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  1. The Anti-Metaphysical Argument Against Scientific Realism: A Minimally Metaphysical Response.Raphaël Künstler - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (4):577-595.
    The anti-metaphysical argument against scientific realism is the following: Knowledge of unobservable entities implies metaphysical knowledge; There is no metaphysical knowledge. Therefore, there is no knowledge of unobservable entities. This argument has strangely received little attention in the profuse literature on scientific realism. This paper claims that the AMA is logically more fundamental than both the pessimistic meta-induction and the underdetermination argument. The second and main claim of this paper is that the instrumentalists’ use of AMA is incoherent. The gist (...)
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  • Historical Case Studies: The “Model Organisms” of Philosophy of Science.Samuel Schindler & Raphael Scholl - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Philosophers use historical case studies to support wide-ranging claims about science. This practice is often criticized as problematic. In this paper we suggest that the function of case studies can be understood and justified by analogy to a well-established practice in biology: the investigation of model organisms. We argue that inferences based on case studies are no more problematic than inferences from model organisms to larger classes of organisms in biology. We demonstrate our view in detail by reference to a (...)
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  • Logical Predictivism.Ben Martin & Ole Hjortland - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (2):285-318.
    Motivated by weaknesses with traditional accounts of logical epistemology, considerable attention has been paid recently to the view, known as anti-exceptionalism about logic, that the subject matter and epistemology of logic may not be so different from that of the recognised sciences. One of the most prevalent claims made by advocates of AEL is that theory choice within logic is significantly similar to that within the sciences. This connection with scientific methodology highlights a considerable challenge for the anti-exceptionalist, as two (...)
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  • Optimism for Naturalized Social Metaphysics: A Reply to Hawley.Daniel Saunders - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):138-160.
    Metaphysics has undergone two major innovations in recent decades. First, naturalistic metaphysicians have argued that our best science provides an important source of evidence for metaphysical theories. Second, social metaphysicians have begun to explore the nature of social entities such as groups, institutions, and social categories. Surprisingly, these projects have largely kept their distance from one another. Katherine Hawley has recently argued that, unlike the natural sciences, the social sciences are not sufficiently successful to provide evidence about the metaphysical nature (...)
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  • Feynman Diagrams: From Complexity to Simplicity and Back.Robert Harlander - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):15087-15111.
    The way from the path integral to Feynman diagrams is sketched. The emphasis is put on the decrease of complexity in this process, from infinite-dimensional integrals down to the apparent simplicity of child’s play. On the other hand, also the subsequent increase in complexity when using Feynman diagrams to make realistic physical predictions is described, thus illustrating the dialectic between the simplicity and clarity of Feynman diagrams, and the complexity in their practical applications.
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  • Physicalism and the Burden of Parsimony.Giacomo Zanotti - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11109-11132.
    Parsimony considerations are ubiquitous in the literature concerning the nature of mental states. Other things being equal, physicalist views are preferred over dualist accounts on the grounds of the fact that they do not posit new fundamental properties in addition to the physical ones. This paper calls into question the widespread assumption that parsimony can provide reasons for believing that physicalism is a better candidate than dualism for solving the mind–body problem. After presenting the theoretical core of physicalism and dualism, (...)
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  • 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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  • The Aesthetics of Science: Beauty, Imagination and Understanding.Milena Ivanova & Steven French (eds.) - 2020 - Routledge.
    This volume builds on two recent developments in philosophy on the relationship between art and science: the notion of representation and the role of values in theory choice and the development of scientific theories. Its aim is to address questions regarding scientific creativity and imagination, the status of scientific performances--such as thought experiments and visual aids--and the role of aesthetic considerations in the context of discovery and justification of scientific theories. Several contributions focus on the concept of beauty as employed (...)
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  • Set-Theoretic Justification and the Theoretical Virtues.John Heron - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1245-1267.
    Recent discussions of how axioms are extrinsically justified have appealed to abductive considerations: on such accounts, axioms are adopted on the basis that they constitute the best explanation of some mathematical data, or phenomena. In the first part of this paper, I set out a potential problem caused by the appeal made to the notion of mathematical explanation and suggest that it can be remedied once it is noted that all the justificatory work is done by appeal to the theoretical (...)
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  • Finely Tuned Models Sacrifice Explanatory Depth.Feraz Azhar & Abraham Loeb - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (5):1-36.
