Year:

  1.  5
    Must hidden variables theories be contextual? Kochen & Specker meet von Neumann and Gleason.Pablo Acuña - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-30.
    It is a widespread belief that the Kochen-Specker theorem imposes a contextuality constraint on the ontology of beables in quantum hidden variables theories. On the other hand, after Bell’s influential critique, the importance of von Neumann’s wrongly called ‘impossibility proof’ has been severely questioned. However, Max Jammer, Jeffrey Bub and Dennis Dieks have proposed insightful reassessments of von Neumann’s theorem: what it really shows is that hidden variables theories cannot represent their beables by means of Hermitian operators in Hilbert space. (...)
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  2. Numerical instability and dynamical systems.Vincent Ardourel & Julie Jebeile - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-21.
    In philosophical studies regarding mathematical models of dynamical systems, instability due to sensitive dependence on initial conditions, on the one side, and instability due to sensitive dependence on model structure, on the other, have by now been extensively discussed. Yet there is a third kind of instability, which by contrast has thus far been rather overlooked, that is also a challenge for model predictions about dynamical systems. This is the numerical instability due to the employment of numerical methods involving a (...)
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  3.  2
    Incompatibility and the Pessimistic Induction: A Challenge for Selective Realism.Florian J. Boge - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-31.
    Two powerful arguments have famously dominated the realism debate in philosophy of science: The No Miracles Argument and the Pessimistic Meta-Induction. A standard response to the PMI is selective scientific realism, wherein only the working posits of a theory are considered worthy of doxastic commitment. Building on the recent debate over the NMA and the connections between the NMA and the PMI, I here consider a stronger inductive argument that poses a direct challenge for SSR: Because it is sometimes exactly (...)
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  4.  8
    The inchworm episode: Reconstituting the phenomenon of kinesin motility.Andrew Bollhagen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-25.
    New Mechanist philosophical models of "phenomenon reconstitution" understand the process to be driven by explanatory considerations. Here I discuss an episode of phenomenon reconstitution that occurred entirely within an experimental program dedicated to characterizing the phenomenon of kinesin motility. Rather than being driven by explanatory considerations, as standard mechanist views maintain, I argue that the phenomenon of kinesin motility was reconstituted to enhance researchers’ primary experimental tool—the single molecule motility assay.
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  5. On the principal principle and imprecise subjective Bayesianism: A reply to Christian Wallmann and Jon Williamson.Marc Fischer - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-10.
    Whilst Bayesian epistemology is widely regarded nowadays as our best theory of knowledge, there are still a relatively large number of incompatible and competing approaches falling under that umbrella. Very recently, Wallmann and Williamson wrote an interesting article that aims at showing that a subjective Bayesian who accepts the principal principle and uses a known physical chance as her degree of belief for an event A could end up having incoherent or very implausible beliefs if she subjectively chooses the probability (...)
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  6. Nothing but Coincidences: The Point-Coincidence and Einstein’s Struggle with the Meaning of Coordinates in Physics.Marco Giovanelli - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-64.
    In his 1916 review paper on general relativity, Einstein made the often-quoted oracular remark that all physical measurements amount to a determination of coincidences, like the coincidence of a pointer with a mark on a scale. This argument, which was meant to express the requirement of general covariance, immediately gained great resonance. Philosophers such as Schlick found that it expressed the novelty of general relativity, but the mathematician Kretschmann deemed it as trivial and valid in all spacetime theories. With the (...)
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  7.  17
    Epistemic Issues in Computational Reproducibility: Software as the Elephant in the Room.Alexandre Hocquet & Frédéric Wieber - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-20.
    Computational reproducibility possesses its own dynamics and narratives of crisis. Alongside the difficulties of computing as an ubiquitous yet complex scientific activity, computational reproducibility suffers from a naive expectancy of total reproducibility and a moral imperative to embrace the principles of free software as a non-negotiable epistemic virtue. We argue that the epistemic issues at stake in actual practices of computational reproducibility are best unveiled by focusing on software as a pivotal concept, one that is surprisingly often overlooked in accounts (...)
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  8.  6
    Exploring Biological Possibility Through Synthetic Biology.Tero Ijäs & Rami Koskinen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-17.
