It is appropriate to open an essay in honor of someone by commemorating that person. When I think of Dallas Willard I think of someone who has not been afraid to point to Jesus and spiritual commitment in an age when most people are committed to themselves. Dallas has been very clear in all of his writings that knowing Jesus is not a hobby, a business transaction one makes and forgets, nor an add-on to life; it is an entry into (...) a journey God is to direct in the context of the uniqueness of His person and the enablement of His rule and presence. The Father leads, Jesus mediates and exemplifies, and the Spirit enables. This commitment to Jesus is the goal of this article. It deals with unique claims about Jesus within the Second Temple Judaism of the first century, as well as looking at what religious life was like in the first century Greco-Roman world. Such background might seem distant in a journal on spiritual formation, but let me warn you that is not the case. To understand the world in which “decisions” for Jesus were made is to appreciate what it took to receive Jesus and begin the journey with Him. The study hopes to show that Willard's emphasis that genuine faith in Jesus is life-changing came with the first century territory. I proceed in three parts: the Jewish context, the Greco-Roman context, and then the application. (shrink)
This paper investigates whether there is a discrepancy between stated and actual aims in biomechanical research, particularly with respect to hypothesis testing. We present an analysis of one hundred papers recently published in The Journal of Experimental Biology and Journal of Biomechanics, and examine the prevalence of papers which have hypothesis testing as a stated aim, contain hypothesis testing claims that appear to be purely presentational, and have exploration as a stated aim. We found that whereas no papers had exploration (...) as a stated aim, 58 per cent of papers had hypothesis testing as a stated aim. We had strong suspicions, at the bare minimum, that presentational hypotheses were present in 31 per cent of the papers in this latter group. (shrink)
This paper responds to Achinstein’s criticism of the thesis that the only empirical fact that can affect the truth of an objective evidence claim such as ‘e is evidence for h’ (or ‘e confirms h to degree r’) is the truth of e. It shows that cases involving evidential flaws, which form the basis for Achinstein’s objections to the thesis, can satisfactorily be accounted for by appeal to changes in background information and working assumptions. The paper also argues that the (...) a priori and empirical accounts of evidence are on a par when we consider scientific practice, but that a study of artificial intelligence might serve to differentiate them. (shrink)
The value of human bodies for the teaching of anatomy has been recognized since the 16th century. Many medical students are exposed to the process of body donation as human dissection continues to play a fundamental role in many medical courses. The opportunity of dissection not only provides students with an educational approach to learning human structure but also exposes them to the emotions surrounding death and dying and the role of the anatomical donor in their journey. This paper explores (...) the subject of body donation in relation to anatomical examination, the relationship the donor has to the medical student experience and the purpose of thanksgiving services. The paper concludes with a brief description of a study carried out at a UK medical school to seek the views of first- and second-year medical students on the purpose, place and value of thanksgiving services. (shrink)
Roughly, instrumentalism is the view that science is primarily, and should primarily be, an instrument for furthering our practical ends. It has fallen out of favour because historically influential variants of the view, such as logical positivism, suffered from serious defects. -/- In this book, however, Darrell P. Rowbottom develops a new form of instrumentalism, which is more sophisticated and resilient than its predecessors. This position—‘cognitive instrumentalism’—involves three core theses. First, science makes theoretical progress primarily when it furnishes us (...) with more predictive power or understanding concerning observable things. Second, scientific discourse concerning unobservable things should only be taken literally in so far as it involves observable properties or analogies with observable things. Third, scientific claims about unobservable things are probably neither approximately true nor liable to change in such a way as to increase in truthlikeness. -/- There are examples from science throughout the book, and Rowbottom demonstrates at length how cognitive instrumentalism fits with the development of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century chemistry and physics, and especially atomic theory. Drawing upon this history, Rowbottom also argues that there is a kind of understanding, empirical understanding, which we can achieve without having true, or even approximately true, representations of unobservable things. In closing the book, he sets forth his view on how the distinction between the observable and unobservable may be drawn, and compares cognitive instrumentalism with key contemporary alternatives such as structural realism, constructive empiricism, and semirealism. -/- Overall, this book offers a strong defence of instrumentalism that will be of interest to scholars and students working on the debate about realism in philosophy of science. (shrink)
The present study investigates the influence of self-regulatory focus on consumer ethical beliefs (i.e., consumers' judgment of various unethical consumer practices). The self-regulatory focus framework is highly influential and applies to an impressively wide spectrum of topics across a diverse array of domains. However, previous research has not yet examined the link between this personality construct and the consumer ethics field. Findings indicate that promotion affects one's attitude toward questionable consumer practices with those having a stronger (versus weaker) promotion focus (...) being more likely to believe these consumer misbehaviors to be acceptable. Further, this study shows that prevention influences one's perception of morally dubious consumer practices with those having a stronger (versus weaker) prevention focus being more inclined to believe these questionable consumer activities to be unacceptable. (shrink)
First, I argue that scientific progress is possible in the absence of increasing verisimilitude in science’s theories. Second, I argue that increasing theoretical verisimilitude is not the central, or primary, dimension of scientific progress. Third, I defend my previous argument that unjustified changes in scientific belief may be progressive. Fourth, I illustrate how false beliefs can promote scientific progress in ways that cannot be explicated by appeal to verisimilitude.
