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What’s New about the New Induction?

Synthese 148 (2):295-301 (2006)

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  1. Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives From the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations.Matthew S. Sample - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):856-866.
    Kyle Stanford’s reformulation of the problem of underdetermination has the potential to highlight the epistemic obligations of scientists. Stanford, however, presents the phenomenon of unconceived alternatives as a problem for realists, despite critics’ insistence that we have contextual explanations for scientists’ failure to conceive of their successors’ theories. I propose that responsibilist epistemology and the concept of “role oughts,” as discussed by Lorraine Code and Richard Feldman, can pacify Stanford’s critics and reveal broader relevance of the “new induction.” The possibility (...)
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  • On Mizrahi’s Argument Against Stanford’s Instrumentalism.Fabio Sterpetti - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (2):103-125.
    Mizrahi’s argument against Stanford’s challenge to scientific realism is analyzed. Mizrahi’s argument is worth of attention for at least two reasons: unlike other criticisms that have been made to Stanford’s view so far, Mizrahi’s argument does not question any specific claim of Stanford’s argument, rather it puts into question the very coherence of Stanford’s position, because it argues that since Stanford’s argument rests on the problem of the unconceived alternatives, Stanford’s argument is self-defeating. Thus, if Mizrahi’s argument is effective in (...)
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  • In Defense of the Epistemic Imperative.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Axiomathes 28 (4):435-446.
    Sample (2015) argues that scientists ought not to believe that their theories are true because they cannot fulfill the epistemic obligation to take the diachronic perspective on their theories. I reply that Sample’s argument imposes an inordinately heavy epistemic obligation on scientists, and that it spells doom not only for scientific theories but also for observational beliefs and philosophical ideas that Samples endorses. I also delineate what I take to be a reasonable epistemic obligation for scientists. In sum, philosophers ought (...)
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  • Evidence Amalgamation, Plausibility, and Cancer Research.Marta Bertolaso & Fabio Sterpetti - forthcoming - Synthese:1-39.
    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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  • The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Problem of the Unconceived Alternatives.Fabio Sterpetti & Marta Bertolaso - forthcoming - Topoi:1-12.
    In the process of scientific discovery, knowledge ampliation is pursued by means of non-deductive inferences. When ampliative reasoning is performed, probabilities cannot be assigned objectively. One of the reasons is that we face the problem of the unconceived alternatives: we are unable to explore the space of all the possible alternatives to a given hypothesis, because we do not know how this space is shaped. So, if we want to adequately account for the process of knowledge ampliation, we need to (...)
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  • Grasping at Realist Straws. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther & Kyle Stanford - 2009 - Metascience 18 (3):355-390.
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  • Historical Inductions, Unconceived Alternatives, and Unconceived Objections.Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):59-68.
    In this paper, I outline a reductio against Stanford’s “New Induction” on the History of Science, which is an inductive argument against scientific realism that is based on what Stanford (2006) calls “the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives” (PUA). From the supposition that Stanford’s New Induction on the History of Science is cogent, and the parallel New Induction on the History of Philosophy (Mizrahi 2014), it follows that scientific antirealism is not worthy of belief. I also show that denying a key (...)
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  • Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.
    Kyle Stanford has recently claimed to offer a new challenge to scientific realism. Taking his inspiration from the familiar Pessimistic Induction (PI), Stanford proposes a New Induction (NI). Contra Anjan Chakravartty’s suggestion that the NI is a ‘red herring’, I argue that it reveals something deep and important about science. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives, which lies at the heart of the NI, yields a richer anti-realism than the PI. It explains why science falls short when it falls short, and (...)
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  • Some Difficulties for the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):875-886.
    P. Kyle Stanford defends the problem of unconceived alternatives, which maintains that scientists are unlikely to conceive of all the scientifically plausible alternatives to the theories they accept. Stanford’s argument has been criticized on the grounds that the failure of individual scientists to conceive of relevant alternatives does not entail the failure of science as a corporate body to do so. I consider two replies to this criticism and find both lacking. In the process, I argue that Stanford does not (...)
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  • Expanding Our Grasp: Causal Knowledge and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Matthias Egg - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):115-141.
    I argue that scientific realism, insofar as it is only committed to those scientific posits of which we have causal knowledge, is immune to Kyle Stanford’s argument from unconceived alternatives. This causal strategy is shown not to repeat the shortcomings of previous realist responses to Stanford’s argument. Furthermore, I show that the notion of causal knowledge underlying it can be made sufficiently precise by means of conceptual tools recently introduced into the debate on scientific realism. Finally, I apply this strategy (...)
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  • Re-Enchanting Realism in Debate with Kyle Stanford.Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (1):201-224.
    In this article, against the background of a notion of ‘assembled’ truth, the evolutionary progressiveness of a theory is suggested as novel and promising explanation for the success of science. A new version of realism in science, referred to as ‘naturalised realism’ is outlined. Naturalised realism is ‘fallibilist’ in the unique sense that it captures and mimics the self-corrective core of scientific knowledge and its progress. It is argued that naturalised realism disarms Kyle Stanford’s anti-realist ‘new induction’ threats by showing (...)
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