Year:

  1.  7
    Peter J. Lewis. Quantum Ontology: A Guide to the Metaphysics of Quantum Mechanics.Valia Allori - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):735-738.
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  2.  1
    What Preferences Really Are.Erik Angner - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):660-681.
    Daniel M. Hausman holds that preferences in economics are total subjective comparative evaluations—subjective judgments to the effect that something is better than something else all things told—and that economists are right to employ this conception of preference. Here, I argue against both parts of Hausman’s thesis. The failure of Hausman’s account, I continue, reflects a deeper problem, that is, that preferences in economics do not need an explicit definition of the kind that he seeks. Nonetheless, Hausman’s labors were not in (...)
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  3.  10
    Modeling: Neutral, Null, and Baseline.William C. Bausman - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):594-616.
    Two strategies for using a model as “null” are distinguished. Null modeling evaluates whether a process is causally responsible for a pattern by testing it against a null model. Baseline modeling measures the relative significance of various processes responsible for a pattern by detecting deviations from a baseline model. When these strategies are conflated, models are illegitimately privileged as accepted until rejected. I illustrate this using the neutral theory of ecology and draw general lessons from this case. First, scientists cannot (...)
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  4.  2
    The Importance of Constraints and Control in Biological Mechanisms: Insights From Cancer Research.William Bechtel - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):573-593.
    Research on diseases such as cancer reveals that primary mechanisms, which have been the focus of study by the new mechanists in philosophy of science, are often subject to control by other mechanisms. Cancer cells employ the same primary mechanisms as healthy cells but control them differently. I use cancer research to highlight just how widespread control is in individual cells. To provide a framework for understanding control, I reconceptualize mechanisms as imposing constraints on flows of free energy, with control (...)
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  5.  6
    Bayesianism and Explanatory Unification: A Compatibilist Account.Thomas Blanchard - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):682-703.
    Proponents of IBE claim that the ability of a hypothesis to explain a range of phenomena in a unifying way contributes to the hypothesis’s credibility in light of these phenomena. I propose a Bayesian justification of this claim that reveals a hitherto unnoticed role for explanatory unification in evaluating the plausibility of a hypothesis: considerations of explanatory unification enter into the determination of a hypothesis’s prior by affecting its ‘explanatory coherence’, that is, the extent to which the hypothesis offers mutually (...)
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  6.  4
    Review of Karen Neander’s A Mark of the Mental: In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics. [REVIEW]Justin Garson - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):726-734.
  7.  22
    What Emotions Really Are (In the Theory of Constructed Emotion).Jeremy Pober - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):640-59.
    Recently, Lisa Feldman Barrett and colleagues have introduced the Theory of Constructed Emotions (TCE), in which emotions are constituted by a process of categorizing the self as being in an emotional state. The view, however, has several counterintuitive implications: for instance, a person can have multiple distinct emotions at once. Further, the TCE concludes that emotions are constitutively social phenomena. In this article, I explicate the TCE*, which, while substantially similar to the TCE, makes several distinct claims aimed at avoiding (...)
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  8.  10
    “Antiscience Zealotry”? Values, Epistemic Risk, and the GMO Debate.Justin B. Biddle - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):360-379.
    This article argues that the controversy over genetically modified crops is best understood not in terms of the supposed bias, dishonesty, irrationality, or ignorance on the part of proponents or critics, but rather in terms of differences in values. To do this, the article draws on and extends recent work of the role of values and interests in science, focusing particularly on inductive risk and epistemic risk, and it shows how the GMO debate can help to further our understanding of (...)
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  9.  6
    Evidence Enriched.Nora Mills Boyd - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):403-421.
    Traditionally, empiricism has relied on the specialness of human observation, yet science is rife with sophisticated instrumentation and techniques. The present article advances a conception of empirical evidence applicable to actual scientific practice. I argue that this conception elucidates how the results of scientific research can be repurposed across diverse epistemic contexts: it helps to make sense of how evidence accumulates across theory change, how different evidence can be amalgamated and used jointly, and how the same evidence can be used (...)
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  10.  6
    Explanatory Justice: The Case of Disjunctive Explanations.Michael Cohen - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):442-454.
