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Philosophy of Science

2014

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Articles 1 - 30 of 56

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

In Search Of Justification For The Unpredictability Paradox, Jeremy Howick, Alexander Mebius Dec 2014

In Search Of Justification For The Unpredictability Paradox, Jeremy Howick, Alexander Mebius

Alexander Mebius

A 2011 Cochrane Review found that adequately randomized trials sometimes revealed larger, sometimes smaller, and often similar effect sizes to inadequately randomized trials. However, they found no average statistically significant difference in effect sizes between the two study types. Yet instead of concluding that adequate randomization had no effect the review authors postulated the “unpredictability paradox”, which states that randomized and non-randomized studies differ, but in an unpredictable direction. However, stipulating the unpredictability paradox is problematic for several reasons: 1) it makes the authors’ conclusion that adequate randomization makes a difference unfalsifiable—if it turned out that adequately randomized trials ...


Argument Map: Loewi's Argument That Neuro-Transmission Works With Chemical Signals Instead Of Eletrical (Short Version), Michael Hoffmann Dec 2014

Argument Map: Loewi's Argument That Neuro-Transmission Works With Chemical Signals Instead Of Eletrical (Short Version), Michael Hoffmann

Michael H.G. Hoffmann

This argument shows how the hypothesis that muscles are probably stimulated exclusively by chemical signals and not by electrical ones can be justified by Loewi's experimentum crucis.


Hypothesis Generation And Testing: A Template For Biomedical Research, Michael Hoffmann Dec 2014

Hypothesis Generation And Testing: A Template For Biomedical Research, Michael Hoffmann

Michael H.G. Hoffmann

This argument map provides a template for the testing of hypotheses in biomedical research. It can be used in science education to direct students' attention to all components that need to be clarified to justify a scientific hypothesis in a specific experimental setting, including the justification of appropriate sample sizes in experiments, determination of background theories, description of experimental design, data collection methods, significance level, etc. To use this template, go to http://agora.gatech.edu/, search for argument map 3363, and copy the map.


Epistemological Realism And Onto-Relations, Max Lewis Edward Andrews Dec 2014

Epistemological Realism And Onto-Relations, Max Lewis Edward Andrews

Eleutheria

The traditional concept of knowledge is a justified true belief. The bulk of contemporary epistemology has focused primarily on that task of justification. Truth seems to be a quite obvious criterion—does the belief in question correspond to reality? My contention is that the aspect of ontology is far too separated from epistemology. This onto-relationship of between reality and beliefs require the epistemic method of epistemological realism. This is not to diminish the task of justification. I will then discuss the role of inference from the onto-relationships of free invention and discovery and whether it is best suited for a ...


The Ubiquity Of Hermeneutics, Babette Babich Dec 2014

The Ubiquity Of Hermeneutics, Babette Babich

Articles and Chapters in Academic Book Collections

To understand Nietzsche in the context of hermeneutics is to understand not only Nietzsche’s philosophy of interpretation (Figl 1982a, 1984) but his perspective on perspective (Cox 1997) or “perspectivalism” (Babich 1994: 116f). In turn, given his background familiarity with hermeneutic methodology, this also corresponds to Nietzsche’s own approach as an interpreter of texts and antiquity as of the life, the culture, the history of ancient Greece (see the range of contributions to Jensen and Heit 2014 as well as Ugolini 2003; Figl 1984; and Pöschl 1979). And to do this, just to the extent that Nietzsche specifically reflects ...


Argument Map: Devoloping Scientific Hypotheses And Experimental Designs In Form Of An Argumentation. Loewi's Crucial Experiment On Chemical Neurotransmission, Michael Hoffmann Nov 2014

Argument Map: Devoloping Scientific Hypotheses And Experimental Designs In Form Of An Argumentation. Loewi's Crucial Experiment On Chemical Neurotransmission, Michael Hoffmann

Michael H.G. Hoffmann

This argument map presents Paul Loewi’s crucial experiment in which he showed that neural transmissions of signals are chemical in nature, not electrical, in form of an argumentation. The map can be used in science education to show how the formulation of hypotheses should be related to a corresponding determination of experimental designs.


