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Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Demystifying The Placebo Effect, Phoebe Friesen Sep 2018

Demystifying The Placebo Effect, Phoebe Friesen

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation offers a philosophical analysis of the placebo effect. After offering an overview of recent evidence concerning the phenomenon, I consider several prominent accounts of the placebo effect that have been put forward and argue that none of them are able to adequately account for the diverse instantiations of the phenomenon. I then offer a novel account, which suggests that we ought to think of the placebo effect as encompassing three distinct responses: conditioned placebo responses, cognitive placebo responses, and network placebo responses. Next, I consider implications of the placebo effect’s role in complementary and alternative medicine for ...


Paradigms And Paleoartists: How Our Perception Of Dinosaurs Forms, Jordan C. Oldham Apr 2018

Paradigms And Paleoartists: How Our Perception Of Dinosaurs Forms, Jordan C. Oldham

The Research and Scholarship Symposium

Thomas Kuhn in his famous work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions put forth his idea about how science changes. Kuhn thought that science changed by scientific revolutions brought on by an anomaly. After the anomaly, a crisis point would ensue as more scientists would research the anomaly. While in the process of research they would abandon the old paradigm in favor of one that would explain the anomaly. Not all anomalies create a crisis, but can rather result in a paradigm shift. These shifts occur within the old paradigm, and do not led to the formation of a new paradigm ...


Book Review: Creatively Undecided: Toward A History And Philosophy Of Scientific Agency, David B. Levy Jan 2018

Book Review: Creatively Undecided: Toward A History And Philosophy Of Scientific Agency, David B. Levy

Touro College Libraries Publications and Research

The author reviews the book Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency.


The Similarity Of Division, Gedalia Zemel Jan 2018

The Similarity Of Division, Gedalia Zemel

Senior Projects Fall 2018

We propose an empiricist criterion for dividing claims into two disjoint sets. We contest the argument that our criterion presumes the existence of a mind-independent external world. Finally, we compare and contrast our criterion with similar empiricist criterions.


Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius Sep 2017

Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Taylor has responded to critiques of his soft perennialism model in relationship to what he has called awakening experiences. The fact that some individuals have this type of experience away from the context of religion or spirituality, according to soft perennialism, is explained by a sort of landscape of experience representing the diverse ways in which one may engage with and experience this essential beingness. While this inspiring vision could possibly be true, just as numerous other speculations about ultimate reality might be true; however, the evidence advanced in support of soft perennialism notion is not valid in the context ...


The New Mechanical Philosophy, Stuart Glennan Aug 2017

The New Mechanical Philosophy, Stuart Glennan

Philosophy, Religion, and Classics

The New Mechanical Philosophy argues for a new image of nature and of science--one that understands both natural and social phenomena to be the product of mechanisms, and that casts the work of science as an effort to discover and understand those mechanisms. Drawing on an expanding literature on mechanisms in physical, life, and social sciences, Stuart Glennan offers an account of the nature of mechanisms and of the models used to represent them. A key quality of mechanisms is that they are particulars - located at different places and times, with no one just like another. The crux of the ...


The New Mechanical Philosophy, Stuart Glennan Jul 2017

The New Mechanical Philosophy, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

The New Mechanical Philosophy argues for a new image of nature and of science--one that understands both natural and social phenomena to be the product of mechanisms, and that casts the work of science as an effort to discover and understand those mechanisms. Drawing on an expanding literature on mechanisms in physical, life, and social sciences, Stuart Glennan offers an account of the nature of mechanisms and of the models used to represent them. A key quality of mechanisms is that they are particulars - located at different places and times, with no one just like another. The crux of the ...


Evotext: A New Tool For Analyzing The Biological Sciences, Grant Ramsey, Charles H. Pence Jan 2016

Evotext: A New Tool For Analyzing The Biological Sciences, Grant Ramsey, Charles H. Pence

Faculty Publications

We introduce here evoText, a new tool for automated analysis of the literature in the biological sciences. evoText contains a database of hundreds of thousands of journal articles and an array of analysis tools for generating quantitative data on the nature and history of life science, especially ecology and evolutionary biology. This article describes the features of evoText, presents a variety of examples of the kinds of analyses that evoText can run, and offers a brief tutorial describing how to use it.


