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P. D. Magnus [63]P. Magnus [2]Pseudo-Albertus Magnus [1]Philip Magnus [1]
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P. D. Magnus
State University of New York, Albany
  1. Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  2. Realist Ennui and the Base Rate Fallacy.P. D. Magnus & Craig Callender - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (3):320-338.
    The no-miracles argument and the pessimistic induction are arguably the main considerations for and against scientific realism. Recently these arguments have been accused of embodying a familiar, seductive fallacy. In each case, we are tricked by a base rate fallacy, one much-discussed in the psychological literature. In this paper we consider this accusation and use it as an explanation for why the two most prominent `wholesale' arguments in the literature seem irresolvable. Framed probabilistically, we can see very clearly why realists (...)
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  3. Taxonomy, Ontology, and Natural Kinds.P. Magnus - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1427-1439.
    When we ask what natural kinds are, there are two different things we might have in mind. The first, which I’ll call the taxonomy question, is what distinguishes a category which is a natural kind from an arbitrary class. The second, which I’ll call the ontology question, is what manner of stuff there is that realizes the category. Many philosophers have systematically conflated the two questions. The confusion is exhibited both by essentialists and by philosophers who pose their accounts in (...)
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  4. State of the Field: Why Novel Prediction Matters.Heather Douglas & P. D. Magnus - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):580-589.
    There is considerable disagreement about the epistemic value of novel predictive success, i.e. when a scientist predicts an unexpected phenomenon, experiments are conducted, and the prediction proves to be accurate. We survey the field on this question, noting both fully articulated views such as weak and strong predictivism, and more nascent views, such as pluralist reasons for the instrumental value of prediction. By examining the various reasons offered for the value of prediction across a range of inferential contexts , we (...)
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  5. NK≠HPC.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (256):471-477.
    The Homeostatic Property Cluster (HPC) account of natural kinds has become popular since it was proposed by Richard Boyd in the late 1980s. Although it is often taken as a defining natural kinds as such, it is easy enough to see that something's being a natural kind is neither necessary nor sufficient for its being an HPC. This paper argues that it is better not to understand HPCs as defining what it is to be a natural kind but instead as (...)
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  6. Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.
    Kyle Stanford has recently claimed to offer a new challenge to scientific realism. Taking his inspiration from the familiar Pessimistic Induction (PI), Stanford proposes a New Induction (NI). Contra Anjan Chakravartty’s suggestion that the NI is a ‘red herring’, I argue that it reveals something deep and important about science. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives, which lies at the heart of the NI, yields a richer anti-realism than the PI. It explains why science falls short when it falls short, and (...)
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  7. What Scientists Know Is Not a Function of What Scientists Know.P. D. Magnus - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):840-849.
    There are two senses of ‘what scientists know’: An individual sense (the separate opinions of individual scientists) and a collective sense (the state of the discipline). The latter is what matters for policy and planning, but it is not something that can be directly observed or reported. A function can be defined to map individual judgments onto an aggregate judgment. I argue that such a function cannot effectively capture community opinion, especially in cases that matter to us.
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  8. Art Concept Pluralism.Christy Mag Uidhir & P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):83-97.
    Abstract: There is a long tradition of trying to analyze art either by providing a definition (essentialism) or by tracing its contours as an indefinable, open concept (anti-essentialism). Both art essentialists and art anti-essentialists share an implicit assumption of art concept monism. This article argues that this assumption is a mistake. Species concept pluralism—a well-explored position in philosophy of biology—provides a model for art concept pluralism. The article explores the conditions under which concept pluralism is appropriate, and argues that they (...)
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  9. John Stuart Mill on Taxonomy and Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (2):269-280.
    The accepted narrative treats John Stuart Mill’s Kinds as the historical prototype for our natural kinds, but Mill actually employs two separate notions: Kinds and natural groups. Considering these, along with the accounts of Mill’s nineteenth-century interlocutors, forces us to recognize two distinct questions. First, what marks a natural kind as worthy of inclusion in taxonomy? Second, what exists in the world that makes a category meet that criterion? Mill’s two notions offer separate answers to the two questions: natural groups (...)
