Twenty years ago John Worrall offered an alleged non-standard viable form of scientific realism under the name structural realism. Structural realism was supposed to be both an alternative to standard scientific realism and a viable form of realism. The central questions addressed in this paper are what I call the two dogmas of structural realism: the idea that there is structure retention across theory change, and the idea that theoretical structures describe the world. Arthur Fine proclaimed that scientific realism was (...) dead. I claim that Worrall's attempt to bring scientific realism back to life has failed. John Worrall ofreció hace veinte años una forma no típica, supuestamente viable, de realismo científico a la que llamó realismo estructural. Se suponía que éste era una alternativa al realismo típico y una forma viable de realismo. Las cuestiones principales que discuto en este artículo son lo que denomino los dos dogmas del realismo estructural: la idea de que hay retención de estructura en el cambio teórico, y la idea de que las estructuras teóricas describen el mundo. Arthur Fine proclamó que el realismo científico había muerto. Yo afirmo que el intento de Worrall de resucitar el realismo científico ha fracasado. (shrink)
This volume has 41 chapters written to honor the 100th birthday of Mario Bunge. It celebrates the work of this influential Argentine/Canadian physicist and philosopher. Contributions show the value of Bunge’s science-informed philosophy and his systematic approach to philosophical problems. The chapters explore the exceptionally wide spectrum of Bunge’s contributions to: metaphysics, methodology and philosophy of science, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of physics, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of social science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of technology, moral philosophy, social and political (...) philosophy, medical philosophy, and education. The contributors include scholars from 16 countries. Bunge combines ontological realism with epistemological fallibilism. He believes that science provides the best and most warranted knowledge of the natural and social world, and that such knowledge is the only sound basis for moral decision making and social and political reform. Bunge argues for the unity of knowledge. In his eyes, science and philosophy constitute a fruitful and necessary partnership. Readers will discover the wisdom of this approach and will gain insight into the utility of cross-disciplinary scholarship. This anthology will appeal to researchers, students, and teachers in philosophy of science, social science, and liberal education programmes. 1. Introduction Section I. An Academic Vocation Section II. Philosophy Section III. Physics and Philosophy of Physics Section IV. Cognitive Science and Philosophy of Mind Section V. Sociology and Social Theory Section VI. Ethics and Political Philosophy Section VII. Biology and Philosophy of Biology Section VIII. Mathematics Section IX. Education Section X. Varia Section XI. Bibliography. (shrink)
This paper tries to simplify the situation in modern epistemology, where the scientific method seems to be accomplished by different scientific methodologies. this is partially done by asserting that the popperian critical methodology can be seen as a special case of bayesianism. to this effect, it is firstly argued, that popper's corroboration degree measures the probabilistic support that evidence lends to universal hypotheses. then it is affirmed, that popper and miller have not established the impossibility of inductive probability. and it (...) is finally claimed, that bayesian probabilistic support encompasses popper's corroboration concept. (shrink)
Fifty years ago, Carl Gustav Hempel published his famous book Aspects of Scientific Explanation. Since then the number of publications on this subject has grown exponentially. An occasion like this deserves to be commemorated. In this article I offer a modest tribute to this great methodologist of science. This paper tackles the uses of explanation in theoretical sciences. In particular it is concerned with the possibility of causal explanations in physics. What I intend to do is to focus on the (...) issue of whether the explanation of Kepler’s empirical laws of the planetary motions can be a causal explanation. More specifically my point is: can the deductive subsumption of Kepler’s 3rd Law under theoretical principles provide a causal explanation for the planetary motions? My answer is a definitive no. As a matter of fact, on occasion subsumptions occur under differing theoretical principles that are incompatible with one another. In such cases we would have incompatible scientific explanations. This is precisely the situation facing the scientific explanation of Kepler’s laws, in particular the third law. Since there exist incompatible gravitational theories, it is impossible for the scientific account of Kepler’s law to be a causal explanation of the planetary motions. This is just one example of the difficulties faced by causal explanations in sciences such as theoretical physics. (shrink)