Book Review: Philosophy Of Science: Key Concepts, David B. Levy Jan 2016

Book Review: Philosophy Of Science: Key Concepts, David B. Levy

Touro College Libraries Publications and Research

The author reviews the book Philosophy of Science: Key Concepts.


In Theory, There's Hope: Queer Co-(M)Motions Of Science And Subjectivity, Cordelia Sand Jan 2016

In Theory, There's Hope: Queer Co-(M)Motions Of Science And Subjectivity, Cordelia Sand

Masters Theses

Given the state of the planet at present —specifically, the linked global ecological and economic crises that conjure dark imaginings and nihilistic actualities of increasing resource depletion, poisonings, and wide-scale sufferings and extinctions—I ask What might we hope now? What points of intervention offer possibility for transformation? At best, the response can only be partial. The approach this thesis takes initiates from specific pre-discursive assumptions. The first understands current conditions as having been produced, and continuing to be so, through practices that enact and sustain neoliberal relations. Secondly, these practices are expressive of a subjectivity tied to a Cartesian ...


Is Information Systems A Science? An Inquiry Into The Nature Of The Information Systems Discipline, Deepak Khazanchi, Bjørn Erik Munkvold Feb 2015

Is Information Systems A Science? An Inquiry Into The Nature Of The Information Systems Discipline, Deepak Khazanchi, Bjørn Erik Munkvold

Deepak Khazanchi

The Information Systems (IS) discipline is apparently undergoing an identity crisis. Academicians question the need for IS departments in colleges stating the absence of a core for the field and its integration within other business functions as a basis for its elimination. At the same time, many practitioners, as reflected in the US government's recent IT labor shortage report, continue to ignore IS as a distinct field of study. This article briefly outlines these and other challenges and argues that notwithstanding underlying philosophical differences, it can be concluded that IS is an emerging scientific discipline. This conclusion is reached ...


Natural Kindness, Matthew H. Slater Jan 2015

Natural Kindness, Matthew H. Slater

Faculty Journal Articles

Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accom- modate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t ideal. My goal in this article is to begin to articulate a more general account of ...


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 ...


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.


Investigating The Lay And Scientific Norms For Using ‘Explanation’, Jonathan Waskan, Ian Harmon, Andrew Higgins, Joseph Spino Jan 2014

Investigating The Lay And Scientific Norms For Using ‘Explanation’, Jonathan Waskan, Ian Harmon, Andrew Higgins, Joseph Spino

Faculty Scholarship

In the mid-twentieth century, Hempel (1962, 1965) bucked posit ivist ort hodoxy and proposed that explanations have a legitimate role to play in science. Yet, when it came time to offer up a model of explanation, Hempel held fast to the positivist tendency of abstracting both from facts about human psychology and from the specific contents of claims (i.e., in favor of bare logical form). At the broadest level, he proposed that explanations are sets of true statements arranged into formally acceptable arguments. That such arguments count as explanations has, Hempel thought, nothing to do with what anyone thinks ...


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

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

Scholarship and Professional Work - LAS

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 ...


What Scientists Know Is Not A Function Of What Scientists Know, P.D. Magnus Dec 2013

What Scientists Know Is Not A Function Of What Scientists Know, P.D. Magnus

Philosophy Faculty Scholarship

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.


Explanation In Science, James A. Overton May 2012

Explanation In Science, James A. Overton

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Scientific explanation is an important goal of scientific practise. Philosophers have proposed a striking diversity of seemingly incompatible accounts of explanation, from deductive-nomological to statistical relevance, unification, pragmatic, causal-mechanical, mechanistic, causal intervention, asymptotic, and model-based accounts. In this dissertation I apply two novel methods to reexamine our evidence about scientific explanation in practise and thereby address the fragmentation of philosophical accounts.

I start by collecting a data set of 781 articles from one year of the journal Science. Using automated text mining techniques I measure the frequency and distribution of several groups of philosophically interesting words, such as "explain", "cause ...


Book Review: Philosophy Of Science After Feminism By Janet Kourany, Gizem Karaali Feb 2012

Book Review: Philosophy Of Science After Feminism By Janet Kourany, Gizem Karaali

Pomona Faculty Publications and Research

Janet Kourany’s book is a strange one: published by Oxford University Press (as a part of its Studies in Feminist Philosophy series), it is an academically oriented book, but reading it, you sense that this is not yet another theoretical monograph. For Kourany has her ax to grind, and more importantly she has a program to promote. The program is for philosophers of science and is motivated and encouraged by the amazing work done in the past few decades by feminist scientists and feminist scholars of science, technology, and society. In the following I will try to explain why ...


