About this topic
Summary The issue of conceptual change or meaning change in science arose in the context of the rejection of logical positivist and logical empiricist accounts of the meaning of theoretical terms in the 1950's.  Philosophers such as Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend argued that the meaning of observational and theoretical terms undergoes variation in the transition between scientific theories.  In the original context of this debate, there was no clear distinction between the claim that the meaning of scientific terms changes and the claim that scientific concepts undergo variation.  The main critical response to the claims of profound meaning variance of Kuhn and Feyerabend were associated with the "new" or "causal" theory of reference proposed in the late 1960's and early 1970's by Hilary Putnam and Saul Kripke.  In recent years approaches to conceptual change which derive inspiration from cognitive psychology have increasingly been developed.
Key works For Feyerabend's discussion of meaning change, see 'An Attempt at a Realistic Interpretation of Experience'.  Putnam discusses the issue in 'Explanation and Reference'.  For recent approaches drawing on cognitive psychology, see Nancy Nersessian's 'A Cognitive-Historical Approach to Meaning in Scientific Theories' and Hanne Andersen, Peter Barker and Xiang Chen's 'Kuhn's Mature Philosophy of Science and Cognitive Psychology'.
Introductions Brown 2006; Levin 1979; Nola 1980; Sankey 2000
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277 found
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  1. Taking Up Thagard’s Challenge: A Formal Model of Conceptual Revision.Sena Bozdag & Matteo De Benedetto - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-34.
    Thagard presented a framework for conceptual change in science based on conceptual systems. Thagard challenged belief revision theorists, claiming that traditional belief-revision systems are able to model only the two most conservative types of changes in his framework, but not the more radical ones. The main aim of this work is to take up Thagard’s challenge, presenting a belief-revision-like system able to mirror radical types of conceptual change. We will do that with a conceptual revision system, i.e. a belief-revision-like system (...)
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  2. Degeneration and Entropy.Eugene Chua - forthcoming - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy.
    [Accepted for publication in Lakatos's Undone Work: The Practical Turn and the Division of Philosophy of Mathematics and Philosophy of Science, special issue of Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy. Edited by S. Nagler, H. Pilin, and D. Sarikaya.] Lakatos’s analysis of progress and degeneration in the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes is well-known. Less known, however, are his thoughts on degeneration in Proofs and Refutations. I propose and motivate two new criteria for degeneration based on the discussion in Proofs and Refutations (...)
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  3. A Generalized Patchwork Approach to Scientific Concepts.Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Polysemous concepts with multiple related meanings pervade natural languages, yet some philosophers argue that we should eliminate them to avoid miscommunication and pointless debates in scientific discourse. This paper defends the legitimacy of polysemous concepts in science against this eliminativist challenge. My approach analyses such concepts as patchworks with multiple scale-dependent, technique-involving, domain-specific and property-targeting uses (patches). I demonstrate the generality of my approach by applying it to "hardness" in materials science, "homology" in evolutionary biology, "gold" in chemistry and "cortical (...)
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  4. Realism and Explanatory Perspectivism.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Michela Massimi & C. D. McCoy (eds.), Understanding Perspectivism: Scientific Challenges and Methodological Prospects. New York: Routledge.
    This chapter defends a (minimal) realist conception of progress in scientific understanding in the face of the ubiquitous plurality of perspectives in science. The argument turns on the counterfactual-dependence framework of explanation and understanding, which is illustrated and evidenced with reference to different explanations of the rainbow.
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  5. K. Brad Wray (Ed.) Interpreting Kuhn: Critical Essays[REVIEW]Howard Sankey - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  6. Explication as a Three-Step Procedure: The Case of the Church-Turing Thesis.Matteo De Benedetto - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-28.
    In recent years two different axiomatic characterizations of the intuitive concept of effective calculability have been proposed, one by Sieg and the other by Dershowitz and Gurevich. Analyzing them from the perspective of Carnapian explication, I argue that these two characterizations explicate the intuitive notion of effective calculability in two different ways. I will trace back these two ways to Turing’s and Kolmogorov’s informal analyses of the intuitive notion of calculability and to their respective outputs: the notion of computorability and (...)
