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James W. McAllister [62]James William McAllister [1]
  1.  63
    Beauty & revolution in science.James William McAllister - 1996 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  2. Beauty and Revolution in Science.James W. Mcallister - 1999 - Philosophical Quarterly 49 (194):125-128.
  3. Phenomena and patterns in data sets.James W. McAllister - 1997 - Erkenntnis 47 (2):217-228.
    Bogen and Woodward claim that the function of scientific theories is to account for 'phenomena', which they describe both as investigator-independent constituents of the world and as corresponding to patterns in data sets. I argue that, if phenomena are considered to correspond to patterns in data, it is inadmissible to regard them as investigator-independent entities. Bogen and Woodward's account of phenomena is thus incoherent. I offer an alternative account, according to which phenomena are investigator-relative entities. All the infinitely many patterns (...)
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  4.  90
    The evidential significance of thought experiment in science.James W. McAllister - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (2):233-250.
  5.  87
    Using History as Evidence in Philosophy of Science: A Methodological Critique.James W. McAllister - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 12 (2):239-258.
  6. Thought experiments and the belief in phenomena.James W. McAllister - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1164-1175.
    Thought experiment acquires evidential significance only on particular metaphysical assumptions. These include the thesis that science aims at uncovering "phenomena"universal and stable modes in which the world is articulatedand the thesis that phenomena are revealed imperfectly in actual occurrences. Only on these Platonically inspired assumptions does it make sense to bypass experience of actual occurrences and perform thought experiments. These assumptions are taken to hold in classical physics and other disciplines, but not in sciences that emphasize variety and contingency, such (...)
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  7. What do patterns in empirical data tell us about the structure of the world?James W. McAllister - 2011 - Synthese 182 (1):73-87.
    This article discusses the relation between features of empirical data and structures in the world. I defend the following claims. Any empirical data set exhibits all possible patterns, each with a certain noise term. The magnitude and other properties of this noise term are irrelevant to the evidential status of a pattern: all patterns exhibited in empirical data constitute evidence of structures in the world. Furthermore, distinct patterns constitute evidence of distinct structures in the world. It follows that the world (...)
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  8. Truth and beauty in scientific reason.James W. Mcallister - 1989 - Synthese 78 (1):25 - 51.
    A rationalist and realist model of scientific revolutions will be constructed by reference to two categories of criteria of theory-evaluation, denominated indicators of truth and of beauty. Whereas indicators of truth are formulateda priori and thus unite science in the pursuit of verisimilitude, aesthetic criteria are inductive constructs which lag behind the progression of theories in truthlikeness. Revolutions occur when the evaluative divergence between the two categories of criteria proves too wide to be recomposed or overlooked. This model of revolutions (...)
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  9. Effective complexity as a measure of information content.James W. McAllister - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (2):302-307.
    Murray Gell-Mann has proposed the concept of effective complexity as a measure of information content. The effective complexity of a string of digits is defined as the algorithmic complexity of the regular component of the string. This paper argues that the effective complexity of a given string is not uniquely determined. The effective complexity of a string admitting a physical interpretation, such as an empirical data set, depends on the cognitive and practical interests of investigators. The effective complexity of a (...)
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  10.  36
    Does Artistic Value Pose a Special Problem for Time Travel Theories?James W. McAllister - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (1):61-69.
    Michael Dummett and Storrs McCall have claimed that time travel scenarios in which an artist copies an artwork from a reproduction of it that has been sent from the future introduce a causal loop of a new kind: one involving artistic value. They have suggested that this poses a hitherto unacknowledged challenge to time travel theories. I argue that their conclusion depends on some unstated essentialist assumptions about metaphysics of art and the status of representations. By relaxing these assumptions, I (...)
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  11.  47
    Algorithmic randomness in empirical data.James W. McAllister - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (3):633-646.
    According to a traditional view, scientific laws and theories constitute algorithmic compressions of empirical data sets collected from observations and measurements. This article defends the thesis that, to the contrary, empirical data sets are algorithmically incompressible. The reason is that individual data points are determined partly by perturbations, or causal factors that cannot be reduced to any pattern. If empirical data sets are incompressible, then they exhibit maximal algorithmic complexity, maximal entropy and zero redundancy. They are therefore maximally efficient carriers (...)
