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2016

Philosophy of Science

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Articles 1 - 30 of 59

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Because of their inherent abstraction, systems ideas are not themselves sufficient for gaining scientific knowledge or solving practical problems, but they can be a source of insights into the universality of imperfection, insights which can contribute to a new scientific world view. Systems theory offers a metaphysics, or more precisely an ontology, of imperfection. Through it, we can heed Spinoza's injunction, “Not to lament, not to curse, but to understand.”


Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge From Science To Religion, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Systems Metaphysics: A Bridge From Science To Religion, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

'Systems theory' is familiar to many as the scientific enterprise that includes the study of chaos, networks, and complex adaptive systems. It is less widely appreciated that the systems research program offers a world view that transcends the individual scientific disciplines. We do not live, as some argue, in a post-metaphysical age, but rather at a time when a new metaphysics is being constructed. This metaphysics is scientific and derives from graph theory, information theory, non-linear dynamics, decision theory, game theory, generalized evolution, and other transdisciplinary theories. These 'systems' theories focus on form and process, independent of materiality; they are ...


Rationality, Parapsychology, And Artificial Intelligence In Military And Intelligence Research By The United States Government In The Cold War, Guy M. Lomeo Dec 2016

Rationality, Parapsychology, And Artificial Intelligence In Military And Intelligence Research By The United States Government In The Cold War, Guy M. Lomeo

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

A study analyzing the roles of rationality, parapsychology, and artificial intelligence in military and intelligence research by the United States Government in the Cold War. An examination of the methodology behind the decisions to pursue research in two fields that were initially considered irrational.


Galileo's Reconciliation Of Mathematics And The Investigation Of Nature, Garret Meier Dec 2016

Galileo's Reconciliation Of Mathematics And The Investigation Of Nature, Garret Meier

Honors Projects and Posters

Modern science uses mathematics to describe nature. However, in the early modern period (roughly, the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries), natural philosophers rarely used mathematics to gain knowledge about nature because of two problems. The Ontological Problem is that mathematics seems inappropriate for gaining knowledge of nature because nature does not seem to exhibit essential mathematical properties. The Practical Problem is that, even if nature does have mathematical properties, mathematical calculations give predictions that do not exactly match what we observe, making them inappropriate for gaining knowledge of nature. Galileo, in the Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems and the ...


Species Pluralism: Conceptual, Ontological, And Practical Dimensions, Justin Bzovy Nov 2016

Species Pluralism: Conceptual, Ontological, And Practical Dimensions, Justin Bzovy

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Species are central to biology, but there is currently no agreement on what the adequate species concept should be, and many have adopted a pluralist stance: different species concepts will be required for different purposes. This thesis is a multidimensional analysis of species pluralism. First I explicate how pluralism differs monism and relativism. I then consider the history of species pluralism. I argue that we must re-frame the species problem, and that re-evaluating Aristotle's role in the histories of systematics can shed light on pluralism. Next I consider different forms of pluralism: evolutionary and extra-evolutionary species pluralism, which differ ...


Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips Sep 2016

Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

There are two widely held assumptions about perception: ascriber-independence (the view that the facts regarding what a subject perceives, as well as what her perceptual states represent, are independent of the interests of those attributing the relevant states to her), and determinacy (the view that perceptual content is relatively determinate). I challenge both of these assumptions, and develop a new approach to perceptual content, with implications for theories of mental content more broadly. In chapter one, I address the question of whether, in addition to low-level features, vision represents ordinary objects. I argue that there is just no fact of ...


Data’S Intimacy: Machinic Sensibility And The Quantified Self, Sun-Ha Hong Sep 2016

Data’S Intimacy: Machinic Sensibility And The Quantified Self, Sun-Ha Hong

communication +1

Today, machines observe, record, sense the world – not just for us, but sometimes instead of us (in our stead), and even indifferently to us humans. And yet, we remain human. Correlationism may not be up to a comprehensive ontology, but the ways in which we encounter, and struggle to make some kind of sense of, machinic sensibility matters. The nature of that encounter is not instrumentality, or even McLuhanian extension, but a full-blown ‘relationship’ where the terms by which machines ‘experience’ the world, and communicate with each other, parametrises the conditions for our own experience. This essay will play out ...


Similarity, Adequacy, And Purpose: Understanding The Success Of Scientific Models, Melissa Jacquart Aug 2016

Similarity, Adequacy, And Purpose: Understanding The Success Of Scientific Models, Melissa Jacquart

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

A central component to scientific practice is the construction and use of scientific models. Scientists believe that the success of a model justifies making claims that go beyond the model itself. However, philosophical analysis of models suggests that drawing inferences about the world from successful models is more complex. In this dissertation I develop a framework that can help disentangle the related strands of evaluation of model success, model extendibility, and the ability to draw ampliative inferences about the world from models.

