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  1. Forever Beyond Our Grasp?Patrick Forber - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):135-141.
    Does science successfully uncover the deep structure of the natural world? Or are the depths forever beyond our epistemic grasp? Since the decline of logical positivism and logical empiricism, scientific realism has become the consensus view: of course our scientific theories apprehend the deep structure of the world. What else could explain the remarkable success of science? This is the explanationist defense of scientific realism, the “ultimate argument.” Kyle Stanford starts here and, using the history of theorizing about biological inheritance (...)
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  • Practice-Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Support in Current Evolutionary Biology: Phylogeography as a Case Study.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2015 - Perspectives on Science 23 (3):310-334.
    Although there is increasing recognition that theory and practice in science are often inseparably intertwined, discussions of scientific controversies often continue to focus on theory, and not practice or methodologies. As a contribution to constructing a framework towards understanding controversies linked to scientific practices, we introduce the notion of borrowed epistemic credibility, to describe the situation in which scientists exploit fallacious similarities between accepted tenets in other fields to garner support for a given position in their own field. Our proposal (...)
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  • Practice Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Support in Current Evolutionary Biology. The Case of Phylogeography.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2015 - Perspectives on Science 23 (3):310-334.
    Philosophical treatments of scientific controversies usually focus on theory, excluding important practice related aspects. However, scientists in conflict often appeal to extra-theoretical and extra-empirical elements. To understand better the role that non-empirical elements play in scientific controversies, we introduce the notion of borrowed epistemic credibility, illustrating our proposal with a recent controversy in a field of evolutionary biology known as phylogeography. Our analysis shows how scientific controversies that spring from disagreements about methodological issues potentially involve deeperdebates regarding whatconstitutes good science, (...)
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  • (Mis)Interpreting Mathematical Models: Drift as a Physical Process.Michael R. Dietrich, Robert A. Skipper Jr & Roberta L. Millstein - 2009 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 1 (20130604):e002.
    Recently, a number of philosophers of biology have endorsed views about random drift that, we will argue, rest on an implicit assumption that the meaning of concepts such as drift can be understood through an examination of the mathematical models in which drift appears. They also seem to implicitly assume that ontological questions about the causality of terms appearing in the models can be gleaned from the models alone. We will question these general assumptions by showing how the same equation (...)
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  • Historical Reconstruction: Gaining Epistemic Access to the Deep Past.Patrick Forber - 2011 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 3 (20130604).
    We discuss the scientific task of historical reconstruction and the problem of epistemic access. We argue that strong epistemic support for historical claims consists in the consilience of multiple independent lines of evidence, and analyze the impact hypothesis for the End-Cretaceous mass extinction to illustrate the accrual of epistemic support. Although there are elements of the impact hypothesis that enjoy strong epistemic support, the general conditions for this are strict, and help to clarify the difficulties associated with reconstructing the deep (...)
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  • “Practice-Oriented Controversies and Borrowed Epistemic Credibility in Current Evolutionary Biology: Phylogeography as a Case Study.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2017 - Perspectives on Science 25 (3):310-334.
    Philosophical treatments of scientific controversies usually focus on theory, excluding important practice related aspects. However, scientists in conflict often appeal to extra-theoretical and extra-empirical elements. To understand better the role that non-empirical elements play in scientific controversies, we introduce the notion of borrowed epistemic credibility, illustrating our proposal with a recent controversy in a field of evolutionary biology known as phylogeography. Our analysis shows how scientific controversies that spring from disagreements about methodological issues potentially involve deeper debates regarding what constitutes (...)
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  • Who's Afraid of Dissent?: Addressing Concerns About Undermining Scientific Consensus in Public Policy Developments.Inmaculada de Melo-Martín & Kristen Intemann - 2014 - Perspectives on Science 22 (4):593-615.
    Many have argued that allowing and encouraging public avenues for dissent and critical evaluation of scientific research is a necessary condition for promoting the objectivity of scientific communities and advancing scientific knowledge . The history of science reveals many cases where an existing scientific consensus was later shown to be wrong . Dissent plays a crucial role in uncovering potential problems and limitations of consensus views. Thus, many have argued that scientific communities ought to increase opportunities for dissenting views to (...)
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  • Should We Aim for Consensus?Alfred Moore & John Beatty - 2010 - Episteme 7 (3):198-214.
    There can be good reasons to doubt the authority of a group of scientists. But those reasons do not include lack of unanimity among them. Indeed, holding science to a unanimity or near-unanimity standard has a pernicious effect on scientific deliberation, and on the transparency that is so crucial to the authority of science in a democracy. What authorizes a conclusion is the quality of the deliberation that produced it, which is enhanced by the presence of a non-dismissible minority. Scientists (...)
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  • Spandrels and a Pervasive Problem of Evidence.Patrick Forber - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):247-266.