157 found
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  1. Scientific realism: how science tracks truth.Stathis Psillos - 1999 - New York: Routledge.
    Scientific Realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it to be. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study, which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and modern skeptical empiricism. Scientific Realism explains that the (...)
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  2. Scientific Realism: How Science Tracks Truth.Stathis Psillos - 1999 - New York: Routledge.
    Scientific realism is the optimistic view that modern science is on the right track: that the world really is the way our best scientific theories describe it. In his book, Stathis Psillos gives us a detailed and comprehensive study which restores the intuitive plausibility of scientific realism. We see that throughout the twentieth century, scientific realism has been challenged by philosophical positions from all angles: from reductive empiricism, to instrumentalism and to modern sceptical empiricism. _Scientific Realism_ explains that the history (...)
     
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  3. Causation and Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2002 - McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP.
    Stathis Psillos divides his account into three sections: causation, laws of nature, and explanation. He begins the causation section with Hume's classic "reductive" account and then focuses on the subsequent division between Humean and non-Humean accounts, examining topics such as regularities and singular causation, causation and counterfactuals, and causation and mechanism.
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  4.  8
    Causation and Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2002 - Routledge.
    What is the nature of causation? How is causation linked with explanation? And can there be an adequate theory of explanation? These questions and many others are addressed in this unified and rigorous examination of the philosophical problems surrounding causation, laws and explanation. Part 1 of this book explores Hume's views on causation, theories of singular causation, and counterfactual and mechanistic approaches. Part 2 considers the regularity view of laws and laws as relations among universals, as well as recent alternative (...)
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  5. No laws and (thin) powers in, no (governing) laws out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    Non-Humean accounts of the metaphysics of nature posit either laws or powers in order to account for natural necessity and world-order. We argue that such monistic views face fundamental problems. On the one hand, neo-Aristotelians cannot give unproblematic power-based accounts of the functional laws among quantities offered by physical theories, as well as of the place of conservation laws and symmetries in a lawless ontology; in order to capture these characteristics, commitment to governing laws is indispensable. On the other hand, (...)
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  6. Is structural realism possible?Stathis Psillos - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S13-S24.
    This paper examines in detail two paths that lead to Structural Realism (SR), viz. a substantive philosophical position which asserts that only the structure of the world is knowable. The upward path is any attempt to begin with empiricist premises and reach a sustainable realist position. (It has been advocated by Russell, Weyl, and Maxwell among others.) The downward path is any attempt to start from realist premises and construct a weaker realist position. (It has been recently advocated by Worrall, (...)
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  7. The Structure, the Whole Structure, and Nothing but the Structure?Stathis Psillos - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):560-570.
    This paper is structured around the three elements of the title. Section 2 claims that (a) structures need objects and (b) scientific structuralism should focus on in re structures. Therefore, pure structuralism is undermined. Section 3 discusses whether the world has `excess structure' over the structure of appearances. The main point is that the claim that only structure can be known is false. Finally, Section 4 argues directly against ontic structural realism that it lacks the resources to accommodate causation within (...)
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  8.  34
    Is Structural Realism Possible?Stathis Psillos - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (S3):S13-S24.
    This paper examines in detail two paths that lead to Structural Realism, viz. a substantive philosophical position which asserts that only the structure of the world is knowable. The upward path is any attempt to begin with empiricist premises and reach a sustainable realist position. The downward path is any attempt to start from realist premises and construct a weaker realist position. This paper unravels and criticizes the metaphysical presuppositions of both paths to SR. It questions its very possibility as (...)
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  9. Is structural realism the best of both worlds?Stathis Psillos - 1995 - Dialectica 49 (1):15-46.
    In a recent series of papers, John Worrall has defended and elaborated a philosophical position – traced back to Poincaré– which he calls structural realism. This view stands in between scientific realism and agnostic instrumentalism and intends to accommodate both the intuitions that underwrite the ‘no miracles’ argument for scientific realism and the existence of scientific revolutions which lead to radical theoretical changes. Structural realism presents itself as the best of both worlds. In this paper I critically examine the epistemic (...)
