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David Colaco
University of Pittsburgh
  1. Epistemic Intuitions in Fake-Barn Thought Experiments.David Colaco, Wesley Buckwalter, Stephen Stich & Edouard Machery - 2014 - Episteme 11 (2):199-212.
    In epistemology, fake-barn thought experiments are often taken to be intuitively clear cases in which a justified true belief does not qualify as knowledge. We report a study designed to determine whether non-philosophers share this intuition. The data suggest that while participants are less inclined to attribute knowledge in fake-barn cases than in unproblematic cases of knowledge, they nonetheless do attribute knowledge to protagonists in fake-barn cases. Moreover, the intuition that fake-barn cases do count as knowledge is negatively correlated with (...)
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    Rethinking the Role of Theory in Exploratory Experimentation.David Colaço - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):38.
    To explain their role in discovery and contrast them with theory-driven research, philosophers of science have characterized exploratory experiments in terms of what they lack: namely, that they lack direction from what have been called “local theories” of the target system or object under investigation. I argue that this is incorrect: it’s not whether or not there is direction from a local theory that matters, but instead how such a theory is used to direct an experiment that matters. Appealing to (...)
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    Rip It Up and Start Again: The Rejection of a Characterization of a Phenomenon.David Colaço - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 72:32-40.
    In this paper, I investigate the nature of empirical findings that provide evidence for the characterization of a scientific phenomenon, and the defeasible nature of this evidence. To do so, I explore an exemplary instance of the rejection of a characterization of a scientific phenomenon: memory transfer. I examine the reason why the characterization of memory transfer was rejected, and analyze how this rejection tied to researchers’ failures to resolve experimental issues relating to replication and confounds. I criticize the presentation (...)
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    The Intuitive is a Red Herring.David Colaço & Edouard Machery - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):403-419.
    In this article, we discuss critically some of the key themes in Max Deutsch’s excellent book, The Myth of the Intuitive. We focus in particular on the shortcomings of his historical analysis – a missed opportunity by our lights, on the claim that philosophers present arguments in support of the judgments elicited by thought experiments, and on the claim that experimental philosophy is only relevant for the methodology of philosophy if thought experiments elicit intuitions.
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