About this topic
Summary Questions about the characteristics that make a scientific theory one that is worth accepting or pursuing come into both scientific practice, and many important debates in philosophy of science. These debates include scientific change, scientific confirmation, scientific methodology, inference to the best explanation, explanatory unification, arguments for and against scientific realism, and many more. The Theoretical Virtues, Misc category may include works  that discuss theoretical virtues through such debates, works that directly aim to discuss a particular theory and its role in one or more science, and works that aim to provide a comprehensive taxonomy for theory virtues.
Key works Douglas, H. (2013). The value of cognitive values. Philosophy of Science, 80(5), 796–806. Keas, Michael (2018). Systematizing the theoretical virtues. _Synthese_ 195 (6):2761-2793. Kitcher, P. (1981). Explanatory unification. Philosophy of Science48(4), 507–531. Laudan, L. (2004). The epistemic, the cognitive, and the social. In P. K. Machamer&G. Wolters (Eds.), Science, values, and objectivity (pp. 14–23). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Schindler, Samuel. (2018). Theoretical Virtues in Science: Uncovering Reality through Theory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Thagard, P. R. (1978). The best explanation: Criteria for theory choice. The Journal of Philosophy75(2), 76–92. Van Fraassen, B. C. (1980). The scientific image. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Introductions
  1. Boudry, M. (2013). The hypothesis that saves the day: Ad hoc reasoning in pseudoscience. Logique et Analyse223, 245–258.

  2. Pigliucci, M. and M. Boudry (Eds.). (2013). Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Project. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

  3. Douglas, H. (2013). The value of cognitive values. Philosophy of Science80(5), 796–806.

  4. McMullin, E. (2014). The virtues of a good theory. In M. Curd&S. Psillos (Eds.), The Routledge companion to philosophy of science (pp. 561–571). New York: Routledge.

  5. Reiss, J.,&Sprenger, J. (2014). Scientific objectivity. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophyhttp://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-objectivity. Accessed 22 July 2016.

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306 found
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  1. Inconsistency in Empirical Science.Luis Felipe Bartolo Alegre - manuscript
    This paper deals with a relatively recent trend in the history of analytic philosophy, philosophical logic, and theory of science: the philosophical study of the role of inconsistency in empirical science. This paper is divided in three sections that correspond to the three types of inconsistencies identified: (i) factual, occurring between theory and observations, (ii) external, occurring between two mutually contradictory theories, and (iii) internal, characterising theories that entail mutually contradictory statements.
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  2. Reinterpreting the universe-multiverse debate in light of inter-model inconsistency in set theory.Daniel Kuby - manuscript
    In this paper I apply the concept of _inter-Model Inconsistency in Set Theory_ (MIST), introduced by Carolin Antos (this volume), to select positions in the current universe-multiverse debate in philosophy of set theory: I reinterpret H. Woodin’s _Ultimate L_, J. D. Hamkins’ multiverse, S.-D. Friedman’s hyperuniverse and the algebraic multiverse as normative strategies to deal with the situation of de facto inconsistency toleration in set theory as described by MIST. In particular, my aim is to situate these positions on the (...)
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  3. Gaps, Gluts, and Theoretical Equivalence.Carlo Nicolai - manuscript
    When are two formal theories of broadly logical concepts, such as truth, equivalent? The paper investigates a case study, involving two well-known variants Kripke-Feferman truth. The first, KF+CONS, features a consistent but partial truth predicate. The second, KF+COMP, an inconsistent but complete truth predicate. It is well-known that the two truth predicates are dual to each other. We show that this duality reveals a much stricter correspondence between the two theories: they are intertraslatable. Intertranslatability under natural assumptions coincides with definitional (...)
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  4. Idealization and the structure of theories in biololgy.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos & Xavier De Donato-Rodríguez - 2008
    In this paper we present a new framework of idealization in biology. We characterize idealizations as a network of counterfactual conditionals that can exhibit different degrees of contingency. We use the idea of possible worlds to say that, in departing more or less from the actual world, idealizations can serve numerous epistemic, methodological or heuristic purposes within scientific research. We defend that, in part, it is this structure what helps explain why idealizations, despite being deformations of reality, are so successful (...)
