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Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science

University at Albany, State University of New York

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Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


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.


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 ...