In Extragalactic Reality: The Case of Gravitational Lensing Hacking resumes the discussion of scientific realism from the last chapter of Representing and Intervening. Since the criterion of manipulability cannot be applied to astronomical objects, experimental entity realism seems to be restricted to terrestrial entities. In fact, Hacking explicitly argues against astronomical realism. The case at issue is the existence of gravitational lenses. In this paper, I question Hacking 's chief witness for astronomical antirealism: the gravitational lens system “0957+ 561”. It (...) will be shown that Hacking 's argumentation is misleading. Discussing astronomical realism as theory realism, Hacking focuses on the question of how to infer the existence of gravitational lenses from the truth of gravitational lens theory. But neither the reconstruction of gravitational lensing in terms of inference to the best explanation nor the argument of underdetermination are tenable under closer inspection. My thesis is that a realist account of gravitational lensing can be given by relying on observation, causal capacities and home truths. (shrink)
Taking scientific error and uncertainty seriously Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9628-z Authors Douglas Allchin, Minnesota Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
The importance of GS for understanding Nietzsche’s philosophy cannot be overestimated. While it can be disputed whether or not modern Nietzsche scholarship started with the revaluation of GS—as the editors claim with Giorgio Colli—the work forms an important link between the early and late writings of Nietzsche and especially Z. Klassiker Auslegen—Interpreting Classics—is a series dedicated to interpreting important works of philosophy as a whole through chapters successively discussing the individual chapters of the work. The book at hand consists of (...) two introductions—one for the volume, another one discussing the genesis of the edition of GS—and eight chapters covering each of the preface, the “Prelude in... (shrink)
This essay offers some reflections on the recent history of the disputes about the relation between history and philosophy of science (HPS) and the merits and prospects of HPS as an intellectual endeavor. As everyone knows, the issue was hotly debated in the 1960s and 1970s. That was the hey-day of the slogan "history without philosophy of science is blind, philosophy without history of science is empty" as well as of the many variations on the theme of HPS as a (...) "marriage of convenience," "intimate relation," or "marriage for the sake of reason." There was a flurry of interest in the early 1990s, as evidenced by sections in the 1992 and 1994 issues of PSA, entitled: "Do the History of Science and the Philosophy of .. (shrink)
In a recent editorial published in Nature, the journal's editors comment on a new automated software that has been used to check findings in psychology publications. The editors express concern with the way in which the anonymous fact-checkers have proceeded, but at the same time, they underscore the crucial role of peer criticism for scientific progress and insist: "self-correction is at the heart of science." Brief as it is, the editorial showcases that peer criticism and the application of norms of (...) good research practice are very thorny issues indeed.It is essential for the functioning of science that empirical findings, arguments, as well as methodological approaches are scrutinized... (shrink)
This article identifies a fundamental distinction in scientific practice: the mismatch between what scientists do and what they state they did when they communicate their findings in their publications. The insight that such a mismatch exists is not new. It was already implied in Hans Reichenbach's distinction between the contexts of discovery and justification, and it is taken for granted across the board in philosophy of science and science studies. But while there is general agreement that the mismatch exists, the (...) epistemological implications of that mismatch are not at all clear. Philosophers, historians, and sociologists of different stripes have expressed widely different views about how one should understand and interpret the relation between what scientists do and what they state they did. This article surveys a number of approaches to the mismatch. Based on this survey, I offer an assessment of the epistemological significance of the mismatch and identify the major meta-epistemological challenges that it poses for the analysis of scientific practice. *Received May 2007; revised April 2008. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 1011 East Third Street, Goodbody Hall 130, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; e-mail: email@example.com. (shrink)