About this topic
Summary The issue of conceptual change or meaning change in science arose in the context of the rejection of logical positivist and logical empiricist accounts of the meaning of theoretical terms in the 1950's.  Philosophers such as Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend argued that the meaning of observational and theoretical terms undergoes variation in the transition between scientific theories.  In the original context of this debate, there was no clear distinction between the claim that the meaning of scientific terms changes and the claim that scientific concepts undergo variation.  The main critical response to the claims of profound meaning variance of Kuhn and Feyerabend were associated with the "new" or "causal" theory of reference proposed in the late 1960's and early 1970's by Hilary Putnam and Saul Kripke.  In recent years approaches to conceptual change which derive inspiration from cognitive psychology have increasingly been developed.
Key works For Feyerabend's discussion of meaning change, see 'An Attempt at a Realistic Interpretation of Experience'.  Putnam discusses the issue in 'Explanation and Reference'.  For recent approaches drawing on cognitive psychology, see Nancy Nersessian's 'A Cognitive-Historical Approach to Meaning in Scientific Theories' and Hanne Andersen, Peter Barker and Xiang Chen's 'Kuhn's Mature Philosophy of Science and Cognitive Psychology'.
Introductions Brown 2006; Levin 1979; Nola 1980; Sankey 2000
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  1. Defectiveness of formal concepts.Carolin Antos - manuscript
    It is often assumed that concepts from the formal sciences, such as mathematics and logic, have to be treated differently from concepts from non-formal sciences. This is especially relevant in cases of concept defectiveness, as in the empirical sciences defectiveness is an essential component of lager disruptive or transformative processes such as concept change or concept fragmentation. However, it is still unclear what role defectiveness plays for concepts in the formal sciences. On the one hand, a common view sees formal (...)
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  2. Translation, history of science, and items not on the menu: a response to Susan Carey.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    In “Conceptual Differences Between Children and Adults,” Susan Carey discusses phlogiston theory in order to defend the view that there can be non-translatability between scientific languages. I present an objection to her defence.
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  3. Science and the Elephant.Dyutiman Mukhopadhyay - manuscript
    This is a brief conceptual analysis of the limitations of 'scientific' empiricism which I tried to convey without any possible scientific or philosophical jargon which are commonly used by scientists or philosophers and which are difficult for others to understand. The terms which appear as jargon here do not need to be understood literally as they are supposed to convey mere examples rather than meaning.
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  4. Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Extension in Science.Sandy C. Boucher - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    I argue that the Conceptual Ethics and Conceptual Engineering framework, in its pragmatist version as recently defended by Thomasson, provides a means of articulating and defending the conventionalist interpretation of projects of conceptual extension (e.g. the extended mind, the extended phenotype) in biology and psychology. This promises to be illuminating in both directions: it helps to make sense of, and provides an explicit methodology for, pragmatic conceptual extension in science, while offering further evidence for the value and fruitfulness of the (...)
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  5. A generalized patchwork approach to scientific concepts.Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Polysemous concepts with multiple related meanings pervade natural languages, yet some philosophers argue that we should eliminate them to avoid miscommunication and pointless debates in scientific discourse. This paper defends the legitimacy of polysemous concepts in science against this eliminativist challenge. My approach analyses such concepts as patchworks with multiple scale-dependent, technique-involving, domain-specific and property-targeting uses (patches). I demonstrate the generality of my approach by applying it to "hardness" in materials science, "homology" in evolutionary biology, "gold" in chemistry and "cortical (...)
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  6. Classification, Kinds, Taxonomic Stability, and Conceptual Change.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - Aggression and Violent Behavior.
    Scientists represent their world, grouping and organizing phenomena into classes by means of concepts. Philosophers of science have historically been interested in the nature of these concepts, the criteria that inform their application and the nature of the kinds that the concepts individuate. They also have sought to understand whether and how different systems of classification are related and more recently, how investigative practices shape conceptual development and change. Our aim in this paper is to provide a critical overview of (...)
