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  1. Haack's Defective Discussion of Popper and the Courts.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Susan Haack criticises the US courts' use of Karl Popper's epistemology in discriminating acceptable scientific testimony. She claims that acceptable testimony should be reliable and that Popper's epistemology is useless in discriminating reliability. She says that Popper's views have been found acceptable only because they have been misunderstood and she indicates an alternative epistemology which she says can discriminate reliable theories. However, her account of Popper's views is a gross and gratuitous misrepresentation. Her alternative epistemology cannot do what she claims (...)
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  2. Error Rates and Uncertainty Reduction in Rule Discovery.Emrah Aktunc - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology.
    Three new versions of Wason’s 2-4-6 rule discovery task incorporating error rates or feedback of uncertainty reduction, inspired by the error-statistical account in philosophy of science, were employed. In experiments 1 and 2, participants were instructed that some experimenter feedback would be erroneous (control was original 2-4-6 without error). The results showed that performance was impaired when there was probabilistic error. In experiment 3, participants were given uncertainty reduction feedback as they generated different number triples and the negative effects of (...)
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  3. Discovering Patterns: On the Norms of Mechanistic Inquiry.Lena Kästner & Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - Erkenntnis 3:1-26.
    What kinds of norms constrain mechanistic discovery and explanation? In the mechanistic literature, the norms for good explanations are directly derived from answers to the metaphysical question of what explanations are. Prominent mechanistic accounts thus emphasize either ontic or epistemic norms. Still, mechanistic philosophers on both sides agree that there is no sharp distinction between the processes of discovery and explanation. Thus, it seems reasonable to expect that ontic and epistemic accounts of explanation will be accompanied by ontic and epistemic (...)
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  4. Human Thought, Mathematics, and Physical Discovery.Gila Sher - forthcoming - In Yemima Ben Menahem & Carl Posy (eds.), Mathematical Knowledge, Objects and Applications: Essays in Memory of Mark Steiner. Berlin: Springer Nature.
    In this paper I discuss Mark Steiner's view of the contribution of mathematics to physics and take up some of the questions it raises. In particular, I take up the question of discovery and explore two aspects of this question ‒ a metaphysical aspect and a related epistemic aspect. The metaphysical aspect concerns the formal structure of the physical world. Does the physical world have mathematical or formal features or constituents, and what is the nature of these constituents? The related (...)
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  5. Mapping Kinds in GIS and Cartography.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - forthcoming - In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 197-216.
    Geographic Information Science (GIS) is an interdisciplinary science aiming to detect and visually represent patterns in spatial data. GIS is used by businesses to determine where to open new stores and by conservation biologists to identify field study locations with relatively little anthropogenic influence. Products of GIS include topographic and thematic maps of the Earth’s surface, climate maps, and spatially referenced demographic graphs and charts. In addition to its social, political, and economic importance, GIS is of intrinsic philosophical interest due (...)
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  6. Theodore Richards and the Discovery of Isotopes.K. Brad Wray - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry.
    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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  7. Revisiting the ‘Darwin–Marx Correspondence’: Multiple Discovery and the Rhetoric of Priority.Joel Barnes - 2022 - History of the Human Sciences 35 (2):29-54.
    Between the 1930s and the mid 1970s, it was commonly believed that in 1880 Karl Marx had proposed to dedicate to Charles Darwin a volume or translation of Capital but that Darwin had refused. The detail was often interpreted by scholars as having larger significance for the question of the relationship between Darwinian evolutionary biology and Marxist political economy. In 1973–4, two scholars working independently—Lewis Feuer, professor of sociology at Toronto, and Margaret Fay, a graduate student at Berkeley—determined simultaneously that (...)
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  8. Sins of Inquiry: How to Criticize Scientific Pursuits.Marina DiMarco & Kareem Khalifa - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 92:86-96.
    Criticism is a staple of the scientific enterprise and of the social epistemology of science. Philosophical discussions of criticism have traditionally focused on its roles in relation to objectivity, confirmation, and theory choice. However, attention to criticism and to criticizability should also inform our thinking about scientific pursuits: the allocation of resources with the aim of developing scientific tools and ideas. In this paper, we offer an account of scientific pursuitworthiness which takes criticizability as its starting point. We call this (...)
