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Summary In Philosophy of Science, 'scientific practice' refers to activities whose aim is the achievement of scientific goals. More specifically, the category of scientific practice covers everything scientists do when they engage in the production of scientific knowledge. These activities include discovering, experimenting, measuring, modeling, observing, predicting, simulating, and so on, as well as using instruments in the pursuit of scientific goals. In recent years, there has been a shift in Philosophy of Science from an emphasis on scientific theories to an emphasis on actual scientific practices (see, for example, the mission statement of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice at http://www.philosophy-science-practice.org/en/).
Key works Some key works include Kuhn 1962, Hacking 1983, Longino 1990, Solomon 1994, Wylie 2002, Baird 2002, Chang 2004, and Douglas 2009.
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  1. Kuhn's Intellectual Path: Charting the Structure of Scientific Revolutions.K. Brad Wray - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. A New Role for Mathematics in Empirical Sciences.Atoosa Kasirzadeh - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    Mathematics is often taken to play one of two roles in the empirical sciences: either it represents empirical phenomena, or it explains these phenomena by imposing constraints on them. This paper identifies a third and distinct role which has not been fully appreciated in the literature, and may be pervasive in scientific practice. I call this the “bridging” role of mathematics, according to which mathematics acts as a connecting scheme in our explanatory reasoning about why and how two different descriptions (...)
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  3. Cutting the Cord: A Corrective for World Navels in Cartography and Science.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2019 - Cartographic Journal 57 (2):147-159.
    A map is not its territory. Taking a map too seriously may lead to pernicious reification: map and world are conflated. As one family of cases of such reification, I focus on maps exuding the omphalos syndrome, whereby a centred location on the map is taken to be the world navel of, for instance, an empire. I build on themes from my book _When Maps Become the World_, in which I analogize scientific theories to maps, and develop the tools of (...)
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  4. Aproximaciones filosóficas a la noción de teoría desde la filosofía de la ciencia en el siglo xx.Roger Sepúlveda Fernández - 2018 - In Estudios filosóficos en ciencia, tecnología y sociedad. Barranquilla: pp. 45-93.
  5. Classification, Kinds, Taxonomic Stability, and Conceptual Change.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - Aggression and Violent Behavior.
    Scientists represent their world, grouping and organizing phenomena into classes by means of concepts. Philosophers of science have historically been interested in the nature of these concepts, the criteria that inform their application and the nature of the kinds that the concepts individuate. They also have sought to understand whether and how different systems of classification are related and more recently, how investigative practices shape conceptual development and change. Our aim in this paper is to provide a critical overview of (...)
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  6. On the Kind of Problems Tackled by Science, Technology, and Professions. Building Foundations of Science Policy.Luis Marone - 2020 - Mεtascience 1:online.
    Science, technology, and professions form a system with strong interactions. Yet, these activities attack different kinds of problems which require different kinds of solutions. The problems that trigger scientific and technological research remain insufficiently solved or unsolved, therefore their possible solutions must be invented (i. e. they are partially or totally original) and, consequently, they should be tested against reality by researchers before considering them as true or useful. On the contrary, the problems that trigger professional inquiry are already solved, (...)
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  7. Sur les types de problèmes rencontrés en science, en technologie et dans les professions: fondements d’une politique scientifique.Luis Marone - 2020 - Mεtascience 1:105-120.
    La science, la technologie et les professions forment un système de fortes interactions. Pourtant, ces activités s’attaquent à différents types de problèmes qui nécessitent différentes solutions. Les problèmes qui aiguillonnent la recherche scientifique et technologique demeurent insuffisamment résolus ou non résolus, donc leurs possibles solutions doivent être inventées (c.-à-d. qu’elles sont partiellement ou totalement originales) et, par conséquent, elles doivent être testées contre la réalité par les chercheurs avant de les considérer comme vraies ou utiles. Par contre, les problèmes qui (...)
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  8. Synergic kinds.Manolo Martínez - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1931-1946.
    According to the homeostatic property cluster family of accounts, one of the main conditions for groups of properties to count as natural is that these properties be frequently co-instantiated. I argue that this condition is, in fact, not necessary for natural-kindness. Furthermore, even when it is present, the focus on co-occurrence distorts the role natural kinds play in science. Co-occurrence corresponds to what information theorists call redundancy: observing the presence of some of the properties in a frequently co-occurrent cluster makes (...)
