Results for 'Norton John'

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  1.  9
    Correction to John D. Norton “How to Build an Infinite Lottery Machine”.John D. Norton & Alexander R. Pruss - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):143-144.
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  2.  29
    Vol. 3, No. 4: John D. Norton, "Causation as Folk Science".John Norton - unknown
    I deny that the world is fundamentally causal, deriving the skepticism on non-Humean grounds from our enduring failures to find a contingent, universal principle of causality that holds true of our science. I explain the prevalence and fertility of causal notions in science by arguing that a causal character for many sciences can be recovered, when they are restricted to appropriately hospitable domains. There they conform to loose and varying collections of causal notions that form folk sciences of causation. This (...)
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  3. Synopsis and Discussion. Workshop: Underdetermination in Science 21-22 March, 2009. Center for Philosophy of Science.Greg Frost-Arnold, J. Brian Pitts, John Norton, John Manchak, Dana Tulodziecki, P. D. Magnus, David Harker & Kyle Stanford - unknown
    This document collects discussion and commentary on issues raised in the workshop by its participants. Contributors are: Greg Frost-Arnold, David Harker, P. D. Magnus, John Manchak, John D. Norton, J. Brian Pitts, Kyle Stanford, Dana Tulodziecki.
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  4. Do the Causal Principles of Modern Physics Contradict Causal Anti-Fundamentalism?John D. Norton - manuscript
    In Norton(2003), it was urged that the world does not conform at a fundamental level to some robust principle of causality. To defend this view, I now argue that the causal notions and principles of modern physics do not express some universal causal principle, brought to light by discoveries in physics. Rather they merely assert that, according to relativity theory, spacetime has an invariant velocity, that of light; and that theories of matter admit no propagations faster than light.
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  5. John Kekes is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Albany. Alan S. Waterman is Professor of Psychology at Trenton State College in Trenton, New Jersey. [REVIEW]William G. Scott, Terence R. Mitchell, David K. Hart, David L. Norton, Peter R. Breggin & Konstantin Kolenda - 1988 - In Konstantin Kolenda (ed.), Organizations and Ethical Individualism. Praeger.
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  6.  17
    The Ideal of the Completeness of Calculi of Inductive Inference: An Introductory Guide to its Failure.John D. Norton - unknown
    Non-trivial calculi of inductive inference are incomplete. This result is demonstrated formally elsewhere. Here the significance and background to the result is described. This note explains what is meant by incompleteness, why it is desirable, if only it could be secured, and it gives some indication of the arguments needed to establish its failure. The discussion will be informal, using illustrative examples rather than general results. Technical details and general proofs are presented in Norton.
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  7.  17
    The Simplest Exorcism of Maxwell's Demon: The Quantum Version.John D. Norton - unknown
    Norton describes how a Maxwell’s demon can be exorcised merely by considerations of the conservation of phase volume in classical physics. This exorcism is generalized here to quantum physics.
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  8.  16
    John Foster, Valuing Nature? Economics, Ethics, and the Environment:Valuing Nature? Economics, Ethics, and the Environment.Bryan G. Norton - 2001 - Ethics 111 (3):630-632.
  9.  9
    The Examined Life, by John Kekes.David L. Norton - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (3):697-700.
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  10.  5
    John W. Danford., David Hume and the Problem of Reason: Recovering the Human Sciences.David Fate Norton - 1994 - International Studies in Philosophy 26 (2):113-114.
  11.  8
    From John Locke to Dugald Stewart.David Fate Norton - 2001 - Journal of the History of Ideas 62 (2):359-365.
  12. A Sketch of the Character of Mr. Hume and Diary of a Journey From Morpeth to Bath, 23 April-1 May 1776.John Home & David Fate Norton - 1976
  13. John Wilson: Hume's First Printer.David Fate Norton - 1988 - British Library Journal 14:123-135.
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  14. Liberalism. By John Gray. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press. 1986. [REVIEW]David Norton - 1987 - Reason Papers 12:77-82.
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  15. Approximation and Idealization: Why the Difference Matters.John D. Norton - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (2):207-232.
    It is proposed that we use the term “approximation” for inexact description of a target system and “idealization” for another system whose properties also provide an inexact description of the target system. Since systems generated by a limiting process can often have quite unexpected, even inconsistent properties, familiar limit systems used in statistical physics can fail to provide idealizations, but are merely approximations. A dominance argument suggests that the limiting idealizations of statistical physics should be demoted to approximations.