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  5. A Current Perspective on Science, Scientists and "Scientific Temper": Busting Myths and Misconceptions.Bimal Prasad Mahapatra -
    This article is devoted to define and characterize ‘Science’ as a discipline by the fundamental principles of scientific investigation. In particular, we propose and argue that ‘Science’ be defined by a set of principles / criteria which underlies scientific- investigation. We argue that this set must include the following principles: (1) Rationality, (2) Objectivity (3) Universality, (4) Internal Consistency, (5) Uniqueness, (6) Reproducibility, (7) The Principle of Falsification, (8) Simplicity and Elegance and (9) Experimental Observation and Verification. We elaborate, through (...)
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  6. Defining a crisis: the roles of principles in the search for a theory of quantum gravity.Karen Crowther - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (Suppl 14):3489-3516.
    In times of crisis, when current theories are revealed as inadequate to task, and new physics is thought to be required—physics turns to re-evaluate its principles, and to seek new ones. This paper explores the various types, and roles of principles that feature in the problem of quantum gravity as a current crisis in physics. I illustrate the diversity of the principles being appealed to, and show that principles serve in a variety of roles in all stages of the crisis, (...)
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  7. Theoretical Virtues in Scientific Practice: An Empirical Study.Moti Mizrahi - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    It is a common view among philosophers of science that theoretical virtues (also known as epistemic or cognitive values), such as simplicity and consistency, play an important role in scientific practice. In this paper, I set out to study the role that theoretical virtues play in scientific practice empirically. I apply the methods of data science, such as text mining and corpus analysis, to study large corpora of scientific texts in order to uncover patterns of usage. These patterns of usage, (...)
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  8. Kevin C. Elliott. A Tapestry of Values: An Introduction to Values in Science. [REVIEW]David Montminy & François Papale - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
  9. Scientists are Epistemic Consequentialists about Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-22.
    Scientists imagine for epistemic reasons, and these imaginings can be better or worse. But what does it mean for an imagining to be epistemically better or worse? There are at least three metaepistemological frameworks that present different answers to this question: epistemological consequentialism, deontic epistemology, and virtue epistemology. This paper presents empirical evidence that scientists adopt each of these different epistemic frameworks with respect to imagination, but argues that the way they do this is best explained if scientists are fundamentally (...)
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  10. Understanding the Problem of “Hype”: Exaggeration, Values, and Trust in Science.Kristen Intemann - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):279-294.
    Several science studies scholars report instances of scientific “hype,” or sensationalized exaggeration, in journal articles, institutional press releases, and science journalism in a variety of fields. Yet, how “hype” is being conceived varies. I will argue that hype is best understood as a particular kind of exaggeration, one that explicitly or implicitly exaggerates various positive aspects of science in ways that undermine the goals of science communication in a particular context. This account also makes clear the ways that value judgments (...)
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  11. How Simple is the Humean Theory of Motivation?Olof Leffler - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (2):125-140.
    In recent discussions of the Humean Theory of Motivation (HTM), several authors – not to mention other philosophers around the proverbial water cooler – have appealed to the simplicity of the theory to defend it. But the argument from simplicity has rarely been explicated or received much critical attention – until now. I begin by reconstructing the argument and then argue that it suffers from a number of problems. Most importantly, first, I argue that HTM is unlikely to be simpler (...)
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  12. Cognitive Artifacts and Their Virtues in Scientific Practice.Marcin Miłkowski - 2022 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 67 (3):219-246.
    One of the critical issues in the philosophy of science is to understand scientific knowledge. This paper proposes a novel approach to the study of reflection on science, called “cognitive metascience”. In particular, it offers a new understanding of scientific knowledge as constituted by various kinds of scientific representations, framed as cognitive artifacts. It introduces a novel functional taxonomy of cognitive artifacts prevalent in scientific practice, covering a huge diversity of their formats, vehicles, and functions. As a consequence, toolboxes, conceptual (...)
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  13. The Material Theory of Induction at the Frontiers of Science.William Peden - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):247-263.
    According to John D. Norton's Material Theory of Induction, all reasonable inductive inferences are justified in virtue of background knowledge about local uniformities in nature. These local uniformities indicate that our samples are likely to be representative of our target population in our inductions. However, a variety of critics have noted that there are many circumstances in which induction seems to be reasonable, yet such background knowledge is apparently absent. I call such an absence of circumstances ‘the frontiers of science', (...)