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  9. Experiments, Intuitions, and Methodology in Moral and Political Theory 1.David Copp - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 7:1-36.
    Moral and political philosophers commonly appeal to moral “intuitions” at crucial points in their reasoning. This chapter considers recent challenges to this practice—here referred to as “the Method”—based in empirical studies of moral intuitions. It contends that such studies do not justify radical or revisionary conclusions about the Method. A method is aimed at achieving certain goals. The key issue is the nature of the goals in relation to which the Method is to be evaluated. This chapter argues that the (...)
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  10. Understanding “What Could Be”: A Call for ‘Experimental Behavioral Genetics’.S. Alexandra Burt, Kathryn Plaisance & David Z. Hambrick - 2019 - Behavior Genetics 2 (49):235-243.
    Behavioral genetic (BG) research has yielded many important discoveries about the origins of human behavior, but offers little insight into how we might improve outcomes. We posit that this gap in our knowledge base stems in part from the epidemiologic nature of BG research questions. Namely, BG studies focus on understanding etiology as it currently exists, rather than etiology in environments that could exist but do not as of yet (e.g., etiology following an intervention). Put another way, they focus exclusively (...)
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  11. Knowledge Transfer in Theoretical Ecology: Implications for Incommensurability, Voluntarism, and Pluralism.Justin Donhauser & Jamie Shaw - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 77:11-20.
    Well-known epistemologies of science have implications for how best to understand knowledge transfer (KT). Yet, to date, no serious attempt has been made explicate these particular implications. This paper infers views about KT from two popular epistemologies; what we characterize as incommensurabilitist views (after Devitt 2001; Bird 2002, 2008; Sankey and Hoyningen-Huene 2013) and voluntarist views (after van Fraassen 1984; Dupré 2001; Chakravartty 2015). We argue views of the former sort define the methodological, ontological, and social conditions under which research (...)
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  12. What Do We Mean by “True” in Scientific Realism?Robert W. P. Luk - 2020 - Foundations of Science 25 (3):845-856.
    A crucial aspect of scientific realism is what do we mean by true. In Luk’s theory and model of scientific study, a theory can be believed to be “true” but a model is only accurate. Therefore, what do we mean by a “true” theory in scientific realism? Here, we focus on exploring the notion of truth by some thought experiments and we come up with the idea that truth is related to what we mean by the same. This has repercussion (...)
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  13. Conceptual Analysis in the Philosophy of Science.Martin Zach - 2019 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):107-124.
    Conceptual analysis as a method of inquiry has long enjoyed popularity in analytic philosophy, including the philosophy of science. In this article I offer a perspective on the ways in which the method of conceptual analysis has been used, and distinguish two broad kinds, namely philosophical and empirical conceptual analysis. In so doing I outline a historical trend in which non-naturalized approaches to conceptual analysis are being replaced by a variety of naturalized approaches. I outline the basic characteristics of these (...)
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  14. Tools of Reason: The Practice of Scientific Diagramming From Antiquity to the Present.Greg Priest, Silvia De Toffoli & Paula Findlen - 2018 - Endeavour 42 (2-3):49-59.
  15. The Postwar American Scientific Instrument Industry.Sean F. Johnston - 2007 - In Workshop on postwar American high tech industry, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, 21-22 June 2007.
    The production of scientific instruments in America was neither a postwar phenomenon nor dramatically different from that of several other developed countries. It did, however, undergo a step-change in direction, size and style during and after the war. The American scientific instrument industry after 1945 was intimately dependent on, and shaped by, prior American and European experience. This was true of the specific genres of instrument produced commercially; to links between industry and science; and, just as importantly, to manufacturing practices (...)
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  16. Charles C. Townes, How the Laser Happened: Adventures of a Scientist. [REVIEW]Sean F. Johnston - 2003 - Ambix 50:328-329.
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  17. J. Hurley, Organisation and Scientific Discovery. [REVIEW]Sean F. Johnston - 1998 - Science and Public Policy 25:66-67.
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  18. Klaus Hentschel, Physics and National Socialism. [REVIEW]Sean F. Johnston - 1997 - Science and Public Policy 24:63-64.