    This paper analyzes the notion of possibility in biology and demonstrates how synthetic biology can provide understanding on the modal dimension of biological systems. Among modal concepts, biological possibility has received surprisingly little explicit treatment in the philosophy of science. The aim of this paper is to argue for the importance of the notion of biological possibility by showing how it provides both a philosophically and biologically fruitful category as well as introducing a new practically grounded way for its assessment. (...)
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  9.  8
    Reactivity in social scientific experiments: what is it and how is it different (and worse) than a Placebo effect?María Jiménez-Buedo - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-22.
    Reactivity, or the phenomenon by which subjects tend to modify their behavior in virtue of their being studied upon, is often cited as one of the most important difficulties involved in social scientific experiments, and yet, there is to date a persistent conceptual muddle when dealing with the many dimensions of reactivity. This paper offers a conceptual framework for reactivity that draws on an interventionist approach to causality. The framework allows us to offer an unambiguous definition of reactivity and distinguishes (...)
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  10.  5
    The Principal Principle, admissibility, and normal informal standards of what is reasonable.Jürgen Landes, Christian Wallmann & Jon Williamson - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-15.
    This paper highlights the role of Lewis’ Principal Principle and certain auxiliary conditions on admissibility as serving to explicate normal informal standards of what is reasonable. These considerations motivate the presuppositions of the argument that the Principal Principle implies the Principle of Indifference, put forward by Hawthorne et al.. They also suggest a line of response to recent criticisms of that argument, due to Pettigrew and Titelbaum and Hart, 621–632, 2020). The paper also shows that related concerns of Hart and (...)
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  11.  15
    A mistaken confidence in data.Edouard Machery - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-17.
    In this paper I explore an underdiscussed factor contributing to the replication crisis: Scientists, and following them policy makers, often neglect sources of errors in the production and interpretation of data and thus overestimate what can be learnt from them. This neglect leads scientists to conduct experiments that are insufficiently informative and science consumers, including other scientists, to put too much weight on experimental results. The former leads to fragile empirical literatures, the latter to surprise and disappointment when the fragility (...)
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  12.  5
    Introduction to topical collection on perspectivism in science: metaphysical and epistemological reflections.Michela Massimi - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-2.
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  13.  69
    Information and Explanation: An Inconsistent Triad and Solution.Mark Povich - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-17.
    An important strand in philosophy of science takes scientific explanation to consist in the conveyance of some kind of information. Here I argue that this idea is also implicit in some core arguments of mechanists, some of whom are proponents of an ontic conception of explanation that might be thought inconsistent with it. However, informational accounts seem to conflict with some lay and scientific commonsense judgments and a central goal of the theory of explanation, because information is relative to the (...)
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  14.  2
    Misconceptions, conceptual pluralism, and conceptual toolkits: bringing the philosophy of science to the teaching of evolution.Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-23.
    This paper explores how work in the philosophy of science can be used when teaching scientific content to science students and when training future science teachers. I examine the debate on the concept of fitness in biology and in the philosophy of biology to show how conceptual pluralism constitutes a problem for the conceptual change model, and how philosophical work on conceptual clarification can be used to address that problem. The case of fitness exemplifies how the philosophy of science offers (...)
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  15.  3
    Feyerabend, funding, and the freedom of science: the case of traditional Chinese medicine.Jamie Shaw - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-27.
    From the 1970s onwards, Feyerabend argues against the freedom of science. This will seem strange to some, as his epistemological anarchism is often taken to suggest that scientists should be free of even the most basic and obvious norms of science. His argument against the freedom of science is heavily influenced by his case study of the interference of Chinese communists in mainland China during the 1950s wherein the government forced local universities to continue researching traditional Chinese medicine rather than (...)
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  16.  2
    Making our “meta-hypotheses” clear: heterogeneity and the role of direct replications in science.Eirik Strømland - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-19.
    This paper argues that some of the discussion around meta-scientific issues can be viewed as an argument over different “meta-hypotheses” – assumptions made about how different hypotheses in a scientific literature relate to each other. I argue that, currently, such meta-hypotheses are typically left unstated except in methodological papers and that the consequence of this practice is that it is hard to determine what can be learned from a direct replication study. I argue in favor of a procedure dubbed the (...)