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  16. A Material Theory of Induction.John D. Norton - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (4):647-670.
    Contrary to formal theories of induction, I argue that there are no universal inductive inference schemas. The inductive inferences of science are grounded in matters of fact that hold only in particular domains, so that all inductive inference is local. Some are so localized as to defy familiar characterization. Since inductive inference schemas are underwritten by facts, we can assess and control the inductive risk taken in an induction by investigating the warrant for its underwriting facts. In learning more facts, (...)
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  17. What Price Spacetime Substantivalism? The Hole Story.John Earman & John Norton - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (4):515-525.
    Spacetime substantivalism leads to a radical form of indeterminism within a very broad class of spacetime theories which include our best spacetime theory, general relativity. Extending an argument from Einstein, we show that spacetime substantivalists are committed to very many more distinct physical states than these theories' equations can determine, even with the most extensive boundary conditions.
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  18. The Dome: An Unexpectedly Simple Failure of Determinism.John D. Norton - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):786-798.
    Newton’s equations of motion tell us that a mass at rest at the apex of a dome with the shape specified here can spontaneously move. It has been suggested that this indeterminism should be discounted since it draws on an incomplete rendering of Newtonian physics, or it is “unphysical,” or it employs illicit idealizations. I analyze and reject each of these reasons. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (...)
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  19. Ignorance and Indifference.John D. Norton - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):45-68.
    The epistemic state of complete ignorance is not a probability distribution. In it, we assign the same, unique, ignorance degree of belief to any contingent outcome and each of its contingent, disjunctive parts. That this is the appropriate way to represent complete ignorance is established by two instruments, each individually strong enough to identify this state. They are the principle of indifference (PI) and the notion that ignorance is invariant under certain redescriptions of the outcome space, here developed into the (...)
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  20. Are Thought Experiments Just What You Thought?John Norton - 1996 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (3):333 - 366.
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 26, pp. 333-66. 1996.
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  21. The Impossible Process: Thermodynamic Reversibility.John D. Norton - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 55:43-61.
    Standard descriptions of thermodynamically reversible processes attribute contradictory properties to them: they are in equilibrium yet still change their state. Or they are comprised of non-equilibrium states that are so close to equilibrium that the difference does not matter. One cannot have states that both change and no not change at the same time. In place of this internally contradictory characterization, the term “thermodynamically reversible process” is here construed as a label for a set of real processes of change involving (...)
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  22.  9
    How to Build an Infinite Lottery Machine.John D. Norton - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):71-95.
    An infinite lottery machine is used as a foil for testing the reach of inductive inference, since inferences concerning it require novel extensions of probability. Its use is defensible if there is some sense in which the lottery is physically possible, even if exotic physics is needed. I argue that exotic physics is needed and describe several proposals that fail and at least one that succeeds well enough.
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  23.  47
    Why Constructive Relativity Fails.John D. Norton - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):821-834.
    Constructivists, such as Harvey Brown, urge that the geometries of Newtonian and special relativistic spacetimes result from the properties of matter. Whatever this may mean, it commits constructivists to the claim that these spacetime geometries can be inferred from the properties of matter without recourse to spatiotemporal presumptions or with few of them. I argue that the construction project only succeeds if constructivists antecedently presume the essential commitments of a realist conception of spacetime. These commitments can be avoided only by (...)
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  24.  89
    Causation as Folk Science.John D. Norton - 2003 - In Huw Price & Richard Corry (eds.), Philosophers' Imprint. Oxford University Press.
    I deny that the world is fundamentally causal, deriving the skepticism on non-Humean grounds from our enduring failures to find a contingent, universal principle of causality that holds true of our science. I explain the prevalence and fertility of causal notions in science by arguing that a causal character for many sciences can be recovered, when they are restricted to appropriately hospitable domains. There they conform to a loose collection of causal notions that form a folk science of causation. This (...)
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  25.  60
    Is There an Independent Principle of Causality in Physics?John Norton - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):475-486.
    Mathias Frisch has argued that the requirement that electromagnetic dispersion processes are causal adds empirical content not found in electrodynamic theory. I urge that this attempt to reconstitute a local principle of causality in physics fails. An independent principle is not needed to recover the results of dispersion theory. The use of ‘causality conditions’ proves to be the mere adding of causal labels to an already presumed fact. If instead one seeks a broader, independently formulated grounding for the conditions, that (...)