This paper deals with meta-statistical questions concerning frequentist statistics. In Sections 2 to 4 I analyse the dispute between Fisher and Neyman on the so called logic of statistical inference, a polemic that has been concomitant of the development of mathematical statistics. My conclusion is that, whenever mathematical statistics makes it possible to draw inferences, it only uses deductive reasoning. Therefore I reject Fisher's inductive approach to the statistical estimation theory and adhere to Neyman's deductive one. On the other hand, (...) I assert that Neyman-Pearson's testing theory, as well as Fisher's tests of significance, properly belong to decision theory, not to logic, neither deductive nor inductive. I then also disagree with Costantini's view of Fisher's testing model as a theory of hypothetico-deductive inferences.In Section 5 I disapprove Hacking1's evidentialists criticisms of the Neyman-Pearson's theory of statistics (NPT), as well as Hacking2's interpretation of NPT as a theory of probable inference. In both cases Hacking misses the point. I conclude, by claiming that Mayo's conception of the Neyman-Pearson's testing theory, as a model of learning from experience, does not purport any advantages over Neyman's behavioristic model. (shrink)
Il s’agira d’aborder dans cette contribution l’œuvre de Carl Andre en tant qu’arrangement de pièces combinatoires, selon des ensembles minimaux qui se parcourent, dont l’expérience et littéralement la compréhension ne peuvent se faire qu’à partir du déplacement physique du visiteur. Un déplacement qui prend son impulsion à partir du sol, départ de la sculpture mais aussi plan selon lequel la plus existentielle des dimensions se donne, condition fondatrice de l’habiter humain. Si l’installation a souvent été considérée comme une extension des (...) pratiques de l’assemblage et du collage, c’est-à-dire en fonctionnant selon des principes d’association, de contamination et de télescopage, le travail de Carl Andre pose de manière très radicale et rigoureuse les conditions mêmes qui rendent possible toute installation : la mise en tension sans cesse renouvelée d’une proximité et d’un lointain qui fonde l’horizon d’un spectateur toujours dessaisi de ce qui ad-vient, l’avènement de la corporéité en tant que mouvement, des prises sensori-motrices sans cesse reconduites et indexées sur la perception des objets qui occupent l’espace et le redistribuent, enfin la nature éminemment trajective de cette catégorie d’œuvre que l’on tente de définir par le terme d’installation. Les environnements sculpturaux proposés par l’artiste américain donnent lieu, ils instituent l’espace et l’ouvrent, ils sont autant de places à investir. In this contribution, we will deal with the works by Carl Andre as an arrangement of combinatory parts, according to minimal sets you can go by whose experience and literally the understanding can only be made from the visitor’s physical moves. A movement that origins from the ground, the start of the sculpture but also a map according to which the most existential of dimensions emerges, the founding condition of human beings. If the installation has often been considered an extension of assembly and collage habits, that is to say functioning according to association, contamination and going back and forth principles, the works by Carl Andre set the very conditions which make any kind of installation possible in an extremely radical and strict way: the forever renewed focus of a proximity and a distance which founds the horizon for a spectator who keeps being deprived of what will come, the surge of corporeality as a movement, of forever renewed sensorimotor grips indexed to the perception of objects which fill space and redistribute it, and at last the trajective nature of this kind of works one tends to define by the word of installation. The sculptural environment offered by the American artist gives place, they institute space and widen it, they are as many places to invest. (shrink)
Causal Explanations: Are They Possible in Physics?Andrés Rivadulla - 2019 - In Mario Augusto Bunge, Michael R. Matthews, Guillermo M. Denegri, Eduardo L. Ortiz, Heinz W. Droste, Alberto Cordero, Pierre Deleporte, María Manzano, Manuel Crescencio Moreno, Dominique Raynaud, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe, Nicholas Rescher, Richard T. W. Arthur, Rögnvaldur D. Ingthorsson, Evandro Agazzi, Ingvar Johansson, Joseph Agassi, Nimrod Bar-Am, Alberto Cupani, Gustavo E. Romero, Andrés Rivadulla, Art Hobson, Olival Freire Junior, Peter Slezak, Ignacio Morgado-Bernal, Marta Crivos, Leonardo Ivarola, Andreas Pickel, Russell Blackford, Michael Kary, A. Z. Obiedat, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Luis Marone, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Francisco Yannarella, Mauro A. E. Chaparro, José Geiser Villavicencio- Pulido, Martín Orensanz, Jean-Pierre Marquis, Reinhard Kahle, Ibrahim A. Halloun, José María Gil, Omar Ahmad, Byron Kaldis, Marc Silberstein, Carolina I. García Curilaf, Rafael González del Solar, Javier Lopez de Casenave, Íñigo Ongay de Felipe & Villavicencio-Pulid (eds.), Mario Bunge: A Centenary Festschrift. Springer Verlag. pp. 303-328.details