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  10. Drakes, Seadevils, and Similarity Fetishism.P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):857-870.
    Homeostatic property clusters (HPCs) are offered as a way of understanding natural kinds, especially biological species. I review the HPC approach and then discuss an objection by Ereshefsky and Matthen, to the effect that an HPC qua cluster seems ill-fitted as a description of a polymorphic species. The standard response by champions of the HPC approach is to say that all members of a polymorphic species have things in common, namely dispositions or conditional properties. I argue that this response fails. (...)
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  11. What’s New About the New Induction?P. D. Magnus - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):295-301.
    The problem of underdetermination is thought to hold important lessons for philosophy of science. Yet, as Kyle Stanford has recently argued, typical treatments of it offer only restatements of familiar philosophical problems. Following suggestions in Duhem and Sklar, Stanford calls for a New Induction from the history of science. It will provide proof, he thinks, of "the kind of underdetermination that the history of science reveals to be a distinctive and genuine threat to even our best scientific theories" . This (...)
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  12. Forall X: Calgary. An Introduction to Formal Logic.P. D. Magnus, Tim Button, Aaron Thomas-Bolduc, Richard Zach & Robert Trueman - 2021 - Open Logic Project.
    forall x: Calgary is a full-featured textbook on formal logic. It covers key notions of logic such as consequence and validity of arguments, the syntax of truth-functional propositional logic TFL and truth-table semantics, the syntax of first-order (predicate) logic FOL with identity (first-order interpretations), translating (formalizing) English in TFL and FOL, and Fitch-style natural deduction proof systems for both TFL and FOL. It also deals with some advanced topics such as truth-functional completeness and modal logic. Exercises with solutions are available. (...)
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  13. Science, Values, and the Priority of Evidence.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Logos and Episteme 9 (4):413-431.
    It is now commonly held that values play a role in scientific judgment, but many arguments for that conclusion are limited. First, many arguments do not show that values are, strictly speaking, indispensable. The role of values could in principle be filled by a random or arbitrary decision. Second, many arguments concern scientific theories and concepts which have obvious practical consequences, thus suggesting or at least leaving open the possibility that abstruse sciences without such a connection could be value-free. Third, (...)
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  14. On Trusting Wikipedia.P. D. Magnus - 2009 - Episteme 6 (1):74-90.
    Given the fact that many people use Wikipedia, we should ask: Can we trust it? The empirical evidence suggests that Wikipedia articles are sometimes quite good but that they vary a great deal. As such, it is wrong to ask for a monolithic verdict on Wikipedia. Interacting with Wikipedia involves assessing where it is likely to be reliable and where not. I identify five strategies that we use to assess claims from other sources and argue that, to a greater of (...)
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  15. Underdetermination and the Claims of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - Dissertation, University of California, San Diego
    The underdetermination of theory by evidence is supposed to be a reason to rethink science. It is not. Many authors claim that underdetermination has momentous consequences for the status of scientific claims, but such claims are hidden in an umbra of obscurity and a penumbra of equivocation. So many various phenomena pass for `underdetermination' that it's tempting to think that it is no unified phenomenon at all, so I begin by providing a framework within which all these worries can be (...)
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  16. Distributed Cognition and the Task of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2007 - Social Studies of Science 37 (2):297--310.
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  17. No Grist for Mill on Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 2 (4).
    According to the standard narrative, natural kind is a technical notion that was introduced by John Stuart Mill in the 1840s and the recent craze for natural kinds, launched by Putnam and Kripke, is a continuation of that tradition. I argue that the standard narrative is mistaken. The Millian tradition of kinds was not particularly influential in the 20th-century, and the Putnam-Kripke revolution did not clearly engage with even the remnants that were left of it. The presently active tradition of (...)
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  18. Judging Covers.Cristyn Magnus, P. D. Magnus & Christy Mag Uidhir - 2013 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 71 (4):361-370.
    Cover versions form a loose but identifiable category of tracks and performances. We distinguish four kinds of covers and argue that they mark important differences in the modes of evaluation that are possible or appropriate for each: mimic covers, which aim merely to echo the canonical track; rendition covers, which change the sound of the canonical track; transformative covers, which diverge so much as to instantiate a distinct, albeit derivative song; and referential covers, which not only instantiate a distinct song, (...)
