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  1. Discussions on Physics, Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Interpreting Quantum Mechanics.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2020 - Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina
    This thesis inquires what it means to interpret non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM), and the philosophical limits of this interpretation. In pursuit of a scientific-realist stance, a metametaphysical method is expanded and applied to evaluate rival interpretations of QM, based on the conceptual distinction between ontology and metaphysics, for objective theory choice in metaphysical discussions relating to QM. Three cases are examined, in which this metametaphysical method succeeds in indicating what are the wrong alternatives to interpret QM in metaphysical terms. The (...)
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  2. Replies to Healey’s Comments Regarding van Fraassen’s Positions.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 9 (1):38-47.
    Healey (2019a) makes four comments on my (Park, 2019a) objections to van Fraassen’s positions. The four comments concern the issues of whether ‘disbelief’ is appropriate or inappropriate to characterize van Fraassen’s position, what the relationship between a theory and models is for van Fraassen, whether he believes or not that a theory is empirically adequate, and whether destructive empiricism is tenable or not. I reply to those comments in this paper.
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  3. Formulational Vs. Epistemological Debates Concerning Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Dialogue:00-00.
    A formulational debate is a debate over whether certain definitions of scientific realism and antirealism are useful or useless. By contrast, an epistemological debate is a debate over whether we have sufficient evidence for scientific realism and antirealism defined in a certain manner. I argue that Hilary Putnam’s definitions of scientific realism and antirealism are more useful than Bas van Fraassen’s definitions of scientific realism and constructive empiricism because Putnam’s definitions can generate both formulational and epistemological debates, whereas van Fraassen’s (...)
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  4. A Cognitive Perspective on Scientific Realism.Michael Vlerick - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (8):1157-1178.
    The debate about scientific realism is concerned with the relation between our scientific theories and the world. Scientific realists argue that our best theories or components of those theories correspond to the world. Anti-realists deny such a correspondence. Traditionally, this central issue in the philosophy of science has been approached by focusing on the theories themselves (e.g., by looking at theory change or the underlying experimental context). I propose a relatively unexplored way to approach this old debate. In addition to (...)
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  5. Kusch and van Fraassen on Microscopic Experience.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 45 (1):7-31.
    Martin Kusch has recently defended Bas van Fraassen’s controversial view on microscopes, according to which these devices are not ‘windows on an invisible world’, but rather ‘image generators’. The two authors also claim that, since in a microscopic detection it is not possible to empirically investigate the geometrical relations between all the elements involved, one is entitled to maintain an agnostic stance about the reality of the entity allegedly represented by the produced image. In this paper I argue that, contrary (...)
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  6. How to Formulate Scientific Realism and Antirealism.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):477–488.
    The wider the gap between rivaling positions, the more there can be debates between rivaling interlocutors. The gap between the respective formulations of scientific realism and antirealism that invoke the Prussian conception of rationality is wider than the gap between the respective formulations of scientific realism and antirealism that invoke the English conception of rationality. Therefore, scientific realists and antirealists should choose the former over the latter as the framework of their debate.
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  7. Critiques of Axiological Realism and Surrealism.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Acta Analytica 35 (1):61-74.
    Lyons’s (2003, 2018) axiological realism holds that science pursues true theories. I object that despite its name, it is a variant of scientific antirealism, and is susceptible to all the problems with scientific antirealism. Lyons (2003, 2018) also advances a variant of surrealism as an alternative to the realist explanation for success. I object that it does not give rise to understanding because it is an ad hoc explanans and because it gives a conditional explanation. Lyons might use axiological realism (...)
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  8. In Defense of Realism and Selectivism From Lyons’s Objections.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (4):605-615.
    Lyons (2016, 2017, 2018) formulates Laudan’s (1981) historical objection to scientific realism as a modus tollens. I present a better formulation of Laudan’s objection, and then argue that Lyons’s formulation is supererogatory. Lyons rejects scientific realism (Putnam, 1975) on the grounds that some successful past theories were (completely) false. I reply that scientific realism is not the categorical hypothesis that all successful scientific theories are (approximately) true, but rather the statistical hypothesis that most successful scientific theories are (approximately) true. Lyons (...)
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  9. Juha Saatsi, Ed., "The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism.". [REVIEW]Jan Arreman - 2019 - Philosophy in Review 39 (2):103-104.
    Review of The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism by Juha Saatsi (ed.).