    It is commonly argued that an undesirable feature of a theoretical or phenomenological model is that salient observables are sensitive to values of parameters in the model. But in what sense is it undesirable to have such ‘fine-tuning’ of observables? In this paper, we argue that the fine-tuning can be interpreted as a shortcoming of the explanatory capacity of the model: in particular it signals a lack of a particular type of explanatory depth. The aspect of depth that we probe (...)
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  • Simplicity of What? A Case Study From Generative Linguistics.Giulia Terzian & María Inés Corbalán - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9427-9452.
    The Minimalist Program in generative linguistics is predicated on the idea that simplicity is a defining property of the human language faculty, on the one hand; on the other, a central aim of linguistic theorising. Worryingly, however, justifications for either claim are hard to come by in the literature. We sketch a proposal that would allow for both shortcomings to be addressed, and that furthermore honours the program’s declared commitment to naturalism. We begin by teasing apart and clarifying the different (...)
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  • Metaphysical Foundationalism and Theoretical Unification.Andrew Brenner - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Some facts ground other facts. Some fact is fundamental iff there are no other facts which partially or fully ground that fact. According to metaphysical foundationalism, every non-fundamental fact is fully grounded by some fundamental fact. In this paper I examine and defend some neglected considerations which might be made in favor of metaphysical foundationalism. Building off of work by Ross Cameron, I suggest that foundationalist theories are more unified than, and so in one important respect simpler than, non-foundationalist theories, (...)
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  • Explanatory Consolidation: From ‘Best’ to ‘Good Enough’.Finnur Dellsén - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):157-177.
    In science and everyday life, we often infer that something is true because it would explain some set of facts better than any other hypothesis we can think of. But what if we have reason to believe that there is a better way to explain these facts that we just haven't thought of? Wouldn't that undermine our warrant for believing the best available explanation? Many philosophers have assumed that we can solve such underconsideration problems by stipulating that a hypothesis should (...)
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  • Abduction − the Context of Discovery + Underdetermination = Inference to the Best Explanation.Mousa Mohammadian - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4205-4228.
    The relationship between Peircean abduction and the modern notion of Inference to the Best Explanation is a matter of dispute. Some philosophers, such as Harman :88–95, 1965) and Lipton, claim that abduction and IBE are virtually the same. Others, however, hold that they are quite different :503, 1998; Minnameier in Erkenntnis 60:75–105, 2004) and there is no link between them :419–442, 2009). In this paper, I argue that neither of these views is correct. I show that abduction and IBE have (...)
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  • Imagination in Scientific Practice.Steven French - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
    What is the role of the imagination in scientific practice? Here I focus on the nature and role of invitations to imagine in certain scientific texts as represented by the example of Einstein’s Special Relativity paper from 1905. Drawing on related discussions in aesthetics, I argue, on the one hand, that this role cannot be simply subsumed under ‘supposition’ but that, on the other, concerns about the impact of genre and symbolism can be dealt with, and hence present no obstacle (...)
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  • (Mis)Understanding Scientific Disagreement: Success Versus Pursuit-Worthiness in Theory Choice.Eli I. Lichtenstein - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:166-175.
    Scientists often diverge widely when choosing between research programs. This can seem to be rooted in disagreements about which of several theories, competing to address shared questions or phenomena, is currently the most epistemically or explanatorily valuable—i.e. most successful. But many such cases are actually more directly rooted in differing judgments of pursuit-worthiness, concerning which theory will be best down the line, or which addresses the most significant data or questions. Using case studies from 16th-century astronomy and 20th-century geology and (...)
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  • Prediction and Topological Models in Neuroscience.Bryce Gessell, Matthew Stanley, Benjamin Geib & Felipe De Brigard - forthcoming - In Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola (eds.), Neural Mechanisms: New challenges in the philosophy of neuroscience. Springer.
    In the last two decades, philosophy of neuroscience has predominantly focused on explanation. Indeed, it has been argued that mechanistic models are the standards of explanatory success in neuroscience over, among other things, topological models. However, explanatory power is only one virtue of a scientific model. Another is its predictive power. Unfortunately, the notion of prediction has received comparatively little attention in the philosophy of neuroscience, in part because predictions seem disconnected from interventions. In contrast, we argue that topological predictions (...)
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  • The Rawlsian Mirror of Justice.Jessica Flanigan - forthcoming - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
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