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Profile: Howard Sankey (University of Melbourne)
  1.  33
    Subject and Object in Scientific Realism.Howard Sankey - 2017 - In Paula Angelova, Jassen Andreev & Emil Lensky (eds.), Das Interpretative Universum. Wurzburg, Germany: Konigshausen & Neumann. pp. 293-306.
    In this paper, I explore the relationship between the subject and the object from the perspective of scientific realism.
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  2. Scepticism, Relativism and the Argument From the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):182-190.
    This article explores the relationship between epistemic relativism and Pyrrhonian scepticism. It is argued that a fundamental argument for contemporary epistemic relativism derives from the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. Pyrrhonian scepticism is compared and contrasted with Cartesian scepticism about the external world and Humean scepticism about induction. Epistemic relativism is characterized as relativism due to the variation of epistemic norms, and is contrasted with other forms of cognitive relativism, such as truth relativism, conceptual relativism and ontological relativism. An argument (...)
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  3. Epistemic Relativism and the Problem of the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):562-570.
    This paper explores the relationship between scepticism and epistemic relativism in the context of recent history and philosophy of science. More specifically, it seeks to show that significant treatments of epistemic relativism by influential figures in the history and philosophy of science draw upon the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. The paper begins with a presentation of the problem of the criterion as it occurs in the work of Sextus Empiricus. It is then shown that significant treatments of epistemic relativism (...)
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  4.  87
    How the Epistemic Relativist May Use the Sceptic's Strategy: A Reply to Markus Seidel.Howard Sankey - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):140-144.
    This paper is a response to an objection that Markus Seidel has made to my analysis of epistemic relativism. Seidel argues that the epistemic relativist is unable to base a relativist account of justification on the sceptical problem of the criterion in the way that I have suggested in earlier work. In response to Seidel, I distinguish between weak and strong justification, and argue that all the relativist needs is weak justification. In addition, I explain my reasons for employing the (...)
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  5. Witchcraft, Relativism and the Problem of the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):1-16.
    This paper presents a naturalistic response to the challenge of epistemic relativism. The case of the Azande poison oracle is employed as an example of an alternative epistemic norm which may be used to justify beliefs about everyday occurrences. While a distinction is made between scepticism and relativism, an argument in support of epistemic relativism is presented that is based on the sceptical problem of the criterion. A response to the resulting relativistic position is then provided on the basis of (...)
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  6. The Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 1994 - Avebury.
  7. Methodological Incommensurability and Epistemic Relativism.Howard Sankey - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):33-41.
    This paper revisits one of the key ideas developed in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In particular, it explores the methodological form of incommensurability which may be found in the original edition of Structure. It is argued that such methodological incommensurability leads to a form of epistemic relativism. In later work, Kuhn moved away from the original idea of methodological incommensurability with his idea of a set of epistemic values that provides a basis for rational theory choice, but do not (...)
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  8. Kuhn's Changing Concept of Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (4):759-774.
    Since 1962 Kuhn's concept of incommensurability has undergone a process of transformation. His current account of incommensurability has little in common with his original account of it. Originally, incommensurability was a relation of methodological, observational and conceptual disparity between paradigms. Later Kuhn restricted the notion to the semantical sphere and assimilated it to the indeterminacy of translation. Recently he has developed an account of it as localized translation failure between subsets of terms employed by theories.
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  9. Scientific Realism and the Semantic Incommensurability Thesis.Howard Sankey - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 40 (2):196-202.
    This paper reviews the situation with respect to the referential approach to the problem of semantic incommensurability. It argues that the thesis of semantic incommensurability does not pose a significant threat to scientific realism. However, there exists a "non-realist" defence of incommensurability, according to which the referential approach begs the question against advocates of the incommensurability thesis. This defence is criticized, and the basis for a realist response to incommensurability is presented.
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  10. Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science.Howard Sankey - 2008 - Ashgate.
    Scientific realism is the position that the aim of science is to advance on truth and increase knowledge about observable and unobservable aspects of the mind-independent world which we inhabit. This book articulates and defends that position. In presenting a clear formulation and addressing the major arguments for scientific realism Sankey appeals to philosophers beyond the community of, typically Anglo-American, analytic philosophers of science to appreciate and understand the doctrine. The book emphasizes the epistemological aspects of scientific realism and contains (...)
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  11. Taxonomic Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1998 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 12 (1):7 – 16.