    Recent years have witnessed an effort to explicate the concept of explanatory power in a Bayesian framework by constructing explanatory measures. It has been argued that those measures should not violate the principle of explanatory justice, which states that explanatory power cannot be extended “for free.” I argue, by formal means, that one recent measure claiming to be immune from explanatory injustice fails to be so. I end by concluding that the explanatory justice criticism can be dissolved, given a natural (...)
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  11.  5
    Indexically Structured Ecological Communities.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):501-522.
    Ecological communities are seldom, if ever, biological individuals. They lack causal boundaries as the populations that constitute communities are not congruent and rarely have persistent functional roles regulating the communities’ higher-level properties. Instead we should represent ecological communities indexically, by identifying ecological communities via the network of weak causal interactions between populations that unfurl from a starting set of populations. This precisification of ecological communities helps identify how community properties remain invariant, and why they have robust characteristics. This respects the (...)
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  12.  49
    Fundamentality and Time’s Arrow.Christian Loew - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):483-500.
    The distribution of matter in our universe is strikingly time asymmetric. Most famously, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that entropy tends to increase toward the future but not toward the past. But what explains this time-asymmetric distribution of matter? In this paper, I explore the idea that time itself has a direction by drawing from recent work on grounding and metaphysical fundamentality. I will argue that positing such a direction of time, in addition to time-asymmetric boundary conditions, enables a (...)
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  13.  6
    Review of Marie Kaiser's Reductive Explanation in the Biological Sciences. [REVIEW]Alan Love - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):523-529.
    Reductive explanations are psychologically seductive; when given two explanations, people prefer the one that refers to lower-level components or processes to account for the phenomena under consideration even when information about these lower levels is irrelevant (Hopkins, Weisberg, and Taylor 2016). Maybe individuals assume that a reductive explanation is what a scientific explanation should look like (e.g., neuroscience should explain psychology) or presume that information about lower-level components or processes is more explanatory (e.g., molecular detail explains better than anatomical detail). (...)
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  14.  3
    New Perspectives on Reductionism in Biology.Alan C. Love - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):523-529.
    Reductive explanations are psychologically seductive; when given two explanations, people prefer the one that refers to lower-level components or processes to account for the phenomena under consideration even when information about these lower levels is irrelevant. Maybe individuals assume that a reductive explanation is what a scientific explanation should look like (e.g., neuroscience should explain psychology) or presume that information about lower-level components or processes is more explanatory (e.g., molecular detail explains better than anatomical detail). Philosophers have been analyzing reduction (...)
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  15.  8
    Perspectival Modeling.Michela Massimi - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):335-359.
    The goal of this article is to address the problem of inconsistent models and the challenge it poses for perspectivism. I analyze the argument, draw attention to some hidden premises behind it, and deflate them. Then I introduce the notion of perspectival models as a distinctive class of modeling practices whose primary function is exploratory. I illustrate perspectival modeling with two examples taken from contemporary high-energy physics at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which are (...)
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  16.  8
    Discrimination and Collaboration in Science.Hannah Rubin & Cailin O’Connor - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):380-402.
    We use game theoretic models to take an in-depth look at the dynamics of discrimination and academic collaboration. We find that in collaboration networks, small minority groups may be more likely to end up being discriminated against while collaborating. We also find that discrimination can lead members of different social groups to mostly collaborate with in-group members, decreasing the effective diversity of the social network. Drawing on previous work, we discuss how decreases in the diversity of scientific collaborations might negatively (...)
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  17.  6
    Review of Sabina Leonelli’s Data-Centric Biology: A Philosophical Study. [REVIEW]Beckett Sterner - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):540-550.
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  18.  8
    Data, Evidence, and Explanatory Power.Pascal Ströing - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):422-441.
    Influential classical and recent approaches to explicate confirmation, explanation, or explanatory power define these relations or degrees between hypotheses and evidence. This holds for both deductive and Bayesian approaches. However, this neglects the role of data, which for many everyday and scientific examples cannot simply be classified as evidence. I present arguments to sharply distinguish data from evidence in Bayesian approaches. Taking into account this distinction, we can rewrite Schupbach and Sprenger’s measure of explanatory power and show the strengths of (...)
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  19.  2
    Review of Jonathan Bain’s CPT Invariance and the Spin-Statistics Connection. [REVIEW]Noel Swanson - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):530-539.
