relationship between political rhetoric and political action. For Elshtain, politics is a sphere of concrete (...) responsibility. Political speech should, therefore, approach the richness of actual lives and commitments rather than present impossible utopias. In her essays, Elshtain finds in the writings of Václav Havel, Hannah Arendt, and Albert Camus a language appropriate to the complexity of everyday life and politics, and she critiques philosophers and writers who distance us from a concrete, embodied world. She argues against those repressive strains within contemporary feminism which insist that families and even sexual differentiation are inherently oppressive. Along the way, she challenges an ideology of victimization that too often loses sight of individual victims in its pursuit of abstract goals. Elshtain reaffirms the quirky and by no means simple pleasures of small-town life as a microcosm of the human condition and considers the current crisis in American education and its consequences for democracy. Beyond exploring the details of political life over the past two decades, Real Politics advocates a via media politics that avoids unacceptable extremes and serves as a model for responsible political discourse. Throughout her diverse and insightful writings, Elshtain champions a civic philosophy that tends to the dignity of everyday life as a democratic imperative of the first order. "Jean Bethke Elshtain is a person of rare intellect. The moral wisdom that pervades these essays reminds us that when all is said and done politics is about the life and death of real people who are anything but abstractions. Her erudition is remarkable, but equally stunning is her eye for the significant. What she is so good at is helping us see the moral and political significance of the everyday."--Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University " Real Politics serves as a forceful reminder that Jean Elshtain has been dealing with the real world in twenty-five years of powerful essaying. Transcending ideological categories, she writes out of hope that human beings can enjoy those capacities of reason and faith which make them human. It is a pleasure to be reintroduced to her sustained intelligence."--Alan Wolfe, Boston University. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Disrupting the Impression of Stability in the Gender-Technology Relation -- Changing Images of Computers and its Users since 1980 -- Discursive Developments Within Computer Education -- Variations in Gender-ICT Relations Among Male and Female Computer Students -- Stories About Individual Change and Transformation -- Layered Meanings and Differences Within -- Is there an Elsewhere? -- References -- Endnotes -- Index.
The study of human intelligence was once dominated by symbolic approaches, but over the last 30 years an alternative approach has arisen. Symbols and processes that operate on them are often seen today as approximate characterizations of the emergent consequences of sub- or nonsymbolic processes, and a wide range of constructs in cognitive science can be understood as emergents. These include representational constructs (units, structures, rules), architectural constructs (central executive, declarative memory), and developmental processes and outcomes (stages, sensitive periods, (...) neurocognitive modules, developmental disorders). The greatest achievements of human cognition may be largely emergent phenomena. It remains a challenge for the future to learn more about how these greatest achievements arise and to emulate them in artificial systems. (shrink)
Abstract: This paper responds to the question posed in the announcement of the conference at Brooklyn Law School at which it was presented: if and how [the inquiry into the reliability of proffered scientific testimony mandated by Daubert] relates to 'truth,' and whose view of the truth should prevail. The first step is to sketch the legal history leading up to Daubert, and to explore some of the difficulties Daubert brought in its wake; the next, to develop an account of (...) truth in the sciences that combines a full acknowledgment of the fallibility and incompleteness of the scientific enterprise with a robustly objective conception of truth - which helps us understand why the legal system often gets less than the best out of science; and finally, exploring the concept of legal truth, to show how false scientific clams sometimes get entrenched as legally reliable. (shrink)
This essay addresses the methodology of philosophy of science and illustrates how formal and empirical methods can be fruitfully combined. Special emphasis is given to the application of experimental methods to confirmation theory and to recent work on the conjunction fallacy, a key topic in the rationality debate arising from research in cognitive psychology. Several other issue can be studied in this way. In the concluding section, a brief outline is provided of three further examples.