    In a shift of position that has gone largely unnoticed by the great majority of commentators, Thomas Kuhn's version of the incommensurability thesis underwent a major transformation over the last decade and a half of his life. In his later work, Kuhn argued that incommensurability is a relation of translation failure between local subsets of interdefined theoretical terms, which encapsulate the taxonomic structure of a theory. Incommensurability arises because it is impossible to transfer the natural categories employed within one taxonomic (...)
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  12. The Semantic Stance of Scientific Entity Realism.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Philosophia 25 (1 - 4):481-482.
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  13. After Popper, Kuhn, and Feyerabend: Recent Issues in Theories of Scientific Method.Robert Nola & Howard Sankey (eds.) - 2000 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
    Some think that issues to do with scientific method are last century's stale debate; Popper was an advocate of methodology, but Kuhn, Feyerabend, and others are alleged to have brought the debate about its status to an end. The papers in this volume show that issues in methodology are still very much alive. Some of the papers reinvestigate issues in the debate over methodology, while others set out new ways in which the debate has developed in the last decade. The (...)
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  14. After Popper, Kuhn and Feyerabend: Recent Issues in Theories of Scientific Method.Howard Sankey & Robert Nola (eds.) - 2000
  15. Scientific Realism and the Inevitability of Science.Howard Sankey - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):259-264.
    This paper examines the question of whether scientific realism is committed to the inevitability of science or is consistent with claims of the contingency of science. In order to address this question, a general characterization of the position of scientific realism is presented. It is then argued that scientific realism has no evident implications with regard to the inevitability of science. A historical case study is presented in which contingency plays a significant role, and the appropriate realist response to this (...)
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  16. Incommensurability: The Current State of Play.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Theoria 12 (3):425-445.
    The incommensurability thesis is the thesis that the content of some alternative scientific theories is incomparable due to translation failure between the vocabulary the theories employ. This paper presents an overview of the main issues which have arisen in the debate about incommensurability. It also briefly outlines a response to the thesis based on a modified causal theory of reference which allows change of reference subsequent to initial baptism, as well as a role to description in the determination of reference. (...)
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  17. Scientific Realism and Basic Common Sense.Howard Sankey - 2014 - Kairos 10:11-24.
    This paper considers the relationship between science and common sense. It takes as its point of departure, Eddington’s distinction between the table of physics and the table of common sense, as well as Eddington’s suggestion that science shows common sense to be false. Against the suggestion that science shows common sense to be false, it is argued that there is a form of common sense, basic common sense, which is not typically overthrown by scientific research. Such basic common sense is (...)
     
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  18. On Relativism and Pluralism: Response to Steven Bland.Howard Sankey - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:98-103.
    This paper responds to criticism presented by Steven Bland of my naturalistic approach to epistemic relativism. In my view, the central argument for epistemic relativism derives from the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. This opens relativism to an anti-sceptical response. I combine Roderick Chisholm’s particularist response to the problem of the criterion with a reliabilist conception of epistemic warrant. A distinction is made between epistemic norms which provide genuine warrant and those which do not. On the basis of this distinction, (...)
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  19. Kuhn, Normativity and History and Philosophy of Science.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Epistemologia:103-111.
    This paper addresses the relationship between the history and philosophy of science by way of the issue of epistemic normativity. After brief discussion of the relationship between history and philosophy of science in Kuhn’s own thinking, the paper focuses on the implications of the history of science for epistemic normativity. There may be historical evidence for change of scientific methodology, which may seem to support a position of epistemic relativism. However, the fact that the methods of science undergo variation does (...)
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  20. Scientific Realism and the Problem of Progress.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Cogito 11 (2):89-94.
  21.  73
    Scepticism, Relativism and a Naturalistic Particularism.Howard Sankey - 2015 - Social Epistemology 29 (4):395-412.
    This paper presents a particularist and naturalist response to epistemic relativism. The response is based on an analysis of the source of epistemic relativism, according to which epistemic relativism is closely related to Pyrrhonian scepticism. The paper starts with a characterization of epistemic relativism. Such relativism is explicitly distinguished from epistemological contextualism. Next the paper presents an argument for epistemic relativism that is based on the Pyrrhonian problem of the criterion. It then considers a response to the problem of the (...)
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  22. Methodological Pluralism, Normative Naturalism and the Realist Aim of Science.Howard Sankey - 2000 - In Howard Sankey & Robert Nola (eds.), After Popper, Kuhn and Feyerabend: Recent Issues in Theories of Scientific Method.
