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  1. Distal Content in Informational Teleosemantics: Challenges from Colour Constancy and Colour Chemistry.Lance Balthazar - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In general, visual experiences represent determinately. And visual experiences, generally, represent properties of distal objects like their colour, shape, and size, but they do not, generally, represent properties of proximal states like that of incoming light or the retina. By making perceptual constancies central to perceptual representation, Peter Schulte extends Karen Neander’s Causal-Informational Teleosemantic theory in order to accommodate these facts. However, by appealing to the psychophysics and chemistry of how light-related properties interact to produce stimulation to the visual system (...)
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  2. In defence of science: Two ways to rehabilitate Reichenbach's vindication of induction.Jochen Briesen - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Confronted with the problem of induction, Hans Reichenbach accepts that we cannot justify that induction is reliable. He tries to solve the problem by proving a weaker proposition: that induction is an optimal method of prediction, because it is guaranteed not to be worse and may be better than any alternative. Regarding the most serious objection to his approach, Reichenbach himself hints at an answer without spelling it out. In this paper, I will argue that there are two workable strategies (...)
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  3.  68
    A Falsificationist Account of Artificial Neural Networks.Oliver Buchholz & Eric Raidl - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Machine learning operates at the intersection of statistics and computer science. This raises the question as to its underlying methodology. While much emphasis has been put on the close link between the process of learning from data and induction, the falsificationist component of machine learning has received minor attention. In this paper, we argue that the idea of falsification is central to the methodology of machine learning. It is commonly thought that machine learning algorithms infer general prediction rules from past (...)
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  4. The Problem of Molecular Structure Just Is The Measurement Problem.Alexander Franklin & Vanessa Angela Seifert - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Whether or not quantum physics can account for molecular structure is a matter of considerable controversy. Three of the problems raised in this regard are the problems of molecular structure. We argue that these problems are just special cases of the measurement problem of quantum mechanics: insofar as the measurement problem is solved, the problems of molecular structure are resolved as well. In addition, we explore one consequence of our argument: that claims about the reduction or emergence of molecular structure (...)
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  5. Against Prohibition (Or, When Using Ordinal Scales to Compare Groups Is OK).Cristian Larroulet Philippi - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    There is a widely held view on measurement inferences, that goes back to Stevens’s ([1946]) theory of measurement scales and ‘permissible statistics’. This view defends the following prohibition: you should not make inferences from averages taken with ordinal scales (versus quantitative scales: interval or ratio). This prohibition is general—it applies to all ordinal scales—and it is sometimes endorsed without qualification. Adhering to it dramatically limits the research that the social and biomedical sciences can conduct. I provide a Bayesian analysis of (...)
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  6. Causation and the conservation of energy in general relativity.Sebastián Murgueitio Ramírez, James Read & Andres Paez - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Consensus in the contemporary philosophical literature has it that conserved quantity theories of causation such as that of Dowe [2000]—according to which causation is to be analysed in terms of the exchange of conserved quantities (e.g., energy)—face damning problems when confronted with contemporary physics, where the notion of conservation becomes delicate. In particular, in general relativity it is often claimed that there simply are no conservation laws for (say) total-stress energy. If this claim is correct, it is difficult to see (...)
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  7. Evidentialism, Inertia, and Imprecise Probability.William Peden - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:1-23.
    Evidentialists say that a necessary condition of sound epistemic reasoning is that our beliefs reflect only our evidence. This thesis arguably conflicts with standard Bayesianism, due to the importance of prior probabilities in the latter. Some evidentialists have responded by modelling belief-states using imprecise probabilities (Joyce 2005). However, Roger White (2010) and Aron Vallinder (2018) argue that this Imprecise Bayesianism is incompatible with evidentialism due to “inertia”, where Imprecise Bayesian agents become stuck in a state of ambivalence towards hypotheses. Additionally, (...)
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  8. On the Mathematics and Metaphysics of the Hole Argument.Oliver Pooley & James Read - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We make some remarks on the mathematics and metaphysics of the hole argument, in response to a recent article in this journal by Weatherall ([2018]). Broadly speaking, we defend the mainstream philosophical literature from the claim that correct usage of the mathematics of general relativity `blocks' the argument.