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  10. Living with the abstract: realism and models.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - Synthese 180 (1):3-17.
    A natural way to think of models is as abstract entities. If theories employ models to represent the world, theories traffic in abstract entities much more widely than is often assumed. This kind of thought seems to create a problem for a scientific realist approach to theories. Scientific realists claim theories should be understood literally. Do they then imply the reality of abstract entities? Or are theories simply—and incurably—false? Or has the very idea of literal understanding to be abandoned? Is (...)
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  11. On Van Fraassen’s Critique of Abductive Reasoning.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):31-47.
  12. A Glimpse of the Secret Connexion: Harmonizing Mechanisms with Counterfactuals.Stathis Psillos - 2003 - Perspectives on Science 12 (3):288-319.
    Among the current philosophical attempts to understand causation two seem to be the most prominent. The first is James Woodward’s counterfactual approach; the second is the mechanistic approach advocated by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver, Jim Bogen and Stuart Glennan. The counterfactual approach takes it that causes make a difference to their effects, where this difference-making is cashed out in terms of actual and counterfactual interventions. The mechanistic approach takes it that two events are causally related if and only (...)
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  13. What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested?Stathis Psillos - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 72 (1):137-156.
    In the present paper, I offer a conceptual argument against the view that all properties are pure powers. I claim that thinking of all properties as pure powers leads to a regress. The regress, I argue, can be solved only if non-powers are admitted. The kernel of my thesis is that any attempt to answer the title question in an informative way will undermine a pure-power view of properties. In particular, I focus my critique on recent arguments in favour of (...)
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  14. The present state of the scientific realism debate.Stathis Psillos - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):705-728.
    In this survey article I try to appraise the present state of the scientific realism debate with an eye to important but hitherto unexplored suggestions and open issues that need further work. In section 2, I shall mostly focus on the relation between scientific realism and truth. In section 3, I shall discuss the grounds for the realists’ epistemic optimism.
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  15. Choosing the realist framework.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - Synthese 180 (2):301 - 316.
    There has been an empiricist tradition in the core of Logical Positivism/Empiricism, starting with Moritz Schlick and ending in Herbert Feigl (via Hans Reichenbach), according to which the world of empiricism need not be a barren place devoid of all the explanatory entities posited by scientific theories. The aim of this paper is to articulate this tradition and to explore ways in which its key elements can find a place in the contemporary debate over scientific realism. It presents a way (...)
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  16. In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological mechanism, the mechanism of (...)
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  17. Scientific realism and the 'pessimistic induction'.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):314.
    Philosophy of Science, Volume 63, Issue Supplement. Proceedings of the 1996 Biennial Meetings of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep.
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  18.  25
    The Fine Structure of Inference to the Best Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):441-448.
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  19. A Philosophical Study Of The Transition From The Caloric Theory Of Heat To Thermodynamics: Resisting the pessimistic meta-induction.Stathis Psillos - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (2):159-190.
    I began this study with Laudan's argument from the pessimistic induction and I promised to show that the caloric theory of heat cannot be used to support the premisses of the meta-induction on past scientific theories. I tried to show that the laws of experimental calorimetry, adiabatic change and Carnot's theory of the motive power of heat were independent of the assumption that heat is a material substance, approximately true, deducible and accounted for within thermodynamics.I stressed that results and were (...)
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  20.  20
    Scientific Ontology: Fact or Stance?Stathis Psillos - 2021 - Dialogue 60 (1):15-31.
    RÉSUMÉDans cette contribution, les points fondamentaux du livre d'Anjan Chakravartty, Scientific Ontology, sont discutés de manière critique. Après une brève présentation du projet d'une ontologie dite «stance-based», je critique la manière dont Chakravartty conçoit l'inférence métaphysique. Puis, dans la section 4, je conteste l'opinion de Chakravartty selon laquelle les débats fondamentaux en métaphysique conduisent inévitablement à un désaccord insoluble. La section 5 examine le concept de position épistémique et relève les problèmes inhérents à la manière dont Chakravartty conçoit la rationalité (...)