  19. Evidence Amalgamation, Plausibility, and Cancer Research.Marta Bertolaso & Fabio Sterpetti - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3279-3317.
    Cancer research is experiencing ‘paradigm instability’, since there are two rival theories of carcinogenesis which confront themselves, namely the somatic mutation theory and the tissue organization field theory. Despite this theoretical uncertainty, a huge quantity of data is available thanks to the improvement of genome sequencing techniques. Some authors think that the development of new statistical tools will be able to overcome the lack of a shared theoretical perspective on cancer by amalgamating as many data as possible. We think instead (...)
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  20. Why is Bayesian Confirmation Theory Rarely Practiced?Robert W. P. Luk - 2019 - Science and Philosophy 7 (1):3-20.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is a leading theory to decide the confirmation/refutation of a hypothesis based on probability calculus. While it may be much discussed in philosophy of science, is it actually practiced in terms of hypothesis testing by scientists? Since the assignment of some of the probabilities in the theory is open to debate and the risk of making the wrong decision is unknown, many scientists do not use the theory in hypothesis testing. Instead, they use alternative statistical tests that (...)
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  21. Review of Léna Soler, Emiliano Trizio, and Andrew Pickering, Eds. Science as It Could Have Been. Discussing the Contingency/Inevitability Problem. Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh University Press, 2016. [REVIEW]Katherina Kinzel - 2016 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 6 (2):319-323.
  22. In Search of Space: Fourier Spectroscopy, 1950-1970.Sean F. Johnston - 2001 - In B. Joerges & T. Shinn (eds.), Instrumentation: Between Science, State and Industry, Sociology of the Sciences Yearbook. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. pp. 121-141.
    In the large grey area between science and technology, specialisms emerge with associated specialists. But some specialisms remain ‘peripheral sciences’, never attaining the status of disciplines ensconced in universities, and their specialists do not become recognised professionals. A major social component of such side-lined sciences – one important grouping of techno-scientific workers – is the research-technology community. An important question concerning research-technology is to explain how the grouping survives without specialised disciplinary and professional affiliations. The case discussed illustrates the dynamics (...)
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  23. Vaunting the Independent Amateur: Scientific American and the Representation of Lay Scientists.Sean F. Johnston - 2018 - Annals of Science 75 (2):97-119.
    This paper traces how media representations encouraged enthusiasts, youth and skilled volunteers to participate actively in science and technology during the twentieth century. It assesses how distinctive discourses about scientific amateurs positioned them with respect to professionals in shifting political and cultural environments. In particular, the account assesses the seminal role of a periodical, Scientific American magazine, in shaping and championing an enduring vision of autonomous scientific enthusiasms. Between the 1920s and 1970s, editors Albert G. Ingalls and Clair L. Stong (...)
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  24. Holograms: A Cultural History.Sean F. Johnston - 2015 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Holograms have been in the public eye for over a half-century, but their influences have deeper cultural roots. No other visual experience is quite like interacting with holograms; no other cultural product melds the technological sublime with magic and optimism in quite the same way. As holograms have evolved, they have left their audiences alternately fascinated, bemused, inspired or indifferent. From expressions of high science to countercultural art to consumersecurity, holograms have represented modernity, magic and materialism. Their most pervasive impact (...)
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  25. The Neutron's Children: Nuclear Engineers and the Shaping of Identity.Sean F. Johnston - 2012 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    The first nuclear engineers emerged from the Manhattan Project in the USA, UK and Canada, but remained hidden behind security for a further decade. Cosseted and cloistered by their governments, they worked to explore applications of atomic energy at a handful of national labs. This unique bottom-up history traces how the identities of these unusually voiceless experts - forming a uniquely state-managed discipline - were shaped in the context of pre-war nuclear physics, wartime industrial management, post-war politics and utopian energy (...)
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  26. Kuhn, Coherentism and Perception.Howard Sankey - forthcoming - In Pablo Melogno, Hernán Miguel & Leandro Giri (eds.), Perspectives On Kuhn.