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  14. Schema-Centred Unity and Process-Centred Pluralism of the Predictive Mind.Nina Poth - 2022 - Minds and Machines 32 (3):433-459.
    Proponents of the predictive processing (PP) framework often claim that one of the framework’s significant virtues is its unificatory power. What is supposedly unified are predictive processes in the mind, and these are explained in virtue of a common prediction error-minimisation (PEM) schema. In this paper, I argue against the claim that PP currently converges towards a unified explanation of cognitive processes. Although the notion of PEM systematically relates a set of posits such as ‘efficiency’ and ‘hierarchical coding’ into a (...)
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  15. When Do Non-Epistemic Values Play an Epistemically Illegitimate Role in Science? How to Solve One Half of the New Demarcation Problem.Alexander Reutlinger - 2022 - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 92:152-161.
    Solving the “new demarcation problem” requires a distinction between epistemically legitimate and illegitimate roles for non-epistemic values in science. This paper addresses one ‘half’ (i.e. a sub-problem) of the new demarcation problem articulated by the Gretchenfrage: What makes the role of a non-epistemic value in science epistemically illegitimate? I will argue for the Explaining Epistemic Errors (EEE) account, according to which the epistemically illegitimate role of a non-epistemic value is defined via an explanatory claim: the fact that an epistemic agent (...)
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  16. On the very idea of pursuitworthiness.Jamie Shaw - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):103-112.
    Recent philosophical literature has turned its attention towards assessments of how to judge scientific proposals as worthy of further inquiry. Previous work, as well as papers contained within this special issue, propose criteria for pursuitworthiness (Achinstein, 1993; Whitt, 1992; DiMarco & Khalifa, 2019; Laudan, 1977; Shan, 2020; Šešelja et al., 2012). The purpose of this paper is to assess the grounds on which pursuitworthiness demands can be legitimately made. To do this, I propose a challenge to the possibility of even (...)
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  17. Virtue theory of mathematical practices: an introduction.Andrew Aberdein, Colin Jakob Rittberg & Fenner Stanley Tanswell - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10167-10180.
    Until recently, discussion of virtues in the philosophy of mathematics has been fleeting and fragmentary at best. But in the last few years this has begun to change. As virtue theory has grown ever more influential, not just in ethics where virtues may seem most at home, but particularly in epistemology and the philosophy of science, some philosophers have sought to push virtues out into unexpected areas, including mathematics and its philosophy. But there are some mathematicians already there, ready to (...)
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  18. Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation.Devon Brickhouse-Bryson - 2021 - Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
    The role of judgments of beauty in scientific theory evaluation is the subject of significant debate in contemporary philosophy of science. This book advances that debate by broadening its scope. In Judgments of Beauty in Theory Evaluation, the author argues that judgments of beauty are a justified part of theory evaluation of all sorts: not only scientific theory evaluation, but also philosophical theory evaluation. The author argues for this thesis by providing an account of beauty—inherited from Kant and Mothersill—on which (...)
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  19. Wishful Intelligibility, Black Boxes, and Epidemiological Explanation.Marina DiMarco - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):824-834.
    Epidemiological explanation often has a “black box” character, meaning the intermediate steps between cause and effect are unknown. Filling in black boxes is thought to improve causal inferences by making them intelligible. I argue that adding information about intermediate causes to a black box explanation is an unreliable guide to pragmatic intelligibility because it may mislead us about the stability of a cause. I diagnose a problem that I call wishful intelligibility, which occurs when scientists misjudge the limitations of certain (...)
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  20. Objectivity in Science.Stephen John - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    Objectivity is a key concept both in how we talk about science in everyday life and in the philosophy of science. This Element explores various ways in which recent philosophers of science have thought about the nature, value and achievability of objectivity. The first section explains the general trend in recent philosophy of science away from a notion of objectivity as a 'view from nowhere' to a focus on the relationship between objectivity and trust. Section 2 discusses the relationship between (...)
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  21. Theoretical virtues and theorizing in physics: against the instrumentalist view of simplicity.Mousa Mohammadian - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4819-4828.
