Year:

  1.  3
    On Newtonian Induction.Ori Belkind - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):677-697.
    This article examines Newton’s method of induction and its connection to methodological atomism. The article argues that Newton’s Rule III for the Study of Natural Philosophy is a criterion for isolating the primary qualities of the atomic parts; in other words, it interprets Rule III as a transductive inference. It is shown that both the standard inductive and invariance interpretations of Rule III can be subsumed under the transductive view, although the invariance criterion is reinterpreted; by qualities “that cannot be (...)
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  2.  1
    Review of Evidential Reasoning in Archaeology. [REVIEW]Adrian Currie - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):782-790.
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  3.  16
    Visual Reference and Iconic Content.Santiago Echeverri - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):761-781.
    Evidence from cognitive science supports the claim that humans and other animals see the world as divided into objects. Although this claim is widely accepted, it remains unclear whether the mechanisms of visual reference have representational content or are directly instantiated in the functional architecture. I put forward a version of the former approach that construes object files as icons for objects. This view is consistent with the evidence that motivates the architectural account, can respond to the key arguments against (...)
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  4.  40
    The Fine-Tuning Argument and the Requirement of Total Evidence.Peter Fisher Epstein - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):639-658.
    According to the Fine-Tuning Argument, the existence of life in our universe confirms the Multiverse Hypothesis. A standard objection to FTA is that it violates the Requirement of Total Evidence. I argue that RTE should be rejected in favor of the Predesignation Requirement, according to which, in assessing the outcome of a probabilistic process, we should only use evidence characterizable in a manner available before observing the outcome. This produces the right verdicts in some simple cases in which RTE leads (...)
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  5.  1
    Cross-Unit Causation and the Identity of Groups.Bruce Glymour - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):717-736.
    In this article I explore some statistical difficulties confronting going conceptions of ‘group’ as understood in accounts of group selection. Most such theories require real groups but define the reality of groups in ways that make it impossible to test for their reality. There are alternatives, but they either require or invite a nominalism about groups that many theorists abjure.
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  6.  56
    Communism and the Incentive to Share in Science.Remco Heesen - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):698-716.
    The communist norm requires that scientists widely share the results of their work. Where did this norm come from, and how does it persist? I argue on the basis of a game-theoretic model that rational credit-maximizing scientists will in many cases conform to the norm. This means that the origins and persistence of the communist norm can be explained even in the absence of a social contract or enforcement, contrary to recent work by Michael Strevens but adding to previous work (...)
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  7. Marcel Boumans. Science Outside the Laboratory: Measurement in Field Science and Economics.Heilmann Conrad - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):791-794.
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  8. Putting on the Garber Style? Better Not.Colin Howson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):659-676.
    This article argues that not only are there serious internal difficulties with both Garber’s and later ‘Garber-style’ solutions of the old-evidence problem, including a recent proposal of Hartmann and Fitelson, but Garber-style approaches in general cannot solve the problem. It also follows the earlier lead of Rosenkrantz in pointing out that, despite the appearance to the contrary which inspired Garber’s nonclassical development of the Bayesian theory, there is a straightforward, classically Bayesian, solution.
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  9.  4
    A Pragmatist’s Guide to Epistemic Utility.Benjamin Anders Levinstein - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):613-638.
    We use a theorem from M. J. Schervish to explore the relationship between accuracy and practical success. If an agent is pragmatically rational, she will quantify the expected loss of her credence with a strictly proper scoring rule. Which scoring rule is right for her will depend on the sorts of decisions she expects to face. We relate this pragmatic conception of inaccuracy to the purely epistemic one popular among epistemic utility theorists.
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  10.  1
    The Volterra Principle Generalized.Tim Räz - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):737-760.
    Michael Weisberg and Kenneth Reisman argue that the Volterra Principle can be derived from multiple predator-prey models and that, therefore, the Volterra Principle is a prime example for robustness analysis. In the current article, I give new results regarding the Volterra Principle, extending Weisberg’s and Reisman’s work, and I discuss the consequences of these results for robustness analysis. I argue that we do not end up with multiple, independent models but rather with one general model. I identify the kind of (...)
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  11. Climate Change Assessments: Confidence, Probability and Decision.Richard Bradley, Casey Helgeson & Brian Hill - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):500–522.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed a novel framework for assessing and communicating uncertainty in the findings published in their periodic assessment reports. But how should these uncertainty assessments inform decisions? We take a formal decision-making perspective to investigate how scientific input formulated in the IPCC’s novel framework might inform decisions in a principled way through a normative decision model.