I present and critically assess two leading accounts of model assessment, arguing that neither is sufficient to provide ...


The Entelechial Thinker In Space: ‘Worlds Within Worlds’ In Durrell, Flaubert, And Carroll, Sheena M. Jary Aug 2016

The Entelechial Thinker In Space: ‘Worlds Within Worlds’ In Durrell, Flaubert, And Carroll, Sheena M. Jary

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This thesis argues that the interior space of each individual mind has infinite potentiality to do or create x new reality in one’s life via possible worlds. I use Lawrence Durrell’s short story “Zero” (1939), Gustave Flaubert’s “Un coeur simple” (1877), and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) as literary representations of how readers outside of the literary text share an unbreakable bond with universal space. I discuss the infinite potentiality of the finite being, and the experiential data in the process of entelechy, or epistemological maturation of the mind. I bring Leibniz’s ...


An Inquiry Into The Distinction Between Belief And Imagination, Maxwell M. Gatyas Aug 2016

An Inquiry Into The Distinction Between Belief And Imagination, Maxwell M. Gatyas

Theses and Dissertations

Theories of mind typically see belief and imagination as distinct cognitive attitudes. While most admit that imagination is belief-like in many ways—e.g. in its capacity to guide action, cause emotional responses, and aid in decision-making processes—the popular view is to separate the two attitudes when constructing a theory of mental architecture. The similarities are not enough for theorists to admit that the two attitudes are indistinct. Imagination, then, is construed as an “analogue” of belief, similar in many ways, but nevertheless fundamentally different. In what follows I examine these methods of distinguishing between belief and imagination. My ...


Jurisprudence Between Science And The Humanities, Dan Priel Jul 2016

Jurisprudence Between Science And The Humanities, Dan Priel

Dan Priel

For a long time philosophy has been unique among the humanities for seeking closer alliance with the sciences. In this Article I examine the place of science in relation to legal positivism. I argue that, historically, legal positivism has been advanced by theorists who were also positivists in the sense the term is used in the philosophy of social science: they were committed to the idea that the explanation of social phenomena should be conducted using similar methods to those used in the natural sciences. I then argue that since around 1960 jurisprudence, and legal positivism in particular, has undergone ...


How Do Designers Generate New Ideas? Design Heuristics Across Two Disciplines, Seda Yilmaz, Shanna R. Daly, Colleen M. Seifert, Richard Gonzalez Jul 2016

How Do Designers Generate New Ideas? Design Heuristics Across Two Disciplines, Seda Yilmaz, Shanna R. Daly, Colleen M. Seifert, Richard Gonzalez

Seda McKilligan

Research supports the central role cognitive strategies can play in successful concept generation by individual designers. Design heuristics have been shown to facilitate the creation of new design concepts in the early, conceptual stage of the design process, as well as throughout the development of ideas. However, we know relatively little about their use in differing disciplines. This study examined evidence of design heuristic use in a protocol study with 12 mechanical engineers and 12 industrial designers who worked individually to develop multiple concepts. The open-ended design problem was for a novel product, and the designers’ sketches and comments were ...


"Beyond Words," Yes, But Also Beyond Numbers, Fred L. Bookstein Jul 2016

"Beyond Words," Yes, But Also Beyond Numbers, Fred L. Bookstein

Animal Sentience

Safina’s fascinating series of fifty separate feuilletons tries to bridge a painful Methodenstreit in contemporary ethology mainly by an accumulation of anecdotes. Some deal with his own dogs, but most derive from reading or conversing with observers of a wider range of social mammals including elephants, wolves, apes, and whales. In spite of the many interruptions by travesties of the academic lifestyle and its literature, there is a point to be made, concerning the centrality of evidence about cooperative behavior styles, especially aspects of child-rearing, for the understanding of “what animals think and feel.” But Safina’s argument would ...


Vol 7 No 2 Contents Page Jul 2016

Vol 7 No 2 Contents Page

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Vol 7 No 2 Information Page Jul 2016

Vol 7 No 2 Information Page

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Vol 7 No 2 Cover Page Jul 2016

Vol 7 No 2 Cover Page

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Assessing Decision-Making Capacity After Severe Brain Injury, Andrew Peterson Jul 2016

Assessing Decision-Making Capacity After Severe Brain Injury, Andrew Peterson

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Severe brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability. Following severe brain injury diagnosis is difficult and errors frequently occur. Recent findings in clinical neuroscience may offer a solution. Neuroimaging has been used to detect preserved cognitive function and awareness in some patients clinically diagnosed as being in a vegetative state. Remarkably, neuroimaging has also been used to communicate with some vegetative patients through a series of yes/no questions. Some have speculated that, one day, this method may allow severely brain-injured patients to make medical decisions. Yet, skepticism is rife, due in part to the inherent difficulty ...