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  7. Taming Conceptual Wanderings: Wilson-Structuralism.Matteo De Benedetto - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13225-13246.
    Mark Wilson presents a highly original account of conceptual behavior that challenges many received views about concepts in analytic philosophy. Few attempts have been made to rationally reconstruct Wilson’s framework of patches and facades within a precise semantic framework. I will show how a modified version of the structuralist framework offers a semantic reconstruction of scientific theories capable of modeling Wilson’s ideas about conceptual behavior. Specifically, I will argue that Theory-Elements and a modified version of Theory-Nets explicate respectively Wilson’s patches (...)
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  8. Gaining Traction: Foothold Concepts and Exemplars in Conceptual Change.William Goodwin - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:145-152.
    This paper investigates the emergence of conformational analysis in organic chemistry as a case of conceptual change in science. In this case, the mechanism of conceptual change is identified as the emergence of a new exemplar. This new exemplar was made possible because of the identification of a distinctive chemical structure to which ‘foothold’ concepts were applicable. These concepts facilitated both clear explanation in the particular case, and the analogical extension of the conceptual innovation throughout the discipline. The case suggests (...)
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  9. The Death of the Cortical Column? Patchwork Structure and Conceptual Retirement in Neuroscientific Practice.Philipp Haueis - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:101-113.
    In 1981, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for their research on cortical columns—vertical bands of neurons with similar functional properties. This success led to the view that “cortical column” refers to the basic building block of the mammalian neocortex. Since the 1990s, however, critics questioned this building block picture of “cortical column” and debated whether this concept is useless and should be replaced with successor concepts. This paper inquires which experimental results after 1981 challenged the building (...)
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  10. Evolving Concepts of 'Hierarchy' in Systems Neuroscience.Philipp Haueis & Daniel Burnston - 2021 - In Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola (eds.), Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience.
    The notion of “hierarchy” is one of the most commonly posited organizational principles in systems neuroscience. To this date, however, it has received little philosophical analysis. This is unfortunate, because the general concept of hierarchy ranges over two approaches with distinct empirical commitments, and whose conceptual relations remain unclear. We call the first approach the “representational hierarchy” view, which posits that an anatomical hierarchy of feed-forward, feed-back, and lateral connections underlies a signal processing hierarchy of input-output relations. Because the representational (...)
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  11. Kuhn's Kantian Dimensions.Lydia Patton - 2021 - In K. Brad Wray (ed.), Interpreting Kuhn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 27-44.
    Two questions should be considered when assessing the Kantian dimensions of Kuhn’s thought. First, was Kuhn himself a Kantian? Second, did Kuhn have an influence on later Kantians and neo-Kantians? Kuhn mentioned Kant as an inspiration, and his focus on explanatory frameworks and on the conditions of knowledge appear Kantian. But Kuhn’s emphasis on learning; on activities of symbolization; on paradigms as practical, not just theoretical; and on the social and community aspects of scientific research as constitutive of scientific reasoning, (...)
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  12. Conceptual Change and Future Paths for Pragmatism.Matthew Shields - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):405-434.
    The pragmatist faces the challenge of accounting for the possibility of rational conceptual change. Some pragmatists have tried to meet this challenge by appealing to Neurathian imagery—imagery that risks being too figurative to be helpful. I argue that we can develop a clearer view of what rationally constrained conceptual revision looks like for the pragmatist. I do so by examining the work of the pragmatist who in recent years has addressed this issue most directly, Richard Rorty. His attempts to solve (...)
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  13. How Are Biology Concepts Used and Transformed?Ingo Brigandt - 2020 - In Kostas Kampourakis & Tobias Uller (eds.), Philosophy of Science for Biologists. Cambridge University Press. pp. 79–101.
  14. Strategic Conceptual Engineering for Epistemic and Social Aims.Ingo Brigandt & Esther Rosario - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 100-124.
    Examining previous discussions on how to construe the concepts of gender and race, we advocate what we call strategic conceptual engineering. This is the employment of a (possibly novel) concept for specific epistemic or social aims, concomitant with the openness to use a different concept (e.g., of race) for other purposes. We illustrate this approach by sketching three distinct concepts of gender and arguing that all of them are needed, as they answer to different social aims. The first concept serves (...)
