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Samuel C. Fletcher (2012). What Counts as a Newtonian System? The View From Norton’s Dome.

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  1.  3
    Minimal Approximations and Norton’s Dome.Samuel C. Fletcher - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this note, I apply Norton’s (Philos Sci 79(2):207–232, 2012) distinction between idealizations and approximations to argue that the epistemic and inferential advantages often taken to accrue to minimal models (Batterman in Br J Philos Sci 53:21–38, 2002) could apply equally to approximations, including “infinite” ones for which there is no consistent model. This shows that the strategy of capturing essential features through minimality extends beyond models, even though the techniques for justifying this extended strategy remain similar. As an application (...)
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  2.  3
    Some Surprising Instabilities in Idealized Dynamical Systems.Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  3.  42
    Conceptual Fragmentation and the Rise of Eliminativism.Henry Taylor & Peter Vickers - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):17-40.
    Pluralist and eliminativist positions have proliferated within both science and philosophy of science in recent decades. This paper asks the question why this shift of thinking has occurred, and where it is leading us. We provide an explanation which, if correct, entails that we should expect pluralism and eliminativism to transform other debates currently unaffected, and for good reasons. We then consider the question under what circumstances eliminativism will be appropriate, arguing that it depends not only on the term in (...)
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  4.  62
    Similarity, Topology, and Physical Significance in Relativity Theory.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):365-389.
    Stephen Hawking, among others, has proposed that the topological stability of a property of space-time is a necessary condition for it to be physically significant. What counts as stable, however, depends crucially on the choice of topology. Some physicists have thus suggested that one should find a canonical topology, a single ‘right’ topology for every inquiry. While certain such choices might be initially motivated, some little-discussed examples of Robert Geroch and some propositions of my own show that the main candidates—and (...)
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  5.  45
    Who Let the Demon Out? Laplace and Boscovich on Determinism.Boris Kožnjak - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:42-52.
    In this paper, I compare Pierre-Simon Laplace's celebrated formulation of the principle of determinism in his 1814 Essai philosophique sur les probabilités with the formulation of the same principle offered by Roger Joseph Boscovich in his Theoria philosophiae naturalis, published 56 years earlier. This comparison discloses a striking general similarity between the two formulations of determinism as well as certain important differences. Regarding their similarities, both Boscovich's and Laplace's conceptions of determinism involve two mutually interdependent components—ontological and epistemic—and they are (...)
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    The Norton Dome and the Nineteenth Century Foundations of Determinism.Marij van Strien - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):167-185.
    The recent discovery of an indeterministic system in classical mechanics, the Norton dome, has shown that answering the question whether classical mechanics is deterministic can be a complicated matter. In this paper I show that indeterministic systems similar to the Norton dome were already known in the nineteenth century: I discuss four nineteenth century authors who wrote about such systems, namely Poisson, Duhamel, Boussinesq and Bertrand. However, I argue that their discussion of such systems was very different from the contemporary (...)
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