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  10. An Examination of Some Aspects of Howard Stein's Work.Chris Mitsch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:1-13.
    Some understand Stein’s “Yes, but…” as an entry in the realism—instrumentalism debate (RID) itself, albeit one dissatisfied with then-extant positions. In this paper, however, I argue the opposite: Stein’s conception of science and his approach to its history and philosophy actually preclude the RID. First, I characterize Stein as persistently attending to his own historical and philosophical methods. I then describe his conception of science as both a dialectic and an enterprise, and I draw from this conception several conclusions about (...)
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  11. How to Overcome Antirealists’ Objections to Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (1):1-12.
    Van Fraassen contends that there is no argument that rationally compels us to disbelieve a successful theory, T. I object that this contention places upon him the burden of showing that scientific antirealists’ favorite arguments, such as the pessimistic induction, do not rationally compel us to disbelieve T. Van Fraassen uses the English view of rationality to rationally disbelieve T. I argue that realists can use it to rationally believe T, despite scientific antirealists’ favorite arguments against T.
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  12. On Mizrahi’s Argument Against Stanford’s Instrumentalism.Fabio Sterpetti - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (2):103-125.
    Mizrahi’s argument against Stanford’s challenge to scientific realism is analyzed. Mizrahi’s argument is worth of attention for at least two reasons: unlike other criticisms that have been made to Stanford’s view so far, Mizrahi’s argument does not question any specific claim of Stanford’s argument, rather it puts into question the very coherence of Stanford’s position, because it argues that since Stanford’s argument rests on the problem of the unconceived alternatives, Stanford’s argument is self-defeating. Thus, if Mizrahi’s argument is effective in (...)
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  13. Scientific Realism as the Most Reasonable Choice?Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2018 - Isonomia: Online Philosophical Journal of the University of Urbino 1:1-17.
    Scientific realism, roughly, is the view that successful scientific theories are (at least partially or approximately) true. Is this the most reasonable stance to assume towards science? The no-miracle argument says it is: the stunning empirical success of our scientific theories is in need of an explanation, and (partial or approximate) truth seems to be the best explanation that we have at hand. The aim of this paper is to briefly reconstruct the trajectory of the success–to–truth inference, to critically analyse (...)
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  14. Reflections on a Classic in Scientific Realism, 20 Years Later: Stathis Psillos: Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth. London and New York: Routledge, 1999, 341 Pp, $28.28 PB. [REVIEW]Bas C. van Fraassen - 2019 - Metascience 28 (1):13-21.
    Scientific realism (SR) emerged in the 1960s as a rival to logical positivism, and soon became the dominant position in philosophy of science. But by the 1990s it had encountered considerable critique and rivals of its own. Stathis Psillos set out to present a thorough, sustained defense of scientific realism in this book, a masterly achievement that still stands today not just as the presentation of a response to critics, but as a solid, coherent philosophical position of his own.
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  15. On the No Miracle Argument.Alejandro Victor Thiry - 2018 - Aporia 28 (2):1-9.
    The dispute between scientific realism and anti-realism is one of the most exciting topics in the current general philosophy of science. In the debate, the anti-realists attack their opponents with two main arguments, the pessimistic induction and the underdetermination of theories by all possible data. The realists, on the other hand, defend their position through the famous no miracle argument, which seems to be their most important standpoint. In this paper, I will expose two reconstructions of this argument and will (...)
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  16. New Objections to the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (2):138-145.
    The problem of unconceived alternatives can be undermined, regardless of whether the possibility space of alternatives is bounded or unbounded. If it is bounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet eliminated enough false alternatives is higher than the probability that scientists have already eliminated enough false alternatives. If it is unbounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet moved from the possibility space of false alternatives (...)
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  17. Explaining Science's Success, by John Wright: Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works, Durham: Acumen, 2013, Pp. 256, £40.00. [REVIEW]K. Brad Wray - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):833-834.
    This is a book review of Wright's Explaining Science's Success.
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  18. An Essay for Educators: Epistemological Realism Really is Common Sense.William W. Cobern & Cathleen C. Loving - 2008 - Science & Education 17 (4):425-447.
