Year:

  1. The Problem of Confirmation in the Everett Interpretation.Adlam Emily - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:21-32.
    I argue that the Oxford school Everett interpretation is internally incoherent, because we cannot claim that in an Everettian universe the kinds of reasoning we have used to arrive at our beliefs about quantum mechanics would lead us to form true beliefs. I show that in an Everettian context, the experimental evidence that we have available could not provide empirical confirmation for quantum mechanics, and moreover that we would not even be able to establish reference to the theoretical entities of (...)
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  2. Against the Empirical Viability of the Deutsch–Wallace–Everett Approach to Quantum Mechanics.Richard Dawid & Karim Thébault - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:55-61.
    The subjective Everettian approach to quantum mechanics presented by Deutsch and Wallace fails to constitute an empirically viable theory of quantum phenomena. The decision theoretic implementation of the Born rule realized in this approach provides no basis for rejecting Everettian quantum mechanics in the face of empirical data that contradicts the Born rule. The approach of Greaves and Myrvold, which provides a subjective implementation of the Born rule as well but derives it from empirical data rather than decision theoretic arguments, (...)
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  3. Maudlin׳s Challenge Refuted: A Reply to Lewis.Kastner Ruth - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:15-20.
    Lewis has recently argued that Maudlin׳s contingent absorber experiment remains a significant problem for the Transactional Interpretation. He argues that the only straightforward way to resolve the challenge is by describing the absorbers as offer waves, and asserts that this is a previously unnoticed aspect of the challenge for TI. This argument is refuted in two basic ways: it is noted that the Maudlin experiment cannot be meaningfully recast with absorbers described by quantum states; instead the author replaces it with (...)
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  4. Identity Versus Determinism: Émile Meyerson׳s Neo-Kantian Interpretation of the Quantum Theory.M. Mills - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:33-49.
    Despite the praise his writing garnered during his lifetime, e.g., from readers such as Einstein and de Broglie, Émile Meyerson has been largely forgotten. The rich tradition of French épistémologie has recently been taken up in some Anglo-American scholarship, but Meyerson—who popularized the term épistémologie through his historical method of analyzing science, and criticized positivism long before Quine and Kuhn—remains overlooked. If Meyerson is remembered at all, it is as a historian of classical science. This paper attempts to rectify both (...)
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  5. A General Perspective On Time Observables.Bryan Roberts - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:50-54.
    I propose a general geometric framework in which to discuss the existence of time observables. This framework allows one to describe a local sense in which time observables always exist, and a global sense in which they can sometimes exist subject to a restriction on the vector fields that they generate. Pauli׳s prohibition on quantum time observables is derived as a corollary to this result. I will then discuss how time observables can be regained in modest extensions of quantum theory (...)
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  6. On the Interpretive Role of Theories of Gravity and ‘Ugly’ Solutions to the Total Evidence for Dark Matter.William Vanderburgh - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:62-67.
    Peter Kosso discusses the weak gravitational lensing observations of the Bullet Cluster and argues that dark matter can be detected in this system solely through the equivalence principle without the need to specify a full theory of gravity. This paper argues that Kosso gets some of the details wrong in his analysis of the implications of the Bullet Cluster observations for the Dark Matter Double Bind and the possibility of constructing robust tests of theories of gravity at galactic and greater (...)
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  7. Gestalt Switches in Poincaré׳s Prize Paper: An Inspiration for, but Not an Instance of, Chaos.Lena Zuchowski - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 47:1-14.
    I analyse in detail the construction of asymptotic surfaces in Sections 16–19 of Poincaré, also known as the prize paper. There are two prime reasons for doing so. Firstly, this part of the prize paper contains an interesting argumentative strategy, which I call Poincaré׳s gestalt switch. Secondly, it has been claimed that the prize paper contains one of the first descriptions of chaotic motion. I will argue that the latter claim is false, although both the gestalt switches and the graphical (...)
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  8. On the Empirical Equivalence Between Special Relativity and Lorentz׳s Ether Theory.Acuña Pablo - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):283-302.