The existence of causal explanations in science has been an issue of interest in Western philosophy from its very beginnings. That is the reason this work, following an idea of Mario Bunge, makes a historical review of this matter. The modern treatment of this subject takes place since the postulation by Popper and Hempel of the D-N model of scientific explanation, whose viability is scrutinized here from different points of view in the current philosophy of science. The main object of (...) this paper is to present two arguments against the possibility of causal explanations in theoretical physics. The first one concerns the existence, in certain cases, of inter-theoretical incompatibilities, and the second refers to the need to resort, in other cases, to concatenations of laws of different theories and disciplines. The final conclusion will be the defence of a form of theoretical explanation, which follows the Popper-Hempel model, but devoid of any ontological and metaphysical connotations. (shrink)
Andrés Rivadulla argues for an instrumentalist approach to the use of theoretical models in the physical sciences, which, on his view, have not to be conceived of as intended representations of the phenomena, but just as useful tools for explaining and predicting those phenomena. He analyses two examples of theoretical models employed for those aims. The first one is the supernova model, intended mainly as explanatory. The second one is the atomic central field shell model, where the postulated internal (...) structure for atoms—their electronic configuration- made the prediction and discovery of new noble gases possible. He concludes that theoretical models can be regarded as artifacts designed with the specific purpose of facilitating calculations. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to elucidate the question of whether Newtonian mechanics can be derived from relativity theory. Physicists agree that classical mechanics constitutes a limiting case of relativity theory. By contrast, philosophers of science like Kuhn and Feyerabend affirm that classical mechanics cannot be deduced from relativity theory because of the incommensurability between both theories; thus what we obtain when we take the limit c → ∞ in relativistic mechanics cannot be Newtonian mechanics sensu stricto. In this (...) paper I focus on the alleged change of reference of the term mass in the transition from one theory to the other. Contradicting Kuhn and Feyerabend, special relativity theory supports the view that the mass of an object is a characteristic property of the object, that it has the same value in whatever frame of reference it is measured, and that it does not depend on whether the object is in motion or at rest. Thus mass preserves the reference through the change of theory, and the existence of a Newtonian limit of relativity theory provides a good example of the rationality of theory change in mathematical physics. (shrink)
Transcendental epistemology of physics Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9507-z Authors Andrés Rivadulla, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Complutense University, 28040 Madrid, Spain Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The use of metaphors and other tropes in science receives nowadays growing attention among the philosophers of science, mainly when related to theoretical models. In this paper I analyse basically issues like the cognitive value of scientific metaphors, the role played by analogy in the constructions of metaphors, and, mainly, the question of whether theoretical models are metaphors. Throughout the analysis of different current approaches to the relationships between metaphors and models in science, I claim that the analogy only plays (...) a fundamental role in the metaphorical proposals in science after analogue theoretical models are at our disposal. This nonetheless does not preclude for the analogy to become sometimes a guide in scientific creativity. (shrink)
The probability calculus is very often used in the philosophy of science in order to support or to analyse epistemological points of view. The aim of this paper is to present in a summary the usual axioms of this calculus, as weIl as its most common consequences and theorems, which the philosopher of science in his arguments ressorts to.