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  9. Imagination and Creative Thinking.Amy Kind - 2022 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this Element, we’ll explore the nature of both imagination and creative thinking in an effort to understand the relation between them and also to understand their role in the vast array of activities in which they are typically implicated, from art, music, and literature to technology, medicine, and science. Focusing on the contemporary philosophical literature, we will take up several interrelated questions: What is imagination, and how does it fit into the cognitive architecture of the mind? What is creativity? (...)
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  10. Making Scientific Discoveries. Editor's Introduction.Jan G. Michel - 2022 - In Making Scientific Discoveries: Interdisciplinary Reflections. Paderborn, Deutschland: pp. 1-8.
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  11. Toward a Philosophy of Scientific Discovery.Jan G. Michel - 2022 - In Making Scientific Discoveries: Interdisciplinary Reflections. Paderborn, Deutschland: pp. 9-53.
    Jan G. Michel argues that we need a philosophy of scientific discovery. Before turning to the question of what such a philosophy might look like, he addresses two questions: Don’t we have a philosophy of scientific discovery yet? And do we need one at all? To answer the first question, he takes a closer look at history and finds that we have not had a systematic philosophy of scientific discovery worthy of the name for over 150 years. To answer the (...)
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  12. Philosophy of Developmental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    The history of developmental biology is interwoven with debates as to whether mechanistic explanations of development are possible or whether alternative explanatory principles or even vital forces need to be assumed. In particular, the demonstrated ability of embryonic cells to tune their developmental fate precisely to their relative position and the overall size of the embryo was once thought to be inexplicable in mechanistic terms. Taking a causal perspective, this Element examines to what extent and how developmental biology, having turned (...)
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  13. 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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  14. Making Scientific Discoveries: Interdisciplinary Reflections.Jan G. Michel (ed.) - 2021 - Paderborn, Deutschland: Brill/mentis.
    Scientific progress depends crucially on scientific discoveries. Yet the topic of scientific discoveries has not been central to debate in the philosophy of science. This book aims to remedy this shortcoming. Based on a broad reading of the term “science” (similar to the German term “Wissenschaft”), the book convenes experts from different disciplines who reflect upon several intertwined questions connected to the topic of making scientific discoveries. -/- Among these questions are the following: What are the preconditions for making scientific (...)
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  15. A Philosophy of First Contact: Stanisław Lem and the Myth of Cognitive Universality.Massimiliano Simons - 2021 - Pro-Fil: An Internet Journal of Philosophy 3 (22):65-77.
    Within science fiction the topic of ‘first contact’ is a popular theme. How will an encounter with aliens unfold? Will we succeed in communicating with them? Although such questions are present in the background of many science fiction novels, they are not always explicitly dealt with and even if so, often in a poor way. In this article, I will introduce a typology of five dominant types of solutions to the problem of first contact in science fiction works. The first (...)
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  16. Multiple Discoveries, Inevitability, and Scientific Realism.Luca Tambolo & Gustavo Cevolani - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90 (December 2021):30-38.
    When two or more (groups of) researchers independently investigating the same domain arrive at the same result, a multiple discovery occurs. The pervasiveness of multiple discoveries in science suggests the intuition that they are in some sense inevitable—that one should view them as results that force themselves upon us, so to speak. We argue that, despite the intuitive force of such an “inevitabilist insight,” one should reject it. More specifically, we distinguish two facets of the insight and argue that: (a) (...)
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  17. Bilimde Keşif ve Gerekçelendirme Bağlamı Ayrımı Tartışmaları.Mert Ünal & Ali Sarı - 2021 - Tabula Rasa Felsefe and Teoloji 1 (36):27-38.
    The distinction between context of discovery and context of justification points out to the difference between the generation a new idea or hyphotesis and the testing of it. Although the distinction is attributed to Hans Reichenbach and Karl Popper, Larry Laudan argues that the history of distinction is dates back to the debates of scientific in the seventeenth century. While in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there was no need to distinguish between discovery and justification, in the twentieth century discovery (...)
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  18. French Neopositivism and the Logic, Psychology, and Sociology of Scientific Discovery.Krist Vaesen - 2021 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 11 (1):183-200.
  19. Could Machines Replace Human Scientists? Digitalization and Scientific Discoveries.Jan G. Michel - 2020 - In Benedikt Paul Göcke & Astrid Rosenthal-von der Pütten (eds.), Artificial Intelligence: Reflections in Philosophy, Theology, and the Social Sciences. pp. 361–376.