This paper reviews the uneven history of the relationship between Anthropology and Cognitive Science over the past 30 years, from its promising beginnings, followed by a period of disaffection, on up to the current context, which may lay the groundwork for reconsidering what Anthropology and (the rest of) Cognitive Science have to offer each other. We think that this history has important lessons to teach and has implications for contemporary efforts to restore Anthropology to its proper place within (...) Cognitive Science. The recent upsurge of interest in the ways that thought may shape and be shaped by action, gesture, cultural experience, and language sets the stage for, but so far has not fully accomplished, the inclusion of Anthropology as an equal partner. (shrink)
The present paper presents a philosophical analysis of earth science, a discipline that has received relatively little attention from philosophers of science. We focus on the question of whether earth science can be reduced to allegedly more fundamental sciences, such as chemistry or physics. In order to answer this question, we investigate the aims and methods of earth science, the laws and theories used by earth scientists, and the nature of earth-scientific explanation. Our analysis leads to (...) the tentative conclusion that there are emergent phenomena in earth science but that these may be reducible to physics. However, earth science does not have irreducible laws, and the theories of earth science are typically hypotheses about unobservable (past) events or generalised - but not universally valid - descriptions of contingent processes. Unlike more fundamental sciences, earth science is characterised by explanatory pluralism: earth scientists employ various forms of narrative explanations in combination with causal explanations. The main reason is that earth-scientific explanations are typically hampered by local underdetermination by the data to such an extent that complete causal explanations are impossible in practice, if not in principle. (shrink)
This paper considers the past and future of Psychology within Cognitive Science. In the history section, I focus on three questions: (a) how has the position of Psychology evolved within Cognitive Science, relative to the other disciplines that make up Cognitive Science; (b) how have particular Cognitive Science areas within Psychology waxed or waned; and (c) what have we gained and lost. After discussing what’s happened since the late 1970s, when the Society and the journal began, (...) I speculate about where the field is going. (shrink)
First steps are taken in the following toward the study of present-day philosophy of science in Iran, by choosing various examples in the hope of showing that philosophy of science in Iran has emerged predominantly as an apologetic and ideological discourse. I start by pointing out the complexities of method in such a study. I then criticise two writing samples by two well-known Iranian scholars, which exemplify the first Iranian reaction to logical positivism. The study continues with a (...) survey of the mistakes in the Persian translation of T. S. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a study of the status of research in philosophy of science in Iran, and a critique of attempts by Iranian scholars at indigenising philosophy of science through the reconciliation of modern science with Islamic faith. (shrink)
The naturalism versus interpretivism debate the in philosophy of social science is traditionally framed as the question of whether social science should attempt to emulate the methods of natural science. I show that this manner of formulating the issue is problematic insofar as it presupposes an implausibly strong unity of method among the natural sciences. I propose instead that what is at stake in this debate is the feasibility and desirability of what I call the Enlightenment ideal (...) of social science. I argue that this characterization of the issue is preferable, since it highlights the central disagreement between advocates of naturalism and interpretivism, makes connections with recent work on the topics of causal inference and social epistemology, while avoiding unfruitful comparisons between the social and natural sciences. (shrink)
One account of the history of computation might begin in the 1930's with some of the work of Alonzo Church, Alan Turing, and Emil Post. One might say that this is where something like the core concept of computation was first formally articulated. Here were the first attempts to formalize an informal notion of an algorithm or effective procedure by which a mathematician might decide one or another logico-mathematical question. As each of these formalisms was shown to compute the same (...) set of functions—the partial recursive functions—each of them might be described as a form of Turing-equivalent computation. This work set the cornerstone for what we might call computation theory. This history might then proceed to give pride of place to this form of computation in subsequent developments in cognitive science and in related disciplines and subdisciplines. Such a history might note that, in the 1940's, the results of this work would have been transferred into the emerging field of computer science with the design and construction of the first electronic digital computers. Here one would mention Turing again, as well as perhaps Norbert Wiener, Julian Bigelow, John von Neumann, and many others. At about the same time, this theory of computation would have been inserted into the theory of neural networks by way of Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts's seminal work, “A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity.” Somewhat later, during the 1960's, Hilary Putnam introduced Turing machine tables into the philosophy of mind as a tool for illuminating various features of the mind-body problem, eventually transforming the intellectual landscape in.. (shrink)
