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Conventionalism and Modern Physics: A Re-Assessment

In Emily Carson & Renate Huber (eds.), Noûs. Springer. pp. 181--211 (2002)

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  1. A Logical Approach to Philosophy: Essays in Memory of Graham Solomon.David DeVidi & Tim Kenyon (eds.) - 2006 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    Graham Solomon, to whom this collection is dedicated, went into hospital for antibiotic treatment of pneumonia in Oc- ber, 2001. Three days later, on Nov. 1, he died of a massive stroke, at the age of 44. Solomon was well liked by those who got the chance to know him—it was a revelation to?nd out, when helping to sort out his a?airs after his death, how many “friends” he had whom he had actually never met, as his email included correspondence (...)
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  • Convention.Michael Rescorla - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The central philosophical task posed by conventions is to analyze what they are and how they differ from mere regularities of action and cognition. Subsidiary questions include: How do conventions arise? How are they sustained? How do we select between alternative conventions? Why should one conform to convention? What social good, if any, do conventions serve? How does convention relate to such notions as rule, norm, custom, practice, institution, and social contract? Apart from its intrinsic interest, convention is important because (...)
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  • The Rise of Empiricism: William James, Thomas Hill Green, and the Struggle Over Psychology.Alexander Klein - 2007 - Dissertation, Indiana University, Bloomington
    The concept of empiricism evokes both a historical tradition and a set of philosophical theses. The theses are usually understood to have been developed by Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. But these figures did not use the term “empiricism,” and they did not see themselves as united by a shared epistemology into one school of thought. My dissertation analyzes the debate that elevated the concept of empiricism (and of an empiricist tradition) to prominence in English-language philosophy. -/- In the 1870s and (...)
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  • Kantian and Neo-Kantian First Principles for Physical and Metaphysical Cognition.Michael E. Cuffaro - manuscript
    I argue that Immanuel Kant's critical philosophy—in particular the doctrine of transcendental idealism which grounds it—is best understood as an `epistemic' or `metaphilosophical' doctrine. As such it aims to show how one may engage in the natural sciences and in metaphysics under the restriction that certain conditions are imposed on our cognition of objects. Underlying Kant's doctrine, however, is an ontological posit, of a sort, regarding the fundamental nature of our cognition. This posit, sometimes called the `discursivity thesis', while considered (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Spacetime.Neil Dewar, Niels Linnemann & James Read - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (4).
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 17, Issue 4, April 2022.
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  • Talking at Cross-Purposes: How Einstein and the Logical Empiricists Never Agreed on What They Were Disagreeing About.Marco Giovanelli - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3819-3863.
    By inserting the dialogue between Einstein, Schlick and Reichenbach into a wider network of debates about the epistemology of geometry, this paper shows that not only did Einstein and Logical Empiricists come to disagree about the role, principled or provisional, played by rods and clocks in General Relativity, but also that in their lifelong interchange, they never clearly identified the problem they were discussing. Einstein’s reflections on geometry can be understood only in the context of his ”measuring rod objection” against (...)
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  • Friedman׳s Thesis.Ryan Samaroo - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):129-138.
    This essay examines Friedman's recent approach to the analysis of physical theories. Friedman argues against Quine that the identification of certain principles as ‘constitutive’ is essential to a satisfactory methodological analysis of physics. I explicate Friedman's characterization of a constitutive principle, and I evaluate his account of the constitutive principles that Newtonian and Einsteinian gravitation presuppose for their formulation. I argue that something close to Friedman's thesis is defensible.
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  • Conventionalism, Structuralism and Neo-Kantianism in Poincaré’s Philosophy of Science.Milena Ivanova - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):114-122.
    Poincaré is well known for his conventionalism and structuralism. However, the relationship between these two theses and their place in Poincaré׳s epistemology of science remain puzzling. In this paper I show the scope of Poincaré׳s conventionalism and its position in Poincaré׳s hierarchical approach to scientific theories. I argue that for Poincaré scientific knowledge is relational and made possible by synthetic a priori, empirical and conventional elements, which, however, are not chosen arbitrarily. By examining his geometric conventionalism, his hierarchical account of (...)
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  • Theory (In-)Equivalence and Conventionalism in F(R) Gravity.Patrick M. Duerr - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:10-29.
  • On the Rational Reconstruction of Our Theoretical Knowledge.William Demopoulos - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):371-403.
    This paper concerns the rational reconstruction of physical theories initially advanced by F. P. Ramsey and later elaborated by Rudolf Carnap. The Carnap–Ramsey reconstruction of theoretical knowledge is a natural development of classical empiricist ideas, one that is informed by Russell's philosophical logic and his theories of propositional understanding and knowledge of matter ; as such, it is not merely a schematic representation of the notion of an empirical theory, but the backbone of a general account of our knowledge of (...)
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  • Some Disputed Aspects of Inertia, with Particular Reference to the Equivalence Principle.Ryan S. Samaroo - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario
    This thesis is a contribution to the foundations of space-time theories. It examines the proper understanding of the Newtonian and 1905 inertial frame concepts and the critical analysis of these concepts that was motivated by the equivalence principle. This is the hypothesis that it is impossible to distinguish locally between a homogeneous gravitational field and a uniformly accelerated frame. The three essays that comprise this thesis address, in one way or another, the criteria through which the inertial frame concepts are (...)
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  • De-Synthesizing the Relative a Priori.Thomas Uebel - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):7-17.
    This paper considers the question whether the notion of the relative apriori, central to Michael Friedman’s transcendentalist programme for philosophy of science, is available also to philosophers who reject appeals to a synthetic a priori. After tracing the rediscovery of the relative a priori and delineating its potential, the question is considered whether Friedman’s arguments against Quinean naturalism and Carnap’s attenuated logicism tell against a conception of philosophy as scientific metatheory that combines logical and empirical inquiries. Finding an opening here (...)
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  • String Dualities and Empirical Equivalence.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 59:21-29.
    String dualities establish empirical equivalence between theories that often look entirely different with respect to their basic ontology and physical structure. Therefore, they represent a particularly interesting example of empirical equivalence in physics. However, the status of duality relations in string physics differs substantially from the traditional understanding of the role played by empirical equivalence. The paper specifies three important differences and argues that they are related to a substantially altered view on the underdetermination of theory building.
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  • Information Causality, the Tsirelson Bound, and the ‘Being-Thus’ of Things.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:266-277.
    The principle of 'information causality' can be used to derive an upper bound---known as the 'Tsirelson bound'---on the strength of quantum mechanical correlations, and has been conjectured to be a foundational principle of nature. In this paper, however, I argue that the principle has not to date been sufficiently motivated to play this role; the motivations that have so far been given are either unsatisfactorily vague or else amount to little more than an appeal to intuition. I then consider how (...)
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  • Incommensurability, Relativism, and the Epistemic Authority of Science.Steven Bland - 2014 - Episteme 11 (4):463-473.
  • Measurement, Coordination, and the Relativized a Priori.Flavia Padovani - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
  • Measurement, Coordination, and the Relativized a Priori.Flavia Padovani - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):123-128.
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