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  17.  11
    Metaphors in Arts and Science.Walter Veit & Ney Milan - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaphors abound in both the arts and in science. Due to the traditional division between these enterprises as one concerned with aesthetic values and the other with epistemic values there has unfortunately been very little work on the relation between metaphors in the arts and sciences. In this paper, we aim to remedy this omission by defending a continuity thesis regarding the function of metaphor across both domains, that is, metaphors fulfill any of the same functions in science as they (...)
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  18.  6
    IBE in Engineering Science - the Case of Malfunction Explanation.Kristian González Barman & Dingmar van Eck - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    In this paper we investigate how inference to the best explanation works in engineering science, focussing on the context of malfunction explanation. While IBE has gotten a lot of attention in the philosophy of science literature, few, if any, philosophical work has focussed on IBE in engineering science practice. We first show that IBE in engineering science has a similar structure as IBE in other scientific domains in the sense that in both settings IBE hinges on the weighing of explanatory (...)
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  19. Data models, representation and adequacy-for-purpose.Alisa Bokulich & Wendy Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    We critically engage two traditional views of scientific data and outline a novel philosophical view that we call the pragmatic-representational view of data. On the PR view, data are representations that are the product of a process of inquiry, and they should be evaluated in terms of their adequacy or fitness for particular purposes. Some important implications of the PR view for data assessment, related to misrepresentation, context-sensitivity, and complementary use, are highlighted. The PR view provides insight into the common (...)
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  20.  6
    Explication as a Three-Step Procedure: The Case of the Church-Turing Thesis.Matteo De Benedetto - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-28.
    In recent years two different axiomatic characterizations of the intuitive concept of effective calculability have been proposed, one by Sieg and the other by Dershowitz and Gurevich. Analyzing them from the perspective of Carnapian explication, I argue that these two characterizations explicate the intuitive notion of effective calculability in two different ways. I will trace back these two ways to Turing’s and Kolmogorov’s informal analyses of the intuitive notion of calculability and to their respective outputs: the notion of computorability and (...)
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  21.  30
    Quantum ontology without speculation.Matthias Egg - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    Existing proposals concerning the ontology of quantum mechanics either involve speculation that goes beyond the scientific evidence or abandon realism about large parts of QM. This paper proposes a way out of this dilemma, by showing that QM as it is formulated in standard textbooks allows for a much more substantive ontological commitment than is usually acknowledged. For this purpose, I defend a non-fundamentalist approach to ontology, which is then applied to various aspects of QM. In particular, I will defend (...)
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  22.  5
    Creativity as potentially valuable improbable constructions.Mark Fedyk & Fei Xu - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-24.
    We argue that creative ideas are potentially valuable improbable constructions. We arrive at this formulation of creativity after considering several problems that arise for the theories that suggest that creativity is novelty, originality, or usefulness. Our theory avoids these problems. But since we also derive our theory of creativity from the scientific commitments of a more general theory of cognitive development, a theory called rational constructivism, our theory is unique insofar as it explains creativity in both adults and children through (...)
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  23.  3
    Experimenter as Automaton; Experimenter as Human: Exploring the Position of the Researcher in Scientific Research.Sarahanne M. Field & Maarten Derksen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    The crisis of confidence in the social sciences has many corollaries which impact our research practices. One of these is a push towards maximal and mechanical objectivity in quantitative research. This stance is reinforced by major journals and academic institutions that subtly yet certainly link objectivity with integrity and rigor. The converse implication of this may be an association between subjectivity and low quality. Subjectivity is one of qualitative methodology’s best assets, however. In qualitative methodology, that subjectivity is often given (...)
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  24.  10
    The Role of Replication in Psychological Science.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    The replication or reproducibility crisis in psychological science has renewed attention to philosophical aspects of its methodology. I provide herein a new, functional account of the role of replication in a scientific discipline: to undercut the underdetermination of scientific hypotheses from data, typically by hypotheses that connect data with phenomena. These include hypotheses that concern sampling error, experimental control, and operationalization. How a scientific hypothesis could be underdetermined in one of these ways depends on a scientific discipline’s epistemic goals, theoretical (...)