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  12. Against the Topologists: Essay Review of New Foundations for Physical Gemoetry. [REVIEW]C. Fletcher Samuel - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):595-603.
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  13. Smart Representations: Rationality and Evolution in a Richer Environment.Paolo Galeazzi & Michael Franke - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):544-573.
    Standard applications of evolutionary game theory look at a single game and focus on the evolution of behavior for that game alone. Instead, this article uses tools from evolutionary game theory to study the competition between choice mechanisms in a rich and variable multigame environment. A choice mechanism is a way of subjectively representing a decision situation, paired with a method for choosing an act based on this subjective representation. We demonstrate the usefulness of this approach by a case study (...)
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  14. A Generalized Selected Effects Theory of Function.Justin Garson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):523-543.
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  15.  17
    The Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence.Christian Loew - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):436-455.
    A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert’s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called “past hypothesis.” Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past (...)
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  16. Franklin's Field Guide to Scientific Experiments. [REVIEW]Nora Mills Boyd - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):586-594.
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  17.  8
    A Naturalist's Guide to Objective Chance.Emery Nina - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3).
    I argue that there are such things as nomological probabilities—probabilities that play a certain explanatory role with respect to stable, long-run relative frequencies. Indeed, I argue, we should be willing to accept nomological probabilities even if they turn out to be metaphysically weird or even wholly sui generis entities. I then give an example of one way in which this argument should shape future work on the metaphysics of chance by describing a challenge to a common group of analyses of (...)
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  18.  1
    Interactive Causes: Revising the Markov Condition.Gerhard Schurz - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):456-479.
    This article suggests a revision of the theory of causal nets. In section 1 we introduce an axiomatization of TCN based on a realistic understanding. It is shown that the causal Markov condition entails three independent principles. In section 2 we analyze indeterministic decay as the major counterexample to one of these principles: screening off by common causes. We call SCC-violating common causes interactive causes. In section 3 we develop a revised version of TCN, called TCN*, which accounts for interactive (...)
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  19. Review of Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account by Gualtiero Piccinini. [REVIEW]Oron Shagrir - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):604-612.
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  20. Robustness and Independent Evidence.Stegenga Jacob & Menon Tarun - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):414-435.
    Robustness arguments hold that hypotheses are more likely to be true when they are confirmed by diverse kinds of evidence. Robustness arguments require the confirming evidence to be independent. We identify two kinds of independence appealed to in robustness arguments: ontic independence —when the multiple lines of evidence depend on different materials, assumptions, or theories—and probabilistic independence. Many assume that OI is sufficient for a robustness argument to be warranted. However, we argue that, as typically construed, OI is not a (...)
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  21.  64
    Which Kind of Causal Specificity Matters Biologically?Marcel Weber - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):574-585.
    Griffiths et al. (2015) have proposed a quantitative measure of causal specificity and used it to assess various attempts to single out genetic causes as being causally more specific than other cellular mechanisms, for example, alternative splicing. Focusing in particular on developmental processes, they have identified a number of important challenges for this project. In this discussion note, I would like to show how these challenges can be met.
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  22.  24
    Explanation = Unification? A New Criticism of Friedman's Theory and a Reply to an Old One.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):391-413.
    According to Michael Friedman’s theory of explanation, a law X explains laws Y1, Y2, …, Yn precisely when X unifies the Y’s, where unification is understood in terms of reducing the number of independently acceptable laws. Philip Kitcher criticized Friedman’s theory but did not analyze the concept of independent acceptability. Here we show that Kitcher’s objection can be met by modifying an element in Friedman’s account. In addition, we argue that there are serious objections to the use that Friedman makes (...)
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  23.  90
    An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2).
    The first part of this paper finds Craver’s (2007) mutual manipulability theory (MM) of constitution inadequate, as it definitionally ties constitution to the feasibility of idealized experiments, which, however, are unrealizable in principle. As an alternative, the second part develops an abductive theory of constitution (NDC), which exploits the fact that phenomena and their constituents are unbreakably coupled via common causes. The best explanation for this common-cause coupling is the existence of an additional dependence relation, viz. constitution. Apart from adequately (...)
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  24.  10
    Explicating Top-­‐Down Causation Using Networks and Dynamics.Williiam Bechtel - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2).