    The focus of this article is a question that has been neglected in debates about digitalization: Could machines replace human scientists? To provide an intelligible answer to it, we need to answer a further question: What is it that makes (or constitutes) a scientist? I offer an answer to this question by proposing a new demarcation criterion for science which I call “the discoverability criterion”. I proceed as follows: (1) I explain why the target question of this article is important, (...)
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  20. Imaginary Demons and Scientific Discoveries. [REVIEW]Jan G. Michel - 2020 - Science 370 (6518):772.
  21. Public Values in the Right Context.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (1):57-62.
    [Comment] I am sympathetic to Avner de Shalit’s position that a political philosophy should incorporate public values, but I see their role differently. Philosophers of science standardly distinguish between values being introduced in the context of discovery (inputs into the investigation or arguments) and in the context of justification (acceptance or rejection of substantive claims in light of the arguments or investigation). I argue that de Shalit is wrong to put the public values in the context of discovery; with respect (...)
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  22. Transzendentalität als Verhältnis aller Verhältnisse und Konkretisierung alles Konkreten. Zur Problementfaltung von Zeidlers Schlusslogischer Letztbegründung im Ausgang von Peirce, Hegel und Schelling.Lois Marie Rendl - 2020 - In Lois Marie Rendl & Robert König (eds.), Schlusslogische Letztbegründung. Festschrift für Kurt Walter Zeidler zum 65. Geburtstag. Berlin, Deutschland: pp. 33-112.
    This article reconstructs the development of Kurt Walter Zeidler's argument for a reformulation of Kant's transcendental dialectic as a theory of the foundation of transcendental logic. It therefore examines his doctoral dissertation "Logik des Erkenntnisprozesses. Dedukton - Induktion - Abduktion" (1979), where he discusses Norwood Russell Hansons 'logic of discovery' and finds an analogy between Charls S. Peirce's definiton of 'abduction' and Hegel's defintion of 'analogy', as well as his early papers, collected in "Grundlegungen. Zur Theorie der Vernunft und Letztbegründung" (...)
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  23. The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Problem of the Unconceived Alternatives.Fabio Sterpetti & Marta Bertolaso - 2020 - Topoi 39 (4):881-892.
    In the process of scientific discovery, knowledge ampliation is pursued by means of non-deductive inferences. When ampliative reasoning is performed, probabilities cannot be assigned objectively. One of the reasons is that we face the problem of the unconceived alternatives: we are unable to explore the space of all the possible alternatives to a given hypothesis, because we do not know how this space is shaped. So, if we want to adequately account for the process of knowledge ampliation, we need to (...)
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  24. Reporting the discovery of new chemical elements: working in different worlds, only 25 years apart.K. Brad Wray & Line Edslev Andersen - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):137-146.
    In his account of scientific revolutions, Thomas Kuhn suggests that after a revolutionary change of theory, it is as if scientists are working in a different world. In this paper, we aim to show that the notion of world change is insightful. We contrast the reporting of the discovery of neon in 1898 with the discovery of hafnium in 1923. The one discovery was made when elements were identified by their atomic weight; the other discovery was made after scientists came (...)
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  25. An Investigation of Scientific Phenomena.David Colaco - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    My dissertation is on scientific phenomena, their characterization, and their role in scientific inquiry. I focus on three questions. First, what do characterizations of scientific phenomena represent? To answer this, I investigate what it means to characterize a phenomenon, as opposed to describing the results of individual studies. Second, how do researchers develop these characterizations? This question relates to the logic of discovery: I examine how researchers use existing theories and methods to explore systems, search for phenomena, and develop representations (...)
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  26. Van Fraassen, a inferência da melhor explicação e a Matrix realista.Alessio Gava - 2019 - Problemata 10 (1):267-283.
    In a recent work published in this journal, “Van Fraassen e a inferência da melhor explicação” (2016), Minikoski and Rodrigues da Silva identify four critical lines proposed by Bas van Fraassen against the form of abductive reasoning known as ‘inference to the best explanation’ (IBE). The first one, put forward by the Dutch philosopher in his seminal book The Scientific Image (1980), concerns the distinction between observable and unobservable entities. Minikoski and Rodrigues da Silva consider that the distinction is of (...)
