34 found
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  1. Scientific Understanding.Peter Kosso - 2007 - Foundations of Science 12 (2):173-188.
    Knowledge of many facts does not amount to understanding unless one also has a sense of how the facts fit together. This aspect of coherence among scientific observations and theories is usually overlooked in summaries of scientific method, since the emphasis is on justification and verification rather than on understanding. I argue that the inter-theoretic coherence, as the hallmark of understanding, is an essential and informative component of any accurate description of science.
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  2.  93
    Reading the Book of Nature: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science.Peter Kosso - 1992 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is an introductory survey to the philosophy of science suitable for beginners and nonspecialists. Its point of departure is the question: why should we believe what science tells us about the world? In this attempt to justify the claims of science the book treats such topics as observation data, confirmation of theories, and the explanation of phenomena. The writing is clear and concrete with detailed examples drawn from contemporary science: solar neutrinos, the gravitational bending of light, and the creation/evolution (...)
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  3. Knowing the Past: Philosophical Issues of History and Archaeology.Peter Kosso - 2001 - Humanity Books.
    How can we know what really happened in the distant past in places like ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Greece, and Rome, especially since the evidence is fragmentary and ancient cultures are so different from our own frame of reference? Scholars may examine historical documents and archaeological artifacts, and then make reasonable inferences. But in the final analysis there can be no absolute certainty about events far removed from present reality, and the past must be reconstructed by means of hypotheses that (...)
     
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  4.  82
    The Omniscienter: Beauty and Scientific Understanding.Peter Kosso - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (1):39 – 48.
    Science has more to offer than just knowledge of nature; it can give us understanding of nature as well. Epistemology of science is usually focused on knowledge and the criteria of justification, while paying little attention to understanding. In a reversal of this emphasis, this article is more about scientific understanding. I argue that the hallmarks of understanding are similar to an aesthetic feature associated with literature, music, and the visual arts. It is the feature described as coherence, harmony, and (...)
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  5. Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics.Peter Kosso - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent the (...)
     
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  6.  82
    Dimensions of Observability.Peter Kosso - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (4):449-467.
    The concept of observability of entities in physical science is typically analysed in terms of the nature and significance of a dichotomy between observables and unobservables. In the present work, however, this categorization is resisted and observability is analysed in a descriptive way in terms of the information which one can receive through interaction with objects in the world. The account of interaction and the transfer of information is done using applicable scientific theories. In this way, the question of observability (...)
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  7. Observability and Observation in Physical Science.Peter Kosso - 1986 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    The concept of observability of entities in physical science is typically analyzed in terms of the nature and significance of a dichotomy between observables and unobservables. In the present work, however, this categorization is resisted and observability is analyzed in a descriptive way in terms of the information which one can receive through interaction with objects in the world. The account of interaction and the transfer of information is done using applicable scientific theories. In this way, the question of observability (...)
     