    I argue that if simplicity is a theoretical virtue and some theoretical virtues are the constituents of the aims of theorizing in physics—i.e., theory choice and theory development in physics—and scientific rationality is instrumental rationality, then simplicity cannot be a mere means to achieve the aims. I do this by showing that considering simplicity as a mere means brings about counterintuitive ramifications concerning scientific rationality. These counterintuitive ramifications can be avoided if we consider simplicity a constituent of the aims of (...)
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  22. Fix, Express, Quantify: Disquotation After Its Logic.Carlo Nicolai - 2021 - Mind 130 (519):727-757.
    Truth-theoretic deflationism holds that truth is simple, and yet that it can fulfil many useful logico-linguistic roles. Deflationism focuses on axioms for truth: there is no reduction of the notion of truth to more fundamental ones such as sets or higher-order quantifiers. In this paper I argue that the fundamental properties of reasonable, primitive truth predicates are at odds with the core tenets of classical truth-theoretic deflationism that I call fix, express, and quantify. Truth may be regarded as a broadly (...)
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  23. Science, Technology, and Virtues: Contemporary Perspectives.Emanuele Ratti & Tom Stapleford (eds.) - 2021 - Oxford University Press.
  24. Kuhn, Values and Academic Freedom.Howard Sankey - 2021 - Logos and Episteme 12 (4):463-467.
    For Kuhn, there are a number of values which provide scientists with a shared basis for theory-choice. These values include accuracy, breadth, consistency, simplicity and fruitfulness. Each of these values may be interpreted in different ways. Moreover, there may be conflict between the values in application to specific theories. In this short paper, Kuhn's idea of scientific values is extended to the value of academic freedom. The value of academic freedom may be interpreted in a number of different ways. Moreover, (...)
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  25. Virtues in Scientific Practice.Dana Tulodziecki - 2021 - In Emanuele Ratti & Thomas A. Stapleford (eds.), Science, Technology, and Virtues: Contemporary Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter relocates the debate about the theoretical virtues to the empirical level and argues that the question of whether the virtues (and what virtues, if any) have epistemic import is best answered empirically, through an examination of actual scientific theories and hypotheses in the history of science. As a concrete example of this approach, the chapter discusses a case study from the mid-nineteenth-century debate about the transmissibility of puerperal fever. It argues that this case shows that the virtues are (...)
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  26. Kuram Seçimi, Eksik Belirlenim ve Thomas Kuhn.Alper Bilgehan Yardımcı - 2021 - Londra, Birleşik Krallık: Ijopec Publication.
    One of the main purposes of science is to explain natural phenomena by increasing our understanding of the physical world and to make predictions about the future based on these explanations. In this context, scientific theories can be defined as large-scale explanations of phenomena. In the historical process, scientists have made various choices among the theories they encounter at the point of solving the problems related to their fields of study. This process, which can be called ‘theory choice’, is one (...)
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  27. Should Explanations Omit the Details?Darren Bradley - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):827-853.
    There is a widely shared belief that the higher-level sciences can provide better explanations than lower-level sciences. But there is little agreement about exactly why this is so. It is often suggested that higher-level explanations are better because they omit details. I will argue instead that the preference for higher-level explanations is just a special case of our general preference for informative, logically strong, beliefs. I argue that our preference for informative beliefs entirely accounts for why higher-level explanations are sometimes (...)
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  28. Troubles with Theoretical Virtues: Resisting Theoretical Utility Arguments in Metaphysics.OtÁvio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):456-469.
    In this paper we examine theoretical utility arguments in metaphysics. While philosophers claim a procedural continuity with science when using such arguments, we argue that examining famous instances from the history of science expose their fundamental flaws. We find that arguments from theoretical utility invoke considerations that are not truth conducive and that justifications for claims that a theory possesses theoretical virtues often assume the truth of the theory such virtues are supposed to support. We conclude that theoretical utility arguments (...)
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  29. Review of Cultivating Virtue: Perspectives from Philosophy, Theology, and Psychology. [REVIEW]Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2020 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 125 (6):522-24.
    This is a review of a book which in today's COVID 19 world takes up issues which could have been neglected as meant only for scholars when this book was published. Now with homeschooling and social distancing and race relations going for a toss all over the world; we need to relook virtue and how to cultivate that in our lives and in our children. This review looks at the philosophical, theological and psychological qualia of virtue. For instance, this reviewer (...)
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  30. On the Individuation of Choice Options.Roberto Fumagalli - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (4):338-365.
