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David Harker [14]David W. Harker [2]David William Harker [1]
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David Harker
East Tennessee State University
  1.  15
    Creating Scientific Controversies: Uncertainty and Bias in Science and Society.David Harker - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    For decades, cigarette companies helped to promote the impression that there was no scientific consensus concerning the safety of their product. The appearance of controversy, however, was misleading, designed to confuse the public and to protect industry interests. Created scientific controversies emerge when expert communities are in broad agreement but the public perception is one of profound scientific uncertainty and doubt. In the first book-length analysis of the concept of a created scientific controversy, David Harker explores issues including climate change, (...)
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  2. How to Split a Theory: Defending Selective Realism and Convergence Without Proximity.David Harker - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):79-106.
    The most influential arguments for scientific realism remain centrally concerned with an inference from scientific success to the approximate truth of successful theories. Recently, however, and in response to antirealists' objections from radical discontinuity within the history of science, the arguments have been refined. Rather than target entire theories, realists narrow their commitments to only certain parts of theories. Despite an initial plausibility, the selective realist strategy faces significant challenges. In this article, I outline four prerequisites for a successful selective (...)
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  3.  85
    On the Predilections for Predictions.David Harker - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):429-453.
    Scientific theories are developed in response to a certain set of phenomena and subsequently evaluated, at least partially, in terms of the quality of fit between those same theories and appropriately distinctive phenomena. To differentiate between these two stages it is popular to describe the former as involving the accommodation of data and the latter as involving the prediction of data. Predictivism is the view that, ceteris paribus, correctly predicting data confers greater confirmation than successfully accommodating data. In this paper, (...)
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  4. A Surprise for Horwich (and Some Advocates of the Fine-Tuning Argument (Which Does Not Include Horwich (as Far as I Know))).David Harker - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):247-261.
    The judgment that a given event is epistemically improbable is necessary but insufficient for us to conclude that the event is surprising. Paul Horwich has argued that surprising events are, in addition, more probable given alternative background assumptions that are not themselves extremely improbable. I argue that Horwich’s definition fails to capture important features of surprises and offer an alternative definition that accords better with intuition. An important application of Horwich’s analysis has arisen in discussions of fine-tuning arguments. In the (...)
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  5.  46
    P. Kyle Stanford, Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. New York: Oxford University Press , 248 Pp., $45.00. [REVIEW]David Harker - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (2):251-253.
  6.  74
    Accommodation and Prediction: The Case of the Persistent Head.David Harker - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (2):309-321.
    A not unpopular thesis, when it comes to the confirmation of scientific theories, is that data which were used in the construction of a theory afford poorer support for that theory than data that played no role. Some compelling thought experiments have been offered in favour of this view, not as proof but rather to add some intuitive plausibility. In this paper I consider such thought experiments and argue that they do not support the thesis; the perceived importance of prediction (...)
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  7.  35
    How to Split a Theory: Scientific Realism and a Defence of Convergence Without Proximity.David W. Harker - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
  8.  21
    Demarcation and The Created Controversy.David Harker - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (1):247-256.
    The problem of demarcation continues to attract attention, in part because solutions are perceived to have enormous social significance. The civic motivation, however, I argue is in tension with the heterogeneity of the sciences. Philosophers of science would be better employed reflecting on the features, causes, and consequences, of created, scientific controversies. These arise when relevant experts are in broad agreement about what conclusions can sensibly be drawn from available evidence, but the public perceives an expert community deeply divided and (...)
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  9.  37
    Discussion Note: McCain on Weak Predictivism and External World Scepticism.David William Harker - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (1):195-202.
    In a recent paper McCain (2012) argues that weak predictivism creates an important challenge for external world scepticism. McCain regards weak predictivism as uncontroversial and assumes the thesis within his argument. There is a sense in which the predictivist literature supports his conviction that weak predictivism is uncontroversial. This absence of controversy, however, is a product of significant plasticity within the thesis, which renders McCain’s argument worryingly vague. For McCain’s argument to work he either needs a stronger version of weak (...)
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  10. Synopsis and Discussion. Workshop: Underdetermination in Science 21-22 March, 2009. Center for Philosophy of Science.Greg Frost-Arnold, J. Brian Pitts, John Norton, John Manchak, Dana Tulodziecki, P. D. Magnus, David Harker & Kyle Stanford - manuscript
    This document collects discussion and commentary on issues raised in the workshop by its participants. Contributors are: Greg Frost-Arnold, David Harker, P. D. Magnus, John Manchak, John D. Norton, J. Brian Pitts, Kyle Stanford, Dana Tulodziecki.
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  11.  48
    A Likely Explanation: IBE as a Guide to Better Hypotheses.David Harker - 2011 - South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (1):16-28.
    Several friends of inference to best explanation have claimed in recent work that explanatory virtues, such as consilience, simplicity and increased precision, play an important heuristic role in assigning probabilities to available hypotheses and that it is this role that justifies continued efforts to investigate the scope, nature and epistemic value of the inference rule. In this paper I argue that understanding explanatory virtues as a guide to probability assignments creates a critical dilemma for advocates of IBE that has not (...)
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  12.  39
    Inference to the Best Explanation and the Importance of Peculiarly Explanatory Virtues.David Harker - unknown
    Inference to the best explanation has at times appeared almost indistinguishable from a rule that recommends simply that we should infer the hypothesis which is most plausible given available evidence. In this paper I argue that avoiding this collapse requires the identification of peculiarly explanatory virtues and consider Woodward's concept of invariance as an example of such a virtue. An additional benefit of augmenting IBE with Woodward's model of causal explanation is also suggested.
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  13.  55
    Eric Christian Barnes: The Paradox of Predictivism. [REVIEW]David Harker - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):219-223.
  14.  6
    A Succinct Primer to Philosophy of Science: Dean Rickles: What is Philosophy of Science? Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2020, 160pp, £50 HB.David W. Harker - 2021 - Metascience 30 (1):107-109.
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  15.  16
    Review of Eric Barnes' The Paradox of Predictivism. [REVIEW]David Harker - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):219-223.
  16.  6
    Gregory J. Morgan . Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. Xii + 300 Pp., Illus., Bibl., Index. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. $39.95. [REVIEW]David Harker - 2012 - Isis 103 (3):627-628.
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  17.  5
    Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein. [REVIEW]David Harker - 2012 - Isis 103:627-628.