Knowledge-making practices in biology are being strongly affected by the availability of data on an unprecedented scale, the insistence on systemic approaches and growing reliance on bioinformatics and digital infrastructures. What role does theory play within data-intensive science, and what does that tell us about scientific theories in general? To answer these questions, I focus on Open Biomedical Ontologies, digital classification tools that have become crucial to sharing results across research contexts in the biological and biomedical sciences, and argue (...) that they constitute an example of classificatory theory. This form of theorizing emerges from classification practices in conjunction with experimental know-how and expresses the knowledge underpinning the analysis and interpretation of data disseminated online. (shrink)
Some eliminativists have predicted that a developed neuroscience will eradicate the principles and theoretical kinds (belief, desire, etc.) implicit in our ordinary practices of mental state attribution. Prevailing defenses of common-sense psychology infer its basic integrity from its familiarity and instrumental success in everyday social commerce. Such common-sense defenses charge that eliminativist arguments are self-defeating in their folk psychological appeal to the belief that eliminativism is true. I argue that eliminativism is untouched by this simple charge of inconsistency, and introduce (...) a different dialectical strategy for arguing against the eliminativist. In keeping with the naturalistic trend in the sociology and philosophy of science, I show that neuroscientists routinely rely on folk psychological procedures of intentional state attribution in applying epistemically reliable standards of scientific evaluation. These scientific contexts place ordinary procedures of attribution under greater stress, producing evidence of folk psychological success that is less equivocal than the evidence in mundane settings. Therefore, the dependence of science on folk psychology, when combined with an independently plausible explanatory constraint on reduction and an independently motivated notion of theoretical stress, allows us to reconstitute the charge of (neurophilic) eliminativist inconsistency in a more sophisticated form. (shrink)
Gerd Buchdahl's international reputation rests on his masterly writings on Kant. In them he showed how Kant transformed the philosophical problems of his predecessors and he minutely investigated the ways in which Kant related his critical philosophy to the contents and methods of natural science. Less well known, if only because in large part unpublished, are the writings in which Buchdahl elaborated his own views on the methods and status of the sciences. In this paper I examine the roles (...) of hermeneutics in Buchdahl's reconstruction of Kant's philosophical system and in his own 'transcendental methodological' approach to the philosophy of science. The first section looks at Buchdahl's views on the theory and practice of historical interpretation and at the Husserlian hermeneutic scheme of reduction and realisation that he used in his later accounts of the philosophies of science of Kant and himself. The second section concentrates on Buchdahl's treatment of the grounds of science in Kant; and the third on the hermeneutic strategies Buchdahl employed in articulating and justifying his own views. The paper closes with reflections on the impact and importance of Buchdahl's interpretation of Kant's critical philosophy in relation to the sciences and of his own hermeneutically based philosophy of science. (shrink)
Kant's philosophy of science takes on sharp contour in terms of his interaction with the practicing life scientists of his day, particularly Johann Blumenbach and the latter's student, Christoph Girtanner, who in 1796 attempted to synthesize the ideas of Kant and Blumenbach. Indeed, Kant's engagement with the life sciences played a far more substantial role in his transcendental philosophy than has been recognized hitherto. The theory of epigenesis, especially in light of Kant's famous analogy in the first Critique (B167), (...) posed crucial questions regarding the 'looseness of fit' between the constitutive and the regulative in Kant's theory of empirical law. A detailed examination of Kant's struggle with epigenesis between 1784 and 1790 demonstrates his grave reservations about its hylozoist implications, leading to his even stronger insistence on the discrimination of constitutive from regulative uses of reason. The continuing relevance of these issues for Kant's philosophy of science is clear from the work of Buchdahl and its contemporary reception. (shrink)
