In an online, participatory class, we interpreted The Dream of the Black Planet knowing nothing of the dreamer beyond age and gender, and having none of the dreamer’s associations. Our interpretation included a series of predictions about the dreamer. When it was complete, we asked the bringer of the dream (who had until then been silent and was not visible to us -- her video camera was switched off ) to give us more information about the dreamer. Our predictions were (...) mostly confirmed. The dreamer is in a car with his dad. It is not clear who is driving. This record is another iteration of an experiment that is described more fully in the paper The Dream of the Six-Legged Dog: An Experimental System that Tests Symbolic Meaning, soon to be published. This iteration repeats and confirms the evidence given in that paper. AUDIO RECORD OF COMPLETE BLACK PLANET CLASS: link is given on 1st page of the text you download from this page. (shrink)
In this essay, I will explain why Methodological Naturalism (MN) fails as a demarcating criteria for science. I will argue that MN is not precise enough to be useful for demarcation, unable to follow the evidence where it leads, not theologically neutral (despite its stated goals as such), and difficult to justify (and currently unjustified) as an ontological or epistemic principle.
It is sometimes said that simulation can serve as epistemic substitute for experimentation. Such a claim might be suggested by the fast-spreading use of computer simulation to investigate phenomena not accessible to experimentation (in astrophysics, ecology, economics, climatology, etc.). But what does that mean? The paper starts with a clarification of the terms of the issue and then focuses on two powerful arguments for the view that simulation and experimentation are ‘epistemically on a par’. One is based on the claim (...) that, in experimentation, no less than in simulation, it is not the system under study that is manipulated but a system that ‘stands-in’ for it. The other one highlights the pervasive use of models in experimentation. It will be argued that these arguments, as compelling as they might seem, are each based on a mistaken interpretation of experimentation and that, far from simulation and experimentation being epistemically on a par, they do not have the same epistemic function, do not produce the same kind of epistemic results. (shrink)
Progress in the last few decades in what is widely known as “Chaos Theory” has plainly advanced understanding in the several sciences it has been applied to. But the manner in which such progress has been achieved raises important questions about scientific method and, indeed, about the very objectives and character of science. In this presentation, I hope to engage my audience in a discussion of several of these important new topics.
Les analystes sont dans le domaine des « connaissances ». L'activité de renseignement fait référence à la connaissance et les types de problèmes abordés sont des problèmes de connaissance. Nous avons donc besoin d'un concept de travail basé sur la connaissance. Nous avons besoin d'une compréhension de base de ce que nous savons et de la manière dont nous le savons, de ce que nous ne savons pas et même de ce qui peut être connu et de ce qui ne (...) peut pas être connu. L'analyse du renseignement implique de « transformer des faits disparates en conclusions concentrées. » DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11223.91043. (shrink)
Programele de cercetare permit dezvoltarea unor teorii mai complexe. Termenii pot fi aplicați atât la teorii individuale cât și la programe. În cazul în care se aplică teoriilor din cadrul unui program de cercetare, consider că acestea devin la rândul lor programe de cercetare, pe care le putem numi subprograme de cercetare. Spre deosebire de revoluțiile științifice ale lui Kuhn, Lakatos a presupus că existența simultană a mai multor programe de cercetare este norma. Știința se confruntă în prezent cu o (...) astfel de situație inedită: două teorii incompatibile, dar ambele acceptate de comunitatea științifică descriu aceeași realitate în două moduri diferite. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.11153.28005. (shrink)
The general theory of relativity was developed using as a nucleus a principle of symmetry: the principle of general covariance. Initially, Einstein saw the principle of general covariance as an extension of the principle of relativity in classical mechanics, and in SR. For Einstein, the principle of general covariance was a crucial postulate in the development of GR. The freedom of the GR diffeomorphism (the invariance of the form of the laws under transformations of the coordinates depending on the arbitrary (...) functions of space and time) is a "local" spacetime symmetry, as opposed to the "global" spacetime symmetries of the SR (which depend instead on the constant parameters ). DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30854.32326. (shrink)
Metodologia, în activitatea de informații, constă din metodele folosite pentru a lua decizii despre amenințări, în special în cadrul disciplinei de analiză a informațiilor. Teoria prismatică a lui Robert Flood, denumită de alții drept pluralism metodologic, folosește metafora pentru a descrie gândirea creativă și de transformare, respectiv o prismă care descompune lumina în culorile sale componente prin dubla refracție. Tehnicile analitice structurale sunt folosite pentru a provoca judecata, la identificarea mentalităților, depășirea prejudecăților, stimularea creativității și gestionarea incertitudinii. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.10589.36329.