_Popper’s Critical Rationalism_ presents Popper’s views on science, knowledge, and inquiry, and examines the significance and tenability of these in light of recent developments in philosophy of science, philosophy of probability, and epistemology. It develops a fresh and novel philosophical position on science, which employs key insights from Popper while rejecting other elements of his philosophy. Central theses include: Crucial questions about scientific method arise at the level of the group, rather than that of the individual. Although criticism is vital (...) for science, dogmatism is important too. Belief in scientific theories is permissible even in the absence of evidence in their favour. The aim of science is to eliminate false theories. Critical rationalism can be understood as a form of virtue epistemology. (shrink)
Popper repeatedly emphasised the significance of a critical attitude, and a related critical method, for scientists. Kuhn, however, thought that unquestioning adherence to the theories of the day is proper; at least for ‘normal scientists’. In short, the former thought that dominant theories should be attacked, whereas the latter thought that they should be developed and defended (for the vast majority of the time). -/- Both seem to have missed a trick, however, due to their apparent insistence that each individual (...) scientist should fulfil similar functions (at any given point in time). The trick is to consider science at the group level; and doing so shows how puzzle solving and ‘offensive’ critical activity can simultaneously have a legitimate place in science. This analysis shifts the focus of the debate. The crucial question becomes ‘How should the balance between functions be struck?’. (shrink)
First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
Popper repeatedly emphasised the significance of a critical attitude, and a related critical method, for scientists. Kuhn, however, thought that unquestioning adherence to the theories of the day is proper; at least for ‘normal scientists’. In short, the former thought that dominant theories should be attacked, whereas the latter thought that they should be developed and defended. Both seem to have missed a trick, however, due to their apparent insistence that each individual scientist should fulfil similar functions. The trick is (...) to consider science at the group level; and doing so shows how puzzle solving and ‘offensive’ critical activity can simultaneously have a legitimate place in science. This analysis shifts the focus of the debate. The crucial question becomes ‘How should the balance between functions be struck?’. (shrink)
When a doctor tells you there’s a one percent chance that an operation will result in your death, or a scientist claims that his theory is probably true, what exactly does that mean? Understanding probability is clearly very important, if we are to make good theoretical and practical choices. In this engaging and highly accessible introduction to the philosophy of probability, Darrell Rowbottom takes the reader on a journey through all the major interpretations of probability, with reference to real–world (...) situations. In lucid prose, he explores the many fallacies of probabilistic reasoning, such as the ‘gambler’s fallacy’ and the ‘inverse fallacy’, and shows how we can avoid falling into these traps by using the interpretations presented. He also illustrates the relevance of the interpretation of probability across disciplinary boundaries, by examining which interpretations of probability are appropriate in diverse areas such as quantum mechanics, game theory, and genetics. Using entertaining dialogues to draw out the key issues at stake, this unique book will appeal to students and scholars across philosophy, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. (shrink)
This paper challenges Bird’s view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge, by arguing that unjustified scientific beliefs (and/or changes in belief) may nevertheless be progressive. It also argues that false beliefs may promote progress.
