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Profile: Paul Teller
  1. Twilight of the Perfect Model Model.Paul Teller - 2001 - Erkenntnis 55 (3):393-415.
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  2. Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
    One can give a strong sense to the idea that a relation does not 'reduce' to non-relational properties by saying that a relation does not supervene upon the non-relational properties of its relata. That there are such inherent relations I call the doctrine of relational holism, a doctrine which seems to conflict with traditional ideas about physicalism. At least parts of classical physics seem to be free of relational holism, but quantum mechanics, on at least some interpretations, incorporates the doctrine (...)
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  3.  30
    An Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.Paul Teller - 1995 - Princeton University Press.
    Quantum mechanics is a subject that has captured the imagination of a surprisingly broad range of thinkers, including many philosophers of science. Quantum field theory, however, is a subject that has been discussed mostly by physicists. This is the first book to present quantum field theory in a manner that makes it accessible to philosophers. Because it presents a lucid view of the theory and debates that surround the theory, An Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory will interest students of (...)
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  4.  51
    The Concept of Measurement-Precision.Paul Teller - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):189-202.
    The science of metrology characterizes the concept of precision in exceptionally loose and open terms. That is because the details of the concept must be filled in—what I call narrowing of the concept—in ways that are sensitive to the details of a particular measurement or measurement system and its use. Since these details can never be filled in completely, the concept of the actual precision of an instrument system must always retain some of the openness of its general characterization. The (...)
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  5.  91
    Conditionalization and Observation.Paul Teller - 1973 - Synthese 26 (2):218-258.
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  6.  59
    Discussion? What is a Stance?Paul Teller - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):159-170.
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  7.  99
    Particle Labels and the Theory of Indistinguishable Particles in Quantum Mechanics.Michael Redhead & Paul Teller - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (2):201-218.
    We extend the work of French and Redhead [1988] further examining the relation of quantum statistics to the assumption that quantum entities have the sort of identity generally assumed for physical objects, more specifically an identity which makes them susceptible to being thought of as conceptually individuatable and labelable even though they cannot be experimentally distinguished. We also further examine the relation of such hypothesized identity of quantum entities to the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles. We conclude that although (...)
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  8. The Law‐Idealization.Paul Teller - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):730-741.
    There are few, perhaps no known, exact, true, general laws. Some of the work of generalization is carried by ceteris paribus generalizations. I suggest that many models continue such work in more complex form, with the idea of ceteris paribus conditions thought of as extended to more general conditions of application. I use the term regularity guide to refer collectively to cp‐generalizations and such regularity‐purveying models. Laws in the traditional sense can then be thought of as idealizations, which idealize away (...)
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  9.  66
    How We Dapple the World.Paul Teller - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (4):425-447.
    This essay endorses the conclusion of Sklar’s “Dappled Theories in a Uniform World” that he announces in his abstract, that notwithstanding recent attacks foundational theories are universal in their scope. But Sklar’s rejection of a “pluralist ontology” is questioned. It is concluded that so called “foundational” and “phenomenological” theories are on a much more equal footing as sources of knowledge than Sklar would allow, that “giving an ontology” generally involves dealing in idealizations, and that a transfigured “ficitonalism” provides an (in (...)
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  10. Whither Constructive Empiricism?Paul Teller - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 106 (1-2):123 - 150.
    In this paper I will set out my understanding of Bas van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism, some of the difficulties which I believe beset the current version, and, very briefly, some valuable lessons I believe are nonetheless to be learned by considering this view.We’ll need to begin with a review of how van Fraassen conceives of this kind of discussion.
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  11. Two Models of Truth.Paul Teller - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):465-472.
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  12.  59
    Learning to Live with Voluntarism.Paul Teller - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):49-66.
    This paper examines and finds wanting the arguments against van Fraassen's voluntarism, the view that the only constraint of rationality is consistency. Foundationalists claim that if we have no grounds or rationale for a belief or rule, rationality demands that we suspend it. But that begs the question by assuming that there have to be grounds or a rationale. Instead of asking, why should we hold a basic belief or rule, the question has to be: why should not we be (...)
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  13.  39
    Particles, Particle Labels, and Quanta: The Toll of Unacknowledged Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Michael Redhead & Paul Teller - 1991 - Foundations of Physics 21 (1):43-62.
    The practice of describing multiparticle quantum systems in terms of labeled particles indicates that we think of quantum entities as individuatable. The labels, together with particle indistinguishability, create the need for symmetrization or antisymmetrization (or, in principle, higher-order symmetries), which in turn results in “surplus formal structure” in the formalism, formal structure which corresponds to nothing in the real world. We argue that these facts show quanta to be unindividuatable entities, things in principle incapable of supporting labels, and so things (...)
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  14. 10. Selection, Drift, and the “Forces” of Evolution Selection, Drift, and the “Forces” of Evolution (Pp. 550-570).Paul Teller, Stefano Gattei, Kent W. Staley, Eric Winsberg, James Hawthorne, Branden Fitelson, Patrick Maher, Peter Achinstein & Mathias Frisch - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (4).