Analiza de informații are multe asemănări epistemologice importante cu știința (rezolvarea problemelor, descoperirea, utilizarea cu abilitate a instrumentelor, verificarea cererilor de cunoștințe). Metafora puzzle este folosită atât în activitatea de informații cât și în arheologie. Ambele discipline implică colectarea de dovezi pentru a construi o imagine cât mai completă posibil. Firmele private inovatoare adaptează din ce în ce mai mult modelul serviciilor de informații la lumea afacerilor pentru a ajuta la planificarea propriilor strategii. Practica medicală de diagnosticare a identificării, colectării, (...) analizării și diseminării este similară cu cea a activității de informații. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.35820.72324. (shrink)
David Singer afirmă că, în prezent, amenințarea constituie principalul obiectiv al agențiilor de informații. Activitatea de informații poate fi considerată ca fiind procesul prin care anumite tipuri de informații sunt solicitate, colectate, analizate și diseminate, și modul în care sunt concepute și desfășurate anumite tipuri de acțiuni secrete. Ciclul informațional reprezintă un set de procese utilizate pentru a furniza informații utile în luarea deciziilor. Ciclul constă din mai multe procese. Domeniul conex al contrainformațiilor este însărcinat cu împiedicarea eforturilor informative ale (...) altora. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.10807.06563. (shrink)
Science is epistemically special, or so I will assume: it is better able to produce knowledge about the workings of the world than other knowledge-directed pursuits. Further, its superior epistemic powers are due to its being in some sense especially empirical: in particular, science puts great weight on a form of inductive reasoning that I call empirical con rmation. My aim in this paper is to investigate the nature of science’s “empiricism”, and to provide a preliminary explanation of the connection (...) between empirical confirmation and epistemic efficacy. I will try to convince you that the place to find an account of empirical confirmation is the dusty, long-neglected instantialist account of scientific inference offered by mid-century logical empiricists. Some revision of instantialism will be required. As for what is advantageous in empirical confirmation, I propose that it is an unusual degree of independence from background belief. (shrink)
This article is devoted to define and characterize ‘Science’ as a discipline by the fundamental principles of scientific investigation. In particular, we propose and argue that ‘Science’ be defined by a set of principles / criteria which underlies scientific- investigation. We argue that this set must include the following principles: (1) Rationality, (2) Objectivity (3) Universality, (4) Internal Consistency, (5) Uniqueness, (6) Reproducibility, (7) The Principle of Falsification, (8) Simplicity and Elegance and (9) Experimental Observation and Verification. We elaborate, through (...) illustrative examples, the justification of the above set of criteria. `Scientific temper’ essentially means the cultivation of these principles, as attitudes / value-system adopted as “ways of life”. We discuss the relevance of the inculcation of scientific temper in the modern context. Finally, the scope and limitations of the scientific method are highlighted and an attempt is made to dispel several misconceptions and myths associated with Science and scientists. (shrink)
The philosophical literatures on models and thought experiments have been developing exponentially, and independently, for decades. This independence is surprising, given how similar models and thought experiments are. They each have “lives of their own,” they sit between theory and experience, they are important for both pedagogy and cutting-edge science, they galvanize conceptual changes and paradigm shifts, and they involve entertaining imaginary scenarios and working out what happens. Recently, philosophers have begun to highlight these similarities. This entry aims at taking (...) the idea further, by trying to systematically identify places where insights from one literature can be taken up in the other. Along the way, important differences will also be highlighted. (shrink)
What is science, and what is it not? Is falsifiability the key to drawing this line? How and why does science work? Should we worry whether science is talking about a "real" world? And should we stop thinking there is a single thing we can call "the scientific method"? With Deborah Mayo, Robert Rynasiewicz, and Drew Arrowood.