Recent work in the philosophy of science has been debunking theory and acclaiming practice. Recent work in philosophical psychology has been neglecting practice and emphasizing theory, suggesting that common?sense psychology is in all essential respects like any scientific theory. The marriage of these two strands of thought would serve to make science and common sense virtually indistinguishable. My paper resists this conflation. The main target is the attempt to assimilate everyday psychology to a scientific theory; I argue that (...) this is badly mistaken, and does a disservice both to scientific and to common?sense psychology. A secondary aim is to argue that some of the new pragmatism in the philosophy of science is overstated. The suggested conflation would have interesting implications, as would its denial; in a concluding section, some of these implications are briefly explored. (shrink)
This paper defends the right of historians to make use of their knowledge of the remote consequences of past actions. In particular, it is argued that the disciplinary cohesion of the history of science relies crucially upon our ability to target, for further investigation, those past activities ancestral to modern science. The history of science is not limited to the study of those activities but it is structured around them. In this sense, the discipline is inherently 'present-centred': (...) its boundaries are determined, in part, by judgements inaccessible to the historical actors. Present-centredness of this sort, it is urged, should not be regarded as a problem; its methodological consequences are minimal. (shrink)
Conditions for philosophy of science in the Netherlands are not optimal. The climate of opinion in Dutch philosophy is unsympathetic to the sciences, partly because of the influence of theology. Dutch universities offer no taught graduate programmes in philosophy of science, which would provide an entry route for science graduates. A great deal of Dutch research in philosophy of science is affected by an exegetical attitude, which fosters the interpretation and evaluation of other writers rather than (...) the development of original theories. Doctoral candidates in particular should be trained to greater originality and assertiveness. Nonetheless, much good research in philosophy of science is conducted in the Netherlands, both in philosophy faculties and in institutes dedicated to the foundations of the special sciences. Distinguished work is done also in the neighbouring disciplines of logic, history of science, and social studies of science. (shrink)
Unlike basic sciences, scientific research in advanced technologies aims to explain, predict, and (mathematically) describe not phenomena in nature, but phenomena in technological artefacts, thereby producing knowledge that is utilized in technological design. This article first explains why the covering-law view of applying science is inadequate for characterizing this research practice. Instead, the covering-law approach and causal explanation are integrated in this practice. Ludwig Prandtl's approach to concrete fluid flows is used as an example of scientific research in the (...) engineering sciences. A methodology of distinguishing between regions in space and/or phases in time that show distinct physical behaviours is specific to this research practice. Accordingly, two types of models specific to the engineering sciences are introduced. The diagrammatic model represents the causal explanation of physical behaviour in distinct spatial regions or time phases; the nomo-mathematical model represents the phenomenon in terms of a set of mathematically formulated laws. (shrink)
This commentary gives a personal perspective on modeling and modeling developments in cognitive science, starting in the 1950s, but focusing on the author’s personal views of modeling since training in the late 1960s, and particularly focusing on advances since the official founding of the Cognitive Science Society. The range and variety of modeling approaches in use today are remarkable, and for many, bewildering. Yet to come to anything approaching adequate insights into the infinitely complex fields of mind, brain, (...) and intelligent systems, an extremely wide array of modeling approaches is vital and necessary. (shrink)
Computational modeling has long been one of the traditional pillars of cognitive science. Unfortunately, the computer models of cognition being developed today have not kept up with the enormous changes that have taken place in computer technology and, especially, in human-computer interfaces. For all intents and purposes, modeling is still done today as it was 25, or even 35, years ago. Everyone still programs in his or her own favorite programming language, source code is rarely made available, accessibility of (...) models to non-programming researchers is essentially non-existent, and even for other modelers, the profusion of source code in a multitude of programming languages, written without programming guidelines, makes it almost impossible to access, check, explore, re-use, or continue to develop. It is high time to change this situation, especially since the tools are now readily available to do so. We propose that the modeling community adopt three simple guidelines that would ensure that computational models would be accessible to the broad range of researchers in cognitive science. We further emphasize the pivotal role that journal editors must play in making computational models accessible to readers of their journals. (shrink)
This conclusion of the debate on anthropology’s role in cognitive science provides some clarifications and an overview of emergent themes. It also lists, as cases of good practice, some examples of productive cross-disciplinary collaboration that evince a forward momentum in the relationship between anthropology and the other cognitive sciences.