Aristotle, The Pythagoreans, And Structural Realism, Owen Goldin Jun 2016

Aristotle, The Pythagoreans, And Structural Realism, Owen Goldin

Philosophy Faculty Research and Publications

Aristotle’s main objection to Pythagorean number ontology is that it posits as a basic subject what can exist only as inherent in a subject. I then show how contemporary structural realists posit an ontology much like that of Aristotle’s Pythagoreans. Both take the objects of knowledge to be structure, not the subject of structure. I discuss both how pancomputationalists such as Edward Fredkin approach the Pythagorean account insofar as on their account all reality can in principle be expressed as one (very big) number, made up of discrete units, and even more moderate varieties of structural realism, like ...


An Ecological Critique Of Capitalism, Macauley Berg May 2016

An Ecological Critique Of Capitalism, Macauley Berg

Undergraduate Honors Theses

I will be addressing the broad set of impacts generally referred to as "the environmental crisis.” I argue that this environmental crisis is truly an ecological one, insofar as humans are its primary drivers as well as its primary victims. I then investigate the structural cause (or structural causes) which produce this multitude of effects. In turn, this leads me to seek out and address the social underpinnings of this problem. I identify capitalism (specifically, its current form of global neoliberal economics) as a major driver of the ecological crisis and explore the relationship between capitalism and environmental practice. As ...


Producing Knowledge: The Social Made Visible In The Division Of Environmental Biology Of The National Science Foundation, Patrick Southern May 2016

Producing Knowledge: The Social Made Visible In The Division Of Environmental Biology Of The National Science Foundation, Patrick Southern

Capstone Collection

This inquiry explores how knowledge is produced in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) of the National Science Foundation. Beginning from a poststructuralist understanding of science as firmly embedded in the unequal relations of society, this study sought to examine how the policies and procedures of funding research proposals in DEB influence and are influenced by those relations. Using an institutional ethnography approach to analysis, data were collected from analyzing publicly available texts from the division, NSF, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the research community. The analysis demonstrates how the activities of DEB could maintain or exacerbate ...


Oh Sinnerman, Where You Gonna Run To?, Semein Washington May 2016

Oh Sinnerman, Where You Gonna Run To?, Semein Washington

Theses, Dissertations & Honors Papers

Semein Washington. OH SINNERMAN, WHERE YOU GONNA RUN TO? (Under the direction of Mary Carroll Hackett, MFA) Department of English and Modern Language, April 2016.

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the growth of personal identity via poetry. “Oh Sinnerman,” is a run of thirty-eight poems in which the speaker learns survival through experience, and the underpinning ideas, whether traditional or modern, for which life is preserved. In theme, the poems tend to separate his experience into personal and social humanity. In poems such as “No Good Being,” “Sunday Tennis” and “How One Loves,” personal humanity shows through ...


Fundamental Awareness: A Framework For Integrating Science, Philosophy And Metaphysics, Neil D. Theise, Menas Kafatos May 2016

Fundamental Awareness: A Framework For Integrating Science, Philosophy And Metaphysics, Neil D. Theise, Menas Kafatos

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

The ontologic framework of Fundamental Awareness proposed here assumes that non-dual Awareness is foundational to the universe, not arising from the interactions or structures of higher level phenomena. The framework allows comparison and integration of views from the three investigative domains concerned with understanding the nature of consciousness: science, philosophy, and metaphysics. In this framework, Awareness is the underlying reality, not reducible to anything else. Awareness and existence are the same. As such, the universe is non-material, self-organizing throughout, a holarchy of complementary, process driven, recursive interactions. The universe is both its own first observer and subject. Considering the world ...


Stimulacra: The Accident And The Identity Crisis, Grant C. Gallo May 2016

Stimulacra: The Accident And The Identity Crisis, Grant C. Gallo

The Downtown Review

An in-depth analysis and criticism of J.G. Ballards’s 1971 novel, Crash, is conducted. The qualities of the novel that place it within the genre of science fiction are presented and contested. Ballard’s own commentary on his novel is taken into account, as well as that of the French hyperrealist Jean Baudrillard. Both of their positions are then updated and reworked into theory of symbolic exchange for the digital age. Ultimately, the worth of J.G. Ballard’s Crash is weighed against the words of his critics and determined to defy the definitions of the science fiction genre ...


Deontological Ethical System For Google's Self-Driving Car, Edgard Alejandro Arroliga Jr. May 2016

Deontological Ethical System For Google's Self-Driving Car, Edgard Alejandro Arroliga Jr.

Computer Science and Software Engineering

Google's Self-Driving Car is a revolutionary product that is riddled with ethical conundrums. It is able to accurately scan and drive through densely populated roads without much difficulty. However, there are some situations where the car will likely have to make decisions that affect, maybe even take, the lives of those on the road. Issues such as the Trolley Problem and the Rear-End Dilemma describe situations where there seems to be no single ethical answer as to how the car should act. In order to solve these issues, I propose that a Deontological Ethical System should be implemented because ...