    Decision theorists have attempted to accommodate several violations of decision theory’s axiomatic requirements by modifying how agents’ choice options are individuated and formally represented. In recent years, prominent authors have worried that these modifications threaten to trivialize decision theory, make the theory unfalsifiable, impose overdemanding requirements on decision theorists, and hamper decision theory’s internal coherence. In this paper, I draw on leading descriptive and normative works in contemporary decision theory to address these prominent concerns. In doing so, I articulate and (...)
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  31. Value-Free yet Policy-Relevant? The Normative Views of Climate Scientists and Their Bearing on Philosophy.Torbjørn Gundersen - 2020 - Perspectives on Science 28 (1):89-118.
    The proper role of non-epistemic values such as moral, political, and social values in practices of justification of policy-relevant hypotheses has recently become one of the central questions in philosophy of science. This strand of research has yielded conceptual clarifications and significant insight into the complex and notoriously contentious issue of the proper relationship between science, non-epistemic values, and policymaking. A central part of this discussion revolves around whether scientists should aspire for the value-free ideal, according to which non-epistemic values (...)
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  32. Objectivity in contexts: withholding epistemic judgement as a strategy for mitigating collective bias.Inkeri Koskinen - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):211-225.
    In this paper I discuss and develop the risk account of scientific objectivity, which I have recently introduced, contrasting it to some alternatives. I then use the account in order to analyse a practice that is relatively common in anthropology, in the history of science, and in the sociology of scientific knowledge: withholding epistemic judgement. I argue that withholding epistemic judgement on the beliefs one is studying can be a relatively efficient strategy against collective bias in these fields. However, taking (...)
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  33. What Inference to the Best Explanation Is Not: A Response to Roche and Sober's Screening-Off Challenge to IBE.Marc Lange - 2020 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 39:27-42.
  34. 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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  35. Theoretical virtues in eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition.Hein van den Berg - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-35.
    Within eighteenth-century debates on animal cognition we can distinguish at least three main theoretical positions: (i) Buffon’s mechanism, (ii) Reimarus’ theory of instincts, and (iii) the sensationalism of Condillac and Leroy. In this paper, I adopt a philosophical perspective on this debate and argue that in order to fully understand the justification Buffon, Reimarus, Condillac, and Leroy gave for their respective theories, we must pay special attention to the theoretical virtues these naturalists alluded to while justifying their position. These theoretical (...)
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  36. Book ReviewsKevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards (eds.), Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 312 pages. isbn: 9780190467715/9780190467722. Hardback/Paperback: $99.00/$39.95. [REVIEW]Zina B. Ward - 2019 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 16 (6):769-772.
  37. Scientific Temper: Virtues of Science in early 20th Century India.Abhijeet Bardapurkar - 2019 - Current Science 117 (10):1571-1573.
    Science is not possible in the absence of epistemic values (truth, simplicity), but what are the moral condi- tions (good, right) that secure these epistemic values in a just prosperous society? The question of value of science is not separate from the question of values in science-education. In the study of science and values, we have to ask two complementary questions: what are the values that science is expected to bring to educa- tion, and what are the values that an (...)
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  38. A review of 'Theoretical virtues in science' by S. Schindler. [REVIEW]Darren Bradley - 2019 - Metascience 28 (2):261-264.
  39. Risk and Values in Science: A Peircean View.Daniele Chiffi & Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (4):329-346.
    Scientific evidence and scientific values under risk and uncertainty are strictly connected from the point of view of Peirce’s pragmaticism. In addition, economy and statistics play a key role in both choosing and testing hypotheses. Hence we may show also the connection between the methodology of the economy of research and statistical frequentism, both originating from pragmaticism. The connection is drawn by the regulative principles of synechism, tychism and uberty. These principles are values that have both epistemic and non-epistemic dimension. (...)
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  40. What is Scientific Understanding and How Can It Be Achieved?Henk de Regt & Christoph Baumberger - 2019 - In Kevin McKain & Kostas Kampourakis (eds.), What Is Scientific Knowledge? An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology of Science. New York, NY, USA: pp. 66-81.