This paper reviews 30 years of progress in U.S. cognitive science research related to education and training, as seen from the perspective of a research manager who was personally involved in many of these developments.
The aim of the paper is an extension of the idealizational theory of science in order to explicate intuitions of historians and philosophers of history about unpredictability and contingency of history. The author identifies two types of essential structures: the first kind dominated by the main factor and the second kind which is dominated by a class of secondary factors. In an essential structure dominated by the main factor, the power of influence it exerts is greater than the sum (...) of the power of influence of secondary factors. In an essential structure dominated by secondary factors, their total influence is greater than the influence exerted by the main factor, although the power of the latter influence is greater than the power of influence of each secondary factor taken separately. In the latter kind of essential structure the so-called cascade effect can occur which means that at certain moment the power of influence of secondary factors can be greater than influence of main factor. In the further part of this paper, the author examines consequences of cascade effect for construction of scientific theory and historical narrative. (shrink)
The term ?boson? appears in almost all discussions on elementary particles and carries a reference to the name of Satyendra Nath Bose, the co-founder of quantum statistics. Yet, in spite of this wide use of a term coined after his name, Bose himself remains a shadowy figure in the history of science. This article is an attempt to reconstruct how Bose arrived at the statistics for which he is now remembered, and his subsequent two-year brief role in international (...) class='Hi'>science. Through the lens of Bose's practice, I seek to grasp the contexts of those peripheral scientists who enter the practice of science from outside of the main group, and yet somehow manage to create a lasting contribution within it. (shrink)
Claims that science should be more democratic than it is frequently arouse opposition. In this essay, I distinguish my own views about the democratization of science from the more ambitious theses defended by Paul Feyerabend. I argue that it is unlikely that the complexity of some scientific debates will allow for resolution according to the methodological principles of any formal confirmation theory, suggesting instead that major revolutions rest on conflicts of values. Yet these conflicts should not be dismissed (...) as irresoluble. (shrink)
Abstract Up to now Chinese academia has been addicted to inviting the twin goddesses of democracy and science, but has regrettably ignored the innate incongruity between them, which has led to the rise of scientism. May 4th pioneers first introduced this value system, but tension between these values subsequently led to a prevailing preference for science over freedom. The early Marxists defined freedom as obedience to social laws formulated in Marxist ?science?, while Maoism finalized the Sinicization of (...) Marxism with a belief in iron?bound social laws and in human beings as mere political means, mercilessly suppressing any expression of free will. (shrink)
Why believe in the findings of science? John Ziman argues that scientific knowledge is not uniformly reliable, but rather like a map representing a country we cannot visit. He shows how science has many elements, including alongside its experiments and formulae the language and logic, patterns and preconceptions, facts and fantasies used to illustrate and express its findings. These elements are variously combined by scientists in their explanations of the material world as it lies outside our everyday experience. (...) John Ziman’s book offers at once a valuably clear account and a radically challenging investigation of the credibility of scientific knowledge, searching widely across a range of disciplines for evidence about the perceptions, paradigms and analogies on which all our understanding depends. (shrink)
Does mathematics ever play an explanatory role in science? If so then this opens the way for scientific realists to argue for the existence of mathematical entities using inference to the best explanation. Elsewhere I have argued, using a case study involving the prime-numbered life cycles of periodical cicadas, that there are examples of indispensable mathematical explanations of purely physical phenomena. In this paper I respond to objections to this claim that have been made by various philosophers, and I (...) discuss potential future directions of research for each side in the debate over the existence of abstract mathematical objects. Introduction: Mathematical Explanation Indispensability and Explanation Is the Mathematics Indispensable to the Explanation? 3.1 Object-level arbitrariness 3.2 Concept-level arbitrariness 3.3 Theory-level arbitrariness Is the Explanandum ‘Purely Physical’? Is the Mathematics Explanatory in Its Own Right? Does Inference to the Best Explanation Apply to Mathematics? 6.1 Leng's first argument 6.2 Leng's second argument 6.3 Leng's third argument Conclusions CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
