Results for 'Instrumentalism'

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  1. Epistemic Instrumentalism, Permissibility, and Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press. pp. 260-280.
    Epistemic instrumentalists seek to understand the normativity of epistemic norms on the model practical instrumental norms governing the relation between aims and means. Non-instrumentalists often object that this commits instrumentalists to implausible epistemic assessments. I argue that this objection presupposes an implausibly strong interpretation of epistemic norms. Once we realize that epistemic norms should be understood in terms of permissibility rather than obligation, and that evidence only occasionally provide normative reasons for belief, an instrumentalist account becomes available that delivers the (...)
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  2. Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  3. An Instrumentalist Unification of Zetetic and Epistemic Reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Inquiry is an aim-directed activity, and as such governed by instrumental normativity. If you have reason to figure out a question, you have reason to take means to figuring it out. Beliefs are governed by epistemic normativity. On a certain pervasive understanding, this means that you are permitted – maybe required – to believe what you have sufficient evidence for. The norms of inquiry and epistemic norms both govern us as agents in pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and, on the (...)
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  4.  52
    Instrumentalism About Moral Responsibility Revisited.Anneli Jefferson - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):555-573.
    I defend an instrumentalist account of moral responsibility and adopt Manuel Vargas’ idea that our responsibility practices are justified by their effects. However, whereas Vargas gives an independent account of morally responsible agency, on my account, responsible agency is defined as the susceptibility to developing and maintaining moral agency through being held responsible. I show that the instrumentalism I propose can avoid some problems more crude forms of instrumentalism encounter by adopting aspects of Strawsonian accounts. I then show (...)
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  5. Instrumentalism, Parsimony, and the Akaike Framework.Elliott Sober - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S112-S123.
    Akaike’s framework for thinking about model selection in terms of the goal of predictive accuracy and his criterion for model selection have important philosophical implications. Scientists often test models whose truth values they already know, and they often decline to reject models that they know full well are false. Instrumentalism helps explain this pervasive feature of scientific practice, and Akaike’s framework helps provide instrumentalism with the epistemology it needs. Akaike’s criterion for model selection also throws light on the (...)
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  6. Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Too Few Reasons Objection.Charles Côté-Bouchard - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):337-355.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemic normativity arises from and depends on facts about our ends. On that view, a consideration C is an epistemic reason for a subject S to Φ only if Φ-ing would promote an end that S has. However, according to the Too Few Epistemic Reasons objection, this cannot be correct since there are cases in which, intuitively, C is an epistemic reason for S to Φ even though Φ-ing would not promote any of S’s ends. (...)
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  7. Epistemic Instrumentalism.Matthew Lockard - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1701-1718.
    According to epistemic instrumentalism, epistemically rational beliefs are beliefs that are produced in ways that are conducive to certain ends that one wants to attain. In “Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique,” Thomas Kelly advances various objections to epistemic instrumentalism. While I agree with the general thrust of Kelly’s objections, he does not distinguish between two forms of epistemic instrumentalism. Intellectualist forms maintain that epistemically rational beliefs are beliefs arrived at in compliance with rules that are (...)
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  8. Between Instrumentalism and Brain-Writing.Christopher Peacocke - 1983 - In Sense and Content. Oxford University Press.
     
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    Instrumentalism, Parsimony, and the Akaike Framework.Elliott Sober - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S112-S123.
    Akaike's framework for thinking about model selection in terms of the goal of predictive accuracy and his criterion for model selection have important philosophical implications. Scientists often test models whose truth values they already know, and they often decline to reject models that they know full well are false. Instrumentalism helps explain this pervasive feature of scientific practice, and Akaike's framework helps provide instrumentalism with the epistemology it needs. Akaike's criterion for model selection also throws light on the (...)
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  10. An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1071-1094.
    When one has both epistemic and practical reasons for or against some belief, how do these reasons combine into an all-things-considered reason for or against that belief? The question might seem to presuppose the existence of practical reasons for belief. But we can rid the question of this presupposition. Once we do, a highly general ‘Combinatorial Problem’ emerges. The problem has been thought to be intractable due to certain differences in the combinatorial properties of epistemic and practical reasons. Here we (...)
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  11. Epistemic Instrumentalism and Reasons for Belief: A Reply to Tom Kelly’s “Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique”.Adam Leite - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):456–464.
    Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.
