A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
The end of the list has been reached or no journals were found for your choice.
Similar Journals
Journal Cover
European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.648
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 12  
 
  Partially Free Journal Partially Free Journal
ISSN (Print) 1879-4912 - ISSN (Online) 1879-4920
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2469 journals]
  • Correction to: Nothing but coincidences: the point-coincidence and
           Einstein’s struggle with the meaning of coordinates in physics

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      PubDate: 2022-08-03
       
  • An Armstrongian defense of dispositional monist accounts of laws of nature

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Bird reveals an important problem at the heart of Armstrong’s theory of laws of nature: to explain how a law necessitates its corresponding regularity, Armstrong is committed to a vicious regress. In his very brief response, Armstrong gestures towards an argument that, as he admits, is more of a “speculation.” Later, Barker and Smart argue that a very similar problem threatens Bird’s dispositional monist theory of laws of nature and he is committed to a similar vicious regress. In this paper, first, I construct Armstrong’s would-be argument in response to Bird. Second, I argue that his response makes his account of laws and natural properties incompatible with science. Finally, I argue that Armstrong’s strategy to address Bird’s criticism can be used, quite ironically, to defuse Barker and Smart’s argument against Bird.
      PubDate: 2022-07-29
       
  • Machine learning in scientific grant review: algorithmically predicting
           project efficiency in high energy physics

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract As more objections have been raised against grant peer-review for being costly and time-consuming, the legitimate question arises whether machine learning algorithms could help assess the epistemic efficiency of the proposed projects. As a case study, we investigated whether project efficiency in high energy physics (HEP) can be algorithmically predicted based on the data from the proposal. To analyze the potential of algorithmic prediction in HEP, we conducted a study on data about the structure (project duration, team number, and team size) and outcomes (citations per paper) of HEP experiments with the goal of predicting their efficiency. In the first step, we assessed the project efficiency using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) of 67 experiments conducted in the HEP laboratory Fermilab. In the second step, we employed predictive algorithms to detect which team structures maximize the epistemic performance of an expert group. For this purpose, we used the efficiency scores obtained by DEA and applied predictive algorithms – lasso and ridge linear regression, neural network, and gradient boosted trees – on them. The results of the predictive analyses show moderately high accuracy (mean absolute error equal to 0.123), indicating that they can be beneficial as one of the steps in grant review. Still, their applicability in practice should be approached with caution. Some of the limitations of the algorithmic approach are the unreliability of citation patterns, unobservable variables that influence scientific success, and the potential predictability of the model.
      PubDate: 2022-07-23
       
  • Emergent Realities: Diffracting Barad within a quantum-realist ontology of
           matter and politics

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract One of the most influential contemporary authors of the new materialist turn in the social sciences is Karen Barad. Barad’s work in agential realism, based on her interpretations of quantum physics, has been widely cited within a growing body of new materialist publications. However, in translating Barad’s assertions into social domains, there has been increasing critical appraisal of the physics underlying her work and its relationship with non-quantum domains. In this paper, we contribute to this discussion by exploring aspects of agential realism through quantum decoherence and quantum Darwinism. We explore implications for Barad’s metaphysics and the relationship of the social with the rest of the material world.
      PubDate: 2022-07-23
       
  • Understanding metaphorical understanding (literally)

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Metaphors are found all throughout science: in published papers, working hypotheses, policy documents, lecture slides, grant proposals, and press releases. They serve different functions, but perhaps most striking is the way they enable understanding, of a theory, phenomenon, or idea. In this paper, we leverage recent advances on the nature of metaphor and the nature of understanding to explore how they accomplish this feat. We attempt to shift the focus away from the epistemic value of the content of metaphors, to the epistemic value of the metaphor’s consequences. Many famous scientific metaphors are epistemically good, not primarily because of what they say about the world, but because of how they cause us to think. Specifically, metaphors increase understanding either by improving our sets of representations (by making them more minimal or more accurate), or by making it easier for us to encode and process data about complex subjects by changing how we are disposed to conceptualize those subjects. This view hints towards new positions concerning testimonial understanding, factivity, abilities, discovery via metaphor, and the relation between metaphors and models.
      PubDate: 2022-07-19
       
  • A pragmatic approach to scientific change: transfer, alignment, influence

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract I propose an approach that expands philosophical views of scientific change, on the basis of an analysis of contemporary biomedical research and recent developments in the philosophy of scientific change. Focusing on the establishment of the exposome in epidemiology as a case study and the role of data as a context for contrasting views on change, I discuss change at conceptual, methodological, material, and social levels of biomedical epistemology. Available models of change provide key resources to discuss this type of change, but I present the need for an approach that models transfer, alignment, and influence as key processes of change. I develop this as a pragmatic approach to scientific change, where processes might change substantially depending on specific circumstances, thus contributing to and complementing the debate on a crucial epistemological issue.
      PubDate: 2022-07-13
       
  • Misconstrued arguments about cultural theory

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      PubDate: 2022-07-11
       
  • Tacking by conjunction, genuine confirmation and convergence to certainty

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Tacking by conjunction is a well-known problem for Bayesian confirmation theory. In the first section, disadvantages of existing Bayesian solution proposals to this problem are pointed out and an alternative solution proposal is presented: that of genuine confirmation (GC). In the second section, the notion of GC is briefly recapitulated and three versions of GC are distinguished: full (qualitative) GC, partial (qualitative) GC and quantitative GC. In the third section, the application of partial GC to pure post-facto speculations is explained. In the fourth section it is demonstrated that full GC is a necessary condition for Bayesian convergence to certainty based on the accumulation of conditionally independent pieces of evidence. It is found that whenever a hypothesis is equivalent to a disjunction of more fine-grained hypotheses conveying different probabilities to the evidence, then conditional independence of the evidence fails. This failure occurs typically for unspecific negations of hypotheses. A refined version of the convergence to certainty theorem that overcomes this difficulty is developed in the final section.
      PubDate: 2022-07-07
       