Drawing on empirical findings, a number of philosophers have recently argued that people who use English as a foreign language may face a linguistic bias in academia in that they or their contributions may be perceived more negatively than warranted because of their English. I take a critical look at this argument. I first distinguish different phenomena that may be conceptualized as linguistic bias but that should be kept separate to avoid overgeneralizations. I then examine a range of empirical studies (...) that philosophers have cited to argue that people who use English as a foreign language are subject to linguistic bias in academia. I contend that many of these studies do not sufficiently support key claims that philosophers have made about linguistic bias, are challenged by counterevidence, and lack generalizability. I end by introducing methodological recommendations that may help philosophers develop more convincing empirically informed arguments regarding linguistic bias. (shrink)
After two centuries, the Diltheyan idea of the incommensurability of the natural and social sciences remains hegemonic. Alternative visions have since been overlooked; in this regard, the Baden neo-Kantian school showed that any divergence concerns implied method and not the phenomenal object of studies. W. Windelband coined the terms “nomological” and “idiographic” to underline how each discipline can be explained as a science of both law and events. To begin, I will show how complex thinking can expand and institute a (...) general integrative frame that overcomes the assumed incommensurability. By “complex,” I mean an anti-reductionist approach to understanding and a consequent ability to reveal the phenomenal world in terms of nested self-organized systems. Social and natural systems are persistent coalescences of individual entities showing series of interduality such as unicity and multiplicity, top-down conservation and bottom-up inno- vation, constraint of law and freedom of agencies. The two instances are maintained together by the rejection of abstracted and isolated concepts and the embrace of a general principle of indeterminacy resolving the apparent contradiction within the parallelization of the extremes as two different moments of analyses rooted in the social and natural classical methods. This paper considers both a) the Positivist attempt in the XIX century to approach the study of social phenomena in terms of law and b) the emergence of a general social science embracing the principle of acasuality, adapted from the study of the subatomic phenomenal world in quantum theory. Finally, this paper sketches how complex methodology can address historical and social studies with system theory in order to overcome classical dualities such as determinism vs. freedom, social vs. individual, and top down conservation vs. bottom up innovation in the form of an integrative parallelization. (shrink)
Philosophical Foundations of Mixed Methods Research provides a comprehensive examination of the philosophical foundations of mixed methods research. It offers new defences of the seven main approaches to mixed methods (the pragmatist approach, the transformative approach, the indigenous approach, the dialectical approach, the dialectical pluralist approach, the performative approach, and the realist approach) written by leading mixed methods researchers. Each approach is accompanied by critical reflections chapter from philosophers’ point of view. The book shows the value of the use of (...) mixed methods from a philosophical point of view, and offers a systematic and critical examination of these positions and approaches from a philosophical point of view. The volume also offers a platform to promote a dialogue between mixed methods researchers and philosophers of science, and provides foundations for further research and teaching of this hotly debated topic. (shrink)
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 (...) epistemic question concerns humans’ cognitive ability to reach the formal structure of the physical world. Among other things, I explore the interaction of mathematical and non-mathematical cognition in physical discovery. (shrink)
Replicability is widely regarded as one of the defining features of science and its pursuit is one of the main postulates of meta-research, a discipline emerging in response to the replicability crisis. At the same time, replicability is typically treated with caution by philosophers of science. In this paper, we reassess the value of replicability from an epistemic perspective. We defend the orthodox view, according to which replications are always epistemically useful, against the more prudent view that claims that it (...) is useful in very limited circumstances. Additionally, we argue that we can learn more about the original experiment and the limits of the discovered effect from replications at different levels. We hold that replicability is a crucial feature of experimental results and scientists should continue to strive to secure it. (shrink)