    In many fields in the life sciences investigators refer to downward or top-down causal effects. Craver and Bechtel defended the view that such cases should be understood in terms of a constitution relation between levels in a mechanism and causation as solely an intra-level relation. Craver and Bechtel, however, provided insufficient specification as to when entities constitute a higher-level mechanism. In this paper I appeal to graph-theoretic representations of networks that are now widely employed in systems biology and neuroscience to (...)
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  25. How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
    Where E is the proposition that [If H and O were true, H would explain O], William Roche and Elliot Sober have argued that P(H|O&E) = P(H|O). In this paper I argue that not only is this equality not generally true, it is false in the very kinds of cases that Roche and Sober focus on, involving frequency data. In fact, in such cases O raises the probability of H only given that there is an explanatory connection between them.
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  26.  7
    Graded Incoherence for Accuracy-Firsters.Glauber De Bona & Julia Staffel - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):189-213.
    This paper investigates the relationship between two evaluative claims about agents’ de- grees of belief: (i) that it is better to have more, rather than less accurate degrees of belief, and (ii) that it is better to have less, rather than more probabilistically incoherent degrees of belief. We show that, for suitable combinations of inaccuracy measures and incoherence measures, both claims are compatible, although not equivalent; moreover, certain ways of becoming less incoherent always guarantee improvements in accuracy. Incompatibilities between particular (...)
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  27. Making the Most of Clade Selection.W. Ford Doolittle - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2).
    Clade selection is unpopular with philosophers who otherwise accept multilevel selection theory. Clades cannot reproduce, and reproduction is widely thought necessary for evolution by natural selection, especially of complex adaptations. Using microbial evolutionary processes as heuristics, I argue contrariwise, that (1) clade growth (proliferation of contained species) substitutes for clade reproduction in the evolution of complex adaptation, (2) clade-level properties favoring persistence – species richness, dispersal, divergence, and possibly intraclade cooperation – are not collapsible into species-level traits, (3) such properties (...)
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  28. Solutions in Constructive Field Theory.Hancox-Li Leif - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):335-358.
    Constructive field theory aims to rigorously construct concrete, nontrivial solutions to Lagrangians used in particle physics. I examine the relationship of solutions in constructive field theory to both axiomatic and Lagrangian quantum field theory. I argue that Lagrangian QFT provides conditions for what counts as a successful constructive solution and other information that guides constructive field theorists to solutions. Solutions matter because they describe the behavior of QFT systems and thus what QFT says the world is like. Constructive field theory (...)
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  29. Cognitive/Evolutionary Psychology and the History of Racism.P. JacksonJohn - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):296-314.
    Philosophical defenses of cognitive/evolutionary psychological accounts of racialism claim that classification based on phenotypical features of humans was common historically and is evidence for a species-typical, cognitive mechanism for essentializing. They conclude that social constructionist accounts of racialism must be supplemented by cognitive/evolutionary psychology. This article argues that phenotypical classifications were uncommon historically until such classifications were socially constructed. Moreover, some philosophers equivocate between two different meanings of “racial thinking.” The article concludes that social constructionist accounts are far more robust (...)
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  30. Review of Making Medical Knowledge. [REVIEW]Pham Michelle - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):377-384.
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  31.  39
    Three Myths About Time Reversal in Quantum Theory.Bryan W. Roberts - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):315-334.
    Many have suggested that the transformation standardly referred to as `time reversal' in quantum theory is not deserving of the name. I argue on the contrary that the standard definition is perfectly appropriate, and is indeed forced by basic considerations about the nature of time in the quantum formalism.
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  32.  26
    In Epistemic Networks, is Less Really More?Sarita Rosenstock, Cailin O'Connor & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2).
    We show that previous results from epistemic network models showing the benefits of decreased connectivity in epistemic networks are not robust across changes in parameter values. Our findings motivate discussion about whether and how such models can inform real-world epistemic communities. As we argue, only robust results from epistemic network models should be used to generate advice for the real-world, and, in particular, decreasing connectivity is a robustly poor recommendation.
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  33. Bending Toward Justice. [REVIEW]Kyle P. Stanford - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):369-376.
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  34. Tim Lewens. Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges. [REVIEW]Alberto Acerbi - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):181-184.
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  35. Some Adaptations Were Not Positive Causal Factors for Reproductive Success.Wes Anderson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):1-13.