    There are two chief tasks which confront the philosophy of scientific method. The first task is to specify the methodology which serves as the objective ground for scientific theory appraisal and acceptance. The second task is to explain how application of this methodology leads to advance toward the aim(s) of science. In other words, the goal of the theory of method is to provide an integrated explanation of both rational scientific theory choice and scientific progress.
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  23. Incommensurability and Related Matters.Paul Hoyningen-Huene & Howard Sankey (eds.) - 2001 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  24. Scientific Realism: An Elaboration and a Defence.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria A Journal of Social and Political Theory 98 (98):35-54.
    This paper describes the position of scientific realism and presents the basic lines of argument for the position. Simply put, scientific realism is the view that the aim of science is knowledge of the truth about observable and unobservable aspects of a mind-independent, objective reality. Scientific realism is supported by several distinct lines of argument. It derives from a non-anthropocentric conception of our place in the natural world, and it is grounded in the epistemology and metaphysics of common sense. Further, (...)
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  25. In Defence of Untranslatability.Howard Sankey - 1990 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):1 – 21.
  26. El realismo cientifico y el punto de vista del Ojo de Dios.Howard Sankey - 2011 - Revista Disertaciones 2:59-74.
    This article is a Spanish translation of 'Scientific Realism and the God's Eye Point of View'.
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  27. Theories of Scientific Method: An Introduction.Robert Nola & Howard Sankey - 2007 - Routledge.
    What is it to be scientific? Is there such a thing as scientific method? And if so, how might such methods be justified? Robert Nola and Howard Sankey seek to provide answers to these fundamental questions in their exploration of the major recent theories of scientific method. Although for many scientists their understanding of method is something they just pick up in the course of being trained, Nola and Sankey argue that it is possible to be explicit about what this (...)
     
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  28. Rationality, Relativism and Incommensurability.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Ashgate.
  29.  73
    Realism, Progress and the Historical Turn.Howard Sankey - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):201-214.
    The contemporary debate between scientific realism and anti-realism is conditioned by a polarity between two opposing arguments: the realist’s success argument and the anti-realist’s pessimistic induction. This polarity has skewed the debate away from the problem that lies at the source of the debate. From a realist point of view, the historical approach to the philosophy of science which came to the fore in the 1960s gave rise to an unsatisfactory conception of scientific progress. One of the main motivations for (...)
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  30.  82
    Depression and Science.Howard Sankey - 1995 - Cogito 9 (1):67-72.
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  31. Constructively Engaging with Relativism. [REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):265-269.
    Traditional epistemology is haunted by the spectre of scepticism. Yet the more pressing concern in the contemporary intellectual scene must surely be relativism rather than scepticism. This has been the case in the history and philosophy of science since the work of Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, to say nothing of the emergence of the sociology of scientific knowledge.In Epistemic Relativism: A Constructive Critique, Markus Seidel comes firmly to grips with this modern spectre. Though Seidel devotes attention to other forms (...)
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  32.  16
    Scientific Realism.Mikael Karlsson, Andre Kukla, Jarrett Leplin, David Papineau, Stathis Psillos & Howard Sankey - 2006 - In Patrick Greenough & Michael P. Lynch (eds.), Theoria. Oxford University Press. pp. 35-54.
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  33. Reference, Success and Entity Realism.Howard Sankey - 2012 - Kairos 5:31-42.
    The paper discusses the version of entity realism presented by Ian Hacking in his book, Representing and Intervening. Hacking holds that an ontological form of scientific realism, entity realism, may be defended on the basis of experimental practices which involve the manipulation of unobservable entities. There is much to be said in favour of the entity realist position that Hacking defends, especially the pragmatist orientation of his approach to realism. But there are problems with the position. The paper explores two (...)
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  34. Philosophical Fairytales From Feyerabend. [REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 2012 - Metascience 21 (2):471-476.
    This article is a review of Paul Feyerabend's book, The Tyranny of Science.
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  35. The Scope and Multidimensionality of the Scientific Realism Debate.Howard Sankey & Dimitri Ginev - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):263-283.
    At stake in the classical realism-debate is the clash between realist and anti-realist positions. In recent years, the classical form of this debate has undergone a double transformation. On the one hand, the champions of realism began to pay more attention to the interpretative dimensions of scientific research. On the other hand, anti-realists of various sorts realized that the rejection of the hypostatization of a “reality out there” does not imply the denial of working out a philosophically adequate concept of (...)
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  36.  52
    Translation Failure Between Theories.Howard Sankey - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (2):223-236.