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  20.  11
    Maxwell Gravitation.Neil Dewar - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):249-270.
    This article gives an explicit presentation of Newtonian gravitation on the backdrop of Maxwell space-time, giving a sense in which acceleration is relative in gravitational theory. However, caution is needed: assessing whether this is a robust or interesting sense of the relativity of acceleration depends on some subtle technical issues and on substantive philosophical questions over how to identify the space-time structure of a theory.
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  21.  72
    On the Renormalization Group Explanation of Universality.Alexander Franklin - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):225-248.
    It is commonly claimed that the universality of critical phenomena is explained through particular applications of the renormalization group. This article has three aims: to clarify the structure of the explanation of universality, to discuss the physics of such RG explanations, and to examine the extent to which universality is thus explained. The derivation of critical exponents proceeds via a real-space or a field-theoretic approach to the RG. Building on work by Mainwood, this article argues that these approaches ought to (...)
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  22.  15
    What Do Object Files Pick Out?Edwin Green - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):177-200.
    Many authors have posited an “object file” system, which underlies perceptual selection and tracking of objects. Several have proposed that this system internalizes principles specifying what counts as an object and relies on them during tracking. Here I consider a popular view on which the object file system is tuned to entities that satisfy principles of three-dimensionality, cohesion, and boundedness. I argue that the evidence gathered in support of this view is consistent with a more permissive view on which object (...)
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  23.  15
    What’s the Point of Ceteris Paribus? Or, How to Understand Supply and Demand Curves.Jennifer S. Jhun - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):271-292.
    Philosophers sometimes claim that economics, and the idealizing strategies it employs, is ultimately unable to provide genuine laws of nature. Therefore, unlike physics, it does not qualify as an actual science. Careful consideration of thermodynamics, a well-developed physical theory, reveals substantial parallels with economic methodology. The corrective account of scientific understanding I offer appreciates these parallels: understanding in terms of efficient performance.
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  24.  6
    Richard Pettigrew. Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Chad Marxen & Gerard Rothfus - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):316-320.
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  25.  5
    An Axiomatic Theory of Inductive Inference.Luciano Pomatto & Alvaro Sandroni - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):293-315.
    This article develops an axiomatic theory of induction that speaks to the recent debate on Bayesian orgulity. It shows the exact principles associated with the belief that data can corroborate universal laws. We identify two types of disbelief about induction: skepticism that the existence of universal laws of nature can be determined empirically, and skepticism that the true law of nature, if it exists, can be successfully identified. We formalize and characterize these two dispositions toward induction by introducing novel axioms (...)
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  26.  4
    Kenneth F. Schaffner. Behaving: What’s Genetic, What’s Not, and Why Should We Care?James Tabery - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):321-324.
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  27.  4
    Recovering Recovery: On the Relationship Between Gauge Symmetry and Trautman Recovery.Nicholas Teh - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (2):201-224.
    This article uncovers a foundational relationship between the ‘gauge symmetry’ of a Newton-Cartan theory and the celebrated Trautman Recovery Theorem and explores its implications for recent philosophical work on Newton-Cartan gravitation.
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  28.  9
    Standards for Modest Bayesian Credences.Jessi Cisewski, Joseph B. Kadane, Mark J. Schervish, Teddy Seidenfeld & Rafael Stern - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):53-78.
    Gordon Belot argues that Bayesian theory is epistemologically immodest. In response, we show that the topological conditions that underpin his criticisms of asymptotic Bayesian conditioning are self-defeating. They require extreme a priori credences regarding, for example, the limiting behavior of observed relative frequencies. We offer a different explication of Bayesian modesty using a goal of consensus: rival scientific opinions should be responsive to new facts as a way to resolve their disputes. Also we address Adam Elga’s rebuttal to Belot’s analysis, (...)
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  29.  7
    On the Choice of Algebra for Quantization.Benjamin H. Feintzeig - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):102-125.
    In this article, I examine the relationship between physical quantities and physical states in quantum theories. I argue against the claim made by Arageorgis that the approach to interpreting quantum theories known as Algebraic Imperialism allows for “too many states.” I prove a result establishing that the Algebraic Imperialist has very general resources that she can employ to change her abstract algebra of quantities in order to rule out unphysical states.