  15.  62
    The Gauge Argument.Paul Teller - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):481.
    This paper examines the so-called "gauge argument" sometimes used by physicists to motivate the introduction of gauge fields, here facilitated by an informal exposition of the fiber bundle formalism. The discussion suggests some preliminary ways of understanding the connection between gauge fields and interactions.
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  16.  68
    Modeling, Truth, and Philosophy.Paul Teller - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (3):257-274.
    Knowledge requires truth, and truth, we suppose, involves unflawed representation. Science does not provide knowledge in this sense but rather provides models, representations that are limited in their accuracy, precision, or, most often, both. Truth as we usually think of it is an idealization, one that serves wonderfully in most ordinary applications, but one that can terribly mislead for certain issues in philosophy. This article sketches how this happens for five important issues, thereby showing how philosophical method must take into (...)
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  17. Modeling Truth.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Many in philosophy understand truth in terms of precise semantic values, true propositions. Following Braun and Sider, I say that in this sense almost nothing we say is, literally, true. I take the stand that this account of truth nonetheless constitutes a vitally useful idealization in understanding many features of the structure of language. The Fregean problem discussed by Braun and Sider concerns issues about application of language to the world. In understanding these issues I propose an alternative modeling tool (...)
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  18. An Interpretative Introduction to Quantum Field Theory.Paul Teller - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):152-153.
     
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  19. Substance, Relations, and Arguments About the Nature of Space-Time.Paul Teller - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (3):363-397.
  20. Quantum Mechanics and Haecceities.Paul Teller - 1998 - In Elena Castellani (ed.), Interpreting Bodies. Princeton University Press. pp. 114--141.
  21. Space-Time as a Physical Quantity.Paul Teller - 1987 - In P. Achinstein & R. Kagon (eds.), Kelvin's Baltimore Lectures and Modern Theoretical Physics. MIT Press. pp. 425--448.
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  22.  40
    A Poor Man's Guide to Supervenience and Determination.Paul Teller - 1983 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (S1):137-162.
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  23. Relational Holism and Quantum Mechanics1.Paul Teller - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1):71-81.
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  24.  9
    Measurement Accuracy Realism.Paul Teller - unknown
    This paper challenges “traditional measurement-accuracy realism”, according to which there are in nature quantities of which concrete systems have definite values. An accurate measurement outcome is one that is close to the value for the quantity measured. For a measurement of the temperature of some water to be accurate in this sense requires that there be this temperature. But there isn’t. Not because there are no quantities “out there in nature” but because the term ‘the temperature of this water’ fails (...)
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  25.  94
    Epistemic Possibility.Paul Teller - 1972 - Philosophia 2 (4):303-320.
  26.  20
    From Physics to Metaphysics.Paul Teller & Michael Redhead - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):272.
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  27. 1. Preface Preface (P. Vii).Michael Dickson, Don Howard, Scott Tanona, Mathias Frisch, Eric Winsberg, Arnold Koslow, Paul Teller, Ronald N. Giere, Mary S. Morgan & Mauricio Suárez - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5).
     
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  28. On Huggett and Weingard's Review of an Interpretive Introduction to Quantum Field Theory: Continuing the Discussion.Paul Teller - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (1):151-161.
    Huggett and Weingard's critical review provides an opportunity to continue the interpretive examination of quantum field theory in terms of some specific issues as well as comparison of alternative approaches to the subject. This note recasts their example of inequivalent Fock spaces in an effort to further clarify what it illustrates. Questions are addressed about the role of analogy in developing quantum field theory and about the conflict between formal vs. concrete methods in both physics and its interpretation, continuing the (...)
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  29.  50
    The Ins and Outs of Counterfactual Switching.Paul Teller - 2001 - Noûs 35 (3):365–393.
  30. Representation in Science.Paul Teller - 2008 - In Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Routledge.
     
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  31. Goodman's Theory of Projection.Paul Teller - 1969 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):219-238.
  32.  39
    “Saving the Phenomena” Today.Paul Teller - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):815-826.
    Bogen and Woodward argued the indirect connection between data and theory in terms of their conception of “phenomena.” I outline and elaborate on their presentation. To illuminate the connection with contemporary thinking in terms of models, I distinguish between phenomena tokens, representations of which can be identified with data models, and phenomena types that can be identified with relatively low-lying models or aspects of models in the model hierarchy. Throughout I stress the role of idealization in these considerations.
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  33.  56
    Measurement Accuracy Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    This paper challenges “traditional measurement-accuracy realism”, according to which there are in nature quantities of which concrete systems have definite values. An accurate measurement outcome is one that is close to the value for the quantity measured. For a measurement of the temperature of some water to be accurate in this sense requires that there be this temperature. But there isn’t. Not because there are no quantities “out there in nature” but because the term ‘the temperature of this water’ fails (...)
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  34.  54
    Language and the Complexity of the World.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Nature is complex, exceedingly so. A repercussion of this “complex world constraint” is that it is, in practice, impossible to connect words to the world in a foolproof manner. In this paper I explore the ways in which the complex world constraint makes vagueness, or more generally imprecision, in language in practice unavoidable, illuminates what vagueness comes to, and guides us to a sensible way of thinking about truth. Along the way we see that the problem of ceteris paribus laws (...)