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  26.  86
    Why Thought Experiments Do Not Transcend Empiricism.John D. Norton - 2002 - In Christopher Hitchcock (ed.), Contemporary Debates in the Philosophy of Science. Blackwell. pp. 44-66.
    Thought experiments are ordinary argumentation disguised in a vivid pictorial or narrative form. This account of their nature will allow me to show that empiricism has nothing to fear from thought experiments. They perform no epistemic magic. In so far as they tell us about the world, thought experiments draw upon what we already know of it, either explicitly or tacitly; they then transform that knowledge by disguised argumentation. They can do nothing more epistemically than can argumentation. I defend my (...)
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  27.  70
    Exorcist XIV: The Wrath of Maxwell's Demon. Part I. From Maxwell to Szilard.John Earman & John D. Norton - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 29 (4):435-471.
    In this first part of a two-part paper, we describe efforts in the early decades of this century to restrict the extent of violations of the Second Law of thermodynamics that were brought to light by the rise of the kinetic theory and the identification of fluctuation phenomena. We show how these efforts mutated into Szilard’s proposal that Maxwell’s Demon is exorcised by proper attention to the entropy costs associated with the Demon’s memory and information acquisition. In the second part (...)
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  28. A Material Dissolution of the Problem of Induction.John D. Norton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (4):1-20.
    In a formal theory of induction, inductive inferences are licensed by universal schemas. In a material theory of induction, inductive inferences are licensed by facts. With this change in the conception of the nature of induction, I argue that the celebrated “problem of induction” can no longer be set up and is thereby dissolved. Attempts to recreate the problem in the material theory of induction fail. They require relations of inductive support to conform to an unsustainable, hierarchical empiricism.
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  29.  74
    Probability Disassembled.John D. Norton - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):141-171.
    While there is no universal logic of induction, the probability calculus succeeds as a logic of induction in many contexts through its use of several notions concerning inductive inference. They include Addition, through which low probabilities represent disbelief as opposed to ignorance; and Bayes property, which commits the calculus to a ‘refute and rescale’ dynamics for incorporating new evidence. These notions are independent and it is urged that they be employed selectively according to needs of the problem at hand. It (...)
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  30.  85
    Waiting for Landauer.John D. Norton - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 42 (3):184-198.
    Landauer's Principle asserts that there is an unavoidable cost in thermodynamic entropy creation when data is erased. It is usually derived from incorrect assumptions, most notably, that erasure must compress the phase space of a memory device or that thermodynamic entropy arises from the probabilistic uncertainty of random data. Recent work seeks to prove Landauer’s Principle without using these assumptions. I show that the processes assumed in the proof, and in the thermodynamics of computation more generally, can be combined to (...)
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  31. Eaters of the Lotus: Landauer's Principle and the Return of Maxwell's Demon.John D. Norton - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):375-411.
    Landauer’s principle is the loosely formulated notion that the erasure of n bits of information must always incur a cost of k ln n in thermodynamic entropy. It can be formulated as a precise result in statistical mechanics, but for a restricted class of erasure processes that use a thermodynamically irreversible phase space expansion, which is the real origin of the law’s entropy cost and whose necessity has not been demonstrated. General arguments that purport to establish the unconditional validity of (...)
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  32.  71
    Causation as Folk Science.John D. Norton - 2003 - Philosophers' Imprint 3:1-22.
    I deny that the world is fundamentally causal, deriving the skepticism on non-Humean grounds from our enduring failures to find a contingent, universal principle of causality that holds true of our science. I explain the prevalence and fertility of causal notions in science by arguing that a causal character for many sciences can be recovered, when they are restricted to appropriately hospitable domains. There they conform to loose and varying collections of causal notions that form folk sciences of causation. This (...)
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  33.  8
    Einstein’s Conflicting Heuristics: The Discovery of General Relativity.John D. Norton - unknown
    Einstein located the foundations of general relativity in simple and vivid physical principles: the principle of equivalence, an extended principle of relativity and Mach's principle. While these ideas played an important heuristic role in Einstein's thinking, they provide a dubious logical foundation for his final theory. Einstein was also guided to his final theory, I argue, by a second tier of more prosaic heuristics. I trace one strand among them. The principle of equivalence guided Einstein well until it led him (...)
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  34. How the Formal Equivalence of Grue and Green Defeats What is New in the New Riddle of Induction.John D. Norton - 2006 - Synthese 150 (2):185-207.