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  7. Niches and Niche Models.Katie H. Morrow - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The niche has been central to ecology for most of the discipline’s history, yet there have been few attempts by philosophers to work out the ontology of the niche. A challenge is that there is a plurality of seemingly inconsistent definitions of the niche in ecology. This paper characterizes the population-level ecological niche by distinguishing among niche concepts, niche models, and the niche as a phenomenon. I argue that 'niche concepts' should be interpreted as theoretical frameworks or modelling strategies. I (...)
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  8. A special role for the genotype? Some comments on Keith Baverstock: “The gene: An appraisal”.Roll-Hansen Nils - forthcoming - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology.
    There is at present uneasiness about the conceptual basis of genetics. The gene concept has become blurred and there are problems with the distinction between genotype and phenotype. In the present paper I go back to their role in the creation of modern genetics in the early twentieth century. The terms were introduced by the Danish botanist and geneticist Wilhelm Johannsen in his big textbook of 1909. Historical accounts usually concentrate on this book and his 1911 paper “The Genotype Conception (...)
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  9. The Neutral Theory of Conceptual Complexity.Rose Novick - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Philosophical studies of complex scientific concepts are predominantly “adaptationist,” arguing that conceptual complexity serves important purposes. This is a historical artifact. Having had to defend their views against a monist presumption favoring simpler concepts, pluralists and patchwork theorists felt compelled to show that complexity can be beneficial. This neglects an alternative possibility: Conceptual complexity is largely neutral, persisting simply because it does little harm. This article defends the neutral theory of conceptual complexity in two forms: (a) as a plausible theory (...)
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  10. Feyerabend’s Realism and Expansion of Pluralism in the 1970s.Jonathan Y. Tsou - forthcoming - In Jonathan Y. Tsou, Shaw Jamie & Carla Fehr (eds.), Values, Pluralism, and Pragmatism: Themes from the Work of Matthew J. Brown. Cham: Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science. Springer.
    My aim in this chapter is to clarify the nature of the shift in Feyerabend’s philosophical thinking in the 1970s, focusing on issues of realism, relativism, and pluralism. Contra-Preston, I argue that realism-relativism is a misleading variable for characterizing Feyerabend’s shift in the 1970s. Rather, I characterize this shift as Feyerabend’s expansion of pluralism and suggest that this shift appears in Feyerabend’s publications starting in the late-1960s (e.g., Feyerabend 1968b, 1969b, 1970a, 1970c). Adopting the terminology of Brown and Kidd (2016), (...)
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  11. “All animals are conscious”: Shifting the null hypothesis in consciousness science.Kristin Andrews - 2024 - Mind and Language 39 (3):415-433.
    The marker approach is taken as best practice for answering the distribution question: Which animals are conscious? However, the methodology can be used to increase confidence in animals many presume to be unconscious, including C. elegans, leading to a trilemma: accept the worms as conscious; reject the specific markers; or reject the marker methodology for answering the distribution question. I defend the third option and argue that answering the distribution question requires a secure theory of consciousness. Accepting the hypothesis all (...)
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  12. What Conceptual Engineering Can Learn from the History of Philosophy of Science: Healthy Externalism and Metasemantic Plasticity.Matteo De Benedetto - 2024 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 14 (1):1-24.
    Conceptual engineering wants analytic philosophy to be centered around the assessment and improvement of philosophical concepts. But contemporary debates about conceptual engineering do not engage much with the vast literature on conceptual change that exists in philosophy of science. In this article, I argue that an adequate appreciation of the history of philosophy of science can contribute to discussions about conceptual engineering. Specifically, I show that the evolution of debates over scientific conceptual change arguably demonstrates that, contrary to what is (...)
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  13. Climate concepts for supporting political goals of mitigation and adaptation: The case for “climate crisis”.Philipp Haueis - 2024 - WIREs Climate Change.
    Climate concepts are crucial to understand the effects of human activity on the climate system scientifically, and to formulate and pursue policies to mitigate and adapt to these effects. Yet, scientists, policymakers, and activists often use different terms such as “global warming,” “climate change,” “climate crisis,” or “climate emergency.” This advanced review investigates which climate concept is most suitable when we pursue mitigation and adaptation goals in a scientifically informed manner. It first discusses how survey experiments and social science reviews (...)
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  14. Sellars, Analyticity, and a Dynamic Picture of Language.Takaaki Matsui - 2024 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 14 (1):78-102.
    Even after Willard Quine’s critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism,” Wilfrid Sellars maintained some forms of analyticity or truth in virtue of meaning. In this article, I aim to reconstruct (a) his neglected account of the analytic-synthetic distinction and the revisability of analytic sentences, (b) its connection to his inferentialist account of meaning, and (c) his response to Quine. While Sellars’s account of the revisability of analytic sentences bears certain similarities to Carnap’s and Grice and Strawson’s (...)
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  15. Carnap's Geometrical Methodology: Explication as a Transfer Principle.Matteo De Benedetto - 2023 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 11 (4).
    In this paper, I will offer a novel perspective on Carnapian explication, understanding it as a philosophical analogue of the transfer principle methodology that originated in nineteenth-century projective geometry. Building upon the historical influence that projective geometry exerted on Carnap’s philosophy, I will show how explication can be modeled as a kind of transfer principle that connects, relative to a given task and normatively constrained by the desiderata chosen by the explicators, the functional properties of concepts belonging to different conceptual (...)
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  16. Lakatosian and Euclidean populations: a pluralist approach to conceptual change in mathematics.Matteo De Benedetto - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (3):1-25.
    Lakatos’ (Lakatos, 1976) model of mathematical conceptual change has been criticized for neglecting the diversity of dynamics exhibited by mathematical concepts. In this work, I will propose a pluralist approach to mathematical change that re-conceptualizes Lakatos’ model of proofs and refutations as an ideal dynamic that mathematical concepts can exhibit to different degrees with respect to multiple dimensions. Drawing inspiration from Godfrey-Smith’s (Godfrey-Smith, 2009) population-based Darwinism, my proposal will be structured around the notion of a conceptual population, the opposition between (...)
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  17. Exploratory concept formation and tool development in neuroscience.Philipp Haueis - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (2):354 - 375.
    Developing tools is a crucial aspect of experimental practice, yet most discussions of scientific change traditionally emphasize theoretical over technological change. To elaborate on the role of tools in scientific change, I offer an account that shows how scientists use tools in exploratory experiments to form novel concepts. I apply this account to two cases in neuroscience and show how tool development and concept formation are often intertwined in episodes of tool-driven change. I support this view by proposing common normative (...)
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  18. Robert Nola as I remember him.Howard Sankey - 2023 - Metascience 32 (1):3-5.
    The New Zealand philosopher, Robert Nola (1940-2022), has died. He was a kind man, a good friend, and a fine philosopher. Here is how I remember him.
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  19. Characterizing and Measuring Racial Discrimination in Public Health Research.Morgan Thompson - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (3):721-743.
    Experiences of racial discrimination can seem to be caused by one’s race, a combination of social identities, or non-social features. In other words, racial discrimination can be intersectional or attributionally ambiguous. This poses challenges for current understandings and measurement tools of racial discrimination in public health research, such as the explanation of racial health disparities. Different kinds of discriminatory experiences plausibly produce different psychological effects that mediate their negative health impacts. Thus, multiple characterizations and measurements of racial discrimination are needed. (...)
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  20. Muscles or Movements? Representation in the Nascent Brain Sciences.Zina B. Ward - 2023 - Journal of the History of Biology 56 (1):5-34.
    The idea that the brain is a representational organ has roots in the nineteenth century, when neurologists began drawing conclusions about what the brain represents from clinical and experimental studies. One of the earliest controversies surrounding representation in the brain was the “muscles versus movements” debate, which concerned whether the motor cortex represents complex movements or rather fractional components of movement. Prominent thinkers weighed in on each side: neurologists John Hughlings Jackson and F.M.R. Walshe in favor of complex movements, neurophysiologist (...)
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  21. From Philosophical Traditions to Scientific Developments: Reconsidering the Response to Brouwer’s Intuitionism.Kati Kish Bar-On - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1–25.
    Brouwer’s intuitionistic program was an intriguing attempt to reform the foundations of mathematics that eventually did not prevail. The current paper offers a new perspective on the scientific community’s lack of reception to Brouwer’s intuitionism by considering it in light of Michael Friedman’s model of parallel transitions in philosophy and science, specifically focusing on Friedman’s story of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Such a juxtaposition raises onto the surface the differences between Brouwer’s and Einstein’s stories and suggests that contrary to Einstein’s (...)
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  22. We are Nearly Ready to Begin the Species Problem.Matthew J. Barker - 2022 - In John S. Wilkins, Igor Pavlinov & Frank Zachos (eds.), Species Problems and Beyond: Contemporary Issues in Philosophy and Practice. Boca Raton: CRC Press. pp. 3-38.
    This paper isolates a hard, long-standing species problem: developing a comprehensive and exacting theory about the constitutive conditions of the species category, one that is accurate for most of the living world, and which vindicates the widespread view that the species category is of more theoretical import than categories such as genus, sub-species, paradivision, and stirp. The paper then uncovers flaws in several views that imply we have either already solved that hard species problem or dissolved it altogether – so-called (...)
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  23. Taking Up Thagard’s Challenge: A Formal Model of Conceptual Revision.Sena Bozdag & Matteo De Benedetto - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 51 (4):791-824.
    Thagard presented a framework for conceptual change in science based on conceptual systems. Thagard challenged belief revision theorists, claiming that traditional belief-revision systems are able to model only the two most conservative types of changes in his framework, but not the more radical ones. The main aim of this work is to take up Thagard’s challenge, presenting a belief-revision-like system able to mirror radical types of conceptual change. We will do that with a conceptual revision system, i.e. a belief-revision-like system (...)
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  24. Degeneration and Entropy.Eugene Y. S. Chua - 2022 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):123-155.
    [Accepted for publication in Lakatos's Undone Work: The Practical Turn and the Division of Philosophy of Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, special issue of Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy. Edited by S. Nagler, H. Pilin, and D. Sarikaya.] Lakatos’s analysis of progress and degeneration in the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes is well-known. Less known, however, are his thoughts on degeneration in Proofs and Refutations. I propose and motivate two new criteria for degeneration based on the discussion in Proofs and Refutations (...)
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  25. T Falls Apart: On the Status of Classical Temperature in Relativity.Eugene Yew Siang Chua - 2022 - Philosophy of Science:1-27.
    Taking the formal analogies between black holes and classical thermodynamics seriously seems to first require that classical thermodynamics applies in relativistic regimes. Yet, by scrutinizing how classical temperature is extended into special relativity, I argue that the concept falls apart. I examine four consilient procedures for establishing the classical temperature: the Carnot process, the thermometer, kinetic theory, and black-body radiation. I argue that their relativistic counterparts demonstrate no such consilience in defining the relativistic temperature. As such, classical temperature doesn’t appear (...)
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  26. Explicating ‘Explication’ via Conceptual Spaces.Matteo De Benedetto - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (2):853-889.
    Recent years have witnessed a revival of interest in the method of explication as a procedure for conceptual engineering in philosophy and in science. In the philosophical literature, there has been a lively debate about the different desiderata that a good explicatum has to satisfy. In comparison, the goal of explicating the concept of explication itself has not been central to the philosophical debate. The main aim of this work is to suggest a way of filling this gap by explicating (...)
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  27. Frameworks, models, and case studies: a new methodology for studying conceptual change in science and philosophy.Matteo De Benedetto - 2022 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    This thesis focuses on models of conceptual change in science and philosophy. In particular, I developed a new bootstrapping methodology for studying conceptual change, centered around the formalization of several popular models of conceptual change and the collective assessment of their improved formal versions via nine evaluative dimensions. Among the models of conceptual change treated in the thesis are Carnap’s explication, Lakatos’ concept-stretching, Toulmin’s conceptual populations, Waismann’s open texture, Mark Wilson’s patches and facades, Sneed’s structuralism, and Paul Thagard’s conceptual revolutions. (...)
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  28. The humanities as conceptual practices: The formation and development of high‐impact concepts in philosophy and beyond.Philipp Haueis & Jan Slaby - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (4):385-403.
    This paper proposes an analysis of the discursive dynamics of high-impact concepts in the humanities. These are concepts whose formation and development have a lasting and wide-ranging effect on research and our understanding of discursive reality in general. The notion of a conceptual practice, based on a normative conception of practice, is introduced, and practices are identified, on this perspective, according to the way their respective performances are held mutually accountable. This normative conception of practices is then combined with recent (...)
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  29. Symmetry and Reformulation: On Intellectual Progress in Science and Mathematics.Josh Hunt - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    Science and mathematics continually change in their tools, methods, and concepts. Many of these changes are not just modifications but progress---steps to be admired. But what constitutes progress? This dissertation addresses one central source of intellectual advancement in both disciplines: reformulating a problem-solving plan into a new, logically compatible one. For short, I call these cases of compatible problem-solving plans "reformulations." Two aspects of reformulations are puzzling. First, reformulating is often unnecessary. Given that we could already solve a problem using (...)
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  30. Reductionist methodology and the ambiguity of the categories of race and ethnicity in biomedical research: an exploratory study of recent evidence.Joanna Karolina Malinowska & Tomasz Żuradzki - 2022 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (1):1-14.
    In this article, we analyse how researchers use the categories of race and ethnicity with reference to genetics and genomics. We show that there is still considerable conceptual “messiness” (despite the wide-ranging and popular debate on the subject) when it comes to the use of ethnoracial categories in genetics and genomics that among other things makes it difficult to properly compare and interpret research using ethnoracial categories, as well as draw conclusions from them. Finally, we briefly reconstruct some of the (...)
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  31. What Makes the Identity of a Scientific Method? A History of the “Structural and Analytical Typology” in the Growth of Evolutionary and Digital Archaeology in Southwestern Europe (1950s–2000s).Sébastien Plutniak - 2022 - Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology 5 (1).
    Usual narratives among prehistoric archaeologists consider typological approaches as part of a past and outdated episode in the history of research, subsequently replaced by technological, functional, chemical, and cognitive approaches. From a historical and conceptual perspective, this paper addresses several limits of these narratives, which (1) assume a linear, exclusive, and additive conception of scientific change, neglecting the persistence of typological problems; (2) reduce collective developments to personal work (e.g. the “Bordes’” and “Laplace’s” methods in France); and (3) presuppose the (...)
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  32. K. Brad Wray: Interpreting Kuhn: Critical Essays[REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):311-314.
    This is a book review of Brad Wray (ed.) Interpreting Kuhn: Critical Essays.
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  33. Theodore Richards and the discovery of isotopes.K. Brad Wray - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 25 (1):57-66.
    I challenge Gareth Eaton’s recent claim that Theodore Richards should be counted among the discoverers of isotopes. In evaluating Eaton’s claim, I draw on two influential theories of scientific discovery, one developed by Thomas Kuhn, and one developed by Augustine Brannigan. I argue that though Richards’ experimental work contributed to the discovery, his work does not warrant attributing the discovery to him. Richards’ reluctance to acknowledge isotopes is well documented. Further, the fact that he made no claim to having made (...)
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  34. What happened when chemists came to classify elements by their atomic number?K. Brad Wray - 2022 - Foundations of Chemistry 24 (2):161-170.
    I respond to Scerri’s recent reply to my claim that there was a scientific revolution in chemistry in the early twentieth Century. I grant, as Scerri insists, that there are significant continuities through the change about which we are arguing. That is so in all scientific revolutions. But I argue that the changes were such that they constitute a Kuhnian revolution, not in the classic sense of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, but in the sense of Kuhn’s mature theory, developed (...)
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  35. Taming conceptual wanderings: Wilson-Structuralism.Matteo De Benedetto - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13225-13246.