    “What is truth?” Pontius Pilot asked Jesus of Nazareth. For many educators today this question seems quaintly passé. Rejection of “truth” goes hand-in-hand with the rejection of epistemological realism. Educational thought over the last decade has instead been dominated by empiricist, anti-realist, instrumentalist epistemologies of two types: first by psychological constructivism and later by social constructivism. Social constructivism subsequently has been pressed to its logical conclusion in the form of relativistic multiculturalism. Proponents of both psychological constructivism and social constructivism value (...)
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  19. A Pragmatic, Existentialist Approach to the Scientific Realism Debate.Curtis Forbes - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3327-3346.
    It has become apparent that the debate between scientific realists and constructive empiricists has come to a stalemate. Neither view can reasonably claim to be the most rational philosophy of science, exclusively capable of making sense of all scientific activities. On one prominent analysis of the situation, whether we accept a realist or an anti-realist account of science actually seems to depend on which values we antecedently accept, rather than our commitment to “rationality” per se. Accordingly, several philosophers have attempted (...)
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  20. What Would It Mean to Directly Observe Electrons?David Mitsuo Nixon - 2004 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 8 (1):1-18.
    In this paper it is argued that a proper understanding of the justification of perceptual beliefs leaves open the possibility that normal humans, unaided by microscopes, could genuinely know, by direct observation, of the existence of a theoretical entity like an electron. A particular theory of justification called perceptual responsibilism is presented. If successful, this kind of view would undercut one line of argument that has been given in support of scientific anti-realism. Various objections to the idea that electrons can (...)
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  21. Scientific Realism: What It is, the Contemporary Debate, and New Directions.Darrell Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):451-484.
    First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
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  22. Explaining Science's Success: Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works by John Wright.Jarrett Leplin - 2014 - Analysis 74 (1):184-185.
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  23. John Wright, Explaining Science's Success. Understanding How Scientific Knowledge Works, Durham: Acumen Publishing, 2013, 199 Pp., GBP 45 (US $75) (Hardcover), ISBN 978‐1‐84465‐532‐8. [REVIEW]Matthias Egg - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (3):367-372.
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  24. How Many Sciences for One World? Contingency and the Success of Science.Emiliano Trizio - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):253-258.
    Contingentism is the claim that the history of a particular field of science could have taken a different route from the actual one, and that the resulting imaginary science could have been both as successful as the real one and, in a non-trivial way, incompatible with it. Inevitabilism consists in the denial of this claim. In this paper, I try both to give a clear content to contingentism, especially in the field of physics, and to argue for its plausibility, while (...)
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  25. Detecting Extrasolar Planets.Peter Kosso - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):224-236.
    The detection of extrasolar planets presents a good case in which to clarify the distinction between observation and inference from evidence. By asking whether these planets have been observed or inferred from evidence, and by using the scientific details to answer the question, we will get a clearer understanding of the epistemic difference between these two forms of information. The issue of scientific realism pivots on this distinction, and the results of this case will help to articulate the epistemically important (...)
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  26. What is Right with the Miracle Argument: Establishing a Taxonomy of Natural Kinds.Martin Carrier - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (3):391-409.
  27. Evident Atoms: Visuality in Jean Perrin’s Brownian Motion Research.Charlotte Bigg - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (3):312-322.
    The issue of shifting scales between the microscopic and the macroscopic dimensions is a recurrent one in the history of science, and in particular the history of microscopy. But it took on new dimensions in the context of early twentieth-century microscophysics, with the progressive realisation that the physical laws governing the macroscopic world were not always adequate for describing the sub-microscopic one. The paper focuses on the researches of Jean Perrin in the 1900s, in particular his use of Brownian motion (...)
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  28. A Philosophical Study Of The Transition From The Caloric Theory Of Heat To Thermodynamics: Resisting the Pessimistic Meta-Induction.Stathis Psillos - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (2):159-190.
    I began this study with Laudan's argument from the pessimistic induction and I promised to show that the caloric theory of heat cannot be used to support the premisses of the meta-induction on past scientific theories. I tried to show that the laws of experimental calorimetry, adiabatic change and Carnot's theory of the motive power of heat were independent of the assumption that heat is a material substance, approximately true, deducible and accounted for within thermodynamics.I stressed that results and were (...)
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  29. The Miracle Argument for Realism: An Important Lesson to Be Learned by Generalizing From Carrier's Counter-Examples.Paul E. Meehl - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 23 (2):267-282.
  30. Reference and Scientific Realism.Jarrett Leplin - 1979 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 10 (4):265.
