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Profile: James Ladyman (Bristol University)
  1. Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Every Thing Must Go aruges that the only kind of metaphysics that can contribute to objective knowledge is one based specifically on contemporary science as it ...
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  2. Structural Realism.James Ladyman - 2014 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Structural realism is considered by many realists and antirealists alike as the most defensible form of scientific realism. There are now many forms of structural realism and an extensive literature about them. There are interesting connections with debates in metaphysics, philosophy of physics and philosophy of mathematics. This entry is intended to be a comprehensive survey of the field.
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  3. Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW]Steven French & James Ladyman - 2003 - Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
    We outline Ladyman's 'metaphysical' or 'ontic' form of structuralrealism and defend it against various objections. Cao, in particular, has questioned theview of ontology presupposed by this approach and we argue that by reconceptualisingobjects in structural terms it offers the best hope for the realist in thecontext of modern physics.
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  4. What is Structural Realism?J. Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
  5. Criteria of Identity and Structuralist Ontology.Hannes Leitgeb & James Ladyman - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 16 (3):388-396.
    In discussions about whether the Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles is compatible with structuralist ontologies of mathematics, it is usually assumed that individual objects are subject to criteria of identity which somehow account for the identity of the individuals. Much of this debate concerns structures that admit of non-trivial automorphisms. We consider cases from graph theory that violate even weak formulations of PII. We argue that (i) the identity or difference of places in a structure is not to be (...)
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  6. The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles and Quantum Mechanics.James Ladyman & Tomasz Bigaj - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (1):117-136.
    It is argued that recent discussion of the principle of the identity of indiscernibles (PII) and quantum mechanics has lost sight of the broader philosophical motivation and significance of PII and that the `received view' of the status of PII in the light of quantum mechanics survives recent criticisms of it by Muller, Saunders, and Seevinck.
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  7. Mathematical Structuralism and the Identity of Indiscernibles.James Ladyman - 2005 - Analysis 65 (287):218–221.
  8. Ontic Structural Realism and Modality.Nora Berenstain & James Ladyman - 2012 - In Elaine Landry & Dean Rickles (eds.), Structural Realism: Structure, Object, and Causality. Springer.
    There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific realism (...)
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  9. Reinflating the Semantic Approach.Steven French & James Ladyman - 1999 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):103 – 121.
    The semantic, or model-theoretic, approach to theories has recently come under criticism on two fronts: (i) it is claimed that it cannot account for the wide diversity of models employed in scientific practice—a claim which has led some to propose a “deflationary” account of models; (ii) it is further contended that the sense of “model” used by the approach differs from that given in model theory. Our aim in the present work is to articulate a possible response to these claims, (...)
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  10. Structural Realism Versus Standard Scientific Realism: The Case of Phlogiston and Dephlogisticated Air.James Ladyman - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):87 - 101.
    The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the key (...)
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  11. In Defence of Ontic Structural Realism.Steven French & James Ladyman - 2011 - In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism. Springer Science+Business Media. pp. 25-42.
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  12.  46
    On Representing the Relationship Between the Mathematical and the Empirical.Otávio Bueno, Steven French & James Ladyman - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (3):497-518.
    We examine, from the partial structures perspective, two forms of applicability of mathematics: at the “bottom” level, the applicability of theoretical structures to the “appearances”, and at the “top” level, the applicability of mathematical to physical theories. We argue that, to accommodate these two forms of applicability, the partial structures approach needs to be extended to include a notion of “partial homomorphism”. As a case study, we present London's analysis of the superfluid behavior of liquid helium in terms of Bose‐Einstein (...)
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  13.  58
    Identity in Homotopy Type Theory, Part I: The Justification of Path Induction.James Ladyman & Stuart Presnell - 2015 - Philosophia Mathematica 23 (3):386-406.
    Homotopy Type Theory is a proposed new language and foundation for mathematics, combining algebraic topology with logic. An important rule for the treatment of identity in HoTT is path induction, which is commonly explained by appeal to the homotopy interpretation of the theory's types, tokens, and identities as spaces, points, and paths. However, if HoTT is to be an autonomous foundation then such an interpretation cannot play a fundamental role. In this paper we give a derivation of path induction, motivated (...)
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  14. Identity and Discernibility in Philosophy and Logic.James Ladyman, Øystein Linnebo & Richard Pettigrew - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):162-186.