    In this paper I argue that the case of Einstein׳s special relativity vs. Hendrik Lorentz׳s ether theory can be decided in terms of empirical evidence, in spite of the predictive equivalence between the theories. In the historical and philosophical literature this case has been typically addressed focusing on non-empirical features. I claim that non-empirical features are not enough to provide a fully objective and uniquely determined choice in instances of empirical equivalence. However, I argue that if we consider arguments proposed (...)
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  9. From Primitive Identity to the Non-Individuality of Quantum Objects.Jonas Arenhart & Décio Krause - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):273-282.
    We consider the claim by Dorato and Morganti 591–610) that primitive individuality should be attributed to the entities dealt with by non-relativistic quantum mechanics. There are two central ingredients in the proposal: in the case of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, individuality should be taken as a primitive notion and primitive individuality is naturalistically acceptable. We argue that, strictly understood, naturalism faces difficulties in helping to provide a theory with a unique principle of individuation. We also hold that even when taken in (...)
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  10. Three Principles of Quantum Gravity in the Condensed Matter Approach.Jonathan Bain - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):154-163.
    Research on quantum gravity has historically relied on appeals to guiding principles. This essay frames three such principles within the context of the condensed matter approach to QG. I first identify two distinct versions of this approach, and then consider the extent to which the principles of asymptotic safety, relative locality, and holography are supported by these versions. The general hope is that a focus on distinct versions of a single approach may provide insight into the conceptual and foundational significance (...)
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  11. Challenges for Emergent Gravity.Carlip Steven - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):200-208.
    The idea of gravity as an “emergent” phenomenon has gained popularity in recent years. I discuss some of the obstacles that any such model must overcome in order to agree with the observational underpinnings of general relativity.
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  12. Introduction: Principles of Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther & Dean Rickles - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):135-141.
    In this introduction, we describe the rationale behind this special issue on Principles of Quantum Gravity. We explain what we mean by ‘principles’ and relate this to the various contributions. Finally, we draw out some general themes that can be found running throughout these contributions.
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  13. Branches in the Everett Interpretation.Cunningham Arthur - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):247-262.
    Hugh Everett III describes a quantum measurement as resulting in the “branching” of the quantum state of observer and measured system, with all possible measurement outcomes represented by the ensuing branches of the total quantum state. But Everett does not specify a general rule for decomposing a quantum state into branches, and commentators have long puzzled over how, and even whether, to regard Everett׳s notion of branching states as physically meaningful. It is common today to appeal to decoherence considerations as (...)
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  14.  5
    The Everett Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics – Collected Works 1955–1980 with Commentary. [REVIEW]Olival Freire Jr - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):263-264.
  15. Three Principles for Canonical Quantum Gravity.Rodolfo Gambini & Jorge Pullin - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):164-169.
    We outline three principles that should guide us in the construction of a theory of canonical quantum gravity: diffeomorphism invariance, implementing the proper dynamics and related constraint algebra, local Lorentz invariance. We illustrate each of them with its role in model calculations in loop quantum gravity.
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  16. Foundations of Quantum Gravity: The Role of Principles Grounded in Empirical Reality.Marc Holman - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):142-153.
    When attempting to assess the strengths and weaknesses of various principles in their potential role of guiding the formulation of a theory of quantum gravity, it is crucial to distinguish between principles which are strongly supported by empirical data – either directly or indirectly – and principles which instead rely heavily on theoretical arguments for their justification. Principles in the latter category are not necessarily invalid, but their a priori foundational significance should be regarded with due caution. These remarks are (...)
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  17. A Conceptual Discussion On Electromagnetic Units: Extending Mechanical Units Towards a Global System of Units.Jaén Xavier, Bohigas Xavier & Pejuan Arcadi - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):265-272.
    A comparative review of the different systems of units that are most usual in electromagnetism leads to the proposal of a new system of units. In this system, the gravitational constant acquires the role of an interaction constant, both for gravitational and electromagnetic interaction, as a result of a redefinition of electric charge. In this way, the new system of units extends in a natural manner to mechanics. The comparison between the gravitational and electromagnetic interactions is of particular relevance.
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  18. The Epistemology of Climate Models and Some of its Implications for Climate Science and the Philosophy of Science.Joel Katzav - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):228-238.
