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  1. Reinterpreting Relativity: Using the Equivalence Principle to Explain Away Cosmological Anomalies.Marcus Arvan - manuscript
    According to the standard interpretation of Einstein’s field equations, gravity consists of mass-energy curving spacetime, and an additional physical force or entity—denoted by Λ (the ‘cosmological constant’)—is responsible for the Universe’s metric-expansion. Although General Relativity’s direct predictions have been systematically confirmed, the dominant cosmological model thought to follow from it—the ΛCDM (Lambda cold dark matter) model of the Universe’s history and composition—faces considerable challenges, including various observational anomalies and experimental failures to detect dark matter, dark energy, or inflation-field candidates. This (...)
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  2. A paradox of underdetermination.Terence Rajivan Edward - manuscript
    One way of trying to justify the thesis of the underdetermination of scientific theories is by actual examples. In this paper, I present a paradox which arises from trying to justify the thesis in this way.
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  3. In Defence of Dimensions.Caspar Jacobs - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The distinction between dimensions and units in physics is commonplace. But are dimensions a feature of reality? The most widely-held view is that they are no more than a tool for keeping track of the values of quantities under a change of units. This anti-realist position is supported by an argument from underdetermination: one can assign dimensions to quantities in many different ways, all of which are empirically equivalent. In contrast, I defend a form of dimensional realism, on which some (...)
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  4. Objectivity and Underdetermination in Statistical Model Selection.Beckett Sterner & Scott Lidgard - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The growing range of methods for statistical model selection is inspiring new debates about how to handle the potential for conflicting results when different methods are applied to the same data. While many factors enter into choosing a model selection method, we focus on the implications of disagreements among scientists about whether, and in what sense, the true probability distribution is included in the candidate set of models. While this question can be addressed empirically, the data often provide inconclusive results (...)
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  5. Bodies of evidence: The ‘Excited Delirium Syndrome’ and the epistemology of cause-of-death inquiry.Enno Fischer & Saana Jukola - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 104 (C):38-47.
    “Excited Delirium Syndrome” (ExDS) is a controversial diagnosis. The supposed syndrome is sometimes considered to be a potential cause of death. However, it has been argued that its sole purpose is to cover up excessive police violence because it is mainly used to explain deaths of individuals in custody. In this paper, we examine the epistemic conditions giving rise to the controversial diagnosis by discussing the relation between causal hypotheses, evidence, and data in forensic medicine. We argue that the practitioners’ (...)
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  6. Permissivism, Underdetermination, and Evidence.Elizabeth Jackson & Margaret Greta Turnbull - 2024 - In Maria Lasonen-Aarnio & Clayton Littlejohn (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Evidence. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 358–370.
    Permissivism is the thesis that, for some body of evidence and a proposition p, there is more than one rational doxastic attitude any agent with that evidence can take toward p. Proponents of uniqueness deny permissivism, maintaining that every body of evidence always determines a single rational doxastic attitude. In this paper, we explore the debate between permissivism and uniqueness about evidence, outlining some of the major arguments on each side. We then consider how permissivism can be understood as an (...)
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  7. “To Measure by a Known Measure”: Kepler’s Geometrical Epistemology in the Harmonices Mundi Libri V.Domenica Romagni - 2024 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 14 (1):103-133.
    In this article, I address the epistemological role that geometry plays in Kepler’s Harmonices Mundi Libri V and argue that the framework he develops there is meant to address concerns regarding the confirmation of astronomical hypotheses, which are supported by comments in earlier works regarding empirical underdetermination. The geometrical epistemology that he constructs to combat these concerns in the Harmonices Mundi is introduced in Book I and then is extended to his theory of harmonic proportion in Book III, finally providing (...)
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  8. Cosmic Topology, Underdetermination, and Spatial Infinity.Patrick James Ryan - 2024 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 14 (17):1-28.
    It is well-known that the global structure of every space-time model for relativistic cosmology is observationally underdetermined. In order to alleviate the severity of this underdetermination, it has been proposed that we adopt the Cosmological Principle because the Principle restricts our attention to a distinguished class of space-time models (spatially homogeneous and isotropic models). I argue that, even assuming the Cosmological Principle, the topology of space remains observationally underdetermined. Nonetheless, I argue that we can muster reasons to prefer various topological (...)