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  12. Instrumentalism About Structured Propositions.Ori Simchen - forthcoming - In Chris Tillman & Adam Murray (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Propositions. Routledge.
    Theories deploy various theoretical representations of their explananda and one question we can ask about those representations is whether to regard them under a realist attitude, i.e. as revealing the nature of what they represent, or whether to regard them under an instrumentalist attitude instead, i.e. as serving particular explanatory ends without the further revelatory aspect. I consider structured propositions as theoretical representations within a particular explanatory setting -- the metaphysics of what is said -- and argue that a realist (...)
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  13. In Defence of Instrumentalism About Epistemic Normativity.Christopher Cowie - 2014 - Synthese 191 (16):4003-4017.
    According to epistemic instrumentalists the normativity of evidence for belief is best explained in terms of the practical utility of forming evidentially supported beliefs. Traditional arguments for instrumentalism—arguments based on naturalism and motivation—lack suasive force against opponents. A new argument for the view—the Argument from Coincidence—is presented. The argument shows that only instrumentalists can avoid positing an embarrassing coincidence between the practical value of believing in accordance with one’s evidence, and the existence of reasons so to believe. Responses are (...)
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  14. Instrumentalism Revisited.Elliott Sober - 2001 - The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2001 (91):3 - 39.
    Instrumentalism is usually understood as a semantic thesis: scientific theories are neither true nor false, but are merely instruments for making predictions. Scientific realists are on firm ground when they reject this semantic claim. This paper focuses on epistemological rather than semantic instrumentalism. This form of instrumentalism claims that theories are to be judged by their ability to make accurate predictions, and that predictive accuracy is the only consideration that matters in the end. I consider how (...) is related to a quite different proposal concerning how theories should be evaluated—scientific realism. Instrumentalism allows for the fact that a false model can get one closer to the truth than a true one. (shrink)
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  15. Instrumentalism Revisited.Elliott Sober - 1999 - Critica 31 (91):3-39.
    The logical empiricists said some good things about epistemology and scientific method. However, they associated those epistemological ideas with some rather less good ideas about philosophy of language. There is something epistemologically suspect about statements that cannot be tested. But to say that those statements are meaningless is to go too far. And there is something impossible about trying to figure out which of two empirically equivalent theories is true. But to say that those theories are synonymous is also to (...)
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  16. Mathematical Instrumentalism, Gödel’s Theorem, and Inductive Evidence.Alexander Paseau - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):140-149.
    Mathematical instrumentalism construes some parts of mathematics, typically the abstract ones, as an instrument for establishing statements in other parts of mathematics, typically the elementary ones. Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem seems to show that one cannot prove the consistency of all of mathematics from within elementary mathematics. It is therefore generally thought to defeat instrumentalisms that insist on a proof of the consistency of abstract mathematics from within the elementary portion. This article argues that though some versions of mathematical (...)
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  17. The Instrumentalist’s New Clothes.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1200-1211.
    This paper develops a new version of instrumentalism, in light of progress in the realism debate in recent decades, and thereby defends the view that instrumentalism remains a viable philosophical position on science. The key idea is that talk of unobservable objects should be taken literally only when those objects are assigned properties (or described in terms of analogies involving things) with which we are experientially (or otherwise) acquainted. This is derivative from the instrumentalist tradition in so far (...)
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  18.  4
    Instrumentalism and American Legal Theory.Robert S. Summers - 1982
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  19. Realism, Instrumentalism, and the Intentional Stance.William Bechtel - 1985 - Cognitive Science 9 (4):265-92.
  20.  57
    Subjectivism, Instrumentalism, and Prudentialism About Reasons: On the Normativity of Instrumental Transmission.Arash Abizadeh - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (2):387-402.
    According to a subjectivist theory, normative reasons are grounded in facts about our desires. According to an instrumentalist theory, reasons are grounded also in facts about the relevant means to desired objects. These are distinct theories. The widespread tendency to conflate the normativity of subjective and instrumentalist precepts obscures two facts. First, instrumentalist precepts incorporate a subjective element with an objective one. Second, combining these elements into a single theory of normative reasons requires explaining how and why they are to (...)
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  21.  53
    Instrumentalism About Practical Reason: Not by Default.Thomas Schmidt - 2016 - Philosophical Explorations 19 (1):17-27.