A Case For Monistic Idealism: Connecting Idealistic Thoughts From Leibniz To Kant With Support In Quantum Physics, Erik Haynes May 2016

A Case For Monistic Idealism: Connecting Idealistic Thoughts From Leibniz To Kant With Support In Quantum Physics, Erik Haynes

Masters Theses

Through the analysis of idealistic arguments and evidence from physics, it will be demonstrated that monistic idealism has a great deal of explanatory power as a metaphysical system for the reality that one experiences. Some of the arguments that support this claim include the inadequateness of Cartesian matter, the seemingly infinite divisibility of atoms, matter being reducible to sensations, the unnecessary aspect of matter, and simplicity. Evidence from quantum physics includes such factors as the necessary role of an observer in the collapse of a quantum wave function and the element of nonlocality. Psychological experiments including nonlocal communication, the power ...


The Constellations Of Empiricism, New Science, And Mind In Hobbes, Locke, And Hume, Lisa Pelot Apr 2016

The Constellations Of Empiricism, New Science, And Mind In Hobbes, Locke, And Hume, Lisa Pelot

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

In this thesis, positive and negative tensions among the “unit-ideas” of New Science and empiricism are explored as they relate to explanations of aspects of mind in the Modern period. Some constellations of ideas are mutually supporting, and provide fruitful discussion on how mind can fit into the natural world. This project aims to clarify the adequacy of this type of framework in accommodating and explaining mind, and aspects of mind. I proceed by analyzing key texts via the “unit-ideas” of New Science and empiricism. The three central chapters are case studies, looking at Hobbes, Locke, and Hume. Each chapter ...


Morton, Gould, And Bias: A Comment On "The Mismeasure Of Science", Michael Weisberg, Diane B. Paul Apr 2016

Morton, Gould, And Bias: A Comment On "The Mismeasure Of Science", Michael Weisberg, Diane B. Paul

Departmental Papers (Philosophy)

Stephen Jay Gould famously used the work of Samuel George Morton (1799–1851) to illustrate how unconscious racial bias could affect scientific measurement. Morton had published measurements of the average cranial capacities of different races, measurements that Gould reanalyzed in an article in Science [1] and then later in his widely read book The Mismeasure of Man [2]. During the course of this reanalysis, Gould discovered prima facie evidence of unconscious racial bias in Morton’s measurements. More than 30 years later, Lewis et al. published a critique of this analysis [3], denying that Morton’s measurements were biased by ...


Evaluating The Quantum Postulate In The Context Of Pursuit, Molly M. Kao Apr 2016

Evaluating The Quantum Postulate In The Context Of Pursuit, Molly M. Kao

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to our understanding of scientific theory pursuit by providing a detailed case study on the development of early quantum theory, from roughly 1900 to 1916.

I first elaborate on why this case should be considered an instance of piecemeal pursuit by presenting the historical quantum conjectures that were being used in different contexts. These conjectures gave varied interpretations of quantization. By comparing these conjectures, I identify a general quantum postulate that captures the underlying assumption common to all the cases. I argue that it is possible to consider a general postulate about ...


Leibniz's More Fundamental Ontology: From Overshadowed Individuals To Metaphysical Atoms, Marin Lucio Mare Apr 2016

Leibniz's More Fundamental Ontology: From Overshadowed Individuals To Metaphysical Atoms, Marin Lucio Mare

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

I aim to offer an innovative interpretation of Leibniz’s philosophy, first by examining how the various views that make up his ontology of individual substance involve a persistent rejection of atomism in natural philosophy and secondly, by exploring the significance of this rejection in the larger context of Seventeenth-century physics. My thesis is structured as a developmental story, each chapter analyzing the discontinuities or changes Leibniz makes to his views on individuation and atomism from his early to late years. The goal is to illuminate underrepresented views on individuals and atoms throughout Leibniz’s works and thus bring a ...


Turn Me On Or Off: A Study On Epigenetics And Merleau-Ponty In Angela Carter’S “The Lady Of The House Of Love”, Solsiree Lynn Skarlinsky Mar 2016

Turn Me On Or Off: A Study On Epigenetics And Merleau-Ponty In Angela Carter’S “The Lady Of The House Of Love”, Solsiree Lynn Skarlinsky

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study aims to trace points of intersection between the too often divorced disciplines of literature, continental philosophy, and the hard sciences in Angela Carter’s “The Lady of the House of Love.” In short, this thesis will not only explore how such conversations surface within the short story, but will also serve as an explication of Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of body and space, and the theory of epigenetics. Through these explications, the thesis itself will also gear one discipline towards the other as both theories intimately bind the environment with the body, and the body with the environment ...