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Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of science

Selected Works

Articles 1 - 6 of 6

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


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 ...


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.


Population Thinking And Tree Thinking In Systematics, Robert O’Hara Dec 1996

Population Thinking And Tree Thinking In Systematics, Robert O’Hara

Robert J. O’Hara

Two new modes of thinking have spread through systematics in the twentieth century. Both have deep historical roots, but they have been widely accepted only during this century. Population thinking overtook the field in the early part of the century, culminating in the full development of population systematics in the 1930s and 1940s, and the subsequent growth of the entire field of population biology. Population thinking rejects the idea that each species has a natural type (as the earlier essentialist view had assumed), and instead sees every species as a varying population of interbreeding individuals. Tree thinking has spread through ...


Trees Of History In Systematics And Philology, Robert O’Hara Dec 1995

Trees Of History In Systematics And Philology, Robert O’Hara

Robert J. O’Hara

«The Natural System» is the name given to the underlying arrangement present in the diversity of life. Unlike a classification, which is made up of classes and members, a system or arrangement is an integrated whole made up of connected parts. In the pre-evolutionary period a variety of forms were proposed for the Natural System, including maps, circles, stars, and abstract multidimensional objects. The trees sketched by Darwin in the 1830s should probably be considered the first genuine evolutionary diagrams of the Natural System—the first genuine evolutionary trees. Darwin refined his image of the Natural System in the well-known ...