    Instrumentalism is the view that all requirements of practical reason can be derived from the instrumental principle, that is, from the claim that one ought to take the suitable means to one's ends. Rationalists, by contrast, hold that there are requirements of practical reason that concern the normative acceptability of ends. To the extent that rationalists put forward these requirements in addition to the instrumental principle, rationalism might seem to go beyond instrumentalism in its normative commitments. This is (...)
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  22. Epistemic Instrumentalism and Reasons for Belief: A Reply to Tom Kelly’s “Epistemic Rationality as Instrumental Rationality: A Critique”.Adam Leite - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2):456-464.
    Tom Kelly argues that instrumentalist aeeounts of epistemie rationality fail beeause what a person has reason to believe does not depend upon the eontent of his or her goals. However, his argument fails to distinguish questions about what the evidence supports from questions about what a person ought to believe. Once these are distinguished, the instrumentalist ean avoid Kelly’s objeetions. The paperconcludes by sketehing what I take to be the most defensible version of the instrumentalist view.
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    The Instrumentalist's New Clothes.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1200-1211.
    This article develops a new version of instrumentalism, in light of progress in the realism debate in recent decades, and thereby defends the view that instrumentalism remains a viable philosophical position on science. The key idea is that talk of unobservable objects should be taken literally only when those objects are assigned properties with which we are experientially acquainted. This is derivative from the instrumentalist tradition insofar as the distinction between unobservable and observable is taken to have significance (...)
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    Indirect Instrumentalism About Political Legitimacy.Matthias Brinkmann - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):175-202.
    Political instrumentalism claims that the right to rule should be distributed such that justice is promoted best. Building on a distinction made by consequentialists in moral philosophy, I argue that instrumentalists should distinguish two levels of normative thinking about legitimacy, the critical and applied level. An indirect instrumentalism which acknowledges this distinction has significant advantages over simpler forms of instrumentalism that do not.
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  25. Realism, Instrumentalism, Particularism: A Middle Path Forward in the Scientific Realism Debate.P. Kyle Stanford - forthcoming - In Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science.
    I've previously suggested that the historical evidence used to challenge scientific realism should lead us to embrace what I call Uniformitarianism, but many recently influential forms of scientific realism seem happy to share this commitment. I trace a number of further points of common ground that collectively constitute an appealing Middle Path between classical forms of realism and instrumentalism, and I suggest that many contemporary realists and instrumentalists have already become fellow travelers on this Middle Path without recognizing how (...)
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  26. Mathematical Instrumentalism Meets the Conjunction Objection.Hawthorne James - 1996 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (4):363-397.
    Scientific realists often appeal to some version of the conjunction objection to argue that scientific instrumentalism fails to do justice to the full empirical import of scientific theories. Whereas the conjunction objection provides a powerful critique of scientific instrumentalism, I will show that mathematical instnrunentalism escapes the conjunction objection unscathed.
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  27. Instrumentalism.Christoph Fehige - 2001 - In Elijah Millgram (ed.), Varieties of Practical Reasoning. MIT Press. pp. 49--76.
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  28. Epistemic Instrumentalism, Exceeding Our Grasp.Arthur Fine - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):135-139.
    In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemic instrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.
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  29. Singular Thought: Acquaintance, Semantic Instrumentalism, and Cognitivism.Robin Jeshion - 2010 - In New Essays on Singular Thought. Oxford University Press. pp. 105--141.
     
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  30. Scientific Realism or Irenic Instrumentalism: A Critique of Nagel and Feyerabend on Theoretical Explanation.Wilfrid Sellars - 1965 - In Robert Cohen Max Wartofsky (ed.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Vol. II,.
    Sellars argues against Nagelian instrumentalism for his version (not Feyerabend's) of scientific realism.
     
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  31.  59
    The Instrumentalist and Formalist Elements of Berkeley's Philosophy of Mathematics.Robert J. Baum - 1972 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 3 (2):119.
    The main thesis of this paper is that, Contrary to general belief, George berkeley did in fact express a coherent philosophy of mathematics in his major published works. He treated arithmetic and geometry separately and differently, And this paper focuses on his philosophy of arithmetic, Which is shown to be strikingly similar to the 19th and 20th century philosophies of mathematics known as 'formalism' and 'instrumentalism'. A major portion of the paper is devoted to showing how this philosophy of (...)
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    On de Finetti’s Instrumentalist Philosophy of Probability.Joseph Berkovitz - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):25.