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  8.  14
    Science and Objectivity.Peter Kosso - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (5):245.
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  9. Science and Objectivity.Peter Kosso - 1989 - Journal of Philosophy 86 (5):245-257.
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  10.  45
    Detecting Extrasolar Planets.Peter Kosso - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (2):224-236.
    The detection of extrasolar planets presents a good case in which to clarify the distinction between observation and inference from evidence. By asking whether these planets have been observed or inferred from evidence, and by using the scientific details to answer the question, we will get a clearer understanding of the epistemic difference between these two forms of information. The issue of scientific realism pivots on this distinction, and the results of this case will help to articulate the epistemically important (...)
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  11.  53
    Fundamental and Accidental Symmetries.Peter Kosso - 2000 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (2):109 – 121.
    The Standard Model of elementary particle physics distinguishes between fundamental and accidental symmetries. The distinction is not based on empirical features of the symmetry, nor on a metaphysical notion of necessity. A symmetry is fundamental to the extent that other aspects of nature depend on it, and it is recognized as fundamental by its being theoretically well-connected. This paper clarifies the concept of what it is to be fundamental in this sense, and suggests broader implications for the analysis of scientific (...)
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  12.  45
    The Large-Scale Structure of Scientific Method.Peter Kosso - 2009 - Science & Education 18 (1):33-42.
    The standard textbook description of the nature of science describes the proposal, testing, and acceptance of a theoretical idea almost entirely in isolation from other theories. The resulting model of science is a kind of piecemeal empiricism that misses the important network structure of scientific knowledge. Only the large-scale description of scientific method can reveal the global interconnectedness of scientific knowledge that is an essential part of what makes science scientific. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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  13.  12
    The Epistemology of Spontaneously Broken Symmetries.Peter Kosso - 2000 - Synthese 122 (3):359-376.
    Spontaneously broken symmetries are often called hidden or secret symmetries. They are symmetries in the laws of nature that do not show up in observable phenomena. This raises the basic epistemological question: Is there reason to believe that these hidden symmetries are real features of nature rather than artifacts of theorizing. This paper clarifies the epistemic status of spontaneously broken symmetries. It presents the details of an argument by analogy that suggests the spontaneously broken gauge symmetry of electroweak interactions, and (...)
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  14.  27
    Symmetry, Objectivity, and Design.Peter Kosso - 2003 - In Katherine A. Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press.
  15.  46
    Evidence of Dark Matter, and the Interpretive Role of General Relativity.Peter Kosso - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (2):143-147.
  16. Quantum Mechanics and Realism.Peter Kosso - 2000 - Foundations of Science 5 (1):47-60.
    Quantum mechanics is usually presented as a challenge to scientific realism, but I will argue that the details of quantum mechanics actually support realism. I will first present some basic quantum mechanical concepts and results, including the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) experiment and Bell's theorem, and do it in a way that everyone can understand. I will then use the physics to inform the philosophy, showing that quantum mechanics provides evidence to support epistemological realism.
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  17.  60
    Symmetry Arguments in Physics.Peter Kosso - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (3):479-492.
    Physicists often appeal to the beauty of a theory as a way to judge its credibility, and the most prevalent component of this beauty is symmetry. This paper describes the role and structure of symmetry arguments in physics. It demonstrates that the epistemic authority of an appeal to symmetry is based on empirical evidence and is independent of any aesthetic judgment. Furthermore, symmetry in nature is not evidence of design. Just the opposite, symmetry indicates a lack of planning. It is (...)
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  18.  77
    And Yet It Moves: The Observability of the Rotation of the Earth. [REVIEW]Peter Kosso - 2010 - Foundations of Science 15 (3):213-225.
    A central point of controversy in the time of the Copernican Revolution was the motion, or not, of the earth. We now take it for granted that Copernicus and Galileo were right; the earth really does move. But to what extent is this conclusion based on observation? This paper explores the meaning and observability of the rotation of the earth and shows that the phenomenon was not observable at the time of Galileo, and it is not observable now.
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  19.  62
    Spacetime Horizons and Unobservability.Peter Kosso - 1988 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (2):161.
  20. Appearance and Reality.Peter Kosso - 1997 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent the (...)
     
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  21.  32
    Observation of the Past.Peter Kosso - 1992 - History and Theory 31 (1):21.
  22.  49
    Scientific Method and Hermeneutics.Peter Kosso - 1996 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):169-182.
  23.  39
    Middle-Range Theory in Historical Archaeology.Peter Kosso - 1993 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (2):163-184.
  24.  11
    Observing the Past.Peter Kosso - 1992 - History and Theory 31 (1):21-36.
    A careful analysis of the role of observation in the natural sciences, with particular attention to the epistemic evaluation and evidential contribution of observations, is used as the basis for an argument that the opportunities for meaningful observations in studies of the human past are no fewer and no less important that in the natural sciences. Observation is described in terms of the acquisition of information through interaction with the world, a description which brings out the significant epistemic features of (...)
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  25.  37
    Central Place Theory and the Reciprocity Between Theory and Evidence.Peter Kosso & Cynthia Kosso - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (4):581-598.
    Information about the prehistoric past is available only in the material remains. To be meaningful, these remains must be interpreted under the influence of a theory of some general or specific aspect of the past. For this reason, prehistoric archaeology clearly shows the reciprocity between theory and evidence and the tension between having to impose information on the evidence in order to discover information in the evidence. We use a specific case in the archaeology of Minoan Crete, a case that (...)
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  26.  3
    A Methodological Toolkit for Science.Peter Kosso - forthcoming - Science & Education.
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  27.  30
    Empirical Epistemology and Philosophy of Science.Peter Kosso - 1991 - Metaphilosophy 22 (4):349-363.
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  28.  28
    Historical Evidence and Epistemic Justification: Thucydides as a Case Study.Peter Kosso - 1993 - History and Theory 32 (1):1-13.
    Through both a conceptual analysis of historical evidence in general, and a specific study of Thucydides' evidence on the Peloponnesian war, the structure of justification of historical knowledge is described and evaluated. The justification is internal in the sense of being done entirely within a network of evidential and descriptive claims about the past. This forces a coherence form of justification in which the telling epistemic standards are eliminative, indicators of what is not likely to be true rather than what (...)
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  29.  36
    Scientific Knowledge.Peter Kosso - 1988 - Teaching Philosophy 11 (1):86-87.
  30.  18
    Fact and Method. [REVIEW]Peter Kosso - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):159-162.
  31.  9
    Scientific Knowledge: Basic Issues in the Philosophy of Science. [REVIEW]Peter Kosso - 1988 - Teaching Philosophy 11 (1):86-87.
  32.  17
    The Epidemiology of Science.Peter Kosso - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (3):575-581.
  33.  6
    The Epidemiology of Science.Peter Kosso - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (3):575-581.
  34.  7
    Book Reviews: Thinking From Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology. [REVIEW]Peter Kosso - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (4):593-598.