Science And Rationality For One And All, P.D. Magnus Nov 2014

Science And Rationality For One And All, P.D. Magnus

Philosophy Faculty Scholarship

A successful scientific community might require different scientists to form different beliefs even when faced with the same evidence. The standard line is that this would create a conflict between the demands of collective rationality which scientists face as members of the community and the demands of individual rationality which they face as epistemic agents. This is expressed both by philosophers of science (working on the distribution of cognitive labor) and by epistemologists (working on the epistemology of disagreement). The standard line fails to take into account the relation between rational belief and various epistemic risks, values of which are ...


Review: Worlds Without End: The Many Lives Of The Multiverse, Patrick Blanchfield Oct 2014

Review: Worlds Without End: The Many Lives Of The Multiverse, Patrick Blanchfield

Mary-Jane Rubenstein

No abstract provided.


From Mirror To Mirage: The Idea Of Logical Space In Kant, Wittgenstein, And Van Fraassen, Lucien R. Lamoureux Oct 2014

From Mirror To Mirage: The Idea Of Logical Space In Kant, Wittgenstein, And Van Fraassen, Lucien R. Lamoureux

Lucien Lamoureux

This dissertation investigates the origin, intellectual development and use of a semantic variant of the idea of logical space found implicitly in Kant and explicitly in early Wittgenstein and van Fraassen. It elucidates the idea of logical space as the idea of images or pictures representative of reality organized into a logico-mathematical structure circumscribing a form of all possible worlds. Its main claim is that application of these images or pictures to reality is through a certain conception of self. The first chapter presents a novel interpretation of Kant’s semantic theory of schemata in the Critique of Pure Reason ...


All At One Point: The New Physics Of Italo Calvino And Jorge Luis Borges, Mark Thomas Rinaldi Oct 2014

All At One Point: The New Physics Of Italo Calvino And Jorge Luis Borges, Mark Thomas Rinaldi

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This work of comparative literary criticism focuses on the presence of mathematical and scientific concepts and imagery in the works of Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, beginning with an historical overview of scientific philosophy and an introduction to the most significant scientific concepts of the last several centuries, before shifting to deep, scientifically-driven analyses of numerous individual fictions, and finally concluding with a meditation on the unexpectedly fictive aspects of science and mathematics. The close readings of these authors' fictions are contextualized with thorough explanations of the potential literary implications of theories from physics, mathematics, neuroscience and chaos theory ...


Contesting Faith, Truth, And Religious Language At The Creation Museum: A Historical-Theological Reflection, Brent A. R. Hege Aug 2014

Contesting Faith, Truth, And Religious Language At The Creation Museum: A Historical-Theological Reflection, Brent A. R. Hege

Brent A. R. Hege

The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, attempts to demonstrate the flaws in contemporary science and to offer an alternative explanation of human origins and biological complexity rooted in a specific reading of the biblical narrative. This effort, however, is paradoxically rooted in the worldview of modern science and the Enlightenment. This article will examine the Creation Museum’s definitions of faith, truth, and religious language and will compare these definitions to those of mainline Protestant Christianity to uncover the historical and theological presuppositions of Creationist and mainline Protestant engagements with contemporary science.


On The Relation Between Quantum Mechanical And Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies And Explanatory Strategies, Meinard Kuhlmann, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

On The Relation Between Quantum Mechanical And Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies And Explanatory Strategies, Meinard Kuhlmann, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

Advocates of the New Mechanicism in philosophy of science argue that scientific explanation often consists in describing mechanisms responsible for natural phenomena. Despite its successes, one might think that this approach does not square with the ontological strictures of quantum mechanics. New Mechanists suppose that mechanisms are composed of objects with definite properties, which are interconnected via local causal interactions. Quantum mechanics calls these suppositions into question. Since mechanisms are hierarchical it appears that even macroscopic mechanisms must supervene on a set of “objects” that behave non- classically. In this paper we argue, in part by appeal to the theory ...