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  12. Scientific realism and the criteria for theory-choice.James W. McAllister - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (2):203 - 222.
    The central terms of certain theories which were valued highly in the past, such as the phlogiston theory, are now believed by realists not to refer. Laudan and others have claimed that, in the light of the existence of such theories, scientific realism is untenable. This paper argues in response that realism is consistent with — and indeed is able to explain — such theories' having been highly valued and yet not being close to the truth. It follows that the (...)
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  13. Model selection and the multiplicity of patterns in empirical data.James W. McAllister - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):884-894.
    Several quantitative techniques for choosing among data models are available. Among these are techniques based on algorithmic information theory, minimum description length theory, and the Akaike information criterion. All these techniques are designed to identify a single model of a data set as being the closest to the truth. I argue, using examples, that many data sets in science show multiple patterns, providing evidence for multiple phenomena. For any such data set, there is more than one data model that must (...)
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  14.  92
    The Ontology of Patterns in Empirical Data.James W. McAllister - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):804-814.
    This article defends the following claims. First, for patterns exhibited in empirical data, there is no criterion on which to demarcate patterns that are physically significant and patterns that are not physically significant. I call a pattern physically significant if it corresponds to a structure in the world. Second, all patterns must be regarded as physically significant. Third, distinct patterns must be regarded as providing evidence for distinct structures in the world. Fourth, in consequence, the world must be conceived as (...)
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  15.  10
    Beauty and Revolution in Science.James W. McAllister - 1996 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
    How reasonable and rational can science be when its practitioners speak of "revolutions" in their thinking and extol certain theories for their "beauty"? James W. McAllister addresses this question with the first systematic study of the aesthetic evaluations that scientists pass on their theories. P. A. M. Dirac explained why he embraced relativity by saying, "It is the essential beauty of the theory which I feel is the real reason for believing in it." Dirac's claim seems to belie rationalist accounts (...)
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  16. Recent work on aesthetics of science.James W. McAllister - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (1):7 – 11.
    This introduction to the special issue on "Aesthetics of Science" reviews recent philosophical research on aesthetic aspects of science. Topics represented in this research include the aesthetic properties of scientific images, theories, and experiments; the relation of science and art; the role of aesthetic criteria in scientific practice and their effect on the development of science; aesthetic aspects of mathematics; the contrast between a classic and a Romantic aesthetic; and the relation between emotion, cognition, and rationality.
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  17.  52
    Methodological dilemmas and emotion in science.James W. McAllister - 2014 - Synthese 191 (13):3143-3158.
    Inconsistencies in science take several forms. Some occur at the level of substantive claims about the world. Others occur at the level of methodology, and take the form of dilemmas, or cases of conflicting epistemic or cognitive values. In this article, I discuss how methodological dilemmas arise. I then consider how scientists resolve them. There are strong grounds for thinking that emotional judgement plays an important role in resolving methodological dilemmas. Lastly, I discuss whether and under what conditions this reliance (...)
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  18.  41
    Algorithmic randomness in empirical data.James W. McAllister - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (3):633-646.
    According to a traditional view, scientific laws and theories constitute algorithmic compressions of empirical data sets collected from observations and measurements. This article defends the thesis that, to the contrary, empirical data sets are algorithmically incompressible. The reason is that individual data points are determined partly by perturbations, or causal factors that cannot be reduced to any pattern. If empirical data sets are incompressible, then they exhibit maximal algorithmic complexity, maximal entropy and zero redundancy. They are therefore maximally efficient carriers (...)
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  19.  39
    The composite species concept: a rigorous basis for cladistic practice.D. J. Kornet & James W. McAllister - 2005 - In Thomas A. C. Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology : A Dutch Perspective. Springer. pp. 95--127.
  20. Universal regularities and initial conditions in Newtonian physics.James W. Mcallister - 1999 - Synthese 120 (3):325-343.