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  27. The Discovery-Justification Distinction and the New Historiography of Science: On Thomas Kuhn’s Thalheimer Lectures.Pablo Melogno - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (1):152-178.
  28. How Are Species Discovered?Jan G. Michel - 2019 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (3):419-441.
    The aim of this paper is twofold: The general aim is to shed light on the structure of species discoveries new to biology by bringing together a practice-oriented philosophy of science perspective with a philosophy of language perspective. The more specific aim is to argue that and to show how the overall structure of biological species discoveries comprises aspects of both institutional and non-institutional reality. The author proceeds as follows: he shows that placing the focus on the topic of scientific (...)
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  29. Mapping the Deep Blue Oceans.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2019 - In Timothy Tambassi (ed.), The Philosophy of GIS. pp. 99-123.
    The ocean terrain spanning the globe is vast and complex—far from an immense flat plain of mud. To map these depths accurately and wisely, we must understand how cartographic abstraction and generalization work both in analog cartography and digital GIS. This chapter explores abstraction practices such as selection and exaggeration with respect to mapping the oceans, showing significant continuity in such practices across cartography and contemporary GIS. The role of measurement and abstraction—as well as of political and economic power, and (...)
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  30. Research and Design of Snow Hydrology Sensors and Instrumentation: Selected Research Papers.Raman K. Attri - 2018 - Singapore: Speed To Proficiency Research: S2Pro©.
    This book is a collection of eight in-depth and detailed research papers authored by Dr. Raman K Attri between 1996 to 2005. The book presents early-career scientific work by the author as a scientist at a research organization. The book provides the conceptual background and key electronics and mechanical design principles used in designing sensors and instrumentation systems to measure snow hydrological parameters. The systems discussed in this book can be used to measure snow depth, layer temperature, temperature distribution profile, (...)
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  31. Seismic Instrumentation Design: Selected Research Papers on Basic Concepts.Raman K. Attri - 2018 - Singapore: Speed To Proficiency Research: S2Pro©.
    This book is a collection of three papers authored by Dr. Raman K Attri between 1999 to 2005. The book provides a theoretical and conceptual understanding of concepts and principles of detection and measurements of the seismic signal. The papers provide fundamental concepts in seismic instrumentation design. The first paper presents a simplified mathematical framework of the seismic events and backend computational software logic that will enable software engineers to develop a customized seismic analysis and computation software. The second paper (...)
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  32. The Philosophy of Expertise: The Case of Vatican Astronomers.Louis Caruana - 2018 - In S. J. Gionti & S. J. Kikwaya Eluo (eds.), The Vatican Observatory, Castel Gandolfo: 80th Anniversary Celebration. Springer Verlag. pp. 245-252.
    These last decades, the many contributions to the literary output on science and religion have dealt with topics that are on the cutting edge of scientific discovery, topics mainly in the area of theoretical physics, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology. Philosophers of religion, responding to this trend, have therefore struggled with intricate arguments, and have often made use of the highly technical language of these sciences. The overall result was that truly original philosophical contributions, ones that present new perspectives regarding (...)
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  33. From Galileo to Hubble: Copernican Principle as a Philosophical Dogma Defining Modern Astronomy.Spyridon Kakos - 2018 - International Journal of Theology, Philosophy and Science 2 (3):13-37.
    For centuries the case of Galileo Galilei has been the cornerstone of every major argument against the church and its supposedly unscientific dogmatism. The church seems to have condemned Galileo for his heresies, just because it couldn’t and wouldn’t handle the truth. Galileo was a hero of science wrongfully accused and now – at last – everyone knows that. But is that true? This paper tries to examine the case from the point of modern physics and the conclusions drawn are (...)
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  34. Network Representation and Complex Systems.Charles Rathkopf - 2018 - Synthese (1).
    In this article, network science is discussed from a methodological perspective, and two central theses are defended. The first is that network science exploits the very properties that make a system complex. Rather than using idealization techniques to strip those properties away, as is standard practice in other areas of science, network science brings them to the fore, and uses them to furnish new forms of explanation. The second thesis is that network representations are particularly helpful in explaining the properties (...)
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  35. Who Should Do Replication Labor?Felipe Romero - 2018 - Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science 1 (4):516-537.