En este artículo se sostiene la siguiente hipótesis: si una hipótesis tiene valor epistémico para Hume, este valor tiene que provenir de la intuición. Para ello se consideran las tres posibles fuentes de conocimiento en su pensamiento: la demostración, la experiencia y la intuición. Considerando que Hume presenta su doctrina de la creencia como una hipótesis, se argumenta que el valor epistémico de las hipótesis no puede provenir de la demostración ni de la experiencia y, por tanto, o las hipótesis (...) carecen de valor epistémico o su valor epistémico proviene de la intuición. Para sostener la hipótesis propuesta se ofrece un análisis de la evidencia textual sobre la hipótesis y la intuición a la luz de la literatura disponible sobre el tema. (shrink)
[This book replaces the - discontinued - first edition of 'Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research' (2016, by Menken & Keestra)] We are increasingly realizing that, as a result of technological developments and globalization, problems are becoming so complex that they can only be solved through cooperation between scientists from different disciplines. Healthcare, climate change, food security, globalization, and quality of life are just a few examples of issues that require scientists to work across disciplines. In many cases, extra-academic stakeholders must be (...) involved in order to arrive at robust solutions. Young academics are being called on to step beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines to contribute to addressing fundamental, often societal problems. As a result of these developments, an interdisciplinary approach is becoming increasingly necessary and popular in higher education. Students need to learn more about how to integrate and apply knowledge, methods, and skills from different fields. The crucial step of integration within interdisciplinary research is treated extensively in this textbook, which contains a comprehensive ‘interdisciplinary integration toolbox’. In addition, students must learn to collaborate in teams. An Introduction to Interdisciplinary Research serves as a systematic manual to guide students through this interdisciplinary research process. (shrink)
Good physical experiments conform to the basic methodological standards of experimental design: they are objective, reliable, and valid. But is this also true of thought experiments? Especially problems of personal identity have engendered hypothetical scenarios that are very distant from the actual world. These imagined situations have been conspicuously ineffective at resolving conflicting intuitions and deciding between the different accounts of personal identity. Using prominent examples from the literature, I argue that this is due to many of these thought experiments (...) not adhering to the methodological standards that guide experimental design in nearly all other disciplines. I also show how empirically unwarranted background assumptions about human physiology render some of the hypothetical scenarios that are employed in the debate about personal identity highly misleading. (shrink)
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 (...) second question, Michel puts forward three arguments that show the importance of a philosophy of scientific discovery. Briefly, he arrives at the following answers: No, we don’t yet have a philosophy of scientific discovery, and yes, we definitely need one. To remedy this shortcoming, Michel analyzes the concept of discovery, leading him to the insight that scientific discoveries have an underlying structure with certain structural features. Some of these features may be important but not indispensable to scientific discovery processes; these include eureka moments, serendipities, joint discoveries, special science funding, and others. In addition, Michel identifies three indispensable structural features which he examines in detail and which he places in a picture with a certain dynamics according to which the process of making scientific discoveries can be seen as a path, leading us from finding and acceptance to knowledge. (shrink)
Datafizierung, Publizierung, Metrisierung – unter diesen Stichpunkten untersuchen die AutorInnen des vorliegenden Bandes die Auswirkungen der zunehmenden Digitalisierung auf die Erzeugung, Auswahl, Bereitstellung und Bewertung wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnis. Wie wird Wissen aus den Weiten des digitalen Raums herausgefiltert? Wie wird es generiert? Was wird als Wissen verfügbar gemacht – und was nicht? Wie und von wem wird das digital erfasste Wissen evaluiert? Diese den Wissenschaftsbetrieb herausfordernden Fragen diskutieren ExpertInnen aus Philosophie, Informations- und Bibliothekswissenschaft sowie Informatik. Ihre Beiträge reflektieren in kritischer und (...) konstruktiver Weise die Gestaltung und Folgen der digitalisierten Wissenschaftspraxis. (shrink)