    Questions about the relation between identity and discernibility are important both in philosophy and in model theory. We show how a philosophical question about identity and dis- cernibility can be ‘factorized’ into a philosophical question about the adequacy of a formal language to the description of the world, and a mathematical question about discernibility in this language. We provide formal definitions of various notions of discernibility and offer a complete classification of their logical relations. Some new and surprising facts are (...)
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  15. The Dissolution of Objects: Between Platonism and Phenomenalism. [REVIEW]Steven French & James Ladyman - 2003 - Synthese 136 (1):73 - 77.
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  16.  18
    The Alleged Coupling-Constitution Fallacy and the Mature Sciences.Don Ross & James Ladyman - 2010 - In Richard Menary (ed.), The Extended Mind. MIT Press.
    This chapter discusses the plausibility of the criticism against the thesis that external factors causally influence cognition and that they are, consequently, partly constitutive of cognition. The discussion should not be taken as implicitly proposing that the opposite theory is true, although the works of Adams and Aizawa suggest that they are defending internalism. This can be attributed to the fact that systems are, by definition, bounded; one must make assumptions about systems in developing cognitive models. This chapter defends the (...)
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  17. Scientific Structuralism: On the Identity and Diversity of Objects in a Structure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):23–43.
  18.  39
    On the Identity and Diversity of Objects in a Structure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81 (1):23--43.
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  19. What's Really Wrong with Constructive Empiricism? Van Fraassen and the Metaphysics of Modality.James Ladyman - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):837-856.
    Constructive empiricism is supposed to offer a positive alternative to scientific realism that dispenses with the need for metaphysics. I first review the terms of the debate before arguing that the standard objections to constructive empiricism are not decisive. I then explain van Fraassen's views on modality and counterfactuals, and argue that, because constructive empiricism recommends on epistemological grounds belief in the empirical adequacy rather than the truth of theories, it requires that there be an objective modal distinction between the (...)
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  20.  58
    Does Homotopy Type Theory Provide a Foundation for Mathematics?James Ladyman & Stuart Presnell - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw006.
    Homotopy Type Theory is a putative new foundation for mathematics grounded in constructive intensional type theory that offers an alternative to the foundations provided by ZFC set theory and category theory. This article explains and motivates an account of how to define, justify, and think about HoTT in a way that is self-contained, and argues that, so construed, it is a candidate for being an autonomous foundation for mathematics. We first consider various questions that a foundation for mathematics might be (...)
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  21. Physicalism, Supervenience and the Fundamental Level.Robin Brown & James Ladyman - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (234):20-38.
    We provide a formulation of physicalism, and show that this is to be favoured over alternative formulations. Much of the literature on physicalism assumes without argument that there is a fundamental level to reality, and we show that a consideration of the levels problem and its implications for physicalism tells in favour of the form of physicalism proposed here. Its hey elements are, fast, that the empirical and substantive part of physicalism amounts to a prediction that physics will not posit (...)
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  22.  31
    Big Data.James Ladyman - 2016 - The Philosophers' Magazine 72:69-70.
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  23. In Defence of Scientism.Don Ross, James Ladyman & David Spurrett - 2007 - In James Ladyman (ed.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
  24.  1
    What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
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  25.  35
    Superconductivity and Structures: Revisiting the London Account.S. French & J. Ladyman - 1997 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 28 (3):363-393.
    Cartwright and her collaborators have elaborated a provocative view of science which emphasises the independence from theory &unknown;in methods and aims&unknown; of phenomenological model building. This thesis has been supported in a recent paper by an analysis of the London and London model of superconductivity. In the present work we begin with a critique of Cartwright's account of the relationship between theoretical and phenomenological models before elaborating an alternative picture within the framework of the partial structures version of the semantic (...)
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  26. Entanglement and Non-Factorizability.James Ladyman, Øystein Linnebo & Tomasz Bigaj - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (3):215-221.
    Quantum mechanics tells us that states involving indistinguishable fermions must be antisymmetrized. This is often taken to mean that indistinguishable fermions are always entangled. We consider several notions of entanglement and argue that on the best of them, indistinguishable fermions are not always entangled. We also present a simple but unconventional way of representing fermionic states that allows us to maintain a link between entanglement and non-factorizability.