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  9.  32
    The Ambiguity Dilemma for Imprecise Bayesians.Mantas Radzvilas, William Peden & Francesco De Pretis - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    How should we make decisions when we do not know the relevant physical probabilities? In these ambiguous situations, we cannot use our knowledge to determine expected utilities or payoffs. The traditional Bayesian answer is that we should create a probability distribution using some mix of subjective intuition and objective constraints. Imprecise Bayesians argue that this approach is inadequate for modelling ambiguity. Instead, they represent doxastic states using credal sets. Generally, insofar as we are more uncertain about the physical probability of (...)
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  10. Normative Formal Epistemology as Modelling.Joe Roussos - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    I argue that normative formal epistemology (NFE) is best understood as modelling, in the sense that this is the reconstruction of its methodology on which NFE is doing best. I focus on Bayesianism and show that it has the characteristics of modelling. But modelling is a scientific enterprise, while NFE is normative. I thus develop an account of normative models on which they are idealised representations put to normative purposes. Normative assumptions, such as the transitivity of comparative credence, are characterised (...)
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  11. Mechanistic Explanations and Teleological Functions.Andrew Rubner - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper defines and defends a notion of teleological function which is fit to figure in explanations concerning how organic systems, and the items which compose them, are able to perform certain activities, such as surviving and reproducing or pumping blood. According to this notion, a teleological function of an item (such as the heart) is a typical way in which items of that type contribute to some containing system's ability to do some activity. An account of what it is (...)
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  12. Fast Science.Jacob Stegenga - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    If scientists violate principles and practices of routine science to quickly develop interventions against catastrophic threats, they are engaged in what I call fast science. The magnitude, imminence, and plausibility of a threat justify engaging in and acting on fast science. Yet, that justification is incomplete. I defend two principles to assess fast science, which say: fast science should satisfy as much as possible the reliability-enhancing features of routine science, and the fast science developing an intervention against a threat should (...)
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  13. Why Confirm Laws?Barry Ward - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We argue that a particular approach to satisfying the broad predictive ambitions of the sciences demands law confirmation. On this approach we confirm non-nomic generalizations by confirming there are no actually realized ways of causing disconfirming cases. This gives causal generalizations a crucial role in prediction. We then show how rational judgements of relevant causal similarity can be used to confirm that causal generalizations themselves have no actual disconfirmers, providing a distinctive and clearly viable methodology for inductively confirming them. Finally, (...)
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  14. A Pluralist Perspective on Shape Constancy.E. J. Green - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The ability to perceive the shapes of things as enduring through changes in how they stimulate our sense organs is vital to our sense of stability in the world. But what sort of capacity is shape constancy, and how is it reflected in perceptual experience? This paper defends a pluralist account of shape constancy: There are multiple kinds of shape constancy centered on geometrical properties at various levels of abstraction, and properties at these various levels feature in the content of (...)
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  15. Fixing Stochastic Dominance.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Decision theorists widely accept a stochastic dominance principle: roughly, if a risky prospect A is at least as probable as another prospect B to result in something at least as good, then A is at least as good as B. Recently, philosophers have applied this principle even in contexts where the values of possible outcomes do not have the structure of the real numbers: this includes cases of incommensurable values and cases of infinite values. But in these contexts the usual (...)
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  16. Pain: Modularity and Cognitive Constitution.Błażej Skrzypulec - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Discussions concerning the modularity of the pain system have been focused on questions regarding the cognitive penetrability of pain mechanisms. It has been claimed that phenomena such as placebo analgesia demonstrate that the pain system is cognitively penetrated; therefore, it is not encapsulated from central cognition. However, important arguments have been formulated which aim to show that cognitive penetrability does not in fact entail a lack of modularity of the pain system. This paper offers an alternative way to reject the (...)
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  17. Why Experimental Balance is Still a Reason to Randomize.David Teira & Marco Martinez - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Experimental balance is usually understood as the control for the value of the conditions, other than the one under study, which are liable to affect the result of a test. We will discuss three different approaches to balance. ‘Millean balance’ requires to identify and equalize ex ante the value of these conditions in order to conduct solid causal inferences. ‘Fisherian balance’ measures ex post the influence of uncontrolled conditions through the analysis of variance. In ‘efficiency balance’ the value of the (...)
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