  • The problem with appealing to history in defining neural representations

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Representations seem to play a major role in many neuroscientific explanations. Philosophers have long attempted to properly define what it means for a neural state to be a representation of a specific content. Teleosemantic theories of content which characterize representations, in part, by appealing to a historical notion of function, are often regarded as our best path towards an account of neural representations. This paper points to the anti-representationalist consequences of these accounts. I argue that assuming such teleosemantic views will deprive representations of their explanatory role in computational explanations. My argument rests on the claim that many explanations in cognitive neuroscience are entirely independent of any historical considerations. In making this claim, I will also offer an adapted version of the famous Swampperson thought experiment, which is better suited to discussions of subpersonal neural representations.
      PubDate: 2022-06-28
       
  • Temporal becoming in a relativistic universe: causal diamonds and
           Gödel’s philosophy of time

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract The theory of relativity is often regarded as inhospitable to the idea that there is an objective passage of time in the world. In light of this, many philosophers and physicists embrace a “block universe” view, according to which change and temporal passage are merely a subjective appearance or illusion. My aim in this paper is to argue against such a view, and show that we can make sense of an objective passage of time in the setting of relativity theory by abandoning the assumption that the now must be global, and re-conceiving temporal passage as a purely local phenomenon. Various versions of local becoming have been proposed in the literature. Here I focus on the causal diamond theory proposed by Steven F. Savitt and Richard Arthur, which models the now in terms of a local structure called a causal diamond. After defending the reality of temporal passage and exploring its compatibility with relativity theory, I show how the causal diamond approach can be used to counter the argument for the ideality of time due to Kurt Gödel, based on his “rotating universe” solution to the Einstein field equations (the Gödel universe). I defend the second component of his argument, the modal step, against the consensus view that finds it wanting, and reject the first step, showing that the Gödel universe is compatible with an objective passage of time as long as the latter is construed locally, along the lines of the causal diamond approach.
      PubDate: 2022-06-28
       
  • Reflexivity and fragility

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Reflexivity is, roughly, when studying or theorising about a target itself influences that target. Fragility is, roughly, when causal or other relations are hard to predict, holding only intermittently or fleetingly. Which is more important, methodologically' By going systematically through cases that do and do not feature each of them, I conclude that it is fragility that matters, not reflexivity. In this light, I interpret and extend the claims made about reflexivity in a recent paper by Jessica Laimann (2020). I finish by assessing the benefits and costs of a focus on reflexivity.
      PubDate: 2022-06-25
       
  • Unmoved movers: a very simple and novel form of indeterminism

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract It is common knowledge that the Aristotelian idea of an unmoved mover (Primum Mobile) was abandoned definitively (from a mechanical standpoint, at least) with the advent of modern science and, in particular, Newton’s precise formulation of mechanics. Here I show that the essential attribute of an unmoved mover (in a non-trivial sense, and in the context of infinite systems theory) is not incompatible with such mechanics; quite the contrary, it makes this possible. The unmoved mover model proposed does not involve supertasks, and (perhaps precisely for this reason) leads both to an outrageous form of indeterminism and a new, accountable form of interaction. The process presents a more precise characterization of the crucial going-to-the-limit operation (which will admittedly require further development in future research). It has long been acknowledged in the existing literature that, theoretically, in infinite Newtonian systems, masses can move from rest to motion through supertasks. Numerous minor variations on the original schemes have already been published. Against this backdrop, this paper introduces three significant additions: 1) It formulates for the first time a limit postulate for systematically addressing infinite systems; 2) It shows that an Aristotelian unmoved mover (with no supertask) is possible in systems of infinitely many particles that interact with each other solely by contact collision; 3) It shows how interaction at a distance can emerge in systems of infinitely many particles (at relative rest) that interact with each other solely by contact.
      PubDate: 2022-06-24
       
  • Understanding probability and irreversibility in the Mori-Zwanzig
           projection operator formalism

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Explaining the emergence of stochastic irreversible macroscopic dynamics from time-reversible deterministic microscopic dynamics is one of the key problems in philosophy of physics. The Mori-Zwanzig (MZ) projection operator formalism, which is one of the most important methods of modern nonequilibrium statistical mechanics, allows for a systematic derivation of irreversible transport equations from reversible microdynamics and thus provides a useful framework for understanding this issue. However, discussions of the MZ formalism in philosophy of physics tend to focus on simple variants rather than on the more sophisticated ones used in modern physical research. In this work, I will close this gap by studying the problems of probability and irreversibility using the example of Grabert’s time-dependent projection operator formalism. This allows to better understand how general proposals for understanding probability in statistical mechanics, namely (a) quantum approaches and (b) almost-objective probabilities, can be accomodated in the MZ formalism. Moreover, I will provide a detailed physical analysis, based on the MZ formalism, of various proposals from the philosophical literature, such as (a) Robertson’s theory of justifying coarse-graining via autonomous macrodynamics, (b) Myrvold’s problem of explaining autