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  1. added 2019-01-17
    Consequências para o empirismo construtivo da adoção de um padrão internalista na caracterização do processo de observação.Alessio Gava - 2015 - In Fátima R. Évora Marcelo Carvalho Jr (ed.), Filosofia da Ciência e da Natureza. Coleção XVI Encontro ANPOF. São Paulo, Brazil: ANPOF. pp. 239-250.
    Discutindo acerca das centenas de detecções de planetas extrassolares, que supostamente aconteceram desde 1989 e que ele considera (incorretamente) como instâncias de observações, Peter Kosso disse, justamente, que segundo os parâmetros de Bas van Fraassen esses objetos celestes seriam observáveis. Ora, tais astros poderiam sem dúvida ser observados diretamente (sem a necessidade de instrumentos), nas condições apropriadas. Mas, acrescenta Kosso, “esse tipo de epistemologia externalista, que permite que a justificação se baseie em informação que não temos a disposição (nós não (...)
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  2. added 2019-01-16
    Why van Fraassen Should Amend His Position on Instrument-Mediated Detections.Alessio Gava - 2016 - Analysis and Metaphysics 15:55–76.
    Constructive empiricism is a prominent anti-realist position whose aim is to make sense of science. As is well known, it also crucially depends on the distinction between what is observable and what scientific theories postulate but is unobservable to us. Accordingly, adopting an adequate notion of observability is in order, on pain of failing to achieve the goal of grasping science and its aim. Bas van Fraassen, the originator of constructive empiricism, identifies observation with unaided (at least in principle) human (...)
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  3. added 2019-01-16
    On the Definition of Observation as Justified True Perception.Alessio Gava - 2015 - Scientiae Studia 13 (1):123-141.
    The primacy of the act of observation, one of the hallmarks of empiricism, found new life in the centrality of the distinction, made in Bas van Fraassen's constructive empiricism, between observable and unobservable. As Elliott Sober have pointed out, however, it is not clear what van Fraassen understands by observing an object. Worse, the Dutch philosopher does not seem to consider that a clarification of this point is necessary. This, of course, represents an important lacuna in a position generally considered (...)
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  4. added 2019-01-16
    Do Constructive Empiricists See Paramecia Too?Alessio Gava - 2014 - Prolegomena 13:291-302.
    According to Bas van Fraassen, a postulated entity which can only be detected by means of some instrument should not be considered observable. In this paper I argue that (1) this is not correct; (2) someone can be a constructive empiricist, adhering to van Fraassen’s famous anti-realist position, even admitting that many entities only detectable with a microscope are observable. The case of the paramecium, a very well-known single-celled organism, is particularly instructive in this respect. I maintain that we actually (...)
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  5. added 2019-01-16
    A imagem reversa da observação.Alessio Gava - 2013 - Perspectiva Filosófica 1 (39):111-122.
    The problem of the justification of inductive inferences, also known as ‘Hume’s problem’, seems to have lost strength since the early 20th century, following several authors’ denial that induction is the method of science. Van Fraassen went beyond this denial and recently stated that induction does not exist. It is our aim to show that, in order to bring forward a coherent vision of science, in his reconstruction it is the observable (a crucial term for his Constructive Empiricism) that is (...)
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  6. added 2018-03-15
    Everyday Practice of Science: Where Intuition and Passion Meeting Objectivity and Logic.Fred Grinnell - 2009 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
  7. added 2018-02-17
    Complementary Frameworks of Scientific Inquiry: Hypothetico-Deductive, Hypothetico-Inductive, and Observational-Inductive.T. E. Eastman & F. Mahootian - 2009 - World Futures 65 (1):61-75.
    The 20th century philosophy of science began on a positivistic note. Its focal point was scientific explanation and the hypothetico-deductive (HD) framework of explanation was proposed as the standard of what is meant by “science.” HD framework, its inductive and statistical variants, and other logic-based approaches to modeling scientific explanation were developed long before the dawn of the information age. Since that time, the volume of observational data and power of high performance computing have increased by several orders of magnitude (...)
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  8. added 2017-12-29
    Por uma reformulação do empirismo construtivo a partir de uma reavaliação do conceito de observabilidade.Alessio Gava - 2015 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
    The concept of observability is of key importance for a consistent defense of Constructive Empiricism. This anti-realist position, originally presented in 1980 by Bas van Fraassen in his book The Scientific Image, crucially depends on the observable/unobservable dichotomy. Nevertheless, the question of what it means to observe has been faced in an unsatisfactory and inadequate manner by van Fraassen and this represents an important lacuna in his philosophical position. The aim of this work is to propose a characterization of the (...)
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  9. added 2017-12-16
    Uma reflexão sobre o objeto de uma percepção ‘bem sucedida’.Alessio Gava - 2017 - Aufklärung 4 (3):89-100.
    Observation and observability represent a crucial topic in the philosophy of science, as the huge production of papers and books on the subject attests. Philosophy of perception, on the other hand, is a field of study that took root effectively in the last decades. Even then, apparently, the main theories on observation have neglected the issue of determining which is the object of a successful perception. As a consequence, some theses that have recently been proposed are actually paradoxical, despite deriving (...)
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  10. added 2017-02-22
    Experience Becoming Fully Literate. Van Fraassen on the Verge of Constructivism.Marie I. Kaiser, Raja Rosenhagen & Christian Suhm - 2006 - In A. Berg-Hildebrandt & C. Suhm (eds.), The Philosophy of Bas C. van Fraassen. Frankfurt/Main, GER: ontos. pp. 69-79.
    The observable/unobservable distinction, realistically construed, is a feature which lies at the very heart of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. The aim of this paper is to approach it by taking a close look at van Fraassen’s concept of observation. We will argue that if van Fraassen’s most recent writings about “literate experience”, especially his remarks on the status of observation reports and his general a-metaphysical stance, are taken into account, his realistic interpretation of the observable/unobservable distinction paves the road for (...)
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  11. added 2016-12-08
    Imaging Technology and the Philosophy of Causality.Jon Williamson - 2011 - Philosophy and Technology 24 (2):115-136.
    Russo and Williamson (Int Stud Philos Sci 21(2):157–170, 2007) put forward the thesis that, at least in the health sciences, to establish the claim that C is a cause of E, one normally needs evidence of an underlying mechanism linking C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This epistemological thesis poses a problem for most current analyses of causality which, in virtue of analysing causality in terms of just one of mechanisms or difference (...)
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  12. added 2016-08-19
    Photographic Evidence and the Problem of Theory-Ladenness.Nicola Mößner - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):111–125.
    Scientists use visualisations of different kinds in a variety of ways in their scientific work. In the following article, we will take a closer look at the use of photographic pictures as scientific evidence. In accordance with Patrick Maynard’s thesis, photography will be regarded as a family of technologies serving different purposes in divergent contexts. One of these is its ability to detect certain phenomena. Nonetheless, with regard to the philosophical thesis of theory-ladenness of observation, we encounter certain reservations concerning (...)
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  13. added 2016-02-10
    Unobservability of Short-Lived Particles: Ground for Skepticism About Observational Claims in Elementary Particle Physics.Marcoen J. T. F. Cabbolet - manuscript
    The physics literature contains many claims that elementary particles have been observed: such observational claims are, of course, important for the development of existential knowledge. Regarding claimed observations of short-lived unstable particles in particular, the use of the word 'observation' is based on the convention in physics that the observation of a short-lived unstable particle can be claimed when its predicted decay products have been observed with a significance of 5 sigma. This paper, however, shows that this 5 sigma convention (...)
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  14. added 2015-08-24
    Data Interpretation in the Digital Age.Sabina Leonelli - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (3):397-417.
    Scientific knowledge production is currently affected by the dissemination of data on an unprecedented scale. Technologies for the automated production and sharing of vast amounts of data have changed the way in which data are handled and interpreted in several scientific domains, most notably molecular biology and biomedicine. In these fields, the activity of data gathering has become increasingly technology-driven, with machines such as next generation genome sequencers and mass spectrometers generating billions of data points within hours, and with little (...)
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  15. added 2015-08-19
    Hermann von Helmholtz's Empirico-Transcendentalism Reconsidered: Construction and Constitution in Helmholtz's Psychology of the Object.Liesbet de Kock - 2014 - Science in Context (dup) 27 (4):709-44.
    This paper aims at contributing to the ongoing efforts to get a firmer grasp of the systematic significance of the entanglement of idealism and empiricism in Helmholtz's work. Contrary to existing analyses, however, the focal point of the present exposition is Helmholtz's attempt to articulate a psychological account of objectification. Helmholtz's motive, as well as his solution to the problem of the object are outlined, and interpreted against the background of his scientific practice on the one hand, and that of (...)
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  16. added 2015-07-08
    The Development of the Intention Concept: From the Observable World to the Unobservable Mind.Jodie A. Baird & Janet Wilde Astington - 2005 - In Ran R. Hassin, James S. Uleman & John A. Bargh (eds.), The New Unconscious. Oxford Series in Social Cognition and Social Neuroscience. Oxford University Press.
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  17. added 2014-04-19
    Perception and Observation Unladened.Ioannis Votsis - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):563-585.
    Let us call ‘veridicalism’ the view that perceptual beliefs and observational reports are largely truthful. This paper aims to make a case for veridicalism by, among other things, examining in detail and ultimately deflating in import what many consider to be the view’s greatest threat, the so-called ‘theory-ladenness’ of perception and/or observation. In what follows, it is argued that to the extent that theoretical factors influence the formation of perceptual beliefs and observational reports, as theory-ladenness demands, that influence is typically (...)
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  18. added 2014-03-24
    Book Review: Anthropic Bias: Observation Selection Effects in Science and Philosophy. By Nick Bostrom. Routledge, New York and London, 2002, Xiii+224 Pp., $70 (Hardcover). ISBN 0-415-93858-9. [REVIEW]Milan M. Ćirković - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (11):1797-1801.
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  19. added 2014-03-20
    Direct Observation and Unambiguous Inference.Michael Knapp & Warren Ewens - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):925-926.
    In science, it sometimes occurs that an event is directly observed, and on other occasions that it is not directly observed but one can make the unambiguous inference that it has occurred. Is there any difference concerning the analysis of data arising from these two situations? In this note we show that there is such a difference in one case arising frequently in genetics. The difference derives from the fact that the ability to make the unambiguous inference arises only from (...)
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  20. added 2014-03-07
    Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.
    In this paper, I argue that Constructive Empiricism (CE) is ambiguous between two interpretations: CE as a normative epistemology of science and CE as a descriptive philosophy of science. When they present CE, constructive empiricists write as if CE is supposed to be more than a normative epistemology of science and that it is meant to be responsible to actual scientific practices. However, when they respond to objections, constructive empiricists fall back on a strictly normative interpretation of CE. This ambiguity (...)
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  21. added 2014-03-04
    The Chemical Characterization of the Gene: Vicissitudes of Evidential Assessment.Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (1):105-127.
    The chemical characterization of the substance responsible for the phenomenon of “transformation” of pneumococci was presented in the now famous 1944 paper by Avery, MacLeod, and McCarty. Reception of this work was mixed. Although interpreting their results as evidence that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the molecule responsible for genetic changes was, at the time, controversial, this paper has been retrospectively celebrated as providing such evidence. The mixed and changing assessment of the evidence presented in the paper was due to the (...)
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  22. added 2013-10-09
    Introduction: Making Sense of Data-Driven Research in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences.S. Leonelli - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):1-3.
  23. added 2013-08-22
    Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century.Omar W. Nasim - 2013 - University of Chicago Press.
    Today we are all familiar with the iconic pictures of the nebulae produced by the Hubble Space Telescope’s digital cameras. But there was a time, before the successful application of photography to the heavens, in which scientists had to rely on handmade drawings of these mysterious phenomena. Observing by Hand sheds entirely new light on the ways in which the production and reception of handdrawn images of the nebulae in the nineteenth century contributed to astronomical observation. Omar W. Nasim investigates (...)
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  24. added 2013-05-07
    On Two Mathematical Definitions of Observational Equivalence: Manifest Isomorphism and Epsilon-Congruence Reconsidered.Christopher Belanger - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2):69-76.
    In this article I examine two mathematical definitions of observational equivalence, one proposed by Charlotte Werndl and based on manifest isomorphism, and the other based on Ornstein and Weiss’s ε-congruence. I argue, for two related reasons, that neither can function as a purely mathematical definition of observational equivalence. First, each definition permits of counterexamples; second, overcoming these counterexamples will introduce non-mathematical premises about the systems in question. Accordingly, the prospects for a broadly applicable and purely mathematical definition of observational equivalence (...)
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  25. added 2013-04-24
    Physics and Commonsense.Ravi Gomatam - manuscript
    Broadly stated, naïve realism is the attitude that the form of our outer experiences directly and literally correspond to the structure of the real world underlying these experiences. Naïve realism permeates our everyday thinking about, and ordinary language description of, the macroscopic world. It has undeniable pragmatic justification. However, as Descartes recognized centuries ago, philosophically speaking, naïve realism requires a justification. Physicists, nevertheless, simply assume naïve realism in interpreting the laboratory observations realistically. Thus, physicists do not find the philosophical issues (...)
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  26. added 2013-04-07
    Why Was M. S. Tswett’s Chromatographic Adsorption Analysis Rejected?Jonathan Livengood - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (1):57-69.
    The present paper claims that M. S. Tswett’s chromatographic adsorption analysis, which today is a ubiquitous and instrumentally sophisticated chemical technique, was either ignored or outright rejected by chemists and botanists in the first three decades of the twentieth century because it did not make sense in terms of accepted chemical theory or practice. Evidence for this claim is culled from consideration of the botanical and chemical context of Tswett’s technique as well as an analysis of the protracted debate over (...)
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  27. added 2013-04-01
    What Are the Phenomena of Physics?Brigitte Falkenburg - 2011 - Synthese 182 (1):149-163.
    Depending on different positions in the debate on scientific realism, there are various accounts of the phenomena of physics. For scientific realists like Bogen and Woodward, phenomena are matters of fact in nature, i.e., the effects explained and predicted by physical theories. For empiricists like van Fraassen, the phenomena of physics are the appearances observed or perceived by sensory experience. Constructivists, however, regard the phenomena of physics as artificial structures generated by experimental and mathematical methods. My paper investigates the historical (...)
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  28. added 2012-10-06
    Making the Visual Visible in Philosophy of Science.Annamaria Carusi - 2012 - Spontaneous Generations 6 (1):106-114.
    As data-intensive and computational science become increasingly established as the dominant mode of conducting scientific research, visualisations of data and of the outcomes of science become increasingly prominent in mediating knowledge in the scientific arena. This position piece advocates that more attention should be paid to the epistemological role of visualisations beyond their being a cognitive aid to understanding, but as playing a crucial role in the formation of evidence for scientific claims. The new generation of computational and informational visualisations (...)
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