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  25.  8
    The Self and its Causal Powers Between Metaphysics and Science.Rodolfo Giorgi & Andrea Lavazza - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-25.
    According to the thesis of powerism, our world is pervaded by causal powers which are metaphysically basic. The aim of this paper is to defend the existence of the self, defined as a substantial entity, and its mental powers. This claim, which may seem a bold one, should not be deemed as inconsistent with scientific evidence. In fact, this approach does not ignore empirical knowledge, but is not bound only to it in order to understand entities, properties, and the relationship (...)
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  26.  50
    The modal status of the laws of nature. Tahko’s hybrid view and the kinematical/dynamical distinction.Salim Hirèche, Niels Linnemann, Robert Michels & Lisa Vogt - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-15.
    In a recent paper, Tuomas Tahko has argued for a hybrid view of the laws of nature, according to which some physical laws are metaphysically necessary, while others are metaphysically contingent. In this paper, we show that his criterion for distinguishing between these two kinds of laws — which crucially relies on the essences of natural kinds — is on its own unsatisfactory. We then propose an alternative way of drawing the metaphysically necessary/contingent distinction for laws of physics based on (...)
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  27.  3
    Three Noncontextual Hidden Variable Models for the Peres-Mermin Square.Gábor Hofer-Szabó - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-12.
    I will argue that the Peres-Mermin square does not necessarily rule out a value-definite noncontextual hidden variable model if the operators are not given a physical interpretation satisfying the following two requirements: each operator is uniquely realized by a single physical measurement; commuting operators are realized by simultaneous measurements. To underpin this claim, I will construct three hidden variable models for three different physical realizations of the Peres-Mermin square: one violating, another violating, and a third one violating both and.
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  28.  65
    No Laws and (Thin) Powers in, No (Governing) Laws Out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    Non-Humean accounts of the metaphysics of nature posit either laws or powers in order to account for natural necessity and world-order. We argue that such monistic views face fundamental problems. On the one hand, neo-Aristotelians cannot give unproblematic power-based accounts of the functional laws among quantities offered by physical theories, as well as of the place of conservation laws and symmetries in a lawless ontology; in order to capture these characteristics, commitment to governing laws is indispensable. On the other hand, (...)
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  29.  15
    The mechanistic stance.Jonny Lee & Joe Dewhurst - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    It is generally acknowledged by proponents of ‘new mechanism’ that mechanistic explanation involves adopting a perspective, but there is less agreement on how we should understand this perspective-taking or what its implications are for practising science. This paper examines the perspectival nature of mechanistic explanation through the lens of the ‘mechanistic stance’, which falls somewhere between Dennett’s more familiar physical and design stance. We argue this approach implies three distinct and significant ways in which mechanistic explanation can be interpreted as (...)
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  30.  4
    Evidence based methodology: a naturalistic analysis of epistemic policies in regulatory science.José Luis Luján & Oliver Todt - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    In this paper we argue for a naturalistic solution to some of the methodological controversies in regulatory science, on the basis of two case studies: toxicology and health claim regulation. We analyze the debates related to the scientific evidence that is considered necessary for regulatory decision making in each of those two fields, with a particular attention to the interactions between scientific and regulatory aspects. This analysis allows us to identify two general stances in the debate: a) one that argues (...)
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  31.  7
    Cosmic Bayes. Datasets and Priors in the Hunt for Dark Energy.Michela Massimi - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    Bayesian methods are ubiquitous in contemporary observational cosmology. They enter into three main tasks: cross-checking datasets for consistency; fixing constraints on cosmological parameters; and model selection. This article explores some epistemic limits of using Bayesian methods. The first limit concerns the degree of informativeness of the Bayesian priors and an ensuing methodological tension between task and task. The second limit concerns the choice of wide flat priors and related tension between parameter estimation and model selection. The Dark Energy Survey and (...)