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  15. Synthesising Arguments and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80:101244.
    Synthesising arguments motivate changes to the conceptual tools, theoretical structure, and evaluatory framework employed in a given scientific domain. Recently, a broad coalition of researchers has put forward a synthesising argument in favour of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (‘EES’). Often this synthesising argument is evaluated using a virtue-based approach, which construes the EES as a wholesale alternative to prevailing practice. Here I argue this virtue-based approach is not fit for purpose. Taking the central concept of niche construction as a case (...)
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  16. Explicating ‘Explication’ via Conceptual Spaces.Matteo De Benedetto - 2020 - Erkenntnis:1-37.
    Recent years have witnessed a revival of interest in the method of explication as a procedure for conceptual engineering in philosophy and in science. In the philosophical literature, there has been a lively debate about the different desiderata that a good explicatum has to satisfy. In comparison, the goal of explicating the concept of explication itself has not been central to the philosophical debate. The main aim of this work is to suggest a way of filling this gap by explicating (...)
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  17. Beyond the Human Standard in the Cognitive Domain: A Reply to Rodriguez' “Cognition Beyond the Human Domain”.Carrie Figdor - 2020 - Philosophical Psychology 33 (8):1204-1208.
    In "Cognition Beyond the Human Domain", Angel Garcia Rodriguez provides critical commentary on Pieces of Mind: The proper domain of psychological predicates (Oxford UP, 2018). In this reply, I argue that his alternative "No-Core" semantic proposal is not an alternative to the Literalist view I defend, but rather one way of elaborating that position.
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  18. Theories as Recipes: Third-Order Virtue and Vice.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):391-411.
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells us what it takes for certain kinds of metaphysical theories to do so. We should think of these theories as recipes. I identify three good-making features of recipes and show that they translate to third-order theoretical virtues. I apply the view to two theories—mereological universalism and plenitudinous platonism—and draw (...)
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  19. Conceptual Change in Perspective.Matthew Shields - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (9-10):930-958.
    I argue that Sarah Sawyer's and Herman Cappelen's recent accounts of how speakers talk and think about the same concept or topic even when their understandings of that concept or topic substantially diverge risk multiplying our metasemantic categories unnecessarily and fail to prove explanatory. When we look more closely at our actual practices of samesaying, we find that speakers with seemingly incompatible formulations of a subject matter take one another to samesay when they are attempting to arrive at a correct (...)
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  20. Reporting the discovery of new chemical elements: working in different worlds, only 25 years apart.K. Brad Wray & Line Edslev Andersen - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):137-146.
    In his account of scientific revolutions, Thomas Kuhn suggests that after a revolutionary change of theory, it is as if scientists are working in a different world. In this paper, we aim to show that the notion of world change is insightful. We contrast the reporting of the discovery of neon in 1898 with the discovery of hafnium in 1923. The one discovery was made when elements were identified by their atomic weight; the other discovery was made after scientists came (...)
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  21. ‘Data’ in the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions, 1665–1886.Chris Meyns - 2019 - Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science.
    Was there a concept of data before the so-called ‘data revolution’? This paper contributes to the history of the concept of data by investigating uses of the term ‘data’ in texts of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions for the period 1665–1886. It surveys how the notion enters the journal as a technical term in mathematics, and charts how over time it expands into various other scientific fields, including Earth sciences, physics and chemistry. The paper argues that in these texts the (...)
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  22. Rethinking the Problem of Cognition.Mikio Akagi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3547-3570.
    The present century has seen renewed interest in characterizing cognition, the object of inquiry of the cognitive sciences. In this paper, I describe the problem of cognition—the absence of a positive characterization of cognition despite a felt need for one. It is widely recognized that the problem is motivated by decades of controversy among cognitive scientists over foundational questions, such as whether non-neural parts of the body or environment can realize cognitive processes, or whether plants and microbes have cognitive processes. (...)
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  23. Pieces of Mind: The Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates.Carrie Figdor - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Carrie Figdor presents a critical assessment of how psychological terms are used to describe the non-human biological world. She argues against the anthropocentric attitude which takes human cognition as the standard against which non-human capacities are measured, and offers an alternative basis for naturalistic explanation of the mind.