    I bring out the limitations of four important views of what the target of useful climate model assessment is. Three of these views are drawn from philosophy. They include the views of Elisabeth Lloyd and Wendy Parker, and an application of Bayesian confirmation theory. The fourth view I criticise is based on the actual practice of climate model assessment. In bringing out the limitations of these four views, I argue that an approach to climate model assessment that neither demands too (...)
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  19. The Incongruent Correspondence: Seven Non-Classical Years of Old Quantum Theory.Shahin Kaveh - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):239-246.
    The Correspondence Principle of old quantum theory is commonly considered to be the requirement that quantum and classical theories converge in their empirical predictions in the appropriate asymptotic limit. That perception has persisted despite the fact that Bohr and other early proponents of CP clearly did not intend it as a mere requirement, and despite much recent historical work. In this paper, I build on this work by first giving an explicit formulation to the mentioned asymptotic requirement ) and then (...)
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  20. J. Jeans’ Idealism About Space And Its Influences On E.A. Milne At The Dawn Of Modern Cosmology.Macchia Giovanni - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):303-315.
    This paper deals with two important English scientists of the first half of the twentieth century: Edward Arthur Milne and James Hopwood Jeans. It examines the philosophical reasons that, in 1932, induced Milne to devote himself to the newborn modern cosmology. Among those reasons, it is argued that the most important ones were some of Jeans’ philosophical statements regarding the new relativistic view of the expanding universe. In particular, Milne reacted to some confusing idealist opinions expressed by Jeans in the (...)
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  21. Unprincipled Microgravity.James Mattingly - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):179-185.
    I argue that the key principle of microgravity is what I have called elsewhere the Lorentzian strategy. This strategy may be seen as either a reverse-engineering approach or a descent with modification approach, but however one sees if the method works neither by attempting to propound a theory that is the quantum version of either an extant or generalized gravitation theory nor by attempting to propound a theory that is the final version of quantum mechanics and finding gravity within it. (...)
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  22. Disappearance and Emergence of Space and Time in Quantum Gravity.Daniele Oriti - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):186-199.
    We discuss the hints for the disappearance of continuum space and time at microscopic scale. These include arguments for a discrete nature of them or for a fundamental non-locality, in a quantum theory of gravity. We discuss how these ideas are realized in specific quantum gravity approaches. Turning then the problem around, we consider the emergence of continuum space and time from the collective behaviour of discrete, pre-geometric atoms of quantum space, and for understanding spacetime as a kind of “condensate”, (...)
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  23. Holography as a Principle in Quantum Gravity?: Some Historical and Systematic Observations.Sieroka Norman & Mielke Eckehard - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):170-178.
    Holography is a fruitful concept in modern physics. However, there is no generally accepted definition of the term, and its significance, especially as a guiding principle in quantum gravity, is rather uncertain. The present paper critically evaluates variants of the holographic principle from two perspectives: their relevance in contemporary approaches to quantum gravity and in closely related areas; their historical forerunners in the early twentieth century and the role played by past and present concepts of holography in attempts to unify (...)
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  24. Quantum Gravity: Meaning and Measurement.John Stachel & Kaća Bradonjić - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (2):209-216.
    A discussion of the meaning of a physical concept cannot be separated from discussion of the conditions for its ideal measurement. We assert that quantization is no more than the invocation of the quantum of action in the explanation of some process or phenomenon, and does not imply an assertion of the fundamental nature of such a process. This leads to an ecumenical approach to the problem of quantization of the gravitational field. There can be many valid approaches, each of (...)
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  25. Do We Have a Theory of Early Universe Cosmology?Robert Brandenberger - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):109-121.
    The inflationary scenario has become the paradigm of early universe cosmology, and – in conjunction with ideas from superstring theory—has led to speculations about an “inflationary multiverse”. From a point of view of phenomenology, the inflationary universe scenario has been very successful. However, the scenario suffers from some conceptual problems, and thus it does not have the status of a solid theory. There are alternative ideas for the evolution of the very early universe which do not involve inflation but which (...)
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  26. On Under-Determination in Cosmology.Jeremy Butterfield - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):57-69.
    I discuss how modern cosmology illustrates under-determination of theoretical hypotheses by data, in ways that are different from most philosophical discussions. I emphasise cosmology's concern with what data could in principle be collected by a single observer ; and I give a broadly sceptical discussion of cosmology's appeal to the cosmological principle as a way of breaking the under-determination.I confine most of the discussion to the history of the observable universe from about one second after the Big Bang, as described (...)