    Mark Wilson presents a highly original account of conceptual behavior that challenges many received views about concepts in analytic philosophy. Few attempts have been made to rationally reconstruct Wilson’s framework of patches and facades within a precise semantic framework. I will show how a modified version of the structuralist framework offers a semantic reconstruction of scientific theories capable of modeling Wilson’s ideas about conceptual behavior. Specifically, I will argue that Theory-Elements and a modified version of Theory-Nets explicate respectively Wilson’s patches (...)
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  36. Explication as a Three-Step Procedure: the case of the Church-Turing Thesis.Matteo De Benedetto - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-28.
    In recent years two different axiomatic characterizations of the intuitive concept of effective calculability have been proposed, one by Sieg and the other by Dershowitz and Gurevich. Analyzing them from the perspective of Carnapian explication, I argue that these two characterizations explicate the intuitive notion of effective calculability in two different ways. I will trace back these two ways to Turing’s and Kolmogorov’s informal analyses of the intuitive notion of calculability and to their respective outputs: the notion of computorability and (...)
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  37. Gaining traction: Foothold concepts and exemplars in conceptual change.William Goodwin - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90 (C):145-152.
    This paper investigates the emergence of conformational analysis in organic chemistry as a case of conceptual change in science. In this case, the mechanism of conceptual change is identified as the emergence of a new exemplar. This new exemplar was made possible because of the identification of a distinctive chemical structure to which ‘foothold’ concepts were applicable. These concepts facilitated both clear explanation in the particular case, and the analogical extension of the conceptual innovation throughout the discipline. The case suggests (...)
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  38. The death of the cortical column? Patchwork structure and conceptual retirement in neuroscientific practice.Philipp Haueis - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:101-113.
    In 1981, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for their research on cortical columns—vertical bands of neurons with similar functional properties. This success led to the view that “cortical column” refers to the basic building block of the mammalian neocortex. Since the 1990s, however, critics questioned this building block picture of “cortical column” and debated whether this concept is useless and should be replaced with successor concepts. This paper inquires which experimental results after 1981 challenged the building (...)
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  39. Inferentialism and Semantic Externalism: A Neglected Debate between Sellars and Putnam.Takaaki Matsui - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (1):126-145.
    In his 1975 paper “The Meaning of ‘Meaning’”, Hilary Putnam famously argued for semantic externalism. Little attention has been paid, however, to the fact that already in 1973, Putnam had presented the idea of the linguistic division of labor and the Twin Earth thought experiment in his comment on Wilfrid Sellars’s “Meaning as Functional Classification” at a conference, and Sellars had replied to Putnam from a broadly inferentialist perspective. The first half of this paper aims to trace the development of (...)
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  40. Kuhn's Kantian Dimensions.Lydia Patton - 2021 - In K. Brad Wray (ed.), Interpreting Kuhn: Critical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 27-44.
    Two questions should be considered when assessing the Kantian dimensions of Kuhn’s thought. First, was Kuhn himself a Kantian? Second, did Kuhn have an influence on later Kantians and neo-Kantians? Kuhn mentioned Kant as an inspiration, and his focus on explanatory frameworks and on the conditions of knowledge appear Kantian. But Kuhn’s emphasis on learning; on activities of symbolization; on paradigms as practical, not just theoretical; and on the social and community aspects of scientific research as constitutive of scientific reasoning, (...)
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  41. Conceptual Change and Future Paths for Pragmatism.Matthew Shields - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):405-434.
    The pragmatist faces the challenge of accounting for the possibility of rational conceptual change. Some pragmatists have tried to meet this challenge by appealing to Neurathian imagery—imagery that risks being too figurative to be helpful. I argue that we can develop a clearer view of what rationally constrained conceptual revision looks like for the pragmatist. I do so by examining the work of the pragmatist who in recent years has addressed this issue most directly, Richard Rorty. His attempts to solve (...)
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  42. Introduction: The Road Ahead in Kuhn Scholarship.K. Brad Wray - 2021 - In Interpreting Kuhn: Critical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-5.