    Science has not only produced a vast amount of knowledge about a wide range of phenomena, it has also enhanced our understanding of these phenomena. Indeed, understanding can be regarded as one of the central aims of science. But what exactly is it to understand phenomena scientifically, and how can scientific understanding be achieved? What is the difference between scientific knowledge and scientific understanding? These questions are hotly debated in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science. While philosophers have long regarded (...)
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  41. Thomas kuhn’s theory of rationality.Paulo Pirozelli - 2019 - Manuscrito 42 (3):1-46.
    According to a widespread view, Thomas Kuhn’s model of scientific development would relegate rationality to a second plane, openly flirting with irrationalist positions. The intent of this article is to clarify this aspect of his thinking and refute this common interpretation. I begin by analysing the nature of values in Kuhn’s model and how they are connected to rationality. For Kuhn, a theory is chosen rationally when: i) the evaluation is based on values characteristic of science; ii) a theory is (...)
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  42. Value-entanglement and the integrity of scientific research.David B. Resnik & Kevin C. Elliott - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 75:1-11.
  43. Deviance and Vice: Strength as a Theoretical Virtue in the Epistemology of Logic.Gillian Russell - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):548-563.
    This paper is about the putative theoretical virtue of strength, as it might be used in abductive arguments to the correct logic in the epistemology of logic. It argues for three theses. The first is that the well-defined property of logical strength is neither a virtue nor a vice, so that logically weaker theories are not—all other things being equal—worse or better theories than logically stronger ones. The second thesis is that logical strength does not entail the looser characteristic of (...)
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  44. Kevin C. Elliott and Ted Richards, eds. Exploring Inductive Risk: Case Studies of Values in Science. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xiv+277. $99.00 ; $40.00. [REVIEW]Federica Russo - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (1):179-182.
  45. Let’s not agree to disagree: the role of strategic disagreement in science.Carlos Santana - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6159-6177.
    Supposedly, stubbornness on the part of scientists—an unwillingness to change one’s position on a scientific issue even in the face of countervailing evidence—helps efficiently divide scientific labor. Maintaining disagreement is important because it keeps scientists pursuing a diversity of leads rather than all working on the most promising, and stubbornness helps preserve this disagreement. Planck’s observation that “Science progresses one funeral at a time” might therefore be an insight into epistemically beneficial stubbornness on the part of researchers. In conversation with (...)
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  46. Kuhn’s two accounts of rational disagreement in science: an interpretation and critique.Markus Seidel - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6023-6051.
    Whereas there is much discussion about Thomas Kuhn’s notion of methodological incommensurability and many have seen his ideas as an attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science, so far no serious analysis of how exactly Kuhn aims to account for rational disagreement has been proposed. This paper provides the first in-depth analysis of Kuhn’s account of rational disagreement in science—an account that can be seen as the most prominent attempt to allow for rational disagreement in science. Three things will (...)
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  47. Du Bois’ democratic defence of the value free ideal.Liam Bright - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2227-2245.
    Philosophers of science debate the proper role of non-epistemic value judgements in scientific reasoning. Many modern authors oppose the value free ideal, claiming that we should not even try to get scientists to eliminate all such non-epistemic value judgements from their reasoning. W. E. B. Du Bois, on the other hand, has a defence of the value free ideal in science that is rooted in a conception of the proper place of science in a democracy. In particular, Du Bois argues (...)
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  48. Weaving Value Judgment into the Tapestry of Science.Matthew J. Brown - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (10).
    I critically analyze Kevin Elliott’s A Tapestry of Values in order to tease out his views on the nature and status of values or value judgments in the text. I show there is a tension in Elliott’s view that is closely connected to a major lacuna in the philosophical literature on values in science: the need for a better theory of values.
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  49. The Fight Against Doubt: How to Bridge the Gap Between Scientists and the Public.Inmaculada de Melo-Martín & Kristen Intemann - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The lack of public support for climate change policies and refusals to vaccinate children are just two alarming illustrations of the impacts of dissent about scientific claims. Dissent can lead to confusion, false beliefs, and widespread public doubt about highly justified scientific evidence. Even more dangerously, it has begun to corrode the very authority of scientific consensus and knowledge. Deployed aggressively and to political ends, some dissent can intimidate scientists, stymie research, and lead both the public and policymakers to oppose (...)
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  50. Systematizing the theoretical virtues.Michael Keas - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2761-2793.
    There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a coordinated and cumulative (...)
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