Practical Objectivity: Keeping Natural Science Natural, Alan G. Padgett Jan 2012

Practical Objectivity: Keeping Natural Science Natural, Alan G. Padgett

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Bee-Haviour Of Scientists: An Analogy Of Science From The World Of Bees, Ben Trubody Mar 2011

The Bee-Haviour Of Scientists: An Analogy Of Science From The World Of Bees, Ben Trubody

Between the Species

I am going to compare the strategies and communication bees use in order to locate and retrieve nectar to the world of science and the scientist. The analogy is intentionally anthropomorphic but I wish to argue that if successful bees made assumptions they would be similar to those of the scientist: flowers can be regarded as facts, nectar as knowledge, honey as technology and their ‘waggle-dance’ as communication of ideas. I would like to say that this is to be used as an analogy and should not be taken to be a statement of the scientific method as an emergent ...


Appearance Vs. Reality As A Scientific Problem, Bas C. Van Fraassen Oct 2005

Appearance Vs. Reality As A Scientific Problem, Bas C. Van Fraassen

Philosophic Exchange

The history of science is replete with ideals that involve some criterion of completeness. One such criterion requires that physics explain how the appearances are produced in reality. This paper argues that it is scientifically acceptable to reject this criterion, along with all other completeness criteria that have been proposed for modern science.


Realist Ennui And The Base Rate Fallacy, P.D. Magnus, Craig Callender Jul 2004

Realist Ennui And The Base Rate Fallacy, P.D. Magnus, Craig Callender

Philosophy Faculty Scholarship

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 and anti‐realists have been talking past one another. We then formulate a dilemma for advocates of ...


Can Science Disprove The Existence Of God?, Peter Van Inwagen Jan 2004

Can Science Disprove The Existence Of God?, Peter Van Inwagen

Philosophic Exchange

In order for science to establish that God does not exist, it would be necessary to determine which observations we would make if there were a God, and which observations we would make if there were not a God. However, these claims about what we would observe if God does or does not exist, are philosophical claims, not scientific claims. Therefore science alone could not disprove the existence of God.


Who’S Afraid Of Postmodernism?, Simon Blackburn Jan 2001

Who’S Afraid Of Postmodernism?, Simon Blackburn

Philosophic Exchange

Postmodernism is a celebration of relativism. It is a movement that has actively embraced the collapse of standards that it takes this to imply. This paper examines the debate between postmodernists and their opponents, approaching it through the debate over Alan Sokal’s famous hoax.


Is Information Systems A Science? An Inquiry Into The Nature Of The Information Systems Discipline, Deepak Khazanchi, Bjørn Erik Munkvold Jul 2000

Is Information Systems A Science? An Inquiry Into The Nature Of The Information Systems Discipline, Deepak Khazanchi, Bjørn Erik Munkvold

Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis Faculty Publications

The Information Systems (IS) discipline is apparently undergoing an identity crisis. Academicians question the need for IS departments in colleges stating the absence of a core for the field and its integration within other business functions as a basis for its elimination. At the same time, many practitioners, as reflected in the US government's recent IT labor shortage report, continue to ignore IS as a distinct field of study. This article briefly outlines these and other challenges and argues that notwithstanding underlying philosophical differences, it can be concluded that IS is an emerging scientific discipline. This conclusion is reached ...


God And Science In The Public Schools, Lynne Rudder Baker Jan 2000

God And Science In The Public Schools, Lynne Rudder Baker

Philosophic Exchange

On March 11, 2000, the New York Times reported that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that creationism should be taught alongside Darwin’s theory of evolution in the public schools. This controversy raises important questions in the philosophy of science, as well as questions about public education in a democracy. This paper considers some of the arguments on both sides of this debate.


Philosophy And Exploration Of The Solar System, Gonzalo Munevar Jan 1998

Philosophy And Exploration Of The Solar System, Gonzalo Munevar

Philosophic Exchange

The search for extra terrestrial intelligence (SETI) raises several questions in the philosophy of science, especially in relation to artificial intelligence and biology. This paper explores these questions.