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  9. Motivating (Underdetermination) Scepticism.Guido Tana - 2024 - Acta Analytica 39 (2):243-272.
    The aim of this paper is to analyse and develop how scepticism becomes an intelligible question starting from requirements that epistemologists themselves aim to endorse. We argue for and defend the idea that the root of scepticism is the underdetermination principle by articulating its specificitya respectable epistemic principle and by defending it against objections in current literature. This engagement offers a novel understanding of underdetermination-based scepticism. While most anti-sceptical approaches challenge scepticism by understanding it as postulating uneliminated scenarios of mass (...)
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  10. The elimination of metaphysics through the epistemological analysis: lessons (un)learned from metaphysical underdetermination.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo, Jonas R. B. Arenhart & Décio Krause - 2023 - In Diederik Aerts, Jonas Arenhart, Christian De Ronde & Giuseppe Sergioli (eds.), Probing The Meaning Of Quantum Mechanics: Probability, Metaphysics, Explanation And Measurement. World Scientific.
    This chapter argues that the general philosophy of science should learn metaphilosophical lessons from the case of metaphysical underdetermination, as it occurs in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Section presents the traditional discussion of metaphysical underdetermination regarding the individuality and non-individuality of quantum particles. Section discusses three reactions to it found in the literature: eliminativism about individuality; conservatism about individuality; eliminativism about objects. Section wraps it all up with metametaphysical considerations regarding the epistemology of metaphysics of science.
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  11. A deductive variation on the no miracles argument.Luke Golemon & Abraham Graber - 2023 - Synthese 201 (81):1-26.
    The traditional No-Miracles Argument (TNMA) asserts that the novel predictive success of science would be a miracle, and thus too implausible to believe, if successful theories were not at least approximately true. The TNMA has come under fire in multiple ways, challenging each of its premises and its general argumentative structure. While the TNMA relies on explaining novel predictive success via the truth of the theories, we put forth a deductive version of the No-Miracles argument (DNMA) that avoids inference to (...)
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  12. The Root of the Third Dogma of Empiricism: Davidson vs. Quine on Factualism.Ali Hossein Khani - 2023 - Acta Analytica 38 (1):161-183.
    Davidson has famously argued that conceptual relativism, which, for him, is based on the content-scheme dualism, or the “third dogma” of empiricism, is either unintelligible or philosophically uninteresting and has accused Quine of holding onto such a dogma. For Davidson, there can be found no intelligible ground for the claim that there may exist untranslatable languages: all languages, if they are languages, are in principle inter-translatable and uttered sentences, if identifiable as utterances, are interpretable. Davidson has also endorsed the Quinean (...)
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  13. Are Models Our Tools Not Our Masters?Caspar Jacobs - 2023 - Synthese 202 (4):1-21.
    It is often claimed that one can avoid the kind of underdetermination that is a typical consequence of symmetries in physics by stipulating that symmetry-related models represent the same state of affairs (Leibniz Equivalence). But recent commentators (Dasgupta 2011; Pooley 2021; Pooley and Read 2021; Teitel 2021a) have responded that claims about the representational capacities of models are irrelevant to the issue of underdetermination, which concerns possible worlds themselves. In this paper I distinguish two versions of this objection: (1) that (...)
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  14. Facts and objectivity in science.Philippe Stamenkovic - 2023 - Interdisciplinary Science Reviews (2):277-298.
    There are various conceptions of objectivity, a characteristic of the scientific enterprise, the most fundamental being objectivity as faithfulness to facts. A brute fact, which happens independently from us, becomes a scientific fact once we take cognisance of it through the means made available to us by science. Because of the complex, reciprocal relationship between scientific facts and scientific theory, the concept of objectivity as faithfulness to facts does not hold in the strict sense of an aperspectival faithfulness to brute (...)
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  15. What Is the Spatiotemporal Extension of the Universe? Underdetermination according to Kant’s First Antinomy and in Present-Day Cosmology.Claus Beisbart - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (1):286-307.