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  19. Reckoning the Shape of Everything: Underdetermination and Cosmotopology.P. D. Magnus - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (3):541-557.
    This paper offers a general characterization of underdetermination and gives a prima facie case for the underdetermination of the topology of the universe. A survey of several philosophical approaches to the problem fails to resolve the issue: the case involves the possibility of massive reduplication, but Strawson on massive reduplication provides no help here; it is not obvious that any of the rival theories are to be preferred on grounds of simplicity; and the usual talk of empirically equivalent theories misses (...)
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  20. William James on Risk, Efficacy, and Evidentialism.P. D. Magnus - 2022 - Episteme 19 (1):146-158.
    William James’ argument against William Clifford in The Will to Believe is often understood in terms of doxastic efficacy, the power of belief to influence an outcome. Although that is one strand of James’ argument, there is another which is driven by ampliative risk. The second strand of James’ argument, when applied to scientific cases, is tantamount to what is now called the Argument from Inductive Risk. Either strand of James’ argument is sufficient to rebut Clifford's strong evidentialism and show (...)
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  21. Are Digital Images Allographic?Jason D'cruz & P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (4):417-427.
    Nelson Goodman's distinction between autographic and allographic arts is appealing, we suggest, because it promises to resolve several prima facie puzzles. We consider and rebut a recent argument that alleges that digital images explode the autographic/allographic distinction. Regardless, there is another familiar problem with the distinction, especially as Goodman formulates it: it seems to entirely ignore an important sense in which all artworks are historical. We note in reply that some artworks can be considered both as historical products and as (...)
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  22. The Identical Rivals Response to Underdetermination.Greg Frost-Arnold & P. D. Magnus - 2009 - In P. D. Magnus Jacob Busch (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    The underdetermination of theory by data obtains when, inescapably, evidence is insufficient to allow scientists to decide responsibly between rival theories. One response to would-be underdetermination is to deny that the rival theories are distinct theories at all, insisting instead that they are just different formulations of the same underlying theory; we call this the identical rivals response. An argument adapted from John Norton suggests that the response is presumptively always appropriate, while another from Larry Laudan and Jarrett Leplin suggests (...)
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  23. Science and Rationality for One and All.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Ergo 1 (5):129-138.
    It seems obvious that a community of one thousand scientists working together to make discoveries and solve puzzles should arrange itself differently than would one thousand scientist-hermits working independently. Because of limited time, resources, and attention, an independent scientist can explore only some of the possible approaches to a problem. Working alone, each hermit would explore the most promising approaches. They would needlessly duplicate the work of others and would be unlikely to develop approaches which look unpromising but really have (...)
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  24. Williamson on Knowledge and Psychological Explanation.P. D. Magnus & Jonathan Cohen - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 116 (1):37-52.
    According to many philosophers, psychological explanation canlegitimately be given in terms of belief and desire, but not in termsof knowledge. To explain why someone does what they do (so the common wisdom holds) you can appeal to what they think or what they want, but not what they know. Timothy Williamson has recently argued against this view. Knowledge, Williamson insists, plays an essential role in ordinary psychological explanation.Williamson's argument works on two fronts.First, he argues against the claim that, unlike knowledge, (...)
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  25. Success, Truth and the Galilean Strategy.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (3):465-474.
    Philip Kitcher develops the Galilean Strategy to defend realism against its many opponents. I explore the structure of the Galilean Strategy and consider it specifically as an instrument against constructive empiricism. Kitcher claims that the Galilean Strategy underwrites an inference from success to truth. We should resist that conclusion, I argue, but the Galilean Strategy should lead us by other routes to believe in many things about which the empiricist would rather remain agnostic. 1 Target: empiricism 2 The Galilean Strategy (...)
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  26. Underdetermination and the Problem of Identical Rivals.P. D. Magnus - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1256-1264.