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  35.  82
    Algebraic Constraints on Hidden Variables.Arthur Fine & Paul Teller - 1978 - Foundations of Physics 8 (7-8):629-636.
    In the contemporary discussion of hidden variable interpretations of quantum mechanics, much attention has been paid to the “no hidden variable” proof contained in an important paper of Kochen and Specker. It is a little noticed fact that Bell published a proof of the same result the preceding year, in his well-known 1966 article, where it is modestly described as a corollary to Gleason's theorem. We want to bring out the great simplicity of Bell's formulation of this result and to (...)
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  36.  34
    Reality and Humean Supervenience: Essays on the Philosophy of David Lewis.Gerhard Preyer, Frank Siebelt, D. M. Armstrong, Jonathan Bennett, John Bigelow, Daniel Bonevac, Phillip Bricker, Peter Forrest, Terence Horgan, Harold W. Noonan, Paul Teller & Michael Tye (eds.) - 2001 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Reality and Humean Supervenience confronts the reader with central aspects in the philosophy of David Lewis, whose work in ontology, metaphysics, logic, probability, philosophy of mind, and language articulates a unique and systematic foundation for modern physicalism.
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  37.  43
    Quantum Mechanics and the Nature of Continuous Physical Quantities.Paul Teller - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (7):345-361.
  38.  50
    Pan-Perspectival Realism Explained and Defended.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Conventional scientific realism is just the doctrine that our theoretical terms refer. Conventional antirealism denies, for various reasons, theoretical reference and takes theory to give us only information about the word of the perceptual where reference, it would appear, is secure. But reference fails for the perceptual every bit as much for the perceptual as for the theoretical, and for the same reason: the world is too complicated for us to succeed in attaching specific referents to our terms. That would (...)
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  39.  10
    Mechanism, Reduction, and Emergence in Two Stories of the Human Epistemic Enterprise.Paul Teller - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):413 - 425.
    The traditional way of thinking about science goes back to the corpuscular philosophy with its micro-reductive mechanism and metaphor of reading God's Book of Nature. This "story-1" with its rhetoric of exact truths contrasts with "story-2" which describes science as a continuation of the always imperfect powers of representation given to us by evolution. On story-2 reduction is one among other knowledge fashioning strategies and shares the imperfections of all human knowledge. When we appreciate that human knowledge always admits of (...)
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  40.  73
    Is Indistinguishability in Quantum Mechanics Conventional?Paul Teller & Michael Redhead - 2000 - Foundations of Physics 30 (6):951-957.
    Darrin Belousek has argued that the indistinguishability of quantum particles is conventional “in the Duhemian–Einsteinian sense,” in part by critially examining prior arguments given by Redhead and Teller. Belousek's discussion provides a useful occasion to clarify some of those arguments, acknowledge respects in which they were misleading, and comment on how they can be strengthened. We also comment briefly on the relevant sense of “conventional.”.
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  41.  48
    Role-Player Realism.Paul Teller - manuscript
    In practice theoretical terms are open-ended in not being attached to anything completely specific. This raises a problem for scientific realism: If there is no one completely specific kind of thing that might be in the extension of “atom”, what is it to claim that atoms exist? A realist’s solution is to say that in theoretical contexts of mature atom-theories there are things that play the role of atoms as characterized in that theory-context. The paper closes with a laundry list (...)
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  42. A Contemporary Look at Emergence.Paul R. Teller - 1992 - In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter.
     
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  43.  47
    Quantum Physics, the Identity of Indiscernibles, and Some Unanswered Questions.Paul Teller - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (2):309-319.
  44.  2
    Fact and Method: Explanation, Confirmation, and Reality in the Natural and the Social Sciences.Paul Teller & Richard W. Miller - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (4):641.
  45.  3
    Referential and Perspectival Realism.Paul Teller - 2018 - Spontaneous Generations 9 (1):151-164.
    Ronald Giere has argued that at its best science gives us knowledge only from different “perspectives,” but that this knowledge still counts as scientific realism. Others have noted that his “perspectival realism” is in tension with scientific realism as traditionally understood: How can different, even conflicting, perspectives give us what there is really? This essay outlines a program that makes good on Giere’s idea with a fresh understanding of “realism” that eases this tension.
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  46.  52
    The Poor Man's Guide to Supervenience and Determination.Paul R. Teller - 1984 - Southern Journal of Philosophy Supplement 22 (S1):137-62.
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  47.  10
    Comments on Kim's Paper.Paul Teller - 1984 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (S1):57-61.
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  48. The Rotating Disk Argument and Humean Supervenience: Cutting the Gordian Knot.Paul Teller - 2002 - Analysis 62 (3):205–210.
  49.  41
    Critical Study: Nancy Cartwright's The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science.Paul Teller - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):699-725.
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  50.  79
    Computer Proof.Paul Teller - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (12):797-803.
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