    The Newtonian universe is usually understood to contain two classes of causal factors: universal regularitiesand initial conditions. I demonstrate that,in fact, the Newtonian universe contains no causal factors other thanuniversal regularities: the initial conditions ofany physical system are merely theconsequence of universal regularities acting on previoussystems. It follows that aNewtonian universe lacks the degree of contingency that is usually attributed to it. This is a necessary precondition for maintaining that the Newtonian universe is a block universe that exhibits no temporal (...)
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  21.  26
    Scientists’ Reuse of Old Empirical Data: Epistemological Aspects.James W. McAllister - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):755-766.
    This article investigates epistemological aspects of scientists’ reuse of empirical data over decades and centuries. Giving examples, I discuss three respects in which empirical data are historical entities and the implications for the notion of data reuse. First, any data reuse necessitates metadata, which specify the data’s circumstances of origin. Second, interpretation of historical data often requires the tools of humanities disciplines, which produce a further historicization of data. Finally, some qualitative social scientists hold that data are personal to the (...)
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  22.  96
    Scientists' aesthetic judgements.James W. McAllister - 1991 - British Journal of Aesthetics 31 (4):332-341.
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  23.  16
    Relativism.James W. McAllister - 2017 - In W. H. Newton‐Smith (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 405–407.
    Relativism about a property P is the thesis that any statement of the form “Entity E has P” is ill formed, while statements of the form “E has P relative to S” are well formed, and true for appropriate E and S. Relativism about P therefore entails the claim that P is a relation rather than a one‐place predicate. In the principal forms of relativism, the variable S ranges over cultures, world views, conceptual schemes, practices, disciplines, paradigms, styles, standpoints, or (...)
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  24.  37
    Contours of a european philosophy of science.James W. McAllister - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (1):1 – 3.
  25.  55
    Rhetoric of Effortlessness in Science.James W. McAllister - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (2):145-166.
    Some classic historical vignettes depict scientists achieving breakthroughs without effort: Archimedes grasping the principles of buoyancy while bathing, Galileo Galilei discovering the isochrony of the pendulum while sitting in a cathedral, James Watt noticing the motive power of steam while passing time in a kitchen, Alexander Fleming finding penicillin in Petri dishes that he had omitted to clean before going on holiday. These stories suggest that, to establish important findings in science, hard work is not always necessary. In this article, (...)
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  26.  17
    Empirical tests of scientific realism: A quantitative framework.James W. McAllister - 2023 - Metaphilosophy 54 (4):507-522.
    The scientific realism debate in philosophy of science raises some intriguing methodological issues. Scientific realism posits a link between a scientific theory's observational and referential success. This opens the possibility of testing the thesis empirically, by searching for evidence of such a link in the record of theories put forward in the history of science. Many realist philosophers working today propose case study methodology as a way of carrying out such a test. This article argues that a qualitative method such (...)
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  27.  49
    Absence of contingency in the Newtonian universe.James W. McAllister - 2004 - Foundations of Science 9 (2):191-210.
    I argue that, contrary to thestandard view, the Newtonian universe containsno contingency. I do this by arguing (i) thatno contingency is introduced into the Newtonianuniverse by the initial conditions of physicalsystems in the universe, and (ii) that theclaim that the Newtonian universe as a wholehas contingent properties leads to incoherence.This result suggests that Newtonian physics iseither inconsistent or incomplete, since thelaws of Newtonian physics are too weak todetermine all the properties of the Newtonianuniverse uniquely.
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  28.  13
    Editor's Report, 2013.James W. McAllister - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (3):231-233.
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  29. Theory-assessment in the historiography of science.James W. McAllister - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (3):315-333.
    This paper argues that evaluation of the truth and rationality of past scientific theories is both possible and profitable. The motivation for this enterprise is traced to recent discussions by I. Lakatos, L. Laudan and others on the import of history for the philosophy of science; several objections to it are considered and T. S. Kuhn is found to advance the most substantive. An argument for establishing judgements of rationality and truth in the face of scientific revolutions is presented; finally (...)
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  30.  7
    Common sense and the difference between natural and human sciences.James W. McAllister - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This article proposes a new account of the relation between the sciences and common sense. A debate between Alfred North Whitehead and Arthur S. Eddington highlighted both the tendency of the natural sciences to repudiate commonsense conceptions of the world and the greater closeness of the human sciences to common sense. While analytic writers have mostly regarded these features as self-evident, I offer an explanation of them by appealing to Wilhelm Dilthey and the phenomenological tradition. Dilthey suggested that, whereas the (...)