Aspects Of Human Historiographic Explanation: A View From The Philosophy Of Science, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

Aspects Of Human Historiographic Explanation: A View From The Philosophy Of Science, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

While some philosophers of history have argued that explanations in human history are of a fundamentally different kind than explanations in the natural sciences, I shall argue that this is not the case. Human beings are part of nature, human history is part of natural history, and human historical explanation is a species of natural historical explanation. In this paper I shall use a case study from the history of the American Civil War to show the variety of close parallels between natural and human historical explanation. In both instances, I shall argue that these explanations involve narrative descriptions of ...


Carl F. Craver And Lindley Darden: In Search Of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across The Life Sciences, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

Carl F. Craver And Lindley Darden: In Search Of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across The Life Sciences, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

Carl Craver and Lindley Darden are two of the foremost proponents of a recent approach to the philosophy of biology that is often called the New Mechanism. In this book they seek to make available to a broader readership insights gained from more than two decades of work on the nature of mechanisms and how they are described and discovered. The book is not primarily aimed at specialists working on the New Mechanism, but rather targets scientists, students and teachers who are looking for a broad, philosophically and historically informed image of discovery in the life sciences.


Carl F. Craver And Lindley Darden: In Search Of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across The Life Sciences, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

Carl F. Craver And Lindley Darden: In Search Of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across The Life Sciences, Stuart Glennan

Scholarship and Professional Work - LAS

Carl Craver and Lindley Darden are two of the foremost proponents of a recent approach to the philosophy of biology that is often called the New Mechanism. In this book they seek to make available to a broader readership insights gained from more than two decades of work on the nature of mechanisms and how they are described and discovered. The book is not primarily aimed at specialists working on the New Mechanism, but rather targets scientists, students and teachers who are looking for a broad, philosophically and historically informed image of discovery in the life sciences.


Enframing The Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, And The Body As "Standing Reserve", Jesse I. Bailey Jul 2014

Enframing The Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, And The Body As "Standing Reserve", Jesse I. Bailey

Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Faculty Publications

I argue that Heidegger's account of technology as "enframing" is a helpful lens through which to understand the possible effects and dangers of transhumanism. Without resorting to nebulous concepts such as "dignity," Heidegger's analysis can help us understand how new technologies employed to modify the body, brain, and consciousness will enframe our own bodies and identities as something akin to "standing reserve." Under transhumanism, the body is enframed as an external, technologically modifiable product. I indicate some of the problems that might arise when our own bodies no longer appear as central to our identity as embodied beings ...


Interpreting, Stephanie Jo Kent May 2014

Interpreting, Stephanie Jo Kent

Doctoral Dissertations

What do community interpreting for the Deaf in western societies, conference interpreting for the European Parliament, and language brokering in international management have in common? Academic research and professional training have historically emphasized the linguistic and cognitive challenges of interpreting, neglecting or ignoring the social aspects that structure communication. All forms of interpreting are inherently social; they involve relationships among at least three people and two languages. The contexts explored here, American Sign Language/English interpreting and spoken language interpreting within the European Parliament, show that simultaneous interpreting involves attitudes, norms and values about intercultural communication that overemphasize information and ...


The Multiverse In A Flat Circle: Review Of Worlds Without End, Jared Keller May 2014

The Multiverse In A Flat Circle: Review Of Worlds Without End, Jared Keller

Mary-Jane Rubenstein

No abstract provided.


Schrödinger And Nietzsche And Life: Eternal Recurrence And The Conscious Now, Babette Babich May 2014

Schrödinger And Nietzsche And Life: Eternal Recurrence And The Conscious Now, Babette Babich

Articles and Chapters in Academic Book Collections

The phenomenological question of consciousness usually associated with Husserl (although there are echoes of this in Augustine as in Marcus Aurelius, Kant and Schopenhauer), is the consciousness of the now, the present moment. I explore this consciousness for Erwin Schrödinger, which for him included reference to the Upaniṣads together with Nietzsche’s central teaching or “thinking” of the eternal recurrence of the same.