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 (...) coherence and identity of these “methods” over time. It explores the case of the “Structural and analytical typology” method, developed in France, Spain, and Italy from the 1950s to the 2000s by Georges Laplace and his collaborators for lithic implements. This paper (1) provides a detailed historical account of the evolving content of this collective endeavour over five decades; (2) it addresses the epistemological question of what makes the identity and unity of a scientific method, demonstrating that the core component of the “analytical typology” lies in its particular way to represent real-world phenomena through its notation system; and (3) it reveals how this little known but significant episode of advances in the methods and theory of archaeology, contemporary but independent of the “New Archaeology” trend in English-speaking archaeology, was instrumental in the continuation of evolutionary perspectives in France and in the development of quantitative and formal methods in archaeology in southwestern Europe, foreseeing crucial knowledge representation issues raised today by digital methods in archaeology and data curation. (shrink)
This book explores the Bayesian approach to the logic and epistemology of scientific reasoning. Section 1 introduces the probability calculus as an appealing generalization of classical logic for uncertain reasoning. Section 2 explores some of the vast terrain of Bayesian epistemology. Three epistemological postulates suggested by Thomas Bayes in his seminal work guide the exploration. This section discusses modern developments and defenses of these postulates as well as some important criticisms and complications that lie in wait for the Bayesian epistemologist. (...) Section 3 applies the formal tools and principles of the first two sections to a handful of topics in the epistemology of scientific reasoning: confirmation, explanatory reasoning, evidential diversity and robustness analysis, hypothesis competition, and Ockham's Razor. (shrink)
This paper provides a critical review of the debate over the philosophical foundations of mixed methods research and examines the notion of philosophical foundations. It distinguishes axiology-oriented from ontology-oriented philosophical foundations. It also identifies three different senses of philosophical foundations of mixed methods research. The weak sense of philosophical foundations (e.g., pragmatism) merely allows the possibility of the integration of both quantitative and qualitative methods/data/designs. The moderate sense of philosophical foundations (e.g., transformativism) provide a good reason to use mixed methods (...) in (at least some) social scientific research. The strong sense of philosophical foundations (e.g., dialectical pluralism) justifies a normative thesis that mixed methods research should be encouraged in (at least some) social scientific research. (shrink)
For more than twenty years, Peter Vanderschraaf’s work has combined rigorous game-theoretic analysis, innovative use of (social) scientific method, and normative analysis in the context of the social contract. Vanderschraaf’s work has influenced a significant interdisciplinary field of study and culminated in the publication of his book, Strategic Justice: Convention and Problems of Balancing Divergent Interests (OUP, 2019). Building upon his previous work, Vanderschraaf developed a new theory of justice (justice-as-convention) that, despite a mutual advantage approach, considers the most vulnerable (...) members of society and defends the egalitarian bargaining solution. To advance his theory, Vanderschraaf proposes an account of conventions that updates and systematizes David Lewis’s account of conventions, drawing on contemporary developments in game theory and economics. This topical collection brings together game theorists, philosophers, economists, and political scientists to discuss themes from Vanderschraaf’s work. The collection bridges a gap among disjoint but closely related literatures in game theory, bargaining theory, formal philosophy, rationality, equality, justice, and the social contract in order to advance dialogue among scholars in this rich and growing field of study. (shrink)
In this chapter we examine Moti Mizrahi’s claim that philosophers’ opposition of scientism is founded on their worry that scientism poses “a threat to the soul or essence of philosophy as an a priori discipline”. We find Mizrahi’s methodology for testing this thesis wanting. We offer an alternative hypothesis for the increased resistance of scientism: the antipathy started as a reaction to the New Atheist movement. We also consider two varieties of weak scientism, narrow and broad, and argue that narrow (...) versions of scientism draw unnatural and unfounded distinctions within science. Mizrahi belongs somewhere between these two types, but he commits the same mistakes as proponents of the narrow variety. We demonstrate that Mizrahi’s defence of weak scientism is problematic, once again, due to methodological reasons. As an alternative, we propose that weak scientism should be based on epistemic opportunism. Epistemic opportunism explains the success of science with scientists’ willingness to adopt any methods that demonstrably work. We also show how opportunistic scientism can avoid charges of triviality. (shrink)