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  21. Rudolf Carnap's ‘theoretical Concepts In Science'.Stathis Psillos - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (4):151-172.
    Rudolf Carnap delivered the hitherto unpublished lecture ‘Theoretical Concepts in Science’ at the meeting of the American Philosophical Association, Pacific Division, at Santa Barbara, California, on 29 December 1959. It was part of a symposium on ‘Carnap’s views on Theoretical Concepts in Science’. In the bibliography that appears in the end of the volume, ‘The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap’, edited by Paul Arthur Schilpp, a revised version of this address appears to be among Carnap’s forthcoming papers. But although Carnap started (...)
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  22.  22
    The Fine Structure of Inference to the Best Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):441-448.
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  23.  60
    Scientific Realism and the 'Pessimistic Induction'.Stathis Psillos - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (5):S306-S314.
    Over the last two decades, the debate over scientific realism has been dominated by two arguments that pull in contrary directions: the 'no miracle' argument and the 'pessimistic induction'. The latter suggests that the historical record destroys the realist's belief in an explanatory connection between truthlikeness and genuine empirical success. This paper analyzes the structure of the 'pessimistic induction', presents a move--the divide et impera move--that neutralizes it, and motivates a substantive yet realistic version of scientific realism. This move is (...)
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  24. Regularities, Natural Patterns and Laws of Nature.Stathis Psillos - 2014 - Theoria 29 (1):9-27.
    The goal of this paper is to sketch an empiricist metaphysics of laws of nature. The key idea is that there are regularities without regularity-enforcers. Differently put, there are natural laws without law-makers _of a distinct metaphysical kind_. This sketch will rely on the concept of a natural pattern and more significantly on the existence of a network of natural patterns in nature. The relation between a regularity and a pattern will be analysed in terms of mereology. Here is the (...)
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  25. The Present State of the Scientific Realism Debate.Stathis Psillos - 2003 - In Peter Clark & Katherine Hawley (eds.), Philosophy of science today. Oxford University Press UK.
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  26. Regularity Theories.Stathis Psillos - 2009 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
  27. Scientific realism and metaphysics.Stathis Psillos - 2005 - Ratio 18 (4):385–404.
    When we think of scientific realism, there seem to be to ways to conceive of what it is about. The first is to see it as a view about scientific theories; the second is to see it as a view about the world. Some philosophers, most typically from Australia, think that the second way is the correct way. Scientific realism, they argue, is a metaphysical thesis: it asserts the reality of some types of entity, most typically, unobservable entities. I agree (...)
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  28. Carnap, the Ramsey-sentence and realistic empiricism.Stathis Psillos - 2000 - Erkenntnis 52 (2):253-279.
    Based on archival material from the Carnap and FeiglArchives, this paper re-examines Carnap's approach tothe issue of scientific realism in the 1950s and theearly 1960s. It focuses on Carnap's re-invention ofthe Ramsey-sentence approach to scientific theoriesand argues that Carnap wanted to entertain a genuineneutral stance in the realism-instrumentalism debate.Following Grover Maxwell, it claims that Carnap'sposition may be best understood as a version of`structural realism'. However, thus understood,Carnap's position faces the challenge that Newmanraised against Russell's structuralism: the claim thatthe knowledge of (...)
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  29. Adding Modality to Ontic Structuralism: An Exploration and Critique.Stathis Psillos - unknown
    Ontic Structural Realism (OSR) gives ontic priority to structures over objects. In its perhaps most extreme form (captured, admittedly, by a slogan) it states that “all that there is, is structure” (da Costa and French 2003, 189). If this is true, if there is nothing but structure(s) in the world, the very idea of contrasting structure to nonstructure loses any force it might have. Actually, if the slogan is right, the very idea of characterising what there is as structure—as opposed (...)
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  30.  76
    Critical Scientific Realism.Stathis Psillos - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):454-458.
  31.  89
    How not to defend constructive empiricism: A rejoinder.Stathis Psillos - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (188):369-372.