    . Scientists, for the most part, want to get it right. However, the social structures that govern their work undermine that aim, and this leads to nonreplicable findings in many fields. Because the social structure of science is a decentralized system, it is difficult to intervene. In this article, I discuss how we might do so, focusing on self-corrective-labor schemes. First, I argue that we need to implement a scheme that makes replication work outcome independent, systematic, and sustainable. Second, I (...)
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  36. Scientific Revolutions, Specialization and the Discovery of the Structure of DNA: Toward a New Picture of the Development of the Sciences.Politi Vincenzo - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2267-2293.
    In his late years, Thomas Kuhn became interested in the process of scientific specialization, which does not seem to possess the destructive element that is characteristic of scientific revolutions. It therefore makes sense to investigate whether and how Kuhn’s insights about specialization are consistent with, and actually fit, his model of scientific progress through revolutions. In this paper, I argue that the transition toward a new specialty corresponds to a revolutionary change for the group of scientists involved in such a (...)
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  37. The (Ir)Rational Consideration of the Cost of Science in Transition Economies.Quan-Hoang Vuong - 2018 - Nature Human Behaviour 2 (1):5.
    Science makes a substantial contribution to the economy of developing countries such as Vietnam and its costs must be put into perspective, argues Quan-Hoang Vuong.
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  38. Phylogenetic Inference, Selection Theory, and History of Science: Selected Papers of A. W. F. Edwards with Commentaries.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2018 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    A. W. F. Edwards is one of the most influential mathematical geneticists in the history of the discipline. One of the last students of R. A. Fisher, Edwards pioneered the statistical analysis of phylogeny in collaboration with L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, and helped establish Fisher's concept of likelihood as a standard of statistical and scientific inference. In this book, edited by philosopher of science Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Edwards's key papers are assembled alongside commentaries by leading scientists, discussing Edwards's influence on their (...)
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  39. Reichenbach Falls—And Rises? Reconstructing the Discovery/Justification Distinction.Monica Aufrecht - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):151-176.
    ABSTRACTThe distinction between ‘context of discovery’ and ‘context of justification’ in philosophy of science appears simple at first but contains interesting complexities. Paul Hoyningen-Huene has catalogued some of these complexities and suggested that the core usefulness of the ‘context distinction’ is in distinguishing between descriptive and normative perspectives. Here, I expand on Hoyningen-Huene’s project by tracing the label ‘context of discovery and context of justification’ to its origin. I argue that, contrary to initial appearances, Hans Reichenbach’s initial context distinction from (...)
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  40. Becoming Able to See Anomalies.Jennifer Clegg, Elizabeth Murphy & Kathryn Almack - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (4):381-384.
    In his still-authoritative history of science essay, Kuhn showed that scientific discoveries commence with awareness of anomaly that researchers initially struggle to notice. Kuhn drew on a psychological study to illustrate the problem. Bruner and Postman asked people to name playing cards on brief exposure. Most cards were normal, but some were anomalous, such as a red six of spades and a black four of hearts. On brief exposure all participants fitted the anomalous cards unhesitatingly into their existing cognitive scheme, (...)
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  41. On Serendipity in Science: Discovery at the Intersection of Chance and Wisdom.Samantha M. Copeland - 2017 - Synthese:1-22.
    ‘Serendipity’ is a category used to describe discoveries in science that occur at the intersection of chance and wisdom. In this paper, I argue for understanding serendipity in science as an emergent property of scientific discovery, describing an oblique relationship between the outcome of a discovery process and the intentions that drove it forward. The recognition of serendipity is correlated with an acknowledgment of the limits of expectations about potential sources of knowledge. I provide an analysis of serendipity in science (...)
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  42. "Milton Munitz et le concept-limite d'« illimitation » en cosmologie (1ère partie)" [Milton Munitz on unboundedness in cosmology - Ist Part].Philippe Gagnon - 2017 - Connaître : Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique (46):104-117.
    This is the outline: 1. Introduction 2. La compréhension théorique – 2.1 Le dynamisme conceptuel et l'a priori 2.2 L'horizon conceptuel – 3. Compréhension et singularité 4. La production de signifiance 5. La présence du mystère 6. Le problème de la substantialité : l'un et le multiple – 6.1 La notion d'un ordre implicite.
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  43. Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Jeff Kochan - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.