This paper challenges a recent argument of Bird’s, which involves imagining that Réné Blondlot’s belief in N-rays was true, in favour of the view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge rather than truth. By considering several variants of Bird’s thought-experiment, it shows that the semantic account of progress cannot be so easily vanquished. A key possibility is that justification is only instrumental in, and not partly constitutive of, progress.
This paper compares and contrasts the concept of a stance with that of a paradigm qua disciplinary matrix, in an attempt to illuminate both notions. First, it considers to what extent it is appropriate to draw an analogy between stances and disciplinary matrices. It suggests that despite first appearances, a disciplinary matrix is not simply a stance writ large. Second, it examines how we might reinterpret disciplinary matrices in terms of stances, and shows how doing so can provide us with (...) a better insight into non-revolutionary science. Finally, it identifies two directions for future research: “Can the rationality of scientific revolutions be understood in terms of the dynamic between stances and paradigms?” and “Do stances help us to understand incommensurability between disciplinary matrices?”. (shrink)
When do we agree? The answer might once have seemed simple and obvious; we agree that p when we each believe that p. But from a formal epistemological perspective, where degrees of belief are more fundamental than beliefs, this answer is unsatisfactory. On the one hand, there is reason to suppose that it is false; degrees of belief about p might differ when beliefs simpliciter on p do not. On the other hand, even if it is true, it is too (...) vague; for what it is to believe simpliciter ought to be explained in terms of degrees of belief. This paper presents several possible notions of agreement, and corresponding notions of disagreement. It indicates how the findings are fruitful for the epistemology of disagreement, with special reference to the notion of epistemic peerhood. (shrink)
We have three goals in this paper. First, we outline an ontology of stance, and explain the role that modes of engagement and styles of reasoning play in the characterization of a stance. Second, we argue that we do enjoy a degree of control over the modes of engagement and styles of reasoning we adopt. Third, we contend that maximizing one’s prospects for change also maximizes one’s rationality.
Historically, as well as more recently, women's emancipation has been seen in two ways: sometimes as the `right to be equal' and sometimes as the `right to be different'. These views have often overlapped and interacted: in a variety of guises they have played an important role in both the development of ideas about women and feminism, and the works of political thinkers by no means primarily concerned with women's liberation. The chapters of this book deal primarily with the meaning (...) and use of these two concepts in the context of gender relations, but also draw attention to their place in the understanding and analysis of other human relationships. (shrink)
This paper argues that talk of ‘the aim of science’ should be avoided in the philosophy of science, with special reference to the way that van Fraassen sets up the difference between scientific realism and constructive empiricism. It also argues that talking instead of ‘what counts as success in science as such’ is unsatisfactory. The paper concludes by showing what this talk may be profitably replaced with, namely specific claims concerning science that fall into the following categories: descriptive, evaluative, normative, (...) and definitional. There are two key advantages to this proposal. First, realism and its competitors may be understood to consist of highly nuanced variants. Second, scientific realism and its competitors may be understood as something other than ‘all or nothing’ theses about science. More particularly, one may accept that there are general claims concerning science in some of the identified categories, but deny that there are such claims in the others. (shrink)
Stanford’s argument against scientific realism focuses on theories, just as many earlier arguments from inconceivability have. However, there are possible arguments against scientific realism involving unconceived (or inconceivable) entities of different types: observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. This paper charts such arguments. In combination, they present the strongest challenge yet to scientific realism.
Schwitzgebel (2001) — henceforth 'S' — offers three examples in order to convince us that there are situations in which individuals are neither accurately describable as believing that p or failing to so believe, but are rather in 'in-between states of belief'. He then argues that there are no 'Bayesian' or representational strategies for explicating these, and proposes a dispositional account. I do not have any fundamental objection to the idea that there might be 'in-between states of belief'. What I (...) shall argue, rather, is that: (I) S does not provide a convincing argument that there really are such states; (II) S does not show, as he claims, that 'in-between states of belief' could not be accounted for in terms of degrees of belief; (III) S’s dispositional account of 'in-between states of belief' is more problematic than the 'degree of belief' alternative. (shrink)
Popper’s Critical Rationalism presents Popper’s views on science, knowledge, and inquiry, and examines the significance and tenability of these in light of recent developments in philosophy of science, philosophy of probability, and epistemology. It develops a fresh and novel philosophical position on science, which employs key insights from Popper while rejecting other elements of his philosophy.