    No doubt my earlier paper has struck a sensitive nerve among existing and prospective constructive empiricists – hence their united reply.1 I shall, for brevity, introduce an imaginary single author of their critique and call him CE. In this rejoinder, I try to show, first, that CE’s counter-arguments do not refute my original arguments; and second, that a claim of CE’s paper is very close to the conclusion of my original paper. A central point of my original piece was that (...)
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  32. Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism.Stathis Psillos - 2004 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 11:83-91.
    Niiniluoto has offered an incisive and comprehensive review of the recent debates about abduction. There is little on which I disagree with him. So, in this commentary, I shall try to cast some doubts to the attempts to render Inference to the Best Explanation within a Bayesian framework.
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  33. What is General Philosophy of Science?Stathis Psillos - 2012 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 43 (1):93-103.
    The very idea of a general philosophy of science relies on the assumption that there is this thing called science —as opposed to the various individual sciences. In this programmatic piece I make a case for the claim that general philosophy of science is the philosophy of science in general or science as such. Part of my narrative makes use of history, for two reasons. First, general philosophy of science is itself characterised by an intellectual tradition which aimed to develop (...)
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  34. The Scope and Limits of the No Miracles Argument1.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 23--35.
  35.  76
    An explorer upon untrodden ground: Peirce on abduction.Stathis Psillos - 2009 - In Dov Gabbay (ed.), The Handbook of the History of Logic. Elsevier. pp. 10--117.
  36.  72
    Broken structuralism.Stathis Psillos - 2015 - Metascience 25 (2):163-171.
    This essay offers a critical review of Steven French's The Structure of the World: Metaphysics & Representation. I challenge some of the reasons that French adduces against ‘thick’ objects as well as his conception of laws—which I think is problematic.
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  37.  54
    A glimpse of the.Stathis Psillos - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (3):288-319.
    : Among the current philosophical accounts of causation two are the most prominent. The first is James Woodward's interventionist counterfactual approach; the second is the mechanistic approach advocated by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl Craver, Jim Bogen and Stuart Glennan. Thecounterfactual approach takes it that causes make a difference to their effects, where this difference-making is cashed out in terms of actual and counterfactual interventions. The mechanistic approach takes it that two events are causally related if and only if there (...)
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  38.  86
    Making contact with molecules: On Perrin and Achinstein.Stathis Psillos - 2011 - In Gregory J. Morgan (ed.), Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. Oxford University Press. pp. 177.
  39.  8
    Philosophy of Science a–Z.Stathis Psillos - 2007 - Edinburgh University Press.
    Philosophy of science has always been an integral part of philosophy, and since the beginning of the 20h century it has developed its own structure and its fair share of technical vocabulary and problems. Philosophy of Science A-Z gives you concise, accurate and illuminating accounts of key positions, concepts, arguments and figures in the philosophy of science. It helps you to understand the current debates, explains their historical development and connects them with broader philosophical issues. It presupposes little prior knowledge (...)
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  40.  88
    The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science.Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.) - 2005 - New York: Routledge.
    This indispensable reference source and guide to the major themes, debates, problems and topics in philosophy of science contains fifty-five specially commissioned entries by a leading team of international contributors. Organized into four parts it covers: historical and philosophical context debates concepts the individual sciences. The _Companion_ covers everything students of philosophy of science need to know - from empiricism, explanation and experiment to causation, observation, prediction and more - and contains many helpful features including: a section on the individual (...)
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  41. Evidence: wanted, alive or dead.Stathis Psillos - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (3):357-381.
    This paper is meant to link the philosophical debate concerning the underdetermination of theories by evidence with a rather significant socio-political issue that has been taking place in Canada over the past few years: the so-called ‘death of evidence’ controversy. It places this debate within a broader philosophical framework by discussing the connection between evidence and theory; by bringing out the role of epistemic values in the so-called scientific method; and by examining the role of social values in science. While (...)
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  42. How to do things with theories: an interactive view of language and models in science.Robin F. Hendry & Stathis Psillos - 2007 - In Jerzy Brzeziński, Andrzej Klawiter, Theo A. F. Kuipers, Krzysztof Łastowski, Katarzyna Paprzycka & Piotr Przybysz (eds.), The Courage of Doing Philosophy: Essays Dedicated to Leszek Nowak. Rodopi. pp. 123--157.