    In his Critique of Pure Reason, in the chapter on the antinomy of pure reason, Kant not only argues that aprioristic cosmology is doomed to failure; he also implies that empirical knowledge about the universe is impossible. Today, such a negative verdict about the possibility of cosmological knowledge seems implausible because physical cosmology has made substantial progress. In particular, the spatiotemporal extension of the universe now seems a matter of empirical investigation in which models figure centrally. But I think it (...)
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  16. Gravity and Grace.Gordon Belot - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (1).
    This paper revisits the bearing of underdetermination arguments on scientific realism. First it argues that underdetermination considerations provide good reason to doubt that science is objective in the strong sense that anyone following the its methods will be led closer and closer to the truth about any given question within the purview of those methods, as more relevant data are considered. Then it argues that scientific realism is difficult to maintain in the absence of this sort of objectivity.
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  17. Introducing new work on indeterminacy and underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-14.
    This paper summarises the contributions to our Topical Collection on indeterminacy and underdetermination. The collection includes papers in ethics, metaethics, logic, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of language and philosophy of computation.
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  18. Ineliminable underdetermination and context-shifting arguments.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (2):215-236.
    ABSTRACT The truth-conditions of utterances are often underdetermined by the meaning of the sentence uttered, as suggested by the observation that the same sentence has different intuitive truth-values in different contexts. The intuitive difference is usually explained by assigning different truth-conditions to different utterances. This paper poses a problem for explanations of this kind: These truth-conditions, if they exist, are epistemically inaccessible. I suggest instead that truth-conditional underdetermination is ineliminable and these utterances have no truth-conditions. Intuitive truth-values are explained by (...)
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  19. Reframing the environment in data-intensive health sciences.Stefano Canali & Sabina Leonelli - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 93:203-214.
    In this paper, we analyse the relation between the use of environmental data in contemporary health sciences and related conceptualisations and operationalisations of the notion of environment. We consider three case studies that exemplify a different selection of environmental data and mode of data integration in data-intensive epidemiology. We argue that the diversification of data sources, their increase in scale and scope, and the application of novel analytic tools have brought about three significant conceptual shifts. First, we discuss the EXPOsOMICS (...)
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  20. Traditional literary interpretation versus subversive interpretation.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2022 - Asian Journal of Advances in Research 16 (3):34-39.
    I present some objections to traditional literary interpretation and consider subversive interpretation as a solution to these problems. Subversive interpretation may seem more scientific and more democratic than traditional interpretation, but it is open to doubt that it is more democratic.
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  21. Essence, Experiment, and Underdetermination in the Spinoza-Boyle Correspondence.Stephen Harrop - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (2):447-484.
    I examine the (mediated) correspondence between Spinoza and Robert Boyle concerning the latter’s account of fluidity and his experiments on reconstitution of niter in the light of the epistemology and doctrine of method contained in the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. I argue that both the Treatise and the correspondence reveal that for Spinoza, the proper method of science is not experimental, and that he accepted a powerful under-determination thesis. I argue that, in contrast to modern versions, Spinoza’s (...)
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  22. Underdetermination and closure: Thoughts on two sceptical arguments.Martin Smith - 2022 - In Duncan Pritchard & Matthew Jope (ed.), New Perspectives on Epistemic Closure. Routledge.
    In this paper, I offer reasons for thinking that two prominent sceptical arguments in the literature – the underdetermination-based sceptical argument and the closure-based sceptical argument – are less philosophically interesting than is commonly supposed. The underdetermination-based argument begs the question against a non-sceptic and can be dismissed with little fanfare. The closure-based argument, though perhaps not question-begging per se, does rest upon contentious assumptions that a non-sceptic is under no pressure to accept.
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  23. Closure, Underdetermination, and the Peculiarity of Sceptical Scenarios.Guido Tana - 2022 - Theoria 89 (1):73-97.
    Epistemologists understand radical skepticism as arising from two principles: Closure and Underdetermination. Both possess intuitive prima facie support for their endorsement. Understanding how they engender skepticism is crucial for any reasonable anti-skeptical attempt. The contemporary discussion has focused on elucidating the relationship between them to ascertain whether they establish distinct skeptical questions and which of the two constitutes the ultimately fundamental threat. Major contributions to this debate are due to Brueckner, Cohen, and Pritchard. This contribution aims at defending Brueckner’s contention (...)
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  24. Scientific Realism and Further Underdetermination Challenges.Mario Alai - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (6):779-789.