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  31.  42
    Climate Science Controversies and the Demand for Access to Empirical Data.James W. McAllister - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (5):871-880.
    In this article, I discuss calls for access to empirical data within controversies about climate science, as revealed and highlighted by the publication of the e-mail correspondence involving scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in 2009. I identify several arguments advanced for and against the sharing of scientific data. My conclusions are that, whereas transparency in science is to be valued, appeals to an unproblematic category of ‘empirical data’ in climate science do not reflect (...)
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  32.  10
    Editor’s Report, 2007.James W. McAllister - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (2):115-117.
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  33.  39
    Author’s response.James W. McAllister - 1998 - Metascience 7 (1):112-116.
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  34.  26
    Competition Among Scientific Disciplines in Cold Nuclear Fusion Research.James W. McAllister - 1992 - Science in Context 5 (1):17-49.
    The ArgumentIn the controversy in 1989 over the reported achievement of cold nuclear fusion, parts of the physics and chemistry communities were opposed in both a theoretic and a professional competition. Physicists saw the chemists' announcement as an incursion into territory allocated to their own discipline and strove to restore the interdisciplinary boundaries that had previously held. The events that followed throw light on the manner in which scientists' knowledge claims and metascientific beliefs are affected by their membership of disciplinary (...)
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  35.  26
    Competition Among Scientific Disciplines in Cold Nuclear Fusion Research.James W. McAllister - 1992 - Science in Context 5 (1):17-49.
    The ArgumentIn the controversy in 1989 over the reported achievement of cold nuclear fusion, parts of the physics and chemistry communities were opposed in both a theoretic and a professional competition. Physicists saw the chemists' announcement as an incursion into territory allocated to their own discipline and strove to restore the interdisciplinary boundaries that had previously held. The events that followed throw light on the manner in which scientists' knowledge claims and metascientific beliefs are affected by their membership of disciplinary (...)
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  36.  32
    Corrigendum to: Does Artistic Value Pose a Special Problem for Time Travel Theories?James W. McAllister - 2020 - British Journal of Aesthetics 60 (1):113-113.
    Brit J Aesthetics DOI:_ 10.1093/aesthj/ayz041 _.
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  37. Experimenten en de plaatsen van kennis.James W. McAllister - 2003 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 95:211.
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  38.  15
    Editor's report, 2006.James W. McAllister - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (2):119 – 122.
  39.  14
    Editor's Report, 2011.James W. McAllister - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (3):237-239.
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 26, Issue 3, Page 237-239, September 2012.
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  40.  21
    Editor's Report, 2012.James W. McAllister - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):233-234.
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  41.  26
    Editor’s Report, 2014.James W. McAllister - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (3):229-231.
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  42.  27
    Editor’s Report, 2015.James W. McAllister - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):197-199.
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  43.  22
    Editor’s Report, 2016.James W. McAllister - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):225-227.
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  44.  21
    Editor's Report, 2008.James W. McAllister - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):119-121.
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  45. Editor's Report, 2002.James W. Mcallister - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2).
  46.  47
    Editor's Report, 2005.James W. McAllister, Leonard Angel, Jonathan Bain, Craig Callender, Tian Yu Cao, Lisa Dolling, Gerald D. Doppelt, Antony Eagle, Henry Folse & Mélanie Frappier - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):125-127.
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  47.  19
    Editor’s Report, 2009.James W. McAllister - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):237-239.
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  48.  10
    Editor's Report, 2010.James W. McAllister - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):203 - 204.
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Volume 25, Issue 3, Page 203-204, September 2011.
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  49.  35
    First page preview.James W. McAllister, Lars Bergström, James Robert Brown, Martin Carrier, Nancy Cartwright, Jiwei Ci, David Davies, Catherine Elgin, Márta Fehér & Michel Ghins - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (4).
  50.  8
    Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics. A. Zee.James W. McAllister - 2001 - Isis 92 (1):130-131.
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