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Yafeng Shan
University of Kent
  1.  34
    Doing Integrated History and Philosophy of Science: A Case Study of the Origin of Genetics.Yafeng Shan - 2020 - Cham: Springer.
    This book offers an integrated historical and philosophical examination of the origin of genetics. The author contends that an integrated HPS analysis helps us to have a better understanding of the history of genetics, and sheds light on some general issues in the philosophy of science. This book consists of three parts. It begins with historical problems, revisiting the significance of the work of Mendel, de Vries, and Weldon. Then it turns to integrated HPS problems, developing an exemplar-based analysis of (...)
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  2. Applying Evidential Pluralism to the Social Sciences.Yafeng Shan & Jon Williamson - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-27.
    Evidential Pluralism maintains that in order to establish a causal claim one normally needs to establish the existence of an appropriate conditional correlation and the existence of an appropriate mechanism complex, so when assessing a causal claim one ought to consider both association studies and mechanistic studies. Hitherto, Evidential Pluralism has been applied to medicine, leading to the EBM+ programme, which recommends that evidence-based medicine should systematically evaluate mechanistic studies alongside clinical studies. This paper argues that Evidential Pluralism can also (...)
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  3. A New Functional Approach to Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):739-758.
    This article develops and defends a new functional approach to scientific progress. I begin with a review of the problems of the traditional functional approach. Then I propose a new functional account of scientific progress, in which scientific progress is defined in terms of usefulness of problem defining and problem solving. I illustrate and defend my account by applying it to the history of genetics. Finally, I highlight the advantages of my new functional approach over the epistemic and semantic approaches (...)
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  4.  88
    Kuhn’s “Wrong Turning” and Legacy Today.Yafeng Shan - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):381-406.
    Alexander Bird indicates that the significance of Thomas Kuhn in the history of philosophy of science is somehow paradoxical. On the one hand, Kuhn was one of the most influential and important philosophers of science in the second half of the twentieth century. On the other hand, nowadays there is little distinctively Kuhn’s legacy in the sense that most of Kuhn’s work has no longer any philosophical significance. Bird argues that the explanation of the paradox of Kuhn’s legacy is that (...)
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  5. Philosophical Foundations of Mixed Methods Research.Yafeng Shan - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (1):e12804.
    This paper provides a critical review of the debate over the philosophical foundations of mixed methods research and examines the notion of philosophical foundations. It distinguishes axiology-oriented from ontology-oriented philosophical foundations. It also identifies three different senses of philosophical foundations of mixed methods research. The weak sense of philosophical foundations (e.g., pragmatism) merely allows the possibility of the integration of both quantitative and qualitative methods/data/designs. The moderate sense of philosophical foundations (e.g., transformativism) provide a good reason to use mixed methods (...)
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  6. Beyond Mendelism and Biometry.Yafeng Shan - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89:155-163.
    Historiographical analyses of the development of genetics in the first decade of the 20th century have been to a great extent framed in the context of the Mendelian-Biometrician controversy. Much has been discussed on the nature, origin, development, and legacy of the controversy. However, such a framework is becoming less useful and fruitful. This paper challenges the traditional historiography framed by the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction. It argues that the Mendelian-Biometrician distinction fails to reflect the theoretical and methodological diversity in the controversy. (...)
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  7.  16
    The Functional Approach: Scientific Progress as Increased Usefulness.Yafeng Shan - 2022 - In New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. New York: Routledge.
    The functional approach to scientific progress has been mainly developed by Kuhn, Lakatos, Popper, Laudan, and more recently by Shan. The basic idea is that science progresses if key functions of science are fulfilled in a better way. This chapter defends the function approach. It begins with an overview of the two old versions of the functional approach by examining the work of Kuhn, Laudan, Popper, and Lakatos. It then argues for Shan’s new functional approach, in which scientific progress is (...)
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  8.  48
    Mendel on Developmental Information.Yafeng Shan - 2021 - In Chris Meyns (ed.), Information and the History of Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 262-280.
    It has been widely received that one of Gregor Mendel’s most important contributions to the history of genetics is his novel work on developmental information (for example, the proposal of the famous Mendelian ratios like 1:2:1, 3:1, and 9:3:3:1). This view is well evidenced by the fact that much of early Mendelians’ work in the 1900s focuses on the retrodiction (viz. the re-analysis of the pre-exist data with Mendel’s approach). However, there is no consensus on what Mendel meant by development (...)
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  9. The Unexamined Philosophy is Not Worth Doing: An Introduction to New Directions in Metaphilosophy.Yafeng Shan - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (2-3):153-158.