    The paper takes off from the suggestion of Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen that Kuhn’s account of science may be understood in coherentist terms. There are coherentist themes in Kuhn’s philosophy of science. But one crucial element is lacking. Kuhn does not deny the existence of basic beliefs which have a non-doxastic source of justification. Nor does he assert that epistemic justification only derives from inferential relationships between non-basic beliefs. Despite this, the coherentist interpretation is promising and I develop it further in this (...)
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  27. Understanding and Trusting Science.Matthew H. Slater, Joanna K. Huxster & Julia E. Bresticker - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (2):247-261.
    Science communication via testimony requires a certain level of trust. But in the context of ideologically-entangled scientific issues, trust is in short supply—particularly when the issues are politically ‘entangled’. In such cases, cultural values are better predictors than scientific literacy for whether agents trust the publicly-directed claims of the scientific community. In this paper, we argue that a common way of thinking about scientific literacy—as knowledge of particular scientific facts or concepts—ought to give way to a second-order understanding of science (...)
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  28. The Structured Uses of Concepts as Tools: Comparing fMRI Experiments That Investigate Either Mental Imagery or Hallucinations.Eden T. Smith - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Melbourne
    Sensations can occur in the absence of perception and yet be experienced ‘as if’ seen, heard, tasted, or otherwise perceived. Two concepts used to investigate types of these sensory-like mental phenomena (SLMP) are mental imagery and hallucinations. Mental imagery is used as a concept for investigating those SLMP that merely resemble perception in some way. Meanwhile, the concept of hallucinations is used to investigate those SLMP that are, in some sense, compellingly like perception. This may be a difference of degree. (...)
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  29. From a Boson to the Standard Model Higgs: A Case Study in Confirmation and Model Dynamics.Cristin Chall, Martin King, Peter Mättig & Michael Stöltzner - forthcoming - Synthese:1-33.
    Our paper studies the anatomy of the discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider and its influence on the broader model landscape of particle physics. We investigate the phases of this discovery, which led to a crucial reconfiguration of the model landscape of elementary particle physics and eventually to a confirmation of the standard model. A keyword search of preprints covering the electroweak symmetry breaking sector of particle physics, along with an examination of physicists own understanding of (...)
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  30. Statistical Inference and the Replication Crisis.Lincoln J. Colling & Dénes Szűcs - 2021 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (1):121-147.
    The replication crisis has prompted many to call for statistical reform within the psychological sciences. Here we examine issues within Frequentist statistics that may have led to the replication crisis, and we examine the alternative—Bayesian statistics—that many have suggested as a replacement. The Frequentist approach and the Bayesian approach offer radically different perspectives on evidence and inference with the Frequentist approach prioritising error control and the Bayesian approach offering a formal method for quantifying the relative strength of evidence for hypotheses. (...)
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  31. Helmholtz, Kaila, and the Representational Theory of Measurement.Matthias Neuber - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (2):409-431.
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  32. An Inchoate Universe: James's Probabilistic Underdeterminism.Kyle Bromhall - 2018 - William James Studies 14 (1):54-83.
    In this paper, I challenge the traditional narrative that William James’s arguments against determinism were primarily motivated by his personal struggles with depression. I argue that James presents an alternative argument against determinism that is motivated by his commitment to sound scientific practice. James argues that determinism illegitimately extrapolates from observations of past events to predictions about future events without acknowledging the distinct metaphysical difference between them. This occupation with futurity suggests that James’s true target is better understood as logical (...)
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  33. Probieren - Verfahren, Zwiespalt, Schweigen und Hoffnung in der Wissenschaft.Olaf Dammann - manuscript
    Dieser Aufsatz beschreibt und erörtert fünf Aspekte der gegenwärtigen Wissenschaft: Verfahren, Zwiespalt, Schweigen, Hoffnung, und Probieren.
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  34. The Epistemic Importance of Establishing the Absence of an Effect.Ari Kruger, Fiona Fidler, Felix Singleton Thorn, Ashley Barnett & Steven Kambouris - 2018 - Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science 1 (2):237-244.
  35. Communicating with Scientific Graphics: A Descriptive Inquiry Into Non-Ideal Normativity.Benjamin Sheredos - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63:32-44.
