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    Conventionality and Causality in Lewis-Type Evolutionary Prediction Games.Gordon Michael Purves - 2023 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 74 (1):199-219.
    Barrett and others have used Lewis-style evolutionary games to argue that we ought not to trust our scientific languages to inform us about ontology. More specifically, Barrett has shown that in some simple evolutionary contexts the best descriptive languages need not cut nature at its joints, that they may guide action as successfully as possible while simultaneously being deeply conventional. The present article expands upon Barrett’s argument, exploring the space for conventionalism in more metaphysically robust causal evolutionary models. By using (...)
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  2. Finding truth in fictions: identifying non-fictions in imaginary cracks.Gordon Michael Purves - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):235-251.
    I critically examine some recent work on the philosophy of scientific fictions, focusing on the work of Winsberg. By considering two case studies in fracture mechanics, the strip yield model and the imaginary crack method, I argue that his reliance upon the social norms associated with an element of a model forces him to remain silent whenever those norms fail to clearly match the characteristic of fictions or non-fictions. In its place, I propose a normative epistemology of fictions which clarifies (...)
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    Fictionalism, Semantics, and Ontology.Gordon Michael Purves - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (1):52-75.
    In a previous article, I argued that some recent philosophical work on the use of fictions in science is, while illuminating about some aspects of current scientific practice, unduly limited to cases of well-established fictions. In other words, this earlier work contended, a philosophical account of scientific fictions can do more than merely describe scientific practices, but can aid in the resolution of disputes about the proper interpretation of scientific theories and the epistemic status of some scientific models. In the (...)
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