  43.  98
    Scientific Realism: Between Platonism and Nominalism.Stathis Psillos - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):947-958.
    In this paper, I discuss the prospects of nominalistic scientific realism and show that it fails on many counts. In section 2, I discuss what is required for NSR to get off the ground. In section 3, I question the idea that theories have well-defined nominalistic content and the idea that causal activity is a necessary condition for commitment to the reality of an entity. In section 4, I challenge the notion of nominalistic adequacy of theories.
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  44. The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science.Stathis Psillos & Martin Curd (eds.) - 2005 - New York: Routledge.
    This indispensable reference source and guide to the major themes, debates, problems and topics in philosophy of science contains fifty-five specially commissioned entries by a leading team of international contributors. Organized into four parts it covers: historical and philosophical context debates concepts the individual sciences. The _Companion_ covers everything students of philosophy of science need to know - from empiricism, explanation and experiment to causation, observation, prediction and more - and contains many helpful features including: a section on the individual (...)
     
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  45. Thinking about the ultimate argument for realism.Stathis Psillos - 2003 - In Colin Cheyne & John Worrall (eds.), Rationality and Reality: Conversations with Alan Musgrave. Springer. pp. 133--156.
    The aim of this paper is to rebut two major criticisms of the No-Miracles Argument for Realism. The first comes from Musgrave. The second comes from Colin Howson. Interestingly enough, these criticisms are the mirror image of each other. Yet, they both point to the conclusion that NMA is fallacious. Musgrave’s misgiving against NMA is that if it is seen as an inference to the best explanation, it is deductively fallacious. Being a deductivist, he tries to correct it by turning (...)
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  46.  50
    Conventions and Relations in Poincaré’s Philosophy of Science.Stathis Psillos - unknown
    How was Poincaré’s conventionalism connected to his relationism? How, in other words, is it the case that the basic principles of geometry and mechanics are, ultimately, freely chosen conventions and that, at the same time, science reveals to us the structure of the world? This lengthy study aims to address these questions by setting Poincaré’s philosophy within its historical context and by examining in detail Poincaré’s developing views about the status and role of conventions in science and the status and (...)
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  47.  12
    Broken structuralism: Steven French: The structure of the world: Metaphysics and representation. Oxford: OUP, 2014, 416pp, ISBN: 978-0-19-968484-7, ₤50.00 HB.Stathis Psillos - 2015 - Metascience 25 (2):163-171.
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  48. Kitcher on reference.Stathis Psillos - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (3):259 – 272.
    In his (1978) and parts of (1993), Philip Kitcher advances a new context-sensitive theory of reference which he applies to abandoned theoretical expression-types, such as Joseph Priestley’s ‘dephlogisticated air’, in order to show that, although qua types they fail to refer uniformly, they nonetheless have referential tokens. This piece offers a critical examination of Kitcher’s theory. After a general investigation into the overall adequacy of Kitcher’s theory as a general account of reference, I focus on the case of abandoned theoretical (...)
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  49.  54
    Laws and Powers in the Frame of Nature.Stathis Psillos - unknown
    The aim of this paper is to revisit the major arguments of the seventeenth century debate concerning laws and powers. Its primary points are two. First, though the dominant conception of nature was such that there was no room for power in bodies, the very idea that laws govern the behaviour of matter in motion brought with it the following issue, which came under sharp focus in the work of Leibniz: how possibly can passive matter, devoid of power, obey laws? (...)
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  50. Semirealism or Neo-Aristotelianism?Stathis Psillos - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):29 - 38.
    Chakravartty claims that science does not imply any specific metaphysical theory of the world. In this sense, science is consistent with both neo-Aristotelianism and neo-Humeanism. But, along with many others, he thinks that a neo-Aristotelian outlook best suits science. In other words, neo-Aristotelianism is supposed to win on the basis of an inference to the best explanation (IBE). I fail to see how IBE can be used to favour neo-Aristotelianism over neo-Humeanism. In this essay, I aim to do two things. (...)
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