    This Introduction provides a rationale for a collection of new paper on Thomas Kuhn. Scholarship on Kuhn has changed dramatically in the last 20 years for numerous reasons. First, scholars studying Kuhn no longer focus narrowly on Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Scholars have been giving careful consideration to Kuhn’s later work. Second, many scholars have been drawing on the vast unpublished resources at the Thomas S. Kuhn Archive at MIT. Third, with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Structure in (...)
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  43. Synthesising arguments and the extended evolutionary synthesis.Andrew Buskell - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80:101244.
    Synthesising arguments motivate changes to the conceptual tools, theoretical structure, and evaluatory framework employed in a given scientific domain. Recently, a broad coalition of researchers has put forward a synthesising argument in favour of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (‘EES’). Often this synthesising argument is evaluated using a virtue-based approach, which construes the EES as a wholesale alternative to prevailing practice. Here I argue this virtue-based approach is not fit for purpose. Taking the central concept of niche construction as a case (...)
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  44. Beyond the human standard in the cognitive domain: a reply to Rodriguez' “Cognition beyond the human domain”.Carrie Figdor - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (8):1204-1208.
    In "Cognition Beyond the Human Domain", Angel Garcia Rodriguez provides critical commentary on Pieces of Mind: The proper domain of psychological predicates (Oxford UP, 2018). In this reply, I argue that his alternative "No-Core" semantic proposal is not an alternative to the Literalist view I defend, but rather one way of elaborating that position.
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  45. Evolving Concepts of 'Hierarchy' in Systems Neuroscience.Philipp Haueis & Daniel Burnston - 2020 - In Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola (eds.), Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience. Springer.
    The notion of “hierarchy” is one of the most commonly posited organizational principles in systems neuroscience. To this date, however, it has received little philosophical analysis. This is unfortunate, because the general concept of hierarchy ranges over two approaches with distinct empirical commitments, and whose conceptual relations remain unclear. We call the first approach the “representational hierarchy” view, which posits that an anatomical hierarchy of feed-forward, feed-back, and lateral connections underlies a signal processing hierarchy of input-output relations. Because the representational (...)
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  46. Theories as recipes: third-order virtue and vice.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):391-411.
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells us what it takes for certain kinds of metaphysical theories to do so. We should think of these theories as recipes. I identify three good-making features of recipes and show that they translate to third-order theoretical virtues. I apply the view to two theories—mereological universalism and plenitudinous platonism—and draw (...)
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  47. Realism and Explanatory Perspectivism.Juha Saatsi - 2020 - In Michela Massimi & Casey D. McCoy (eds.), Understanding Perspectivism (Open Access): Scientific Challenges and Methodological Prospects. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    This chapter defends a (minimal) realist conception of progress in scientific understanding in the face of the ubiquitous plurality of perspectives in science. The argument turns on the counterfactual-dependence framework of explanation and understanding, which is illustrated and evidenced with reference to different explanations of the rainbow.
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  48. Doing Integrated History and Philosophy of Science: A Case Study of the Origin of Genetics.Yafeng Shan - 2020 - Cham: Springer.
    This book offers an integrated historical and philosophical examination of the origin of genetics. The author contends that an integrated HPS analysis helps us to have a better understanding of the history of genetics, and sheds light on some general issues in the philosophy of science. This book consists of three parts. It begins with historical problems, revisiting the significance of the work of Mendel, de Vries, and Weldon. Then it turns to integrated HPS problems, developing an exemplar-based analysis of (...)
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  49. Conceptual Change in Perspective.Matthew Shields - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):930-958.
    I argue that Sarah Sawyer's and Herman Cappelen's recent accounts of how speakers talk and think about the same concept or topic even when their understandings of that concept or topic substantially diverge risk multiplying our metasemantic categories unnecessarily and fail to prove explanatory. When we look more closely at our actual practices of samesaying, we find that speakers with seemingly incompatible formulations of a subject matter take one another to samesay when they are attempting to arrive at a correct (...)
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  50. How Are Biology Concepts Used and Transformed?Ingo Brigandt - 2019 - In Kostas Kampourakis & Tobias Uller (eds.), Philosophy of Science for Biologists. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 79–101.
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