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  24. Constitutive Elements in Science Beyond Physics: The Case of the Hardy–Weinberg Principle.Michele Luchetti - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 14):3437-3461.
    In this paper, I present a new framework supporting the claim that some elements in science play a constitutive function, with the aim of overcoming some limitations of Friedman's (2001) account. More precisely, I focus on what I consider to be the gradualism implicit in Friedman's interpretation of the constitutive a priori, that is, the fact that it seems to allow for degrees of 'constitutivity'. I tease out such gradualism by showing that the constitutive character Friedman aims to track can (...)
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  25. The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation?Moti Mizrahi (ed.) - 2018 - London: Rowman & Littlefield.
    More than 50 years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s seminal book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this volume assesses the adequacy of the Kuhnian model in explaining certain aspects of science, particularly the social and epistemic aspects of science. One argument put forward is that there are no good reasons to accept Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, according to which scientific revolutions involve the replacement of theories with conceptually incompatible ones. Perhaps, therefore, it is time for another “decisive transformation in the (...)
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  26. The (Lack of) Evidence for the Kuhnian Image of Science.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (7):19-24.
    In their reviews of The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? (2018), both Markus Arnold (2018) and Amanda Bryant (2018) complain that the contributors who criticize Kuhn’s theory of scientific change have misconstrued his philosophy of science and they praise those who seek to defend the Kuhnian image of science. In what follows, then, I would like to address their claims about misconstruing Kuhn’s theory of scientific change. But my focus here, as in the book, will be (...)
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  27. The Aesthetics of Theory Selection and the Logics of Art.Ian O’Loughlin & Kate McCallum - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (2):325-343.
    Philosophers of science discuss whether theory selection depends on aesthetic judgments or criteria, and whether these putatively aesthetic features are genuinely extra-epistemic. As examples, judgments involving criteria such as simplicity and symmetry are often cited. However, other theory selection criteria, such as fecundity, coherence, internal consistency, and fertility, more closely match those criteria used in art contexts and by scholars working in aesthetics. Paying closer attention to the way these criteria are used in art contexts allows us to understand some (...)
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  28. Scientific Revolutions, Specialization and the Discovery of the Structure of DNA: Toward a New Picture of the Development of the Sciences.Politi Vincenzo - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2267-2293.
    In his late years, Thomas Kuhn became interested in the process of scientific specialization, which does not seem to possess the destructive element that is characteristic of scientific revolutions. It therefore makes sense to investigate whether and how Kuhn’s insights about specialization are consistent with, and actually fit, his model of scientific progress through revolutions. In this paper, I argue that the transition toward a new specialty corresponds to a revolutionary change for the group of scientists involved in such a (...)
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  29. The Atomic Number Revolution in Chemistry: A Kuhnian Analysis.K. Wray - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (3):209-217.
    This paper argues that the field of chemistry underwent a significant change of theory in the early twentieth century, when atomic number replaced atomic weight as the principle for ordering and identifying the chemical elements. It is a classic case of a Kuhnian revolution. In the process of addressing anomalies, chemists who were trained to see elements as defined by their atomic weight discovered that their theoretical assumptions were impediments to understanding the chemical world. The only way to normalize the (...)
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  30. David Stump. Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science: Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori. New York: Routledge, 2015. Pp. 176. $116.00. [REVIEW]Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (1):151-153.
  31. Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)
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  32. Constitutional Crises: How Understanding Constitutive Elements in Science Can Help Us Better Understand the Nature of Conceptual Change in Science: David J. Stump: Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science. New York and Oxford: Routledge, 2015, 176 Pp, $145 HB.Joshua Alexander - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):459-463.
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  33. What Was Revolutionary About the Chemical Revolution?Nicholas W. Best - 2016 - In Eric Scerri & Grant Fisher (eds.), Essays in Philosophy of Chemistry. Oxford University Press. pp. 37-59.