On The Relation Between Quantum Mechanical And Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies And Explanatory Strategies, Meinard Kuhlmann, Stuart Glennan May 2014

On The Relation Between Quantum Mechanical And Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies And Explanatory Strategies, Meinard Kuhlmann, Stuart Glennan

Scholarship and Professional Work - LAS

Advocates of the New Mechanicism in philosophy of science argue that scientific explanation often consists in describing mechanisms responsible for natural phenomena. Despite its successes, one might think that this approach does not square with the ontological strictures of quantum mechanics. New Mechanists suppose that mechanisms are composed of objects with definite properties, which are interconnected via local causal interactions. Quantum mechanics calls these suppositions into question. Since mechanisms are hierarchical it appears that even macroscopic mechanisms must supervene on a set of “objects” that behave non- classically. In this paper we argue, in part by appeal to the theory ...


Scientism, Satire, And Sacrificial Ceremony In Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground" And C.S. Lewis's "That Hideous Strength", Jonathan Smalt May 2014

Scientism, Satire, And Sacrificial Ceremony In Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground" And C.S. Lewis's "That Hideous Strength", Jonathan Smalt

Masters Theses

Though the nineteenth-century Victorian belief that science alone could provide utopia for man weakened in the epistemological uncertainty of the postmodern era, this belief still continues today. In order to understand our current scientific milieu--and the dangers of propagating scientism--we must first trace the rise of scientism in the nineteenth-century. Though removed, Fyodor Dostoevsky, in Notes From Underground (1864), and C.S. Lewis, in That Hideous Strength (1965), are united in their critiques of scientism as a conceptual framework for human residency. For Dostoevsky, the Crystal Palace of London's Great Exhibition (1862) embodied the nineteenth-century goal to found utopia ...


Contesting Faith, Truth, And Religious Language At The Creation Museum: A Historical-Theological Reflection, Brent A. R. Hege Apr 2014

Contesting Faith, Truth, And Religious Language At The Creation Museum: A Historical-Theological Reflection, Brent A. R. Hege

Scholarship and Professional Work - LAS

The Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, attempts to demonstrate the flaws in contemporary science and to offer an alternative explanation of human origins and biological complexity rooted in a specific reading of the biblical narrative. This effort, however, is paradoxically rooted in the worldview of modern science and the Enlightenment. This article will examine the Creation Museum’s definitions of faith, truth, and religious language and will compare these definitions to those of mainline Protestant Christianity to uncover the historical and theological presuppositions of Creationist and mainline Protestant engagements with contemporary science.


It's About Time: Dynamics Of Inflationary Cosmology As The Source Of The Asymmetry Of Time, Emre Keskin Apr 2014

It's About Time: Dynamics Of Inflationary Cosmology As The Source Of The Asymmetry Of Time, Emre Keskin

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This project is about the asymmetry of time. The main source of discontent for physicists and philosophers alike is that even though in every physical theory we developed and/or discovered for explaining how the universe functions, the laws are time reversal invariant; there seems to be a very genuine asymmetry between the past and the future. The aim of this project is to examine several attempts to solve this friction between the laws of physics and the asymmetry and provide a new proposal that makes use of modern cosmology. In the recent history of physics and in contemporary philosophy ...


Aimless Science, Darrell Patrick Rowbottom Apr 2014

Aimless Science, Darrell Patrick Rowbottom

Staff Publications

This paper argues that talk of 'the aim of science' should be avoided in the philosophy of science, with special reference to the way that van Fraassen sets up the difference between scientific realism and constructive empiricism. It also argues that talking instead of 'what counts as success in science as such' is unsatisfactory. The paper concludes by showing what this talk may be profitably replaced with, namely specific claims concerning science that fall into the following categories: descriptive, evaluative, normative, and definitional. There are two key advantages to this proposal. First, realism and its competitors may be understood to ...


The Project Of The Physician: An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Medicine, Alexander X. Shea Apr 2014

The Project Of The Physician: An Inquiry Into The Nature Of Medicine, Alexander X. Shea

Senior Theses and Projects

The telos of this project is twofold – in Part I, I will attempt to solidify the goal of the physician in medical practice, and in Part II, I will examine the specific ways by which the doctor can actualize that goal. In other words, the central questions are: 1) What is the goal of the physician? and 2) How is the physician to accomplish or actualize that goal?