    Scientists’ graphical practices have recently become a target of inquiry in the philosophy of science, and in the cognitive sciences. Here I supplement our understanding of graphical practices via a case study of how researchers crafted the graphics for scientific publication in the field of circadian biology. The case highlights social aspects of graphical production which have gone understudied e especially concerning the negotiation of publication. I argue that it also supports a challenge to the claim that empirically-informed “cognitive design (...)
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  36. Theoretische und praktische Jurisprudenz. Die Verwissenschaftlichung der Rechtsgelehrsamkeit um 1800.Jan Schröder - 1993 - Berichte Zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte 16 (3-4):229-240.
    Two developments have been of crucial significance to create the today's relation of theoretical jurisprudence and the practical pursuit of law:1. The process of forming a jurisprudence basing on scientific methods around 1800. This process is particularly based on the following epistemological changes: The late 18th century gave birth to the idea of a system of science as an unchangeable context of science in abstracto. Therefore the practical application of parts of this system appeared no longer as an independent science. (...)
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  37. Why Thought Experiments Do Have a Life of Their Own: Defending the Autonomy of Thought Experimentation Method.N. K. Shinod - 2017 - Journal of Indian Council for Philosophical Research 34 (1):75-98.
    Thought experiments are one among the oldest and effectively employed tools of scientific reasoning. Hacking (Philos Sci 2:302–308, 1992) argues that thought experiments in contrast to real experiments do not have a life of their own. In this paper, I attempt to show that contrary to Hacking’s contentions, thought experiments do have a life of their own. The paper is divided into three main sections. In the first section, I review the reasons that Hacking sets out for believing in the (...)
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  38. Catherine Kendig, Ed. Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. London: Routledge, 2016. Pp. Xx+247. $153.00.Max Dresow & Alan C. Love - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):217-222.
    Nobody wants unnatural kinds. Just as we prefer all natural ingredients in our food, so also we prefer natural kinds in our ontology and epistemology. Philosophers contrast natural with merely “conventional” kinds, and scientists advocate for natural rather than artificial classification systems. A central plank of the desired naturalness is “mind independence”—the property of existing independent of human interests and desires. Natural kinds are discovered, not made. They reflect the structure of the world (“nature’s joints”) and for this reason justify (...)
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  39. Pierre Duhem and Ernst Mach on Thought Experiments.Marco Buzzoni - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):1-27.
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  40. An Introduction to Scientific Research. E. Bright Wilson, Jr.Russel L. Ackoff - 1954 - Philosophy of Science 21 (4):354-354.
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  41. The Rational and the Social. James Robert Brown.Steven Shapin - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):712-713.
  42. Scientific Rationality: The Sociological Turn. James Robert Brown.Paul Tibbetts - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (1):170-172.
  43. The Neglect of Experiment. Allan Franklin.Ian Hacking - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (2):306-308.
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  44. The Measurement of Values. L. L. Thurstone.Samuel E. Gluck - 1963 - Philosophy of Science 30 (4):408-409.
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  45. Measurement: Definitions and Theories. C. West Churchman, Philburn Ratoosh.R. M. Thrall - 1960 - Philosophy of Science 27 (4):420-422.
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  46. Science: Its Method and Its Philosophy. G. Burniston Brown.Cornelius L. Golightly - 1953 - Philosophy of Science 20 (1):83-83.
  47. Allan Franklin, Selectivity and Discord: Two Problems of Experiment. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press , 288pp., $38.50. [REVIEW]Klaus Hentschel - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (4):607-610.
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  48. Book ReviewsLorenzo Magnani and Nancy J. Nersessian , Model‐Based Reasoning: Technology, Science, Values. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers , 404 Pp., $130. [REVIEW]Eric Winsberg - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (2):442-447.
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  49. David Ebrey, Ed. Theory and Practice in Aristotle’s Natural Science. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. Viii+261. $99.00. [REVIEW]Tiberiu Popa - 2016 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 6 (2):354-357.
  50. On the Implications and Extensions of Luk’s Theory and Model of Scientific Study.Robert Luk - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (1):103-118.
    Recently, Luk tried to establish a model and a theory of scientific studies. He focused on articulating the theory and the model, but he did not emphasize relating them to some issues in philosophy of science. In addition, they might explain some of the issues in philosophy of science, but such explanation is not articulated in his papers. This paper explores the implications and extensions of Luk’s work in philosophy of science or science in general.
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