    Sober develops an account of adaptations on which they must have been positive causal factors for reproductive success. Glymour defends an account of a proper subset of adaptations—adaptations to particular environmental conditions—on which traits must interact in a special way with adapting conditions to cause reproductive success. These theories render conflicting judgments about which traits count as adaptations in some interesting cases. In this article I explore one such case and argue that we ought to replace the notion of adaptation (...)
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  36.  15
    Review of Robert J. Richards and Lorraine Daston, Eds., Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions at Fifty: Reflections on a Science Classic. [REVIEW]Wray K. Brad - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):184-188.
  37. Understanding Polarization: Meanings, Measures, and Model Evaluation.Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, William J. Berger, Graham Sack, Steven Fisher, Carissa Flocken & Bennett Holman - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):115-159.
    Polarization is a topic of intense interest among social scientists, but there is significant disagreement regarding the character of the phenomenon and little understanding of underlying mechanics. A first problem, we argue, is that polarization appears in the literature as not one concept but many. In the first part of the article, we distinguish nine phenomena that may be considered polarization, with suggestions of appropriate measures for each. In the second part of the article, we apply this analysis to evaluate (...)
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  38. The Evolutionary Culture Concepts.Catherine Driscoll - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):35-55.
    Most attempts to define culture as used in the cultural evolution literature treat culture as a single phenomenon that can be given a single nondisjunctive definition. In this article I argue that, really, cultural evolutionists employ a variety of distinct but closely related concepts of culture. I show how the main prominent attempts to define a culture concept fail to properly capture all the uses of “culture” employed in cultural evolutionary work. I offer a description of some of the most (...)
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  39. Unfolding the Grammar of Bayseian Confirmation: Likelihood and Antilikelihood Principles.Roberto Festa & Gustavo Cevolni - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):56-81.
    We explore the grammar of Bayesian confirmation by focusing on some likelihood principles, including the Weak Law of Likelihood. We show that none of the likelihood principles proposed so far is satisfied by all incremental measures of confirmation, and we argue that some of these measures indeed obey new, prima facie strange, antilikelihood principles. To prove this, we introduce a new measure that violates the Weak Law of Likelihood while satisfying a strong antilikelihood condition. We conclude by hinting at some (...)
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  40.  3
    Assertion, Nonepistemic Values, and Scientific Practice.Paul L. Franco - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):160-180.
    This article motivates a shift in certain strands of the debate over legitimate roles for nonepistemic values in scientific practice from investigating what is involved in taking cognitive attitudes like acceptance toward an empirical hypothesis to looking at a social understanding of assertion, the act of communicating that hypothesis. I argue that speech act theory’s account of assertion as a type of doing makes salient legitimate roles nonepistemic values can play in scientific practice. The article also shows how speech act (...)
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  41.  1
    Interpreting Heritability Causally.Kate E. Lynch & Pierrick Bourrat - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):14-34.
    A high heritability estimate usually corresponds to a situation in which trait variation is largely caused by genetic variation. However, in some cases of gene-environment covariance, causal intuitions about the sources of trait difference can vary, leading experts to disagree as to how the heritability estimate should be interpreted. We argue that the source of contention for these cases is an inconsistency in the interpretation of the concepts ‘genotype’, ‘phenotype’, and ‘environment’. We propose an interpretation of these terms under which (...)
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  42.  46
    On the Evidential Import of Unification.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):92-114.
    This paper discusses two senses in which a hypothesis may be said to unify evidence. One is the ability of the hypothesis to increase the mutual information of a set of evidence statements; the other is the ability of the hypothesis to explain commonalities in observed phenomena by positing a common origin for them. On Bayesian updating, it is only mutual information unification that contributes to the incremental support of a hypothesis by the evidence unified. This poses a challenge for (...)
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  43. A Representation Theorem for Absolute Confirmation.Michael Schippers - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):82-91.
    Proposals for rigorously explicating the concept of confirmation in probabilistic terms abound. To foster discussions on the formal properties of the proposed measures, recent years have seen the upshot of a number of representation theorems that uniquely determine a confirmation measure based on a number of desiderata. However, the results that have been presented so far focus exclusively on the concept of incremental confirmation. This leaves open the question whether similar results can be obtained for the concept of absolute confirmation. (...)
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  44.  25
    Taking Reductionism to the Limit: How to Rebut the Anti-Reductionist Argument From Infinite Limits.Juha Saatsi & Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Philosophy of Science.
    This paper analyses the anti-reductionist argument from renormalisation group explanations of universality, and shows how it can be rebutted if one assumes that the explanation in question is captured by the counterfactual dependence account of explanation.
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