Scientific pluralism has become a household position within the philosophy of science literature. There are numerous accounts of plurality within various research fields. Most scientific pluralists, however, focus on the plurality of theories, explanations, or mechanisms, while other potential targets of plurality that the philosophy of scientific practice has particularly emphasized have so far not received extensive treatment. How should we approach such practice-based candidates of plurality? And what are potential pluralist positions concerning the objects of scientific practice? In this (...) article, I set out to answer these questions. I combine approaching a widely influential topic within the philosophy of science, scientific pluralism, with social science methodology. Using interview data combined with sociological analysis, I provide a nuanced picture of the dynamics of one particular research field that displays plurality. Focusing on how sociological configurations resonate with intellectual commitments within a research field, I disentangle practice-based from theoretical plurality. I consider how these empirical results should feedback on the scientific pluralism literature. (shrink)
We review the literature on how perceiving an AI making mistakes violates trust and how such violations might be repaired. In doing so, we discuss the role played by various forms of algorithmic transparency in the process of trust repair, including explanations of algorithms, uncertainty estimates, and performance metrics.
Replications are often taken to play both epistemic and demarcating roles in science: they provide evidence about the reliability of fields’ methods and, by extension, about which fields “count” as scientific. I argue that, in a field characterized by a high degree of theoretical openness and uncertainty, like comparative cognition, replications do not sit well in these roles. Like other experiments conducted under conditions of uncertainty, replications are often equivocal and open to interpretation. As a result, they are poorly placed (...) to deliver clear judgments about the reliability of comparative cognition’s methods or its scientific bona fides. I suggest that this should encourage us to take a broader view of both the nature of scientific progress and the role of replication in comparative cognition. (shrink)
The role of judgments of beauty in scientific theory evaluation is the subject of significant debate in contemporary philosophy of science. This book advances that debate by broadening its scope. In Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation, the author argues that judgments of beauty are a justified part of theory evaluation of all sorts: not only scientific theory evaluation, but also philosophical theory evaluation. The author argues for this thesis by providing an account of beauty—inherited from Kant and Mothersill—on which (...) the distinctive nature of judgments of beauty is that they are unprincipled, yet possible. The author then analyzes two important methods of theory evaluation—reflective equilibrium and simplicity—and argues that these methods require making judgments of beauty so understood. Finally, the author argues that these methods of theory evaluation are not anomalies, but that they point to a deeper lesson about the nature of theorizing and the necessity of using judgments of beauty to evaluate systems, like theories. This conclusion has implications for the debate in philosophy of science over judgments of beauty, but also prompts a reckoning in philosophy itself over the use of judgments of beauty in philosophical theory evaluation. (shrink)
"Correlation is not causation" is one of the mantras of the sciences—a cautionary warning especially to fields like epidemiology and pharmacology where the seduction of compelling correlations naturally leads to causal hypotheses. The standard view from the epistemology of causation is that to tell whether one correlated variable is causing the other, one needs to intervene on the system—the best sort of intervention being a trial that is both randomized and controlled. In this paper, we argue that some purely correlational (...) data contains information that allows us to draw causal inferences: statistical noise. Methods for extracting causal knowledge from noise provide us with an alternative to randomized controlled trials that allows us to reach causal conclusions from purely correlational data. (shrink)
"David Ricardo has been acclaimed - or vilified - for merits he would never have dreamt of, or sins for which he was entirely innocent. Entrenched mythology labels him as a utilitarian economist, an enemy of the working class, an impractical theorist, a scientist with 'no philosophy at all' and the author of a formalist methodological revolution. Exploring a middle ground between theory and biography, this book explores the formative intellectual encounters of a man who came to economic studies via (...) other experiences, thus bridging the gap between the historical Ricardo and the economist's Ricardo. The chapters undertake a thorough analysis of Ricardo's writings in their context, asking who was speaking, what audience was being addressed, with what communicative intentions, using what kind of lexicon and communicative conventions, and starting with what shared knowledge. The work opens in presenting the different religious communities with