    In an earlier article on this journal I argued that the problem of empirical underdetermination can for the largest part be solved by theoretical virtues, and for the remaining part it can be tolerated. Here I confront two further challenges to scientific realism based on underdetermination. First, there are four classes of theories which may seem to be underdetermined even by theoretical virtues. Concerning them I argue that (i) theories produced by trivial permutations and (ii) “equivalent descriptions” are compatible with (...)
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  25. The Problem of State-Dependent Utility: A Reappraisal.Jean Baccelli - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):617-634.
    State-dependent utility is a problem for the behavioural branch of decision theory under uncertainty. It questions the very possibility that beliefs be revealed by choice data. According to the current literature, all models of beliefs are equally exposed to the problem. Moreover, the problem is solvable only when the decision-maker can influence the resolution of uncertainty. This article gives grounds to reject these two views. The various models of beliefs can be shown to be unequally exposed to the problem of (...)
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  26. Data models, representation and adequacy-for-purpose.Alisa Bokulich & Wendy Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    We critically engage two traditional views of scientific data and outline a novel philosophical view that we call the pragmatic-representational view of data. On the PR view, data are representations that are the product of a process of inquiry, and they should be evaluated in terms of their adequacy or fitness for particular purposes. Some important implications of the PR view for data assessment, related to misrepresentation, context-sensitivity, and complementary use, are highlighted. The PR view provides insight into the common (...)
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  27. Replication, uncertainty and progress in comparative cognition.Alexandria Boyle - 2021 - Animal Behaviour and Cognition 8 (2):296-304.
    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 (...)
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  28. Scientific realism and underdetermination in quantum theory.Matthias Egg & Juha Saatsi - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (11):e12773.
    This paper surveys the status of scientific realism in relation to quantum physics, focusing on the problem of underdetermination.
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  29. The two visual systems hypothesis and contrastive underdetermination.Thor Grünbaum - 2021 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 17):4045-4068.
    This paper concerns local yet systematic problems of contrastive underdetermination of model choice in cognitive neuroscience debates about the so-called two visual systems hypothesis. The underdetermination problem is systematically generated by the way certain assumptions about the representationalist nature of computation are translated into experimental practice. The problem is that behavioural data underdetermine the choice between competing representational models. In this paper, I diagnose how these assumptions generate underdetermination problems in the choice between competing functional models of perception–action. Using the (...)
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  30. Abduction − the context of discovery + underdetermination = inference to the best explanation.Mousa Mohammadian - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4205-4228.
    The relationship between Peircean abduction and the modern notion of Inference to the Best Explanation is a matter of dispute. Some philosophers, such as Harman :88–95, 1965) and Lipton, claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different :503, 1998; Minnameier in Erkenntnis 60:75–105, 2004) and there is no link between them :419–442, 2009). In this paper, I argue that neither of these views is correct. I show that abduction and IBE have (...)
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  31. Virtues in Scientific Practice.Dana Tulodziecki - 2021 - In Emanuele Ratti & Tom Stapleford (eds.), Science, Technology, and Virtues: Contemporary Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter relocates the debate about the theoretical virtues to the empirical level and argues that the question of whether the virtues (and what virtues, if any) have epistemic import is best answered empirically, through an examination of actual scientific theories and hypotheses in the history of science. As a concrete example of this approach, the chapter discusses a case study from the mid-nineteenth-century debate about the transmissibility of puerperal fever. It argues that this case shows that the virtues are (...)
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  32. Underdetermination and evidence-based policy.Fredrik Andersen & Elena Rocca - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 84:101335.
    Safety assessment of technologies and interventions is often underdetermined by evidence. For example, scientists have collected evidence concerning genetically modified plants for decades. This evidence was used to ground opposing safety protocols for “stacked genetically modified” plants, in which two or more genetically modified plants are combined. Evidence based policy would thus be rendered more effective by an approach that accounts for underdetermination. Douglas (2012) proposes an explanatory approach, based on the criteria of transparency, empirical competence, internal consistency of explanations, (...)
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  33. A Review of Data-Intensive Approaches for Sustainability: Methodology, Epistemology, Normativity, and Ontology.Vivek Anand Asokan - 2020 - Sustainability Science 15.