    Lavoisier and his allies should be regarded as philosophers of chemistry, for they took it upon themselves to carry out a scientific revolution. Inspired by enlightenment philosophy, they introduced new assumptions, apparatus and methods of experimentation. They provided a linguistic framework that would ensure These reforms, as much as any theoretical changes, are what make this period revolutionary. Moreover, by reading these scientists as philosophers of chemistry, we see that the Chemical Revolution was in many ways more revolutionary than Thomas (...)
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  34. Planets, Pluralism, and Conceptual Lineage.Carl Brusse - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 53:93-106.
    Conceptual change can occur for a variety of reasons; some more scientifically significant than others. The 2006 definition of ‘planet’, which saw Pluto reclassified as a dwarf planet, is an example toward the more mundane end of the scale. I argue however that this case serves as a useful example of a related phenomenon, whereby what appears to be a single kind term conceals two or more distinct concepts with independent scientific utility. I examine the historical background to this case, (...)
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  35. Is It Possible to Give Scientific Solutions to Grand Challenges? On the Idea of Grand Challenges for Life Science Research.Sophia Efstathiou - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:46-61.
    This paper argues that challenges that are grand in scope such as "lifelong health and wellbeing", "climate action", or "food security" cannot be addressed through scientific research only. Indeed scientific research could inhibit addressing such challenges if scientific analysis constrains the multiple possible understandings of these challenges into already available scientific categories and concepts without translating between these and everyday concerns. This argument builds on work in philosophy of science and race to postulate a process through which non-scientific notions become (...)
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  36. Big Dreams for Small Creatures: Ilana and Eugene Rosenberg’s Path to the Hologenome Theory.Ehud Lamm - 2016 - In Oren Harman & Michael Dietrich (eds.), Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences. Chicago University Press.
    A biographical sketch of the Hologenome Theory.
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  37. Using Conceptual Spaces to Exhibit Conceptual Continuity Through Scientific Theory Change.George Masterton, Frank Zenker & Peter Gärdenfors - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1):127-150.
    There is a great deal of justified concern about continuity through scientific theory change. Our thesis is that, particularly in physics, such continuity can be appropriately captured at the level of conceptual frameworks using conceptual space models. Indeed, we contend that the conceptual spaces of three of our most important physical theories—Classical Mechanics, Special Relativity Theory, and Quantum Mechanics —have already been so modelled as phase-spaces. Working with their phase-space formulations, one can trace the conceptual changes and continuities in transitioning (...)
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  38. The Life of the Cortical Column: Opening the Domain of Functional Architecture of the Cortex.Haueis Philipp - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3).
    The concept of the cortical column refers to vertical cell bands with similar response properties, which were initially observed by Vernon Mountcastle’s mapping of single cell recordings in the cat somatic cortex. It has subsequently guided over 50 years of neuroscientific research, in which fundamental questions about the modularity of the cortex and basic principles of sensory information processing were empirically investigated. Nevertheless, the status of the column remains controversial today, as skeptical commentators proclaim that the vertical cell bands are (...)
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  39. David J. Stump, Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science: Alternative Interpretations of the A Priori , Xviii + 176 Pp., £85. [REVIEW]John Preston - 2016 - Ratio 29 (4).
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  40. In Carnap’s Defense: A Survey on the Concept of a Linguistic Framework in Carnap’s Philosophy.Parzhad Torfehnezhad - 2016 - Abstracta 9 (1):03-30.
    The main task in this paper is to detail and investigate Carnap’s conception of a “linguistic framework”. On this basis, we will see whether Carnap’s dichotomies, such as the analytic-synthetic distinction, are to be construed as absolute/fundamental dichotomies or merely as relative dichotomies. I argue for a novel interpretation of Carnap’s conception of a LF and, on that basis, will show that, according to Carnap, all the dichotomies to be discussed are relative dichotomies; they depend on conventional decisions concerning the (...)
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  41. Logic and the Structure of the Web of Belief.Matthew Carlson - 2015 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 3 (5).
    In this paper, I examine Quine's views on the epistemology of logic. According to Quine's influential holistic account, logic is central in the “web of belief” that comprises our overall theory of the world. Because of this, revisions to logic would have devastating systematic consequences, and this explains why we are loath to make such revisions. In section1, I clarify this idea and thereby show that Quine actually takes the web of belief to have asymmetrical internal structure. This raises two (...)