    That past patterns may continue in many different ways has long been identified as a problem for accounts of induction. The novelty of Goodman’s ”new riddle of induction” lies in a meta-argument that purports to show that no account of induction can discriminate between incompatible continuations. That meta-argument depends on the perfect symmetry of the definitions of grue/bleen and green/blue, so that any evidence that favors the ordinary continuation must equally favor the grue-ified continuation. I argue that this very dependence (...)
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  35.  81
    Cosmic Confusions: Not Supporting Versus Supporting Not-.John D. Norton - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):501-523.
    Bayesian probabilistic explication of inductive inference conflates neutrality of supporting evidence for some hypothesis H (“not supporting H”) with disfavoring evidence (“supporting not-H”). This expressive inadequacy leads to spurious results that are artifacts of a poor choice of inductive logic. I illustrate how such artifacts have arisen in simple inductive inferences in cosmology. In the inductive disjunctive fallacy, neutral support for many possibilities is spuriously converted into strong support for their disjunction. The Bayesian “doomsday argument” is shown to rely entirely (...)
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  36.  45
    What Was Einstein's Principle of Equivalence?John Norton - 1985 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 16 (3):203-246.
    sn y™to˜er —nd xovem˜er IWHUD just over two ye—rs —fter the ™ompletion of his spe™i—l theory of rel—tivityD iinstein m—de the ˜re—kthrough th—t set him on the p—th to the gener—l theory of rel—tivityF ‡hile prep—ring — review —rti™le on his new spe™i—l theory of rel—tivityD he ˜e™—me ™onvin™ed th—t the key to the extension of the prin™iple of rel—tivity to —™™eler—ted motion l—y in the rem—rk—˜le —nd unexpl—ined empiri™—l ™oin™iden™e of the equ—lity of inerti—l —nd gr—vit—tion—l m—ssesF „o interpret (...)
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  37.  73
    Infinite Idealizations.John D. Norton - 2012 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:197-210.
    1. Approximations of arbitrarily large but finite systems are often mistaken for infinite idealizations in statistical and thermal physics. The problem is illustrated by thermodynamically reversible processes. They are approximations of processes requiring arbitrarily long, but finite times to complete, not processes requiring an actual infinity of time.2. The present debate over whether phase transitions comprise a failure of reduction is confounded by a confusion of two senses of “level”: the molecular versus the thermodynamic level and the few component versus (...)
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  38. On Thought Experiments: Is There More to the Argument?John D. Norton - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1139-1151.
    Thought experiments in science are merely picturesque argumentation. I support this view in various ways, including the claim that it follows from the fact that thought experiments can err but can still be used reliably. The view is defended against alternatives proposed by my cosymposiasts.
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  39. There Are No Universal Rules for Induction.John D. Norton - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):765-777.
    In a material theory of induction, inductive inferences are warranted by facts that prevail locally. This approach, it is urged, is preferable to formal theories of induction in which the good inductive inferences are delineated as those conforming to some universal schema. An inductive inference problem concerning indeterministic, non-probabilistic systems in physics is posed and it is argued that Bayesians cannot responsibly analyze it, thereby demonstrating that the probability calculus is not the universal logic of induction.
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  40.  41
    General Covariance and the Foundations of General Relativity: Eight Decades of Dispute.John D. Norton - 1993 - Reports of Progress in Physics 56:791--861.
    iinstein oered the prin™iple of gener—l ™ov—ri—n™e —s the fund—ment—l physi™—l prin™iple of his gener—l theory of rel—tivityD —nd —s responsi˜le for extending the prin™iple of rel—tivity to —™™eler—ted motionF „his view w—s disputed —lmost immedi—tely with the ™ounterE™l—im th—t the prin™iple w—s no rel—tivity prin™iple —nd w—s physi™—lly v—™uousF „he dis—greeE ment persists tod—yF „his —rti™le reviews the development of iinstein9s thought on gener—l ™ov—ri—n™eD its rel—tion to the found—tions of gener—l rel—tivity —nd the evolution of the ™ontinuing de˜—te (...)
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  41.  95
    Atoms, Entropy, Quanta: Einstein’s Miraculous Argument of 1905.John D. Norton - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 37 (1):71-100.
    In the sixth section of his light quantum paper of 1905, Einstein presented the miraculous argument, as I shall call it. Pointing out an analogy with ideal gases and dilute solutions, he showed that the macroscopic, thermodynamic properties of high frequency heat radiation carry a distinctive signature of finitely many, spatially localized, independent components and so inferred that it consists of quanta. I describe how Einstein’s other statistical papers of 1905 had already developed and exploited the idea that the ideal (...)