    With the growth of data, data-intensive approaches for sustainability are becoming widespread and have been endorsed by various stakeholders. To understand their implications, in this paper data-intensive approaches for sustainability will be explored by conducting an extensive review. The current data-intensive approaches are defined as an amalgamation of traditional data-collection methods, like surveys and data from monitoring networks, with new data-collection methods that involve new information communication technology. Based on a comprehensive review of the current dataintensive approaches for sustainability, key (...)
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  34. Quantum Randomness and Underdetermination.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Simon M. Huttegger - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (3):391-408.
    We consider the nature of quantum randomness and how one might have empirical evidence for it. We will see why, depending on one’s computational resources, it may be impossible to determine whether...
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  35. Gildi vísinda og gildin í vísindum - á tímum heimsfaraldurs [English title: "The Value of Science and the Values in Science - in Pandemic Times"].Finnur Dellsén - 2020 - Skírnir 194:251-273.
    English summary: This paper uses research on the COVID-19 pandemic as the backdrop for an accessible discussion of the value and status of science, and of the role of valuesin science. In particular, the paper seeks to debunk three common myths or dogmas about scientific research: (i) that there is such a thing as 'scientific proof' of a theory or hypothesis, (ii) that disagreement is necessarily unhealthy or unnatural in science, (iii) and that personal values play no role in scientific (...)
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  36. Islam and Science: The Philosophical Grounds for a Genuine Debate.Ali Hossein Khani - 2020 - Zygon 55 (4):1011-1040.
    What does it take for Islam and science to engage in a genuine conversation with each other? This essay is an attempt to answer this question by clarifying the conditions which make having such a conversation possible and plausible. I will first distinguish between three notions of conversation: the trivial conversation (which requires sharing a common language and the meaning of its ordinary expressions), superficial conversation (in which although the language is shared, the communicators fail to share the meaning of (...)
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  37. 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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  38. What Can Artificial Intelligence Do for Scientific Realism?Petr Spelda & Vit Stritecky - 2020 - Axiomathes 31 (1):85-104.
    The paper proposes a synthesis between human scientists and artificial representation learning models as a way of augmenting epistemic warrants of realist theories against various anti-realist attempts. Towards this end, the paper fleshes out unconceived alternatives not as a critique of scientific realism but rather a reinforcement, as it rejects the retrospective interpretations of scientific progress, which brought about the problem of alternatives in the first place. By utilising adversarial machine learning, the synthesis explores possibility spaces of available evidence for (...)
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  39. Empirical Underdetermination for Physical Theories in C* Algebraic Setting: Comments to an Arageorgis's Argument.Chrysovalantis Stergiou - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (9):877-892.
    In this paper, I reconstruct an argument of Aristidis Arageorgis against empirical underdetermination of the state of a physical system in a C*-algebraic setting and explore its soundness. The argument, aiming against algebraic imperialism, the operationalist attitude which characterized the first steps of Algebraic Quantum Field Theory, is based on two topological properties of the state space: being T1 and being first countable in the weak*-topology. The first property is possessed trivially by the state space while the latter is highly (...)
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  40. The use and limitations of null-model-based hypothesis testing.Mingjun Zhang - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (2):1-22.
    In this article I give a critical evaluation of the use and limitations of null-model-based hypothesis testing as a research strategy in the biological sciences. According to this strategy, the null model based on a randomization procedure provides an appropriate null hypothesis stating that the existence of a pattern is the result of random processes or can be expected by chance alone, and proponents of other hypotheses should first try to reject this null hypothesis in order to demonstrate their own (...)
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  41. Consequentializing and Underdetermination.Marius Baumann - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):511-527.
    abstractThe paper explores a new interpretation of the consequentializing project. Three prominent interpretations are criticized for neglecting the explanatory dimension of moral theories. Instead...
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  42. Saying a bundle: meaning, intention, and underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4229-4252.
    People often speak loosely, uttering sentences that are plainly false on their most strict interpretation. In understanding such speakers, we face a problem of underdetermination: there is often no unique interpretation that captures what they meant. Focusing on the case of incomplete definite descriptions, this paper suggests that speakers often mean bundles of propositions. When a speaker means a bundle, their audience can know what they mean by deriving any one of its members. Rather than posing a problem for the (...)