which Ricardo was in touch. It goes on to describe his education in the leading science of the time - geology - before he turned to the study of political economy. Another chapter discusses five 'philosophers' - students of logic, ethics and politics - with whom he was in touch. From correspondence, manuscripts and publications, the closing chapters reconstruct, firstly, Ricardo's ideas on scientific method, the limits of the 'abstract science' and its application, secondly, his ideas on ethics and politics and their impact on strategies for improving the condition of the working class. This book sheds new light on Ricardian economics, providing an invaluable service to readers of economic methodology, philosophy of economics, the history of economic thought, political thought and philosophy. Sergio Cremaschi is a former Reader of Moral Philosophy at the 'Amedeo Avogadro' University at Vercelli"--. (shrink)
Abstraction and generalization are two processes of reasoning that have a special role in the construction of scientific theories and models. They have been important parts of the scientific method ever since the nineteenth century. A philosophical and historical analysis of scientific practices shows how abstraction and generalization found their way into the theory of the logic of science of the nineteenth-century philosopher Charles S. Peirce. Our case studies include the scientific practices of Francis Galton and John Herschel, who introduced (...) composite photographs and graphical methods, respectively, as technologies of generalization and thereby influenced Peirce’s logic of abstraction. Herschel’s account of generalization is further supported by William Whewell, who was very influential on Peirce. By connecting Herschel’s scientific technology of abstraction to Peirce’s logical technology of abstraction—namely, diagrams—we highlight the role of judgments in scientific observation by hypostatic abstractions. We also relate Herschel’s discovery-driven logic of science and Peirce’s open-ended diagrammatic logic to the use of models in science. Ultimately, Peirce’s theory of abstraction is a case of showing how logic applies to reality. (shrink)
An introduction for students in the hard and social sciences, this brief book examines the nature and limits of human knowledge. Topics include how humans process information, how they cannot have certain knowledge, the limits to all human systems of definition including science, and the considerations of these limits. -/- .
Recent epistemology of modality has seen a growing trend towards metaphysics-first approaches. Contrastingly, this paper offers a more philosophically modest account of justifying modal claims, focusing on the practices of scientific modal inferences. Two ways of making such inferences are identified and analyzed: actualist-manipulationist modality and relative modality. In AM, what is observed to be or not to be the case in actuality or under manipulations, allows us to make modal inferences. AM-based inferences are fallible, but the same holds for (...) practically all empirical inquiry. In RM, modal inferences are evaluated relative to what is kept fixed in a system, like a theory or a model. RM-based inferences are more certain but framework-dependent. While elements from both AM and RM can be found in some existing accounts of modality, it is worth highlighting them in their own right and isolating their features for closer scrutiny. This helps to establish their relevant epistemologies that are free from some strong philosophical assumptions often attached to them in the literature. We close by showing how combining these two routes amounts to a view that accounts for a rich variety of modal inferences in science. (shrink)
Although there has been a lot of investigation into the influence of the network structure of scientific communities on the one hand and into testimonial norms on the other, a discussion of TNs that take the network structure into account has been lacking. In this paper, I introduce two TNs which are sensitive to the local network structure. According to these norms, scientists should give less weight to the results of well-connected colleagues, as compared to less connected ones. I employ (...) an Agent Based Model to test the reliability of the two novel TNs against different versions of conventional, structure-insensitive TNs in networks of varying size and structure. The results of the simulations show that the novel TNs are more reliable. This suggests that it would be beneficial for scientific communities if their members followed such norms. For individual scientists, I show that there are both reasons for and reasons against adopting them. (shrink)
Sözde-bilim ile ilgili bu tartışmalar uluslararası literatürde yapılıyor olsa da Türkiye’de henüz bu konuların eleştirel olarak ele alındığı söylenemez. Dolayısıyla sözde-bilimlerin eleştirel olarak ele alındığı öğrenme ortamlarının öğrencilerin bilime ve sözde-bilime ilişkin algılarına etkisi üzerine yapılacak araştırmalar konunun daha iyi anlaşılmasını sağlayabilir ve belki de ilerideki program değişiklerinde öğretim programlarında sözde-bilimin yer bulmasının yolunu açabilir.