    If two theory formulations are merely different expressions of the same theory, then any problem of choosing between them cannot be due to the underdetermination of theories by data. So one might suspect that we need to be able to tell distinct theories from mere alternate formulations before we can say anything substantive about underdetermination, that we need to solve the problem of identical rivals before addressing the problem of underdetermination. Here I consider two possible solutions: Quine proposes that we (...)
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  27.  30
    Appreciating Covers.Cristyn Magnus, P. D. Magnus, Christy Mag Uidhir & Ron Mcclamrock - 2022 - Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 31 (63).
    A recording or performance of a song is a cover if there is an earlier, canonical recording of the song. It can seem intuitive to think that properly appreciating a cover requires considering it in relation to the original, or at least that doing so will yield a deeper appreciation. This intuition is supported by some philosophical accounts of covers. And it is complicated by the possibility of hearing in, whereby one hears elements of the original version in the cover. (...)
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  28.  70
    Historical Individuals Like Anas Platyrhynchos and 'Classical Gas'.P. D. Magnus - 2013 - In Christy Mag Uidhir (ed.), Art and Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press. pp. 108.
    In this paper, I explore and defend the idea that musical works are historical individuals. Guy Rohrbaugh (2003) proposes this for works of art in general. Julian Dodd (2007) objects that the whole idea is outré metaphysics, that it is too far beyond the pale to be taken seriously. Their disagreement could be seen as a skirmish in the broader war between revisionists and reactionaries, a conflict about which of metaphysics and art should trump the other when there is a (...)
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  29.  35
    Art Concept Pluralism Undermines the Definitional Project.P. D. Magnus & Christy Mag Uidhir - 2022 - British Journal of Aesthetics 62 (1):81-84.
    This discussion note addresses Caleb Hazelwood’s ‘Practice-Centered Pluralism and a Disjunctive Theory of Art’. Hazelwood advances a disjunctive definition of art on the basis of an analogy with species concept pluralism in the philosophy of biology. We recognize the analogy between species and art, we applaud attention to practice, and we are bullish on pluralism—but it is a mistake to take these as the basis for a disjunctive definition.
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  30.  6
    New Waves in Philosophy of Science.P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.) - 2009 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Introduction 1 P. D. Magnus and Jacob Busch 1. Form-driven vs. Content-driven Arguments for Realism 8 Juha Saatsi 2. Optimism about the Pessimistic Induction 29 Sherrilyn Roush 3. Metaphysics between the Sciences and Philosophies of Science 59 Anjan Chakravartty 4. Nominalism and Inductive Generalizations 78 Jessica Pfeifer 5. Models and Scientific Representations 94 Otávio Bueno 6. The Identical Rivals Response to Underdetermination 112 Gregory Frost-Arnold and P. D. Magnus 7. Scientific Representation and the Semiotics of Pictures 131 Laura Perini 8. (...)
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  31. Peirce: Underdetermination, Agnosticism, and Related Mistakes.P. D. Magnus - 2005 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 48 (1):26 – 37.
    There are two ways that we might respond to the underdetermination of theory by data. One response, which we can call the agnostic response, is to suspend judgment: "Where scientific standards cannot guide us, we should believe nothing". Another response, which we can call the fideist response, is to believe whatever we would like to believe: "If science cannot speak to the question, then we may believe anything without science ever contradicting us". C.S. Peirce recognized these options and suggested evading (...)
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  32. Kind of Borrowed, Kind of Blue.P. D. Magnus - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (2):179-185.
    In late 2014, the jazz combo Mostly Other People Do the Killing released Blue—an album that is a note-for-note remake of Miles Davis's 1959 landmark album Kind of Blue. This is a thought experiment made concrete, raising metaphysical puzzles familiar from discussion of indiscernible counterparts. It is an actual album, rather than merely a concept, and so poses the aesthetic puzzle of why one would ever actually listen to it.
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  33.  97
    Reid's Dilemma and the Uses of Pragmatism.P. D. Magnus - 2004 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 2 (1):69-72.