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  30.  6
    Inductive Risk and Regulatory Toxicology: A Comment on de Melo-Martín and Intemann.Daniel Hicks - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):164-174.
    Inmaculada de Melo-Martín and Kristen Intemann consider whether, from the perspective of the argument from inductive risk, ethical and political values might be logically, epistemically, pragmatically, or ethically necessary in the “core” of scientific reasoning. In each case, they argue that there are significant conceptual problems. In this comment, employing regulatory uses of high-throughput toxicology at the US Environmental Protection Agency as a case study, I respond to some of their claims about the notion of “pragmatic necessity.” I conclude that, (...)
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  31.  14
    Bayes, Bounds, and Rational Analysis.Thomas F. Icard - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):79-101.
    While Bayesian models have been applied to an impressive range of cognitive phenomena, methodological challenges have been leveled concerning their role in the program of rational analysis. The focus of the current article is on computational impediments to probabilistic inference and related puzzles about empirical confirmation of these models. The proposal is to rethink the role of Bayesian methods in rational analysis, to adopt an independently motivated notion of rationality appropriate for computationally bounded agents, and to explore broad conditions under (...)
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  32.  13
    Old Evidence in the Development of Quantum Theory.Molly Kao - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):126-143.
    In this article, I evaluate Hartmann and Fitelson’s solution to the Bayesian problem of old evidence by applying it to an early stage in the development of quantum theory. I argue that this case study suggests that whether old evidence is anomalous affects its support for a hypothesis. I introduce and defend two formal assumptions to accommodate this idea. This analysis not only explicates an important historical example, but it also shows that the given solution captures the intuitive importance of (...)
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  33. Letting Go of “Natural Kind”: Toward a Multidimensional Framework of Nonarbitrary Classification.Ludwig David - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):31-52.
    This article uses the case study of ethnobiological classification to develop a positive and a negative thesis about the state of natural kind debates. On the one hand, I argue that current accounts of natural kinds can be integrated in a multidimensional framework that advances understanding of classificatory practices in ethnobiology. On the other hand, I argue that such a multidimensional framework does not leave any substantial work for the notion “natural kind” and that attempts to formulate a general account (...)
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  34.  5
    The Debate Over Inclusive Fitness as a Debate Over Methodologies.Hannah Rubin - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):1-30.
    This article analyzes the recent debate surrounding inclusive fitness and argues that certain limitations ascribed to it by critics—such as requiring weak selection or providing dynamically insufficient models—are better thought of as limitations of the methodological framework most often used with inclusive fitness. In support of this, I show how inclusive fitness can be used with the replicator dynamics. I conclude that much of the debate is best understood as being about the orthogonal issue of using abstract versus idealized models.
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  35.  10
    Values and Data Collection in Social Research.Julie Zahle - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (1):144-163.
    In this article, I offer a partial analysis of the role of values in qualitative data collection in social research. The partial analysis shows that nonepistemic values have both required and permissible roles to play during this phase of research. By appeal to the analysis, I reject the ideal of value-free science as applied to qualitative data collection, and I demonstrate why two alternative ideals should likewise be dismissed as standards for values in qualitative data collection. Also, I briefly discuss (...)
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  36. Representing and Explaining: The Eikonic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Alisa Bokulich - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    The ontic conception of explanation, according to which explanations are "full-bodied things in the world," is fundamentally misguided. I argue instead for what I call the eikonic conception, according to which explanations are the product of an epistemic activity involving representations of the phenomena to be explained. What is explained in the first instance is a particular conceptualization of the explanandum phenomenon, contextualized within a given research program or explanatory project. I conclude that this eikonic conception has a number of (...)
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  37.  7
    The Public Understanding of What? Laypersons' Epistemic Needs, the Division of Cognitive Labor, and the Demarcation of Science.Arnon Keren - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    What must laypersons understand about science to allow them to make sound decisions on science-related issues? Relying on recent developments in social epistemology, this paper argues that scientific education should have the goal not of bringing laypersons' understanding of science closer to that of expert insiders, but rather of cultivating the kind of competence characteristic of “competent outsiders” (Feinstein 2011). Moreover, it argues that philosophers of science have an important role to play in attempts to promote this kind of understanding, (...)