  37. Ciencia, Sentido Comun Y Realidad.Howard Sankey - 2010 - Discusiones Filosóficas 16 (16):41-58.
    This paper presents a response to the question of the relationship between science and reality. It rejects the anti-realist claim that we are unable to acquire knowledge of reality in favour of the realist view that science yields knowledge of the external world. But what world is that? Some argue that science leads to the overthrow of our commonsense view of the world. Common sense is “stone-age metaphysics” to be rejected as the false theory of our primitive ancestors. Against such (...)
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  38. Van Fraassen's Constructive Empiricism.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Cogito 11 (3):175-181.
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  39. Induction and Natural Kinds.Howard Sankey - 1997 - Principia 1 (2):239-254.
    The paper sketches an ontological solution to an epistemological problem in the philosophy of science. Taking the work of Hilary Kornblith and Brian Ellis as a point of departure, it presents a realist solution to the Humean problem of induction, which is based on a scientific essentialist interpretation of the principle of the uniformity of nature. More specifically, it is argued that use of inductive inference in science is rationally justified because of the existence of real, natural kinds of things, (...)
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  40. The Problem of Rational Theory-Choice.Howard Sankey - 1995 - Epistemologia 18 (2):299-312.
    The problem of rational theory-choice is the problem of whether choice of theory by a scientist may be objectively rational in the absence of an invariant scientific method. In this paper I offer a solution to the problem, but the solution I propose may come as something of a surprise. For I wish to argue that the work of the very authors who have put the rationality of such choice in question, Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, contains all that is (...)
     
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  41.  92
    Relativism, Particularism and Reflective Equilibrium.Howard Sankey - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (2):281-292.
    In previous work, I have sought to show that the basic argument for epistemic relativism derives from the problem of the criterion that stems from ancient Pyrrhonian scepticism. Because epistemic relativism depends upon a sceptical strategy, it is possible to respond to relativism on the basis of an anti-sceptical strategy. I argue that the particularist response to scepticism proposed by Roderick Chisholm may be combined with a naturalistic and reliabilist conception of epistemic warrant as the basis for a satisfactory response (...)
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  42. Incommensurability, Translation and Understanding.Howard Sankey - 1991 - Philosophical Quarterly 41 (165):414-426.
  43.  87
    A Dialogue on Scientific Realism.David Cockburn & Howard Sankey - 1992 - Cogito 6 (3):163-169.
  44.  37
    Scientific Realism.Howard Sankey - 2001 - Theoria 48 (98):35-54.
  45. On the Evolution of Criteria of Theory Choice. [REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 2013 - Metascience 22 (1):169-172.
    This article is a book review of Anastasios Brenner's book Raison Scientifique et Valeurs Humaines.
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  46. The Language of Science: Meaning Variance and Theory Comparison.Howard Sankey - 2000 - Language Sciences 22 (2):117-136.
    The paper gives an overview of key themes of twentieth century philosophical treatment of the language of science, with special emphasis on the meaning variance of scientific terms and the comparison of alternative theories. These themes are dealt with via discussion of the topics of: (a) the logical positivist principle of verifiability and the problem of the meaning of theoretical terms, (b) the postpositivist thesis of semantic incommensurability, and (c) the scientific realist response to incommensurability based on the causal theory (...)
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  47. Kuhn's Ontological Relativism.Howard Sankey - 2000 - Science and Education 9 (1-2):59--75.
  48.  44
    Fifty Years of Structure. [REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 2016 - Metascience 25 (1):65-70.
    This is an essay review of W. J. Devlin and A. Bokulich (eds.) Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions 50 years on.
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  49. Why is It Rational to Believe Scientific Theories Are True?Howard Sankey - 2006 - In Colin Cheyne & John Worrall (eds.), Rationality and Reality: Conversations with Alan Musgrave. Springer. pp. 109--132.
    Alan Musgrave is one of the foremost contemporary defenders of scientific realism. He is also one of the leading exponents of Karl Popper’s critical rationalist philosophy. In this paper, my main focus will be on Musgrave’s realism. However, I will emphasize epistemological aspects of realism. This will lead me to address aspects of his critical rationalism as well.
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  50. Scientific Realism and the God's Eye Point of View.Howard Sankey - 2004 - Epistemologia 27 (2):211-226.
    According to scientific realism, the aim of science is to discover the truth about both observable and unobservable aspects of the mind-independent, objective reality, which we inhabit. It has been objected by Putnam and others that such a metaphysically realist position presupposes a God’s Eye point of view, of which no coherent sense can be made. In this paper, I will argue for two claims. First, scientific realism does not require the adoption of a God’s Eye point of view. Instead, (...)
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