  31. Realism and Anti-Realism: An Old/New Debate.Michele Marsonet - 1993 - Idealistic Studies 23 (2/3):123-137.
    A striking feature of the contemporary debate between realists and anti-realists, which is thriving in current metaphysics and the philosophy of science, is the Kantian flavour of many anti-realist arguments. The question is: are the philosophers involved in this debate aware of such a descent and, if so, to what extent? I have argued in a previous paper of mine that, although many authors recognize some kind of debt to Kant, the awareness of the Kantian heritage widespread in the current (...)
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  32. Prediction in Context: On the Comparative Epistemic Merit of Predictive Success.Martin Carrier - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45:97-102.
    The considerations set out in the paper are intended to suggest that in practical contexts predictive power does not play the outstanding roles sometimes accredited to it in an epistemic framework. Rather, predictive power is part of a network of other merits and achievements. Predictive power needs to be judged differently according to the specific conditions that apply. First, predictions need to be part of an explanatory framework if they are supposed to guide actions reliably. Second, in scientific expertise, the (...)
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  33. Normativity, the Base-Rate Fallacy, and Some Problems for Retail Realism.Paul Dicken - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):563-570.
    Recent literature in the scientific realism debate has been concerned with a particular species of statistical fallacy concerning base-rates, and the worry that no matter how predictively successful our contemporary scientific theories may be, this will tell us absolutely nothing about the likelihood of their truth if our overall sample space contains enough empirically adequate theories that are nevertheless false. In response, both realists and anti-realists have switched their focus from general arguments concerning the reliability and historical track-records of our (...)
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  34. Scylla and Charybdis of the Epistemic Relativist: Why the Epistemic Relativist Still Cannot Use the Sceptic’s Strategy.Markus Seidel - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):145-149.
    In a reply to Howard Sankey I have maintained that the epistemic relativist cannot use the strategy of the sceptic since the relativist is at pains not to draw the sceptical solution. Sankey has objected to my argument by distinguishing between weak and strong justification: according to Sankey, the relativist using the sceptic’s strategy aims to provide an argument against the latter form of justification but still maintains that we can have the former.In this counter-response I argue that if this (...)
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  35. Why Most of Us Should Be Scientific Realists: A Reply to Van Fraassen.Peter Forrest - 1994 - The Monist 77 (1):47-70.
    As part of his Constructive Empiricism, Van Fraassen commends agnosticism about the existence of the unobservable entities posited by the physical sciences. This position of Scientific Agnosticism is compatible with the acceptance, in his sense, of Science. For to accept Science is, he says, to accept it as empirically adequate, but to refrain from deciding between the realistically interpreted theory and the as-if variant, according to which the observations are as if the theory is correct but the theory is not (...)
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  36. Miracles, Trust, and Ennui in Barnes’ Predictivism.P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (1):103-114.
    Eric Barnes’ The Paradox of Predictivism is concerned primarily with two facts: predictivism and pluralism. In the middle part of the book, he peers through these two lenses at the tired realist scarecrow of the no-miracles argument. He attempts to reanimate this weatherworn realist argument, contra suggestions by people like me that it should be abandoned. In this paper, I want to get clear on Barnes’ contribution to the debate. He focuses on what he calls the miraculous endorsement argument, which (...)
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  37. Knowing the Structure of Nature. Essays on Realism and Explanation. [REVIEW]Andrés Rivadulla - 2009 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 24 (3):361-365.
  38. Scientific Realism and Primitive Ontology Or: The Pessimistic Induction and the Nature of the Wave Function.Valia Allori - 2018 - Lato Sensu 1 (5):69-76.
    In this paper I wish to connect the recent debate in the philosophy of quantum mechanics concerning the nature of the wave function to the historical debate in the philosophy of science regarding the tenability of scientific realism. Being realist about quantum mechanics is particularly challenging when focusing on the wave function. According to the wave function ontology approach, the wave function is a concrete physical entity. In contrast, according to an alternative viewpoint, namely the primitive ontology approach, the wave (...)
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  39. The Pessimistic Meta-Induction: Obsolete Through Scientific Progress?Florian Müller - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):393-412.
    Recently, Fahrbach and Park have argued that the pessimistic meta-induction about scientific theories is unsound. They claim that this very argument does not properly take into account scientific progress, particularly during the twentieth century. They also propose amended arguments in favour of scientific realism, which are supposed to properly reflect the history of science. I try to show that what I call the argument from scientific progress cannot explain satisfactorily why the current theories should have reached a degree of success (...)