    Peter Baumann offers the tantalizing suggestion that Thomas Reid is almost, but not quite, a pragmatist. He motivates this claim by posing a dilemma for common sense philosophy: Will it be dogmatism or scepticism? Baumann claims that Reid points to but does not embrace a pragmatist third way between these unsavory options. If we understand `pragmatism' differently than Baumann does, however, we need not be so equivocal in attributing it to Reid. Reid makes what we could call an argument from (...)
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  34. Demonstrative Induction and the Skeleton of Inference.P. D. Magnus - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):303-315.
    It has been common wisdom for centuries that scientific inference cannot be deductive; if it is inference at all, it must be a distinctive kind of inductive inference. According to demonstrative theories of induction, however, important scientific inferences are not inductive in the sense of requiring ampliative inference rules at all. Rather, they are deductive inferences with sufficiently strong premises. General considerations about inferences suffice to show that there is no difference in justification between an inference construed demonstratively or ampliatively. (...)
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  35.  44
    The Scope of Inductive Risk.P. D. Magnus - 2022 - Wiley: Metaphilosophy 53 (1):17-24.
    The Argument from Inductive Risk (AIR) is taken to show that values are inevitably involved in making judgements or forming beliefs. After reviewing this conclusion, I pose cases which are prima facie counterexamples: the unreflective application of conventions, use of black-boxed instruments, reliance on opaque algorithms, and unskilled observation reports. These cases are counterexamples to the AIR posed in ethical terms as a matter of personal values. Nevertheless, it need not be understood in those terms. The values which load a (...)
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  36. Background Theories and Total Science.P. D. Magnus - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1064-1075.
    Background theories in science are used both to prove and to disprove that theory choice is underdetermined by data. The alleged proof appeals to the fact that experiments to decide between theories typically require auxiliary assumptions from other theories. If this generates a kind of underdetermination, it shows that standards of scientific inference are fallible and must be appropriately contextualized. The alleged disproof appeals to the possibility of suitable background theories to show that no theory choice can be timelessly or (...)
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  37. Reid's Defense of Common Sense.P. D. Magnus - 2008 - Philosophers' Imprint 8:1-14.
    Thomas Reid is often misread as defending common sense, if at all, only by relying on illicit premises about God or our natural faculties. On these theological or reliabilist misreadings, Reid makes common sense assertions where he cannot give arguments. This paper attempts to untangle Reid's defense of common sense by distinguishing four arguments: (a) the argument from madness, (b) the argument from natural faculties, (c) the argument from impotence, and (d) the argument from practical commitment. Of these, (a) and (...)
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  38.  93
    Mag Uidhir on Performance.P. D. Magnus - 2008 - British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (3):338-345.
    Christy Mag Uidhir has recently argued (a) that there is no in principle aesthetic difference between a live performance and a recording of that performance, and (b) that the proper aesthetic object is a type which is instantiated by the performance and potentially repeatable when recordings are played back. This paper considers several objections to (a) and finds them lacking. I then consider improvised music, a subject that Mag Uidhir explicitly brackets in his discussion. Improvisation reveals problems with (b), because (...)
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  39. Friends with Benefits! Distributed Cognition Hooks Up Cognitive and Social Conceptions of Science.P. D. Magnus & Ron McClamrock - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1114-1127.
    One approach to science treats science as a cognitive accomplishment of individuals and defines a scientific community as an aggregate of individual inquirers. Another treats science as a fundamentally collective endeavor and defines a scientist as a member of a scientific community. Distributed cognition has been offered as a framework that could be used to reconcile these two approaches. Adam Toon has recently asked if the cognitive and the social can be friends at last. He answers that they probably cannot, (...)
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  40.  74
    Preserving the Autographic/Allographic Distinction.Jason D'cruz & P. D. Magnus - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (4):453-457.
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  41.  97
    What SPECIES Can Teach Us About THEORY.P. D. Magnus - manuscript
    This paper argues against the common, often implicit view that theories are some specific kind of thing. Instead, I argue for theory concept pluralism: There are multiple distinct theory concepts which we legitimately use in different domains and for different purposes, and we should not expect this to change. The argument goes by analogy with species concept pluralism, a familiar position in philosophy of biology. I conclude by considering some consequences for philosophy of science if theory concept pluralism is correct.