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  38.  7
    On the Explanatory Depth and Pragmatic Value of Coarse-Grained, Probabilistic, Causal Explanations.David Kinney - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    This article considers the popular thesis that a more proportional relationship between a cause and its effect yields a more abstract causal explanation of that effect, which in turn produces a deeper explanation. This thesis is taken to have important implications for choosing the optimal granularity of explanation for a given explanandum. In this article, I argue that this thesis is not generally true of probabilistic causal relationships. In light of this finding, I propose a pragmatic, interest-relative measure of explanatory (...)
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  39.  38
    Levels of Reasons Why and Answers to Why-Questions.Insa Lawler - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    According to Skow (2016, 2017), correct answers to why-questions only cite causes or grounds, but not non-accidental regularities. Accounts that cite non-accidental regularities typically confuse second-level reasons with first-level reasons. Only causes and grounds are first-level reasons why. Non-accidental regularities are second-level reasons why. I first show that Skow's arguments for the accusation of confusion depend on the independent thesis that only citations of first-level reasons why are (parts of) answers to why-questions. Then, I argue that this thesis is false. (...)
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  40.  15
    Representations Are Rate-Distortion Sweet Spots.Manolo Martínez - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Information is widely perceived as essential to the study of communication and representation; still, theorists working on these topics often take themselves not to be centrally concerned with "Shannon information", as it is often put, but with some other, sometimes called "semantic" or "nonnatural",kind of information. This perception is wrong. Shannon's theory of information is the only one we need. -/- I intend to make good on this last assertion by canvassing a fully (Shannon) informational answer to the metasemantic question (...)
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  41.  17
    The Aesthetics of Theory Selection and the Logics of Art.Ian O'Loughlin & Kate McCallum - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Philosophers of science discuss whether theory selection depends on aesthetic judgments or criteria, and whether these putatively aesthetic features are genuinely extra-epistemic. As examples, judgments involving criteria such as simplicity and symmetry are often cited. However, other theory selection criteria, such as fecundity, coherence, internal consistency, and fertility, more closely match those criteria used in art contexts and by scholars working in aesthetics. Paying closer attention to the way these criteria are used in art contexts allows us to understand some (...)
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  42.  34
    Another Approach to Consensus and Maximally Informed Opinions with Increasing Evidence.Rush Stewart & Michael Nielsen - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Merging of opinions results underwrite Bayesian rejoinders to complaints about the subjective nature of personal probability. Such results establish that sufficiently similar priors achieve consensus in the long run when fed the same increasing stream of evidence. Initial subjectivity, the line goes, is of mere transient significance, giving way to intersubjective agreement eventually. Here, we establish a merging result for sets of probability measures that are updated by Jeffrey conditioning. This generalizes a number of different merging results in the literature. (...)
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  43.  10
    How to Do Digital Philosophy of Science.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Philosophy of science is beginning to be expanded via the introduction of new digital resources—both data and tools for its analysis. The data comprise digitized published books and journal articles, as well as heretofore unpublished and recently digitized material, such as images, archival text, notebooks, meeting notes, and programs. This growing bounty of data would be of little use, however, without quality tools with which to analyze it. Fortunately, the growth in available data is matched by the extensive development of (...)
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  44.  3
    Memory and Optogenetic Intervention: Separating the Engram From the Ecphory.Sarah Robins - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Optogenetics makes possible the control of neural activity with light. In this paper, I explore how the development of this experimental tool has brought about methodological and theoretical advances in the neurobiological study of memory. I begin with Semon's distinction between the engram and the ecphory, explaining how these concepts present a methodological challenge to investigating memory. Optogenetics provides a way to intervene into the engram without the ecphory that, in turn, opens up new means for testing theories of memory (...)
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  45.  15
    The Dark Galaxy Hypothesis.Michael Weisberg, Melissa Jacquart, Barry Madore & Marja Seidel - 2018 - Philosophy of Science.
    Gravitational interactions allowed astronomers to conclude that dark matter rings all luminous galaxies in gigantic halos, but this only accounts for a fraction of the total mass of dark matter believed to exist. Where is the rest? We hypothesize that some of it resides in dark galaxies, pure dark matter halos that either never possessed or have totally lost their baryonic matter. This paper explores methodological challenges that arise due to the nature of observation in astrophysics, and examines how the (...)
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