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  27.  61
    Scientific Metaphysics.Don Ross, James Ladyman & Harold Kincaid (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Original essays by leading philosophers of science explore the question of whether metaphysics can and should be naturalized--conducted as part of natural science.
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  28. Scientific Representation: A Long Journey From Pragmatics to Pragmatics. [REVIEW]James Ladyman, Otávio Bueno, Mauricio Suárez & Bas van Fraassen - 2011 - Metascience 20 (3):417-442.
    Scientific representation: A long journey from pragmatics to pragmatics Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9465-5 Authors James Ladyman, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol, 9 Woodland Rd, Bristol, BS8 1TB UK Otávio Bueno, Department of Philosophy, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA Mauricio Suárez, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain Bas C. van Fraassen, Philosophy Department, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA Journal Metascience Online (...)
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  29. What is a Complex System?James Ladyman, James Lambert & Karoline Wiesner - 2013 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (1):33-67.
    Complex systems research is becoming ever more important in both the natural and social sciences. It is commonly implied that there is such a thing as a complex system, different examples of which are studied across many disciplines. However, there is no concise definition of a complex system, let alone a definition on which all scientists agree. We review various attempts to characterize a complex system, and consider a core set of features that are widely associated with complex systems in (...)
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  30. A Defence of Van Fraassen's Critique of Abductive Inference: Reply to Psillos.Ladyman James, Douven Igor, Horsten Leon & Fraassen Bas van - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):305 - 321.
    Psillos has recently argued that van Fraassen’s arguments against abduction fail. Moreover, he claimed that, if successful, these arguments would equally undermine van Fraassen’s own constructive empiricism, for, Psillos thinks, it is only by appeal to abduction that constructive empiricism can be saved from issuing in a bald scepticism. We show that Psillos’ criticisms are misguided, and that they are mostly based on misinterpretations of van Fraassen’s arguments. Furthermore, we argue that Psillos’ arguments for his claim that constructive empiricism itself (...)
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  31.  97
    The Connection Between Logical and Thermodynamic Irreversibility.James Ladyman, Stuart Presnell, Anthony J. Short & Berry Groisman - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (1):58-79.
    There has recently been a good deal of controversy about Landauer's Principle, which is often stated as follows: The erasure of one bit of information in a computational device is necessarily accompanied by a generation of kTln2 heat. This is often generalised to the claim that any logically irreversible operation cannot be implemented in a thermodynamically reversible way. John Norton (2005) and Owen Maroney (2005) both argue that Landauer's Principle has not been shown to hold in general, and Maroney offers (...)
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  32. Discussion – Empiricism Versus Metaphysics. [REVIEW]James Ladyman - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (2):133 - 145.
  33. Constructive Empiricism and Modal Metaphysics: A Reply to Monton and Van Fraassen.James Ladyman - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):755-765.
    , I argued that Bas van Fraassen's constructive empiricism was undermined in various ways by his antirealism about modality. Here I offer some comments and responses to the reply to my arguments by Bradley Monton and van Fraassen [2003]. In particular, after making some minor points, I argue that Monton and van Fraassen have not done enough to show that the context dependence of counterfactuals renders their truth conditions non-objective, and I also argue that adopting modal realism does after all (...)
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  34. The Scientistic Stance: The Empirical and Materialist Stances Reconciled.James Ladyman - 2011 - Synthese 178 (1):87 - 98.
    van Fraassen (The empirical stance, 2002) contrasts the empirical stance with the materialist stance. The way he describes them makes both of them attractive, and while opposed they have something in common for both stances are scientific approaches to philosophy. The difference between them reflects their differing conceptions of science itself. Empiricists emphasise fallibilism, verifiability and falsifiability, and also to some extent scepticism and tolerance of novel hypotheses. Materialists regard the theoretical picture of the world as matter in motion as (...)
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  35. The Use of the Information-Theoretic Entropy in Thermodynamics.James Ladyman, Stuart Presnell & Anthony J. Short - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2):315-324.
    When considering controversial thermodynamic scenarios such as Maxwell's demon, it is often necessary to consider probabilistic mixtures of states. This raises the question of how, if at all, to assign entropy to them. The information-theoretic entropy is often used in such cases; however, no general proof of the soundness of doing so has been given, and indeed some arguments against doing so have been presented. We offer a general proof of the applicability of the information-theoretic entropy to probabilistic mixtures of (...)
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  36. Science, Metaphysics and Method.James Ladyman - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):31-51.
