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Corey Dethier
Leibniz University Hanover
  1. Science, Assertion, and the Common Ground.Corey Dethier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-19.
    I argue that the appropriateness of an assertion is sensitive to context—or, really, the “common ground”—in a way that hasn’t previously been emphasized by philosophers. This kind of context-sensitivity explains why some scientific conclusions seem to be appropriately asserted even though they are not known, believed, or justified on the available evidence. I then consider other recent attempts to account for this phenomenon and argue that if they are to be successful, they need to recognize the kind of context-sensitivity that (...)
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  2.  48
    How to Do Things with Theory: The Instrumental Role of Auxiliary Hypotheses in Testing.Corey Dethier - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (6):1453-1468.
    Pierre Duhem’s influential argument for holism relies on a view of the role that background theory plays in testing: according to this still common account of “auxiliary hypotheses,” elements of background theory serve as truth-apt premises in arguments for or against a hypothesis. I argue that this view is mistaken. Rather than serving as truth-apt premises in arguments, auxiliary hypotheses are employed as “epistemic tools”: instruments that perform specific tasks in connecting our theoretical questions with the world but that are (...)
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  3.  46
    Accuracy, Probabilism, and the Insufficiency of the Alethic.Corey Dethier - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-17.
    The best and most popular argument for probabilism is the accuracy-dominance argument, which purports to show that alethic considerations alone support the view that an agent's degrees of belief should always obey the axioms of probability. I argue that extant versions of the accuracy-dominance argument face a problem. In order for the mathematics of the argument to function as advertised, we must assume that every omniscient credence function is classically consistent; there can be no worlds in the set of dominance-relevant (...)
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  4.  64
    Forces in a True and Physical Sense: From Mathematical Models to Metaphysical Conclusions.Corey Dethier - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1109-1122.
    Wilson [Dialectica 63:525–554, 2009], Moore [Int Stud Philos Sci 26:359–380, 2012], and Massin [Br J Philos Sci 68:805–846, 2017] identify an overdetermination problem arising from the principle of composition in Newtonian physics. I argue that the principle of composition is a red herring: what’s really at issue are contrasting metaphysical views about how to interpret the science. One of these views—that real forces are to be tied to physical interactions like pushes and pulls—is a superior guide to real forces than (...)
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    Climate Models and the Irrelevance of Chaos.Corey Dethier - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):997-1007.
    Philosophy of science has witnessed substantial recent debate over the existence of a structural analogue of chaos, which is alleged to spell trouble for certain uses of climate models. The debate over the analogy can and should be separated from its alleged epistemic implications: chaos-like behavior is neither necessary nor sufficient for small dynamical misrepresentations to generate erroneous results. The kind of sensitivity that matters in epistemology is one that induces unsafe beliefs, and the existence of a structural analogue to (...)
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    Responses to Holism, but No Arguments Against: Milena Ivanova: Duhem and Holism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021, 70 Pp, £15.00 PB. [REVIEW]Corey Dethier - 2021 - Metascience 31 (1):81-83.
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    The Cooperative Origins of Epistemic Rationality?Corey Dethier - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Recently, both evolutionary anthropologists and some philosophers have argued that cooperative social settings unique to humans play an important role in the development of both our cognitive capacities and what Michael Tomasello terms the “construction” of “normative rationality” or “a normative point of view as a self-regulating mechanism.” In this article, I use evolutionary game theory to evaluate the plausibility of the claim that cooperation fosters epistemic rationality. Employing an extension of signal-receiver games that I term “telephone games,” I show (...)
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  8.  49
    William Whewell’s Semantic Account of Induction.Corey Dethier - 2018 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 8 (1):141-156.
    William Whewell’s account of induction differs dramatically from the one familiar from twentieth-century debates. I argue that Whewell’s induction can be usefully understood by comparing the difference between his views and more standard accounts to contemporary debates between semantic and syntactic views of theories: rather than understanding inductive inference as capturing a relationship between sentences or propositions, Whewell understands it as a method for constructing a model of the world. The difference between this view and the more familiar picture of (...)
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