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  42. Teaching the Conceptual History of Physics to Physics Teachers.Peter Garik, Luciana Garbayo, Yann Benétreau-Dupin, Charles Winrich, Andrew Duffy, Nicholas Gross & Manher Jariwala - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (4):387-408.
    For nearly a decade we have taught the history and philosophy of science as part of courses aimed at the professional development of physics teachers. The focus of the history of science instruction is on the stages in the development of the concepts and theories of physics. For this instruction, we designed activities to help the teachers organize their understanding of this historical development. The activities include scientific modeling using archaic theories. We conducted surveys to gauge the impact on the (...)
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  43. Conceptual Change and Conceptual Diversity Contribute to Progress in Science.Paul E. Griffiths - 2015 - In Gabriele Bammer (ed.), Change! Combining Analytic Approaches with Street Wisdom. Australian National University Press. pp. 163--176.
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  44. Conceptual Change in Biology: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives on Evolution and Development.Alan Love (ed.) - 2015 - Berlin: Springer Verlag, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
    This volume explores questions about conceptual change from both scientific and philosophical viewpoints by analyzing the recent history of evolutionary developmental biology. It features revised papers that originated from the workshop "Conceptual Change in Biological Science: Evolutionary Developmental Biology, 1981-2011" held at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin in July 2010. The Preface has been written by Ron Amundson. In these papers, philosophers and biologists compare and contrast key concepts in evolutionary developmental biology and their (...)
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  45. What’s the Support for Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis? A Response to Mizrahi and Patton.James Marcum - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2015.
    Moti Mizrahi (2015) examines whether there are “good arguments” to support Kuhn’s taxonomic incommensurability (TI) thesis. He concludes that there is neither “valid deductive” nor “strong inductive” support for the thesis and that consequently TI should not be believed or accepted. In response, Lydia Patton (2015) claims that the most “influential” arguments within the history of science are abductive or inference to the best explanation (IBE) rather than deductive or inductive arguments. After reviewing and analyzing this exchange, I propose that (...)
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  46. A Reply to Patton's "Incommensurability and the Bonfire of the Meta-Theories".Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (10):51-53.
  47. Kuhn’s Incommensurability Thesis: What’s the Argument?Moti Mizrahi - 2015 - Social Epistemology 29 (4):361-378.
    In this paper, I argue that there is neither valid deductive support nor strong inductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis. There is no valid deductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis because, from the fact that the reference of the same kind terms changes or discontinues from one theoretical framework to another, it does not necessarily follow that these two theoretical frameworks are taxonomically incommensurable. There is no strong inductive support for Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, since there are rebutting defeaters against it (...)
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  48. Incommensurability and the Bonfire of the Meta-Theories: Response to Mizrahi.Lydia Patton - 2015 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4 (7):51-58.
    Scientists working within a paradigm must play by the rules of the game of that paradigm in solving problems, and that is why incommensurability arises when the rules of the game change. If we deny the thesis of the priority of paradigms, then there is no good argument for the incommensurability of theories and thus for taxonomic incommensurability, because there is no invariant way to determine the set of results provable, puzzles solvable, and propositions cogently formulable under a given paradigm.
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  49. Conceptual Change and the Philosophy of Science: Alternative Interpretations of the a Priori.David J. Stump - 2015 - Routledge.
    In this book, David Stump traces alternative conceptions of the a priori in the philosophy of science and defends a unique position in the current debates over conceptual change and the constitutive elements in science. Stump emphasizes the unique epistemological status of the constitutive elements of scientific theories, constitutive elements being the necessary preconditions that must be assumed in order to conduct a particular scientific inquiry. These constitutive elements, such as logic, mathematics, and even some fundamental laws of nature, were (...)
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  50. Gene Mobility and the Concept of Relatedness.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):445-476.
    Cooperation is rife in the microbial world, yet our best current theories of the evolution of cooperation were developed with multicellular animals in mind. Hamilton’s theory of inclusive fitness is an important case in point: applying the theory in a microbial setting is far from straightforward, as social evolution in microbes has a number of distinctive features that the theory was never intended to capture. In this article, I focus on the conceptual challenges posed by the project of extending Hamilton’s (...)
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