    While there are many examples of metaphysical theorising being heuristically and intellectually important in the progress of scientific knowledge, many people wonder how metaphysics not closely informed and inspired by empirical science could lead to rival or even supplementary knowledge about the world. This paper assesses the merits of a popular defence of the a priori methodology of metaphysics that goes as follows. The first task of the metaphysician, like the scientist, is to construct a hypothesis that accounts for the (...)
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  37. Structural Realism and the Relationship Between the Special Sciences and Physics.James Ladyman - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):744-755.
    The primacy of physics generates a philosophical problem that the naturalist must solve in order to be entitled to an egalitarian acceptance of the ontological commitments he or she inherits from the special sciences and fundamental physics. The problem is the generalized causal exclusion argument. If there is no genuine causation in the domains of the special sciences but only in fundamental physics then there are grounds for doubting the existence of macroscopic objects and properties, or at least the concreteness (...)
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  38.  68
    Science Metaphysics and Structural Realism.James Ladyman - 2001 - Philosophica 67.
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  39. Rainforest Realism and the Unity of Science.Don Ross, James Ladyman & John Collier - 2007 - In James Ladyman (ed.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
  40.  8
    I—James Ladyman: On the Identity and Diversity of Objects in a Structure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):23-43.
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  41.  2
    On the Identity and Diversity of Objects in a Structure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 81:23-43.
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  42.  16
    Identity in Homotopy Type Theory: Part II, The Conceptual and Philosophical Status of Identity in HoTT.James Ladyman & Stuart Presnell - forthcoming - Philosophia Mathematica:nkw023.
    Among the most interesting features of Homotopy Type Theory is the way it treats identity, which has various unusual characteristics. We examine the formal features of “identity types” in HoTT, and how they relate to its other features including intensionality, constructive logic, the interpretation of types as concepts, and the Univalence Axiom. The unusual behaviour of identity types might suggest that they be reinterpreted as representing indiscernibility. We explore this by defining indiscernibility in HoTT and examine its relationship with identity. (...)
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  43. Between Platonism and Phenomenalism: Reply to Cao.Steven French & James Ladyman - 2003 - Synthese 136 (1):73-78.
     
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  44. S Cientific S Tructuralism: O N the I Dentity and D Iversity of O Bjects in a S Tructure.James Ladyman - 2007 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):23-43.
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  45.  3
    The Development of Problems Within the Phlogiston Theories, 1766–1791.Geoffrey Blumenthal & James Ladyman - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-40.
    This is the first of a pair of papers. It focuses on the development of the most notable phlogistic theories during the period 1766–1791, including the main experiments that their proponents proposed them to interpret. There was a rapid proliferation of late phlogistic theories, particularly from 1784, and the accounts of composition and important implications of the main theories are set out and their issues analysed. Each of them either reached impasses due to internal problems, or included features that made (...)
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  46.  39
    1. Science and Fundamental Ontology.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2013 - In Don Ross, James Ladyman & Harold Kincaid (eds.), Scientific Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 108.
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  47.  87
    Does Physics Answer Metaphysical Questions?James Ladyman - 2007 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 (61):179-201.
    According to logical positivism, so the story goes, metaphysical questions are meaningless, since they do not admit of empirical confirmation or refutation. However, the logical positivists did not in fact reject as meaningless all questions about for example, the structure of space and time. Rather, key figures such as Reichenbach and Schlick believed that scientific theories often presupposed a conceptual framework that was not itself empirically testable, but which was required for the theory as a whole to be empirically testable. (...)
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  48. Review. A Novel Defense of Scientific Realism. Jarrett Leplin.J. Ladyman - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (1):181-188.
  49. Understanding Philosophy of Science.James Ladyman - 2012 - Routledge.
    Few can imagine a world without telephones or televisions; many depend on computers and the Internet as part of daily life. Without scientific theory, these developments would not have been possible. In this exceptionally clear and engaging introduction to philosophy of science, James Ladyman explores the philosophical questions that arise when we reflect on the nature of the scientific method and the knowledge it produces. He discusses whether fundamental philosophical questions about knowledge and reality might be answered by science, and (...)
     
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  50.  50
    Protecting Rainforest Realism.P. Kyle Stanford, Paul Humphreys, Katherine Hawley, James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2010 - Metascience 19 (2):161-185.
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