    REVIEW (1): "Jeff Kochan’s book offers both an original reading of Martin Heidegger’s early writings on science and a powerful defense of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) research program. Science as Social Existence weaves together a compelling argument for the thesis that SSK and Heidegger’s existential phenomenology should be thought of as mutually supporting research programs." (Julian Kiverstein, in Isis) ---- REVIEW (2): "I cannot in the space of this review do justice to the richness and range of Kochan's (...)
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  44. HIT and Brain Reward Function: A Case of Mistaken Identity (Theory).Cory Wright, Matteo Colombo & Alexander Beard - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 64:28–40.
    This paper employs a case study from the history of neuroscience—brain reward function—to scrutinize the inductive argument for the so-called ‘Heuristic Identity Theory’ (HIT). The case fails to support HIT, illustrating why other case studies previously thought to provide empirical support for HIT also fold under scrutiny. After distinguishing two different ways of understanding the types of identity claims presupposed by HIT and considering other conceptual problems, we conclude that HIT is not an alternative to the traditional identity theory so (...)
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  45. The Higgs Discovery as a Diagnostic Causal Inference.Adrian Wüthrich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    I reconstruct the discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS collaboration at CERN as the application of a series of inferences from effects to causes. I show to what extent such diagnostic causal inferences can be based on well established knowledge gained in previous experiments. To this extent, causal reasoning can be used to infer the existence of entities, rather than just causal relationships between them. The resulting account relies on the principle of causality, attributes only a heuristic role (...)
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  46. Rhetoric of Effortlessness in Science.James W. McAllister - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (2):145-166.
    Some classic historical vignettes depict scientists achieving breakthroughs without effort: Archimedes grasping the principles of buoyancy while bathing, Galileo Galilei discovering the isochrony of the pendulum while sitting in a cathedral, James Watt noticing the motive power of steam while passing time in a kitchen, Alexander Fleming finding penicillin in Petri dishes that he had omitted to clean before going on holiday. These stories suggest that, to establish important findings in science, hard work is not always necessary. In this article, (...)
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  47. The Life of the Cortical Column: Opening the Domain of Functional Architecture of the Cortex.Haueis Philipp - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3).
    The concept of the cortical column refers to vertical cell bands with similar response properties, which were initially observed by Vernon Mountcastle’s mapping of single cell recordings in the cat somatic cortex. It has subsequently guided over 50 years of neuroscientific research, in which fundamental questions about the modularity of the cortex and basic principles of sensory information processing were empirically investigated. Nevertheless, the status of the column remains controversial today, as skeptical commentators proclaim that the vertical cell bands are (...)
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  48. Towards a Notion of Intervention in Big-Data Biology and Molecular Medicine.Emanuele Ratti & Federico Boem - 2016 - In Marco Nathan & Giovanni Boniolo (eds.), Philosophy of Molecular Medicine - Foundational Issues in Research and Practice. Routledge.
    We claim that in contemporary studies in molecular biology and biomedicine, the nature of ‘manipulation’ and ‘intervention’ has changed. Traditionally, molecular biology and molecular studies in medicine are considered experimental sciences, whereas experiments take the form of material manipulation and intervention. On the contrary “big science” projects in biology focus on the practice of data mining of biological databases. We argue that the practice of data mining is a form of intervention although it does not require material manipulation. We also (...)
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  49. Imagination and Creativity.Dustin Stokes - 2016 - In Amy Kind (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Imagination. Routledge.
    This paper surveys historical and recent philosophical discussions of the relations between imagination and creativity. In the first two sections, it covers two insufficiently studied analyses of the creative imagination, that of Kant and Sartre, respectively. The next section discusses imagination and its role in scientific discovery, with particular emphasis on the writings of Michael Polanyi, and on thought experiments and experimental design. The final section offers a brief discussion of some very recent work done on conceptual relations between imagination (...)
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  50. Bayesian Reverse-Engineering Considered as a Research Strategy for Cognitive Science.Carlos Zednik & Frank Jäkel - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3951-3985.
    Bayesian reverse-engineering is a research strategy for developing three-level explanations of behavior and cognition. Starting from a computational-level analysis of behavior and cognition as optimal probabilistic inference, Bayesian reverse-engineers apply numerous tweaks and heuristics to formulate testable hypotheses at the algorithmic and implementational levels. In so doing, they exploit recent technological advances in Bayesian artificial intelligence, machine learning, and statistics, but also consider established principles from cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Although these tweaks and heuristics are highly pragmatic in character and (...)
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