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  42. Reality, Sex, and Cyberspace.P. D. Magnus - 2000 - In MacHack conference proceedings.
    Typical discussions of virtual reality (VR) fixate on technology for providing sensory stimulation of a certain kind. They thus fail to understand reality as the place wherein we live and work, misunderstanding it instead as merely a sort of presentation. The first half of the paper examines popular conceptions of VR. The most common conception is a shallow one according to which VR is a matter of simulating appearances. Yet there is, even in popular depictions, a second, more subtle conception (...)
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  43. What Kind of Is-Ought Gap is There and What Kind Ought There Be?P. D. Magnus & Jon Mandle - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (4):373-393.
    Some philosophers think that there is a gap between is and ought which necessarily makes normative enquiry a different kind of thing than empirical science. This position gains support from our ability to explicate our inferential practices in a way that makes it impermissible to move from descriptive premises to a normative conclusion. But we can also explicate them in a way that allows such moves. So there is no categorical answer as to whether there is or is not a (...)
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  44. The Price of Insisting That Quantum Mechanics is Complete.P. D. Magnus - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):257-267.
    The Bare Theory was offered by David Albert as a way of standing by the completeness of quantum mechanics in the face of the measurement problem. This paper surveys objections to the Bare Theory that recur in the literature: what will here be called the oddity objection, the coherence objection, and the context-of-the-universe objection. Critics usually take the Bare Theory to have unacceptably bizarre consequences, but to be free from internal contradiction. Bizarre consequences need not be decisive against the Bare (...)
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  45. Evidential Nihilism.P. D. Magnus - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):674-683.
    A considerable literature has grown up around the claim of Uniqueness, according to which evidence rationally determines belief. It is opposed to Permissivism, according to which evidence underdetermines belief. This paper highlights an overlooked third possibility, according to which there is no rational doxastic attitude. I call this 'Nihilism'. I argue that adherents of the other two positions ought to reject it but that it might, nevertheless, obtain at least sometimes.
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  46. Epistemology and the Wikipedia.P. D. Magnus - 2006 - North American Computing and Philosophy Conference.
    Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia that is written and edited entirely by visitors to its website. I argue that we are misled when we think of it in the same epistemic category with traditional general encyclopedias. An empirical assessment of its reliability reveals that it varies widely from topic to topic. So any particular claim found in it cannot be relied on based on its source. I survey some methods that we use in assessing specific claims and argue that the (...)
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  47.  45
    Philosophy of Science in the Twenty‐First Century.P. D. Magnus - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):48-52.
    Philosophy of science in the past half century can be seen as a reaction against logical empiricism's focus on modern logic as the format in which debates should be expressed and on physics as the canonical science. These reactions have resulted in a fragmentation of the field. Although this provides ways forward for disparate philosophies of various sciences, it threatens the very possibility of general philosophy of science. The debate that most obviously continues to be conducted at the general level—the (...)
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  48. That Some of Sol Lewitt's Later Wall Drawings Aren't Wall Drawings.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Contemporary Aesthetics 16 (1).
    Sol LeWitt is probably most famous for wall drawings. They are an extension of work he had done in sculpture and on paper, in which a simple rule specifies permutations and variations of elements. With wall drawings, the rule is given for marks to be made on a wall. We should distinguish these algorithmic works from impossible-to-implement instruction works and works realized by following preparatory sketches. Taking the core feature of a wall drawing to be that it is algorithmic, some (...)
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  49. Cautious Realism and Middle Range Ontology.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):365-370.
    Part of a book symposium on Anjan Chakravartty's Scientific ontology: integrating naturalized metaphysics and voluntarist epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2017).
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    How to Be a Realist About Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Disputatio 7 (8).
    Although some authors hold that natural kinds are necessarily relative to disciplinary domains, many authors presume that natural kinds must be absolute, categorical features of the reality —often assuming that without even mentioning the alternative. Recognizing both possibilities, one may ask whether the difference especially matters. I argue that it does. Looking at recent arguments about natural kind realism, I argue that we can best make sense of the realism question by thinking of natural kindness as a relation that holds (...)
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