    De Finetti is one of the founding fathers of the subjective school of probability. He held that probabilities are subjective, coherent degrees of expectation, and he argued that none of the objective interpretations of probability make sense. While his theory has been influential in science and philosophy, it has encountered various objections. I argue that these objections overlook central aspects of de Finetti’s philosophy of probability and are largely unfounded. I propose a new interpretation of de Finetti’s theory that highlights (...)
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    Constitutive Instrumentalism and the Fragility of Responsibility.Manuel Vargas - 2021 - The Monist 104 (4):427-442.
    Constitutive instrumentalism is the view that responsibility practices arise from and are justified by our being prosocial creatures who need responsibility practices to secure specific kinds of social goods. In particular, responsibility practices shape agency in ways that disposes adherence to norms that enable goods of shared cooperative life. The mechanics of everyday responsibility practices operate, in part, via costly signaling about the suitability of agents for coordination and cooperation under conditions of shared cooperative life. So, there are a (...)
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  34. Instrumentalism, Objectivity, and Moral Justification.Adrian M. S. Piper - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):373 - 381.
    I want to examine critically a certain strategy of moral justification which I shall call instrumentalism. By this I mean the view that a moral theory is rationally justified if the actions, life-plan, or set of social arrangements it prescribes can be shown to be the best means to the achievement of an agent's final ends, whatever these may be. Instrumentalism presupposes a commitment to what I shall call the Humean conception of the self. By this I mean (...)
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  35. Cognitive Instrumentalism About Mental Representations.Samuel D. Taylor - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 10.
    Representationalists and anti-representationalists disagree about whether a naturalisation of mental content is possible and, hence, whether positing mental representations in cognitive science is justified. Here, I develop a novel way to think about mental representations based on a philosophical description of (cognitive) science inspired by cognitive instrumentalism. On this view, our acceptance of theories positing mental representations and our beliefs in (something like) mental representations do not depend on the naturalisation of content. Thus, I conclude that if we endorse (...)
     
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    Instrumentalist Analyses of the Functions of Health Ethics Concepts and Principles: Methodological Guideposts.Eric Racine, M. Ariel Cascio & Aline Bogossian - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (12):16-18.
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  37. Realism and Instrumentalism in 19th-Century Atomism.Michael R. Gardner - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (1):1-34.
    Sometimes a theory is interpreted realistically--i.e., as literally true--whereas sometimes a theory is interpreted instrumentalistically--i.e., as merely a convenient device for summarizing, systematizing, deducing, etc., a given body of observable facts. This paper is part of a program aimed at determining the basis on which scientists decide on which of these interpretations to accept a theory. I proceed by examining one case: the nineteenth-century debates about the existence of atoms. I argue that there was a gradual transition from an instrumentalist (...)
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  38. Inquiry, Instrumentalism, and the Public Understanding of Science.John L. Rudolph - 2005 - Science Education 89 (5):803-821.
    Two seemingly complementary trends stand out currently in school science education in the United States: one is the increased emphasis on inquiry activities in classrooms, and the other is the high level of attention given to student understanding of the nature of science. This essay looks at the range of activities that fall within the first trend, noting, in particular, the growing popularity of inquiry activities that engage students in engineering-type tasks. The potential for public disengagement from science and technology (...)
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  39. Unnatural Attitudes: Realist and Instrumentalist Attachments to Science.Arthur Fine - 1986 - Mind 95 (378):149-179.
    The realist programme has degenerated by now to the point where it is quite beyond salvage. A token of this degeneration is that there are altogether too many realisms. It is as though by splitting into a confusing array of types and kinds, realism has hoped that some one variety might yet escape extinct. I shall survey the debate, and some of these realisms, below. Here I would just point out the obvious; that in so far as the successes of (...)
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    Hilbert’s Program: An Essay on Mathematical Instrumentalism.Michael Detlefsen - 1986 - Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.
    An Essay on Mathematical Instrumentalism M. Detlefsen. THE PHILOSOPHICAL FUNDAMENTALS OF HILBERT'S PROGRAM 1. INTRODUCTION In this chapter I shall attempt to set out Hilbert's Program in a way that is more revealing than ...
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    Physicalism, Instrumentalism and the Semantics of Modal Logic.Graeme Forbes - 1983 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 12 (3):271 - 298.
    The delicate point in the formalistic position is to explain how the non-intuitionistic classical mathematics is significant, after having initially agreed with the intuitionists that its theorems lack a real meaning in terms of which they are true (S. C. Kleene, 1952).