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  43. Inquiry Tickets: Values, Pursuit, and Underdetermination.Marina DiMarco & Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1016-1028.
    We offer a new account of the role of values in theory choice that captures a temporal dimension to the values themselves. We argue that non-epistemic values sometimes serve as “inquiry tickets,” justifying scientists’ pursuit of certain questions in the short run, while the answers to those questions mitigate transient underdetermination in the long run. Our account of inquiry tickets shows that the role of non-epistemic values need not be restricted to belief or acceptance in order to be relevant to (...)
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  44. Modeling creative abduction Bayesian style.Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla & Alexander Gebharter - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-15.
    Schurz (Synthese 164:201–234, 2008) proposed a justification of creative abduction on the basis of the Reichenbachian principle of the common cause. In this paper we take up the idea of combining creative abduction with causal principles and model instances of successful creative abduction within a Bayes net framework. We identify necessary conditions for such inferences and investigate their unificatory power. We also sketch several interesting applications of modeling creative abduction Bayesian style. In particular, we discuss use-novel predictions, confirmation, and the (...)
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  45. Multiple reasonable behaviors cases: The problem of causal underdetermination in tort law.Maytal Gilboa - 2019 - Legal Theory 25 (2):77-104.
  46. Data Analysis, Analytics in Internet of Things and BigData.Mohammad Nezhad Hossein Shourkaei, Damghani Hamidreza, D. Leila & Hosseinian Heliasadat - 2019 - 4th International Conference on Combinatorics, Cryptography, Computer Science and Computation 4.
    The Internet-of-Things (IoT) is gradually being established as the new computing paradigm, which is bound to change the ways of our everyday working and living. IoT emphasizes the interconnection of virtually all types of physical objects (e.g., cell phones, wearables, smart meters, sensors, coffee machines and more) towards enabling them to exchange data and services among themselves, while also interacting with humans as well. Few years following the introduction of the IoT concept, significant hype was generated as a result of (...)
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  47. Underdetermination and Evidence in the Developmental Plasticity Debate.Karen Kovaka - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):127-152.
    I identify a controversial hypothesis in evolutionary biology called the plasticity-first hypothesis. I argue that the plasticity-first hypothesis is underdetermined and that the most popular means of studying the plasticity-first hypothesis are insufficient to confirm or disconfirm it. I offer a strategy for overcoming this problem. Researchers need to develop a richer middle range theory of plasticity-first evolution that allows them to identify distinctive empirical traces of the hypothesis. They can then use those traces to discriminate between rival explanations of (...)
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  48. The Instrument of Science: Scientific Anti-Realism Revitalised.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2019 - New York: Routledge.
    Roughly, instrumentalism is the view that science is primarily, and should primarily be, an instrument for furthering our practical ends. It has fallen out of favour because historically influential variants of the view, such as logical positivism, suffered from serious defects. -/- In this book, however, Darrell P. Rowbottom develops a new form of instrumentalism, which is more sophisticated and resilient than its predecessors. This position—‘cognitive instrumentalism’—involves three core theses. First, science makes theoretical progress primarily when it furnishes us with (...)
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  49. Kuhn’s two accounts of rational disagreement in science: an interpretation and critique.Markus Seidel - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6023-6051.
    Whereas there is much discussion about Thomas Kuhn’s notion of methodological incommensurability and many have seen his ideas as an attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science, so far no serious analysis of how exactly Kuhn aims to account for rational disagreement has been proposed. This paper provides the first in-depth analysis of Kuhn’s account of rational disagreement in science—an account that can be seen as the most prominent attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science. Three things will (...)
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  50. The Plausibility and Significance of Underdetermination Arguments.Vikram S. Sirola & Abhishek Kashyap - 2019 - Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 36 (2):339-356.
    Underdetermination of theory choice claims that empirical evidence fails to provide sufficient grounds for choosing a theory over its rivals. We explore the epistemological and methodological significance of this thesis by utilising a classificatory scheme to situate three arguments that purport to establish its plausibility. Proponents of these three arguments, W.V.O Quine, John Earman, and Kyle Stanford, use different premises to arrive at the conclusion that theory choice is empirically underdetermined and their classification along the proposed schema brings out the (...)
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