    Recently there has been an increasing interest in metaphilosphy. The aim of philosophy has been examined. The development of philosophy has also been scrutinised. With the development of new approaches and methods, new problems arise. This collection revisits some of the metaphilosophical issues, including philosophical progress and the aim of philosophy. It sheds new light on some old approaches, such as naturalism and ordinary language philosophy. It also explores new philosophical methods (e.g., digital philosophy of science, conceptual engineering, and the (...)
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  10.  34
    The Historiography of Scientific Revolutions: A Philosophical Reflection.Yafeng Shan - forthcoming - In Mauro L. Condé & Marlon Salomon (eds.), Handbook of the Historiography of Science. Cham: Springer.
    Scientific revolution has been one of the most controversial topics in the history and philosophy of science. Yet it has been no consensus on what is the best unit of analysis in the historiography of scientific revolutions. Nor is there a consensus on what best explains the nature of scientific revolutions. This chapter provides a critical examination of the historiography of scientific revolutions. It begins with a brief introduction to the historical development of the concept of scientific revolution, followed by (...)
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  11.  24
    Introduction: Philosophical Analyses of Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan - 2022 - In New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. New York: Routledge.
    Scientific progress is a hot topic in the philosophy of science. However, as yet we lack a comprehensive philosophical examination of scientific progress. First, the recent debate pays too much attention to the epistemic approach and the semantic approach. Shan’s new functional approach and Dellsén’s noetic approach are still insufficiently assessed. Second, there is little in-depth analysis of the progress in the history of the sciences. Third, many related philosophical issues are still to be explored. For example, what are the (...)
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  12.  95
    Philosophy Doesn’T Need a Concept of Progress.Yafeng Shan - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (2-3):176-184.
    Philosophical progress is one of the most controversial topics in metaphilosophy. It has been widely debated whether philosophy makes any progress in history. This paper revisits the concept of philosophical progress. It first identifies two criteria of an ideal concept of philosophical progress. It then argues that our accounts of philosophical progress fail to provide such an ideal concept. Finally, it argues that not only do we not have a good concept of philosophical progress, we also do not need a (...)
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  13.  32
    Contrastivism and Non‐Contrastivism in Scientific Explanation.Yafeng Shan - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (8):e12613.
    The nature of scientific explanation is controversial. Some maintain that all scientific explanations have to be contrastive in nature (contrastivism). However, others argue that no scientific explanation is genuinely contrastive (non-contrastivism). In addition, a compatibilist view has been recently devloped. It is argued that the debate between contrastivism and non-contrastivism is merely a linguistic dispute rather than a genuine disagreement on the nature of scientific explanation. Scientific explanations are both contrastive and non-contrastive in some sense (compatibilism). This paper examines the (...)
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  14.  30
    Exemplarising the Origin of Genetics: A Path to Genetics (From Mendel to Bateson).Yafeng Shan - 2016 - Dissertation, University College London
    This thesis aims to propose and defend a new way of analysing and understanding the origin of genetics (from Mendel to Bateson). Traditionally philosophers used to analyse the history of genetics in terms of theories. However, I will argue that this theory-based approach is highly problematic. In Chapter 1, I shall critically review the theory-driven approach to analysisng the history of genetics and diagnose its problems. In Chapter 2, inspired by Kuhn’s concept “exemplar”, I shall make a new interpretation of (...)
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  15.  3
    Evidential Monism, Evidential Pluralism, or Evidential Contextualism? An Introduction to Evidential Diversity in the Social Sciences.Yafeng Shan & Jon Williamson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-6.
    Social scientists often draw on a variety of evidence for their causal inferences. There is also a call to use a greater variety of evidence in social science research. This topical collection examines the philosophical foundations and implications of evidential diversity in the social sciences. It assesses the application of Evidential Pluralism in the context of the social sciences, especially its application to economics and political science. It also discusses the concept of causation in cognitive science and the implications of (...)
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  16.  11
    Examining Philosophy Itself.Yafeng Shan (ed.) - forthcoming - Wiley.
    One of the most distinctive features of philosophy is self-reflection and by exploring novel philosophical methods, this book examines some of the most important metaphilosophical issues. -/- Shows that philosophers are not only concerned with metaphysical, epistemological, conceptual, ethical, and aesthetic issues of things around us, but how they also pay serious attention to the nature, value, methods, and development of philosophy itself Explores some of the most important metaphilosophical issues: Is philosophy progressive? Are metaphysical claims meaningful? What is the (...)
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  17.  11
    New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan (ed.) - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This collection of original essays offers a comprehensive examination of scientific progress, which has been a central topic in recent debates in philosophy of science. Traditionally, debates over scientific progress have focused on different methodological approaches, notably the epistemic and semantic approaches. The chapters in Part I of the book defend these two traditional approaches, as well as the newly revived functional and newly developed noetic approaches. Part II features in-depth case studies of scientific progress from the history of science. (...)
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