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  32. Hidden Figures: Epistemic Costs and Benefits of Detecting (Invisible) Diversity in Science.Uwe Peters - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    Demographic diversity might often be present in a group without group members noticing it. What are the epistemic effects if they do? Several philosophers and social scientists have recently argued that when individuals detect demographic diversity in their group, this can result in epistemic benefits even if that diversity doesn’t involve cognitive differences. Here I critically discuss research advocating this proposal, introduce a distinction between two types of detection of demographic diversity, and apply this distinction to the theorizing on diversity (...)
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  33.  74
    Natural kind terms again.Panu Raatikainen - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-17.
    The new externalist picture of natural kind terms due to Kripke, Putnam, and others has become quite popular in philosophy. Many philosophers of science have remained sceptical. Häggqvist and Wikforss have recently criticised this view severely. They contend it depends essentially on a micro-essentialist view of natural kinds that is widely rejected among philosophers of science, and that a scientifically reasonable metaphysics entails the resurrection of some version of descriptivism. It is argued in this paper that the situation is not (...)
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  34.  7
    Constitutive elements through perspectival lenses.Mariano Sanjuán - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-18.
    Recent debates in philosophy of science have witnessed the rise of two major proposals. On the one hand, regarding the conceptual structure of scientific theories, some believe that they exhibit constitutive elements. The constitutive elements of a theory are the components that play the role of laying the foundations of empirical meaningfulness, and whose acceptance is prior to empirical research. On the other hand, as for the nature of scientific knowledge and its relation to nature, perspectival realism has pursued a (...)
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  35.  16
    What Price Changing Laws of Nature?Olivier Sartenaer, Alexandre Guay & Paul Humphreys - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    In this paper, we show that it is not a conceptual truth about laws of nature that they are immutable. In order to do so, we survey three popular accounts of lawhood— necessitarianism, dispositionalism and ‘best system analysis’—and expose the extent, as well as the philosophical cost, of the amendments that should be enforced in order to leave room for the possibility of changing laws.
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  36.  10
    Rethinking creative intelligence: comparative psychology and the concept of creativity.Henry Shevlin - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    The concept of creativity is a central one in folk psychological explanation and has long been prominent in philosophical debates about the nature of art, genius, and the imagination. The scientific investigation of creativity in humans is also well established, and there has been increasing interest in the question of whether the concept can be rigorously applied to non-human animals. In this paper, I argue that such applications face serious challenges of both a conceptual and methodological character, reflecting deep controversies (...)
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  37.  3
    Cosmic hylomorphism: A powerist ontology of quantum mechanics.William M. R. Simpson - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-25.
    The primitive ontology approach to quantum mechanics seeks to account for quantum phenomena in terms of a distribution of matter in three-dimensional space and a law of nature that describes its temporal development. This approach to explaining quantum phenomena is compatible with either a Humean or powerist account of laws. In this paper, I offer a powerist ontology in which the law is specified by Bohmian mechanics for a global configuration of particles. Unlike in other powerist ontologies, however, this law (...)
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  38.  3
    Making coherent senses of success in scientific modeling.Beckett Sterner & Christopher DiTeresi - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-20.
    Making sense of why something succeeded or failed is central to scientific practice: it provides an interpretation of what happened, i.e. an hypothesized explanation for the results, that informs scientists’ deliberations over their next steps. In philosophy, the realism debate has dominated the project of making sense of scientists’ success and failure claims, restricting its focus to whether truth or reliability best explain science’s most secure successes. Our aim, in contrast, will be to expand and advance the practice-oriented project sketched (...)
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  39. On the categoricity of quantum mechanics.Iulian D. Toader - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-14.
    The paper offers an argument against an intuitive reading of the Stone-von Neumann theorem as a categoricity result, thereby pointing out that this theorem does not entail any model-theoretical difference between the theories that validate it and those that don't.
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  40.  10
    Perspectival Pluralism for Animal Welfare.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-14.
    Animal welfare has a long history of disregard. While in recent decades the study of animal welfare has become a scientific discipline of its own, the difficulty of measuring animal welfare can still be vastly underestimated. There are three primary theories, or perspectives, on animal welfare - biological functioning, natural living and affective state. These come with their own diverse methods of measurement, each providing a limited perspective on an aspect of welfare. This paper describes a perspectival pluralist account of (...)
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