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  27. On the Philosophy of Cosmology.George Ellis - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):5-23.
    This paper gives an overview of significant issues in the philosophy of cosmology, starting off by emphasizing the uniqueness of the universe and the way models are used in description and explanation. It then considers, basic limits on observations; the need to test alternatives; ways to test consistency; and implications of the uniqueness of the universe as regards distinguishing laws of physics from contingent conditions. It goes on to look at the idea of a multiverse as a scientific explanation of (...)
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  28. On the Contributions of Astroparticle Physics to Cosmology.Brigitte Falkenburg - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):97-108.
    Studying astroparticle physics sheds new light on scientific explanation and on the ways in which cosmology is empirically underdetermined or not. Astroparticle physics extends the empirical domain of cosmology from purely astronomical data to “multi-messenger astrophysics”, i.e., measurements of all kinds of cosmic rays including very high energetic gamma rays, neutrinos, and charged particles. My paper investigates the ways in which these measurements contribute to cosmology and compares them with philosophical views about scientific explanation, the relation between theory and data, (...)
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  29. Does Cosmological Expansion Affect Local Physics?Domenico Giulini - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):24-37.
    In this contribution I wish to address the question whether, and how, the global cosmological expansion influences local physics, like particle orbits and black hole geometries. Regarding the former I argue that a pseudo Newtonian picture can be quite accurate if “expansion” is taken to be an attribute of the inertial structure rather than of “space” in some substantivalist sense. This contradicts the often-heard suggestion to imagine cosmological expansion as that of “space itself”. Regarding isolated objects in full General Relativity, (...)
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  30. Testability and Epistemic Shifts in Modern Cosmology.Helge Kragh - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):48-56.
    During the last decade new developments in theoretical and speculative cosmology have reopened the old discussion of cosmology's scientific status and the more general question of the demarcation between science and non-science. The multiverse hypothesis, in particular, is central to this discussion and controversial because it seems to disagree with methodological and epistemic standards traditionally accepted in the physical sciences. But what are these standards and how sacrosanct are they? Does anthropic multiverse cosmology rest on evaluation criteria that conflict with (...)
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  31.  4
    In Search of Relativistic Time.Marc Lachièze-rey - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):38-47.
    This paper explores the status of some notions which are usually associated to time, like datations, chronology, durations, causality, cosmic time and time functions in the Einsteinian relativistic theories. It shows how, even if some of these notions do exist in the theory or for some particular solution of it, they appear usually in mutual conflict: they cannot be synthesized coherently, and this is interpreted as the impossibility to construct a common entity which could be called time. This contrasts with (...)
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  32. Non-Standard Models and the Sociology of Cosmology.Martín López-Corredoira - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):86-96.
    I review some theoretical ideas in cosmology different from the standard “Big Bang”: the quasi-steady state model, the plasma cosmology model, non-cosmological redshifts, alternatives to non-baryonic dark matter and/or dark energy, and others. Cosmologists do not usually work within the framework of alternative cosmologies because they feel that these are not at present as competitive as the standard model. Certainly, they are not so developed, and they are not so developed because cosmologists do not work on them. It is a (...)
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  33. Predictability Crisis in Early Universe Cosmology.Chris Smeenk - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):122-133.
    Inflationary cosmology has been widely accepted due to its successful predictions: for a “generic” initial state, inflation produces a homogeneous, flat, bubble with an appropriate spectrum of density perturbations. However, the discovery that inflation is “generically eternal,” leading to a vast multiverse of inflationary bubbles with different low-energy physics, threatens to undermine this account. There is a “predictability crisis” in eternal inflation, because extracting predictions apparently requires a well-defined measure over the multiverse. This has led to discussions of anthropic predictions (...)
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  34. Philosophical Aspects of Modern Cosmology.Henrik Zinkernagel - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 46 (1):1-4.
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  35. Quantum Frames.Matthew J. Brown - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):1-10.