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  42. Forever is a Day: Supertasks in Pitowsky and Malament-Hogarth Spacetimes.John Earman & John D. Norton - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (1):22-42.
    The standard theory of computation excludes computations whose completion requires an infinite number of steps. Malament-Hogarth spacetimes admit observers whose pasts contain entire future-directed, timelike half-curves of infinite proper length. We investigate the physical properties of these spacetimes and ask whether they and other spacetimes allow the observer to know the outcome of a computation with infinitely many steps.
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  43.  51
    The Burning Fuse Model of Unbecoming in Time.John D. Norton - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part A):103-105.
    Please imagine a long fuse hanging down from the ceiling. It is a carefully woven tube of fabric that holds a core of gunpowder. We note that it is beautifully made, with brightly colored threads intertwined with the coarser bare cotton. It a masterpiece of the modern weaver's art.
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  44.  45
    Why Monte Carlo Simulations Are Inferences and Not Experiments.Claus Beisbart & John D. Norton - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):403-422.
    Monte Carlo simulations arrive at their results by introducing randomness, sometimes derived from a physical randomizing device. Nonetheless, we argue, they open no new epistemic channels beyond that already employed by traditional simulations: the inference by ordinary argumentation of conclusions from assumptions built into the simulations. We show that Monte Carlo simulations cannot produce knowledge other than by inference, and that they resemble other computer simulations in the manner in which they derive their conclusions. Simple examples of Monte Carlo simulations (...)
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  45. Must Evidence Underdetermine Theory.John D. Norton - 2003 - The Challenge of the Social and the Pressure of Practice:17--44.
    According to the underdetermination thesis, all evidence necessarily underdetermines any scientific theory. Thus it is often argued that our agreement on the content of mature scientific theories must be due to social and other factors. Drawing on a long standing tradition of criticism, I shall argue that the underdetermination thesis is little more than speculation based on an impoverished account of induction. A more careful look at accounts of induction does not support an assured underdetermination or the holism usually associated (...)
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  46.  35
    `Nature is the Realisation of the Simplest Conceivable Mathematical Ideas': Einstein and the Canon of Mathematical Simplicity.John D. Norton - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 31 (2):135-170.
    Einstein proclaimed that we could discover true laws of nature by seeking those with the simplest mathematical formulation. He came to this viewpoint later in his life. In his early years and work he was quite hostile to this idea. Einstein did not develop his later Platonism from a priori reasoning or aesthetic considerations. He learned the canon of mathematical simplicity from his own experiences in the discovery of new theories, most importantly, his discovery of general relativity. Through his neglect (...)
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  47.  43
    The Force of Newtonian Cosmology: Acceleration is Relative.John D. Norton - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (4):511-522.
  48.  95
    Challenges to Bayesian Confirmation Theory.John D. Norton - 2011 - In Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay & Malcolm R. Forster (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Vol. 7: Philosophy of Statistics. Elsevier B.V.. pp. 391-440.
    Proponents of Bayesian confirmation theory believe that they have the solution to a significant, recalcitrant problem in philosophy of science. It is the identification of the logic that governs evidence and its inductive bearing in science. That is the logic that lets us say that our catalog of planetary observations strongly confirms Copernicus’ heliocentric hypothesis; or that the fossil record is good evidence for the theory of evolution; or that the 3oK cosmic background radiation supports big bang cosmology. The definitive (...)
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  49. The Hole Argument.John Norton - 1988 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1988:56 - 64.
    I give an informal outline of the hole argument which shows that spacetime substantivalism leads to an undesirable indeterminism in a broad class of spacetime theories. This form of the argument depends on the selection of differentiable manifolds within a spacetime theory as representing spacetime. I consider the conditions under which the argument can be extended to address versions of spacetime substantivalism which select these differentiable manifolds plus some further structure to represent spacetime. Finally, I respond to the criticisms of (...)
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  50.  28
    Observationally Indistinguishable Spacetimes: A Challenge for Any Inductivist.John D. Norton - 2011 - In Gregory J. Morgan (ed.), Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. Oxford University Press. pp. 164.
    © 2011 by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Results on the observational indistinguishability of spacetimes demonstrate the impossibility of determining by deductive inference which is our spacetime, no matter how extensive a portion of the spacetime is observed. These results do not illustrate an underdetermination of theory by evidence, since they make no decision between competing theories and they make little contact with the inductive considerations that must ground such a decision. Rather, these results express a variety of indeterminism (...)
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