This article studies perceptual differences of three social robots by elementary school children of ages 6–13 years at research fairs. The autonomous humanoid robot Pepper, an advanced social robot primarily designed as a personal assistant with movement and mobility, is compared to the teleoperated AV1 robot—designed to help elementary school children who cannot attend school to have a telepresence through the robot—and the flowerpot robot Tessa, used in the eWare system as an avatar for a home sensor system and dedicated (...) to people with dementia living alone. These three robots were shown at the Norwegian national research fair, held in every major Norwegian city annually, where children were able to interact with the robots. Our analysis is based on quantitative survey data of the school children concerning the robots and qualitative discussions with them. By comparing three different types of social robots, we found that presence can be differently understood and conceptualized with different robots, especially relating to their function and “aliveness.” Additionally, we found a strong difference when relating robots to personal relations to one’s own grandparents versus older adults in general. We found children’s perceptions of robots to be relatively positive, curious and exploratory and that they were quite reflective on their own grandparent having a robot. (shrink)
La inconmensurabilidad ha sido durante unos cuarenta años una de las cuestiones más discutidas de la filosofía contemporánea de la ciencia. Para abordarla asumo la caracterización de Howard Sankey de la misma como “la tesis de que el contenido de algunas teorías científicas alternativas es incomparable debido a fallos de traducción en el vocabulario que emplean las teorías”. Este tipo de incomparabilidad debería impedir, por ejemplo, la derivación de la mecánica newtoniana a partir de la teoría de la relatividad, según (...) mantiene Thomas Kuhn. Como yo mismo me he ocupado de la comparación de los conceptos newtoniano y einsteiniano de masa en Rivadulla, en este artículo breve me centro en la comparabilidad de teorías de la física teórica contemporánea.Así, en lugar de tratar la cuestión de si las teorías de la física contemporánea son decididamente inconmensurables entre sí, el objeto principal de este artículo es proporcionar una respuesta al problema de si tiene sentido pensar sobre la inconmensurabilidad entre teorías físicas contemporáneas, dada su obvia comparabilidad. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to discuss the philosophical viability of the incommensurability doctrine. In particular I am going to analyse the thesis that changes in meaning of the terms shared by competing theories after a scientific revolution imply reference changes as well. The idea that terms change radically their meanings will be discussed, and the alleged incommensurability of mass will be criticized in detail. Relativity theory, which has provided most of the characteristic examples of incommensurability, becomes also the (...) realm in which to put to the test the viability of this doctrine. My own proposal on incommensurability amounts to restricting its validity to the domain of worldviews, and last to the theoretical vocabulary. I finally suggest that the incommensurability problem disappears in the framework of an instrumentalist point of view on theories and theoretical models From this viewpoint such worldviews become merely useful tools in order to deal with Nature. (shrink)
Este artículo pretende estudiar el sentido, propósito y función de la teoría del significado de Davidson. Para ello, aclara en primer lugar, el concepto de teoría del significado y examina las características que tiene la propuesta de Davidson. Finalmente, estudia la cuestión de si el concepto de significado que Davidson nos ofrece corresponde o no a la noción intuitiva de significado.
After showing by means of several examples the significant role that standard abduction plays both in observational and in theoretical natural sciences, I introduce in this paper preduction as a deductive discovery strategy. I argue that deductive reasoning can be extended to the context of discovery of theoretical natural sciences, such as mathematical physics, and I use the term theoretical preduction to denote the way of reasoning that consists in the implementation of deductive reasoning in scientific creativity. Moreover, standard abduction (...) is not always sufficient to provide best explanations in science. It is widely known that during the 1960s, abduction was identified as a form of inference to the best explanation. But when the explanation of many natural phenomena requires more than spontaneous acts of creativity, such as those that one might imagine in the cases of Kepler, Darwin or Wegener, much mathematical work has to be done in addition in order to advance justified theoretical explanations. In those cases, the explanation takes place more preductivo. I term sophisticated abduction the corresponding form of inference to the best explanation. (shrink)