    The framework of quantum frames can help unravel some of the interpretive difficulties i the foundation of quantum mechanics. In this paper, I begin by tracing the origins of this concept in Bohr's discussion of quantum theory and his theory of complementarity. Engaging with various interpreters and followers of Bohr, I argue that the correct account of quantum frames must be extended beyond literal space–time reference frames to frames defined by relations between a quantum system and the exosystem or external (...)
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  36.  4
    Bohr's Way to Defining Complementarity.Alberto De Gregorio - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):72-82.
    We go through Bohr's talk about complementary features of quantum theory at the Volta Conference in September 1927, by collating a manuscript that Bohr wrote in Como with the unpublished stenographic report of his talk. We conclude – also with the help of some unpublished letters – that Bohr gave a very concise speech in September. The formulation of his ideas became fully developed only between the fifth Solvay Conference, in Brussels in October, and early 1928. The unpublished stenographic reports (...)
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  37. Interpreting the Modal Kochen–Specker Theorem: Possibility and Many Worlds in Quantum Mechanics.de Ronde Christian, Freytes Hector & Domenech Graciela - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):11-18.
    In this paper we attempt to physically interpret the Modal Kochen–Specker theorem. In order to do so, we analyze the features of the possible properties of quantum systems arising from the elements in an orthomodular lattice and distinguish the use of “possibility” in the classical and quantum formalisms. Taking into account the modal and many worlds non-collapse interpretation of the projection postulate, we discuss how the MKS theorem rules the constraints to actualization, and thus, the relation between actual and possible (...)
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  38. To Envision a New Particle or Change an Existing Law?: Hypothesis Formation and Anomaly Resolution for the Curious Case of the Β Decay Spectrum.Gauderis Tjerk - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):27-45.
    This paper addresses the question of how scientists determine which type of hypothesis is most suitable for tackling a particular problem by examining the historical case of the anomalous β spectrum in early nuclear physics, a puzzle that occasioned the most diverse hypotheses amongst physicists at the time. It is shown that such determinations are most often implicitly informed by scientists' individual perspectives on the structural relations between the various elements of the theory and the problem at hand. In addition (...)
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  39. On the CPT Theorem.Hilary Greaves & Teruji Thomas - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):46-65.
    We provide a careful development and rigorous proof of the CPT theorem within the framework of mainstream quantum field theory. This is in contrast to the usual rigorous proofs in purely axiomatic frameworks, and non-rigorous proof-sketches in the mainstream approach. We construct the CPT transformation for a general field directly, without appealing to the enumerative classification of representations, and in a manner that is clearly related to the requirements of our proof. Our approach applies equally in Minkowski spacetimes of any (...)
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  40.  1
    Dark Matter, the Equivalence Principle and Modified Gravity.Adán Sus - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):66-71.
    Dark matter is an essential ingredient of the present Standard Cosmological Model, according to which only 5% of the mass/energy content of our universe is made of ordinary matter. In recent times, it has been argued that certain cases of gravitational lensing represent a new type of evidence for the existence of DM. In a recent paper, Peter Kosso attempts to substantiate that claim. His argument is that, although in such cases DM is only detected by its gravitational effects, gravitational (...)
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  41.  1
    Heisenberg's Observability Principle.Johanna Wolff - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 45 (1):19-26.
    Werner Heisenberg's 1925 paper ‘Quantum-theoretical re-interpretation of kinematic and mechanical relations’ marks the beginning of quantum mechanics. Heisenberg famously claims that the paper is based on the idea that the new quantum mechanics should be ‘founded exclusively upon relationships between quantities which in principle are observable’. My paper is an attempt to understand this observability principle, and to see whether its employment is philosophically defensible. Against interpretations of ‘observability’ along empiricist or positivist lines I argue that such readings are philosophically (...)
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  42. Consciousness, Dreams, and Inference: The Cartesian Theatre Revisited.J. Allan Hobson - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 21 (1-2):6-32.
    This paper considers the Cartesian theatre as a metaphor for the virtual reality models that the brain uses to make inferences about the world. This treatment derives from our attempts to understand dreaming and waking consciousness in terms of free energy minimization. The idea here is that the Cartesian theatre is not observed by an internal audience but furnishes a theatre in which fictive narratives and fantasies can be rehearsed and tested against sensory evidence. We suppose the brain is driven (...)
     
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