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    Rethinking Instrumentalism.Frank Richardson & N. D. Manglos - 2012 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (5-6):5-6.
    In order to rescue human intentionality and mental causation from determinism and reductionism, it is necessary to clarify what we mean by intentionality, which is often coloured by a problematic, one-sided instrumentalism in both current theory and the wider culture. Rethinking this narrow instrumentalism requires distinguishing clearly between what has been termed 'means-end'and 'constituent- end'human practices and appreciating the primacy of the latter in human affairs. It also requires appreciation of the fact that social enquiry itself is a (...)
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    Realism and Instrumentalism in Sixteenth Century Astronomy: A Reappraisal.Peter Barker & Bernard R. Goldstein - 1998 - Perspectives on Science 6 (3):232-258.
    : We question the claim, common since Duhem, that sixteenth century astronomy, and especially the Wittenberg interpretation of Copernicus, was instrumentalistic rather than realistic. We identify a previously unrecognized Wittenberg astronomer, Edo Hildericus (Hilderich von Varel), who presents a detailed exposition of Copernicus's cosmology that is incompatible with instrumentalism. Quotations from other sixteenth century astronomers show that knowledge of the real configuration of the heavens was unattainable practically, rather than in principle. Astronomy was limited to quia demonstrations, although demonstration (...)
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    Dennett' Instrumentalism: A Frog at the Bottom of the Mug.Patricia Smith Churchland - 1983 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (3):358.
  45.  24
    Epistemic Instrumentalism Explained.Nathaniel P. Sharadin - 2022 - Routledge.
    Do epistemic requirements vary along with facts about what promotes agents' well-being? Epistemic instrumentalists say 'yes', and thereby earn a lot of contempt. This contempt is a mistake on two counts. First, it is incorrectly based: the reasons typically given for it are misguided. Second, it fails to distinguish between first- and second-order epistemic instrumentalism; and, it happens, only the former is contemptible. In this book, Nathaniel P. Sharadin argues for rejecting epistemic instrumentalism as a first-order view not (...)
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    Instrumentalism and its Critique: A Reappraisal.Jerzy Giedymin - 1976 - In R. S. Cohen, P. K. Feyerabend & M. Wartofsky (eds.), Essays in Memory of Imre Lakatos. Reidel. pp. 179--207.
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    Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason.Patrick Yarnell - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
    Humean instrumentalism is the view that all of one’s reasons for action are ultimately grounded in one’s antecedent desires, whatever those happen to be. According to this view, what determines which actions are rational is ultimately what the agent wants or desires, while the role of rational deliberation is to inform the agent about how to best gratify these desires. In this paper I aim to weaken commitment to Humean instrumentalism by showing that the main supporting argument for (...)
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    Humean Instrumentalism and the Motivational Capacity of Reason.Patrick Yarnell - 2002 - Journal of Philosophical Research 27:499-509.
    Humean instrumentalism is the view that all of one’s reasons for action are ultimately grounded in one’s antecedent desires, whatever those happen to be. According to this view, what determines which actions are rational is ultimately what the agent wants or desires, while the role of rational deliberation is to inform the agent about how to best gratify these desires. In this paper I aim to weaken commitment to Humean instrumentalism by showing that (a) the main supporting argument (...)
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  49. Instrumentalism: A Third Option.John Byl - unknown
    Most Christian scientists currently appear to favor a "realist" view of scientific theories. Apparent conflicts between science and Scripture are then generally resolved by modifying either our reading of Scripture or the offending scientific theories. In this paper we examine a third possibility: the adoption of an instrumentalist approach to scientific theories. This alternative enables one to make use of the practical results of scientific theories while at the same time withholding any commitment as to the validity of their epistemological (...)
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  50. Normativity and Instrumentalism in David Lewis' Convention.S. M. Amadae - 2011 - History of European Ideas 37 (3):325-335.
    David Lewis presented Convention as an alternative to the conventionalism characteristic of early-twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Rudolf Carnap is well known for suggesting the arbitrariness of any particular linguistic convention for engaging in scientific inquiry. Analytic truths are self-consistent, and are not checked against empirical facts to ascertain their veracity. In keeping with the logical positivists before him, Lewis concludes that linguistic communication is conventional. However, despite his firm allegiance to conventions underlying not just languages but also social customs, he pioneered (...)
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