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  40. Towards a Realistic Success-to-Truth Inference for Scientific Realism.Peter Vickers - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):571-585.
    A success-to-truth inference has always been at the heart of scientific realist positions. But all attempts to articulate the inference have met with very significant challenges. This paper reconstructs the evolution of this inference, and brings together a number of qualifications in an attempt to articulate a contemporary success-to-truth inference which is realistic. I argue that this contemporary version of the inference has a chance, at least, of overcoming the historical challenges which have been proffered to date. However, there is (...)
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  41. The Linguistic - Cultural Nature of Scientific Truth.Damian Islas - 2012 - Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research (3):80-88.
    While we typically think of culture as defined by geography or ethnicity (e.g., American culture, Mayan culture), the term also applies to the practices and expectations of smaller groups of people. Though embedded in the larger culture surrounding them, such subcultures have their own sets of rules like those that scientists do. Philosophy of science has as its main object of studio the scientific activity. A way in which we have tried to explain these scientific practices is from the actual (...)
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  42. Réalisme scientifique.Pierre-Yves Rochefort - 2016 - L'Encyclopédie Philosophique.
    L’attitude réaliste constitue de prime abord la posture du sens commun vis-à-vis de la science. Elle consiste à attribuer à la science l’objectif de décrire littéralement la réalité tout en lui reconnaissant la capacité, en vertu de ses méthodes, d’atteindre ce but. Si le réalisme scientifique apparait comme représentant le sens commun, il a dû, au courant du siècle dernier, s’ériger en véritable posture philosophique argumentée devant l’influence grandissante des différentes formes d’antiréalismes. Dans la mesure où la posture qu’un philosophe (...)
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  43. Common Cause Abduction: The Formation of Theoretical Concepts and Models in Science.Gerhard Schurz - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4).
  44. VI—Is the Best Good Enough?Peter Lipton - 1992 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 93 (1):89-104.
    Is it ever rational to believe that a scientific theory is even approximately true? The evidence, however extensive, will not entail the theory it supports: the grounds for belief always remain inductive. Consequently, the realist who holds that there can be rational grounds for belief remains hostage to wholesale Humean scepticism about induction. The Humean argument has yet to be conclusively turned, but that project is not my present concern. Instead, I propose to consider intermediate forms of scepticism which attempt (...)
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  45. Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Molecular Reality. A Perspective on the Scientific Work of Jean Perrin. By Mary Jo Nye. New York: Elsevier, and London: Macdonald, 1972. Pp. Xii + 201. £5. [REVIEW]S. B. Sinclair - 1974 - British Journal for the History of Science 7 (3):300-301.
  46. Molecular Reality. A Perspective on the Scientific Work of Jean Perrin. Mary Jo Nye.Sheldon J. Kopperl - 1973 - Isis 64 (1):135-136.
  47. Theoretical Fertility McMullin-Style.Samuel Schindler - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):151-173.
    A theory’s fertility is one of the standard theoretical virtues. But how is it to be construed? In current philosophical discourse, particularly in the realism debate, theoretical fertility is usually understood in terms of novel success: a theory is fertile if it manages to make successful novel predictions. Another, more permissible, notion of fertility can be found in the work of Ernan McMullin. This kind of fertility, McMullin claims, gives us just as strong grounds for realism. My paper critically assesses (...)
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  48. Explanation Arguments for Scientific Realism and Theism – Faulty or Restricted in Scope?Jacob Busch - 2010 - SATS 11 (2).
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  49. Statistical Inference for Measures of Predictive Success.Thomas Demuynck - 2015 - Theory and Decision 79 (4):689-699.
    We provide statistical inference for measures of predictive success. These measures are frequently used to evaluate and compare the performance of different models of individual and group decision making in experimental and revealed preference studies. We provide a brief illustration of our findings by comparing the predictive success of different revealed preference tests for models of intertemporal decision making. This demonstrates that it is possible to compare the predictive success of different models in a statistically meaningful way.
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  50. Perilous Thoughts: Comment on van Fraassen.Helen Longino - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 143 (1):25-32.
    Bas van Fraassen’s empiricist reading of Perrin’s achievement invites the question: whose doubts about atoms did Perrin put to rest? This comment recontextualizes the argument and applies the notion of empirical grounding to some contemporary work in behavioral biology.
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