Transcendental philosophy was not born like Athena out of Zeus’s head, mature and in full armour from the very beginning. That is why in both prefaces to the Critique of Pure Reason (1781 and 1787) Kant introduces the concept of transcendental philosophy as an “idea.” The idea understood architectonically develops slowly and only gradually acquires a definite form. As witnessed by the works of Kant himself and of his predecessors and followers, the idea of transcendental philosophy has undergone a series (...) of changes and adjustments compared to the initial plan. In this context, my goal is not simply exegesis and historical investigation of transcendental philosophy, but also to look at it from a systematic and methodological perspective. I examine the concept of transcendental philosophy from the viewpoint of programmatic metaphilosophy. The first part discusses programmatics as a distinct subsection of metaphilosophy. I argue that Kant’s architectonic methodology and the methodology of Lakatos can be used to understand the inception, development and degradation of philosophical systems. In the second part I look at the project of transcendental philosophy and the stages of its development from the standpoint of architectonics. The third part shows that Lakatos’s methodology can provide a detailed insight into the elements of transcendental philosophy, a clear idea of its logic and identify the component parts that can be improved and developed. In spite of the different levels of detailing and epistemological prerequisites, the methodologies of Kant and Lakatos can be combined to achieve a metaphilosophically informed and progressive understanding of philosophical projects. (shrink)
The world is in a state of crisis. Global problems that threaten our future include: the climate crisis; the destruction of natural habitats, catastrophic loss of wild life, and mass extinction of species; lethal modern war; the spread of modern armaments; the menace of nuclear weapons; pollution of earth, sea and air; rapid rise in the human population; increasing antibiotic resistance; the degradation of democratic politics, brought about in part by the internet. It is not just that universities around the (...) world have failed to help humanity solve these global problems; even worse, they have made the genesis of these problems possible. Modern science and technology, developed in universities, have made possible modern industry and agriculture, modern hygiene and medicine, modern power production and travel, modern armaments, which in turn make possible much that is good, all the great benefits of the modern world, but also all the global crises that now threaten our future. What has gone wrong? The fault lies with the whole conception of inquiry built into universities around the world. The basic idea is to help promote human welfare by, in the first instance, acquiring scientific knowledge and technological know-how. First, knowledge is to be acquired; once acquired, it can be applied to help solve social problems, and promote human welfare. But this basic idea is an intellectual disaster. Judged from the standpoint of promoting human welfare, it is profoundly and damagingly irrational, in a structural way. As a result of being restricted to the tasks of acquiring and applying knowledge, universities are prevented from doing what they most need to do to help humanity solve global problems, namely, engage actively with the public to promote action designed to solve global problems. We need urgently to bring about a revolution in universities around the world, wherever possible, so that their central task becomes to help humanity learn how to solve the climate crisis and other problems of living, local and global, so that we may make progress towards a good, civilized world. Almost every branch and aspect of the university needs to change. (shrink)
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 (...) discoveries? What is it that we (have to) do when we make discoveries in science? What are the objects of scientiﬁc discoveries, how do we name them, and how do scientiﬁc names function? Do discoveries in, say, physics and biology, share an underlying structure, or do they differ from each other in crucial ways? Are other ﬁelds such as theology and environmental studies loci of scientiﬁc discovery? What is the purpose of making scientiﬁc discoveries? Explaining nature or reality? Increasing scientiﬁc knowledge? Finding new truths? If so, how can we account for instructive blunders and serendipities in science? -/- In the light of the above, the following is an encompassing question of the book: What does it mean to make a discovery in science, and how can scientiﬁc discoveries be distinguished from non-scientiﬁc discoveries? (shrink)