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  1.  5
    The Confined Atom: James Clerk Maxwell on the Fundamental Particles and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge.Charis Charalampous - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):189-214.
    This paper distinguishes in Maxwell’s thought between “atomic molecules” and “ultimate atoms,” and arrives at a set of properties that characterize each type of atom. It concludes that Maxwell is a mathematical atomist, an approach that entails the notion that although it is impossible to observe the ultimate atoms as free particles, we can nevertheless study them as mathematical observables, on the caveat that mathematical formalism remains tied to phenomenalism and to theoretical interpretations of such phenomena as, for example, mass (...)
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  2.  2
    Comparing Modern and Classical Perspectives on Spider Silks and Webs.Gabriele Greco, Virginia Mastellari, Chris Holland & Nicola M. Pugno - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):133-156.
    Spiders have always fascinated humankind as whilst they are often reviled, their product, the web and its silk, are commonly viewed in awe. As such, silks’ material properties and the fear and fascination surrounding the animals that spin it are seen to play an important role in the development of many cultures and societies. More recently this is even more so with the formalization of this inspiration in scientific and technical communities through biomimetics. The aim of this work is to (...)
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  3.  4
    Acids and Rust: A New Perspective on the Chemical Revolution.Franklin Jacoby - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):215-236.
    This paper uses scientific perspectivism as a lens for understanding acid experiments from the Chemical Revolution. I argue that this account has several advantages over several recent interpretations of this period, interpretations that do not neatly capture some of the historical experiments on acids. The perspectival view is distinctive in that it avoids discontinuity, allows for the rational resolution of disagreement, and is sensitive to the historical epistemic context.
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  4.  8
    Animism, Aristotelianism, and the Legacy of William Gilbert’s De Magnete.Jeff Kochan - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):157-188.
    William Gilbert’s 1600 book, De magnete, greatly influenced early modern natural philosophy. The book describes an impressive array of physical experiments, but it also advances a metaphysical view at odds with the soon to emerge mechanical philosophy. That view was animism. I distinguish two kinds of animism – Aristotelian and Platonic – and argue that Gilbert was an Aristotelian animist. Taking Robert Boyle as an example, I then show that early modern arguments against animism were often effective only against Platonic (...)
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  5.  3
    Stepping Forwards by Looking Back: Underdetermination, Epistemic Scarcity and Legacy Data.Adrian Currie - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (1):104-132.
    Debate about the epistemic prowess of historical science has focused on local underdetermination problems generated by a lack of historical data; the prevalence of information loss over geological time, and the capacities of scientists to mitigate it. Drawing on Leonelli’s recent distinction between ‘phenomena-time’ and ‘data-time’ I argue that factors like data generation, curation and management significantly complexifies and undermines this: underdetermination is a bad way of framing the challenges historical scientists face. In doing so, I identify circumstances of epistemic (...)
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  6.  10
    Regimes of Evidence in Complexity Sciences.Fabrizio Li Vigni - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (1):62-103.
    Since their inception in the 1980s, complexity sciences have been described as a revolutionary new domain of research. By describing some of the practices and assumptions of its representatives, the present article shows that this field is an association of subdisciplines laying on existing disciplinary footholds. The general question guiding us here is: On what basis do complexity scientists consider their inquiry methods and results as valuable? To answer it, I describe five “epistemic argumentative regimes,” namely the ways in which (...)
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  7.  6
    Scenarios as Tools of the Scientific Imagination: The Case of Climate Projections.Michael Poznic & Rafaela Hillerbrand - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (1):36-61.
    Climatologists have recently introduced a distinction between projections as scenario-based model results on the one hand and predictions on the other hand. The interpretation and usage of both terms is, however, not univocal. It is stated that the ambiguities of the interpretations may cause problems in the communication of climate science within the scientific community and to the public realm. This paper suggests an account of scenarios as props in games of make-belive. With this account, we explain the difference between (...)
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  8.  6
    Interpreting the History of Evolutionary Biology Through a Kuhnian Prism: Sense or Nonsense?Koen B. Tanghe, Lieven Pauwels, Alexis De Tiège & Johan Braeckman - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (1):1-35.
    Traditionally, Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is largely identified with his analysis of the structure of scientific revolutions. Here, we contribute to a minority tradition in the Kuhn literature by interpreting the history of evolutionary biology through the prism of the entire historical developmental model of sciences that he elaborates in The Structure. This research not only reveals a certain match between this model and the history of evolutionary biology but, more importantly, also sheds new light on (...)
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  9.  13
    Interpreting the History of Evolutionary Biology Through a Kuhnian Prism: Sense or Nonsense?Koen Tanghe, Lieven Pauwels, Alexis De Tiège & Braeckman J. - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (1):1-35.
    Traditionally, Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) is largely identified with his analysis of the structure of scientific revolutions. Here, we contribute to a minority tradition in the Kuhn literature by interpreting the history of evolutionary biology through the prism of the entire historical developmental model of sciences that he elaborates in The Structure. This research not only reveals a certain match between this model and the history of evolutionary biology but, more importantly, also sheds new light (...)
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