The Nature Of Science: A Perspective From The Philosophy Of Science, Juli T. Eflin, Stuart Glennan, George Reisch Mar 2014

The Nature Of Science: A Perspective From The Philosophy Of Science, Juli T. Eflin, Stuart Glennan, George Reisch

Stuart Glennan

In a recent article in this journal, Brian Alters (1997) argued that, given the many ways in which the nature of science (NOS) is described and poor student responses to NOS instruments such as Nature of Scientific Knowledge Scale (NSKS), Nature of Science Scale (NOSS), Test on Understanding Science (TOUS), and others, it is time for science educators to reconsider the standard lists of tenets for the NOS. Alters suggested that philosophers of science are authorities on the NOS and that consequently, it would be wise to investigate their views of current NOS tenets. To that end, he conducted a ...


Women, The Novel, And Natural Philosophy, 1660-1727, Karen Gevirtz Mar 2014

Women, The Novel, And Natural Philosophy, 1660-1727, Karen Gevirtz

Karen Bloom Gevirtz

Women, the Novel, and Natural Philosophy, 1660-1727 shows how early women novelists drew on debates about the self generated by the 'scientific' revolution to establish the novel as a genre and literary omniscience as a point of view. These writers such as Aphra Behn, Jane Barker, Eliza Haywood, and Mary Davys used, tested, explored, accepted, and rejected ideas about the self in their works to represent the act of knowing and what it means to be a knowing self. Karen Bloom Gevirtz agues that as they did so, they developed structures for representing authoritative knowing that contributed to the development ...


A Weakened Mechanism Is Still A Mechanism: On The Causal Role Of Absences In Mechanistic Explanation, Alexander Mebius Mar 2014

A Weakened Mechanism Is Still A Mechanism: On The Causal Role Of Absences In Mechanistic Explanation, Alexander Mebius

Alexander Mebius

Much contemporary debate on the nature of mechanisms centers on the issue of modulating negative causes. One type of negative causability, which I refer to as ‘‘causation by absence,’’ appears difficult to incorporate into modern accounts of mechanistic explanation. This paper argues that a recent attempt to resolve this problem, proposed by Benjamin Barros, requires improvement as it overlooks the fact that not all absences qualify as sources of mechanism failure. I suggest that there are a number of additional types of effects caused by absences that need to be incorporated to account for the diversity of causal connections in ...


The Mechanistic Approach Of 'The Theory Of Island Biogeography' And Its Current Relevance, Viorel Pâslaru Mar 2014

The Mechanistic Approach Of 'The Theory Of Island Biogeography' And Its Current Relevance, Viorel Pâslaru

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Philosophers of science have examined The Theory of Island Biogeography by Robert MacArthur and E. O. Wilson (1967) mainly due to its important contribution to modeling in ecology, but they have not examined it as a representative case of ecological explanation. In this paper, I scrutinize the type of explanation used in this paradigmatic work of ecology. I describe the philosophy of science of MacArthur and Wilson and show that it is mechanistic. Based on this account and in light of contributions to the mechanistic conception of explanation due to Craver (2007), and Bechtel and Richardson (1993), I argue that ...


Aesthetic Mediation And The Politics Of Technology: (Re)New(Ed) Strategies For A Critical Social Theory, Andrew J. Pierce Mar 2014

Aesthetic Mediation And The Politics Of Technology: (Re)New(Ed) Strategies For A Critical Social Theory, Andrew J. Pierce

Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Faculty Publications

There is a rich history in early critical theory of attempting to harness the power of aesthetic imagination for the purposes of political liberation. But this approach has largely faded to the background of contemporary critical theory, eclipsed lately by attempts to reconstruct and apply norms of rationality to processes of democratic will formation a` la Habermas. This paper represents a small attempt to return the aesthetic element to its proper place within critical theory, by investigating the aesthetic aspects of certain forms of resistance to technological domination, forms of resistance that become ‘‘embodied’’ in technologies themselves. The phenomena of ...