This paper evaluates a general argument for the conclusion that visual representations in science must play the role of truth bearers if they are to figure as legitimate contributors to scientific arguments and explanations. The argument is found to be unsound. An alternative approach to assessing the role of visual representations in science is exemplified by an examination of the role of structural formulas in organic chemistry. Structural formulas are found not to play the role of truth bearers; (...) nonetheless, they contribute to the arguments and explanations of organic chemistry. An early success of conformational analysis is presented in order to illustrate the role of structural formulas in the discourse of organic chemistry. *Received January 2007; revised July 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Rowan University, 201 Mullica Hill Road, Glassboro, NJ 08028; e‐mail: email@example.com. (shrink)
Although epistemic values have become widely accepted as part of scientific reasoning, non-epistemic values have been largely relegated to the "external" parts of science (the selection of hypotheses, restrictions on methodologies, and the use of scientific technologies). I argue that because of inductive risk, or the risk of error, non-epistemic values are required in science wherever non-epistemic consequences of error should be considered. I use examples from dioxin studies to illustrate how non-epistemic consequences of error can and should (...) be considered in the internal stages of science: choice of methodology, characterization of data, and interpretation of results. (shrink)
The main aim of this essay is to propose and develop a product?oriented, non?psychologistic, approach to scientific and artistic creativity. I first argue that the central problem is that of answering the question: how is creativity possible? Traditional approaches to this question tend to locate creativity primarily in some special psychological processes or traits, or in some special creative act. Some general arguments against such an approach are developed, and it is suggested that creativity ought primarily to be located in (...) scientific and artistic products. I then investigate the question ?what aspects of such products lead us to evaluate them as creative?? and use the results of this inquiry as a set of desiderata against which to evaluate various general views as to the nature of the creative process itself. The upshot of this procedure is the development of a kind of ?Darwinian? model whose novel feature lies in the suggestion that the process of production has, in effect, been controlled (plastically) by those very factors which can enable the product to be a creative one. (shrink)
The idea that the use of instruments in science is theory‐dependent seems to threaten the extent to which the output of those instruments can act as an independent arbiter of theory. This issue is explored by studying an early use of the electron microscope to observe dislocations in crystals. It is shown that this usage did indeed involve the theory of the electron microscope but that, nevertheless, it was possible to argue strongly for the experimental results, the theory of (...) dislocations being tested, and the theory of the instrument, all at the same time. (shrink)
Although many philosophers have employed the distinction between “direct” and “indirect” roles for values in science, I argue that it merits further clarification. The distinction can be formulated in several ways: as a logical point, as a distinction between epistemic attitudes, or as a clarification of different consequences associated with accepting scientific claims. Moreover, it can serve either as part of a normative ideal or as a tool for policing how values influence science. While various formulations of the (...) distinction may (with further clarification) contribute to a normative ideal, they have limited effectiveness for regulating how values influence science. (shrink)
What I call theoretical abduction (sentential and model-based)certainly illustrates much of what is important in abductive reasoning, especially the objective of selecting and creating a set of hypotheses that are able to dispense good (preferred) explanations of data, but fails to account for many cases of explanation occurring in science or in everyday reasoning when the exploitation of the environment is crucial. The concept of manipulative abduction is devoted to capture the role of action in many interesting situations: action (...) provides otherwise unavailable information that enables the agent to solve problems by starting and performing a suitable abductive process of generation or selection of hypotheses. Many external things, usually inert from the epistemological point of view, can be transformed into what I call epistemic mediators, which are illustrated in the last part of the paper, together with an analysis of the related notions of ``perceptual and inceptual rehearsal'' and of ``external representation''. (shrink)
Creativity in science and engineering has moral significance and deserves attention within professional ethics, in at least three areas. First, much scientific and technological creativity constitutes moral creativity because it generates moral benefits, is motivated by moral concern, and manifests virtues such as beneficence, courage, and perseverance. Second, creativity contributes to the meaning that scientists and engineers derive from their work, thereby connecting with virtues such as authenticity and also faults arising from Faustian trade-offs. Third, morally creative leadership is (...) important at all levels of science and engineering. (shrink)