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Benjamin Jantzen
Virginia Tech
  1. No Two Entities Without Identity.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2011 - Synthese 181 (3):433-450.
    In a naïve realist approach to reading an ontology off the models of a physical theory, the invariance of a given theory under permutations of its property-bearing objects entails the existence of distinct possible worlds from amongst which the theory cannot choose. A brand of Ontic Structural Realism attempts to avoid this consequence by denying that objects possess primitive identity, and thus worlds with property values permuted amongst those objects are really one and the same world. Assuming that any successful (...)
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  2.  92
    Projection, Symmetry, and Natural Kinds.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3617-3646.
    Scientific practice involves two kinds of induction. In one, generalizations are drawn about the states of a particular system of variables. In the other, generalizations are drawn across systems in a class. We can discern two questions of correctness about both kinds of induction: what distinguishes those systems and classes of system that are ‘projectible’ in Goodman’s sense from those that are not, and what are the methods by which we are able to identify kinds that are likely to be (...)
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  3. An Introduction to Design Arguments.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2014 - Cambridge University Press.
    The history of design arguments stretches back to before Aquinas, who claimed that things which lack intelligence nevertheless act for an end to achieve the best result. Although science has advanced to discredit this claim, it remains true that many biological systems display remarkable adaptations of means to ends. Versions of design arguments have persisted over the centuries and have culminated in theories that propose an intelligent designer of the universe. This volume is the only comprehensive survey of 2,000 years (...)
     
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  4.  50
    Discovery Without a ‘Logic’ Would Be a Miracle.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    Scientists routinely solve the problem of supplementing one’s store of variables with new theoretical posits that can explain the previously inexplicable. The banality of success at this task obscures a remarkable fact. Generating hypotheses that contain novel variables and accurately project over a limited amount of additional data is so difficult—the space of possibilities so vast—that succeeding through guesswork is overwhelmingly unlikely despite a very large number of attempts. And yet scientists do generate hypotheses of this sort in very few (...)
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  5.  93
    Ontology & Methodology.Benjamin C. Jantzen, Deborah G. Mayo & Lydia Patton - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3413-3423.
    Philosophers of science have long been concerned with the question of what a given scientific theory tells us about the contents of the world, but relatively little attention has been paid to how we set out to build theories and to the relevance of pre-theoretical methodology on a theory’s interpretation. In the traditional view, the form and content of a mature theory can be separated from any tentative ontological assumptions that went into its development. For this reason, the target of (...)
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  6.  59
    Peirce on the Method of Balancing 'Likelihoods'.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2009 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 45 (4):pp. 668-688.
    Framed as a critique of David Hume’s analysis of miracles, Peirce offers a sustained argument against an approach to historical inference he calls the “Method of Balancing Likelihoods‘ (MBL). In MBL the posterior probability that a disputed historical event has occurred is computed on the basis of the prior probability of that event occurring and the probability that each purported witness of the event has given accurate testimony. Peirce’s critique of this method is hierarchical: he denies that an objective probability (...)
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  7.  27
    How Symmetry Undid the Particle: A Demonstration of the Incompatibility of Particle Interpretations and Permutation Invariance.Benjamin C. Jantzen - unknown
    The idea that the world is made of particles — little discrete, interacting objects that compose the material bodies of everyday experience — is a durable one. Following the advent of quantum theory, the idea was revised but not abandoned. It remains manifest in the explanatory language of physics, chemistry, and molecular biology. Aside from its durability, there is good reason for the scientific realist to embrace the particle interpretation: such a view can account for the prominent epistemic fact that (...)
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  8.  8
    Ad Hoc Identity, Goyal Complementarity, and Counting Quantum Phenomena.Benjamin C. Jantzen - unknown
    I introduce a thin concept of ad hoc identity -- distinct from metaphysical accounts of either relative identity or absolute identity -- and an equally thin account of concepts and their content. According to the latter minimalist view of concepts, the content of a concept has behavioral consequences, and so content can be bounded if not determined by appeal to linguistic and psychological evidence. In the case of counting practices, this evidence suggests that the number concept depends on a notion (...)
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    Dynamical Symmetries and Model Validation.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2019 - In James Robert Brown, Shaoshi Chen, Robert M. Corless, Ernest Davis, Nicolas Fillion, Max Gunzburger, Benjamin C. Jantzen, Daniel Lichtblau, Yuri Matiyasevich, Robert H. C. Moir, Mark Wilson & James Woodward (eds.), Algorithms and Complexity in Mathematics, Epistemology, and Science: Proceedings of 2015 and 2016 Acmes Conferences. Springer New York. pp. 153-176.
    I introduce a new method for validating models—including stochastic models—that gets at the reliability of a model’s predictions under intervention or manipulation of its inputs and not merely at its predictive reliability under passive observation. The method is derived from philosophical work on natural kinds, and turns on comparing the dynamical symmetries of a model with those of its target, where dynamical symmetries are interventions on model variables that commute with time evolution. I demonstrate that this method succeeds in testing (...)
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  10.  14
    The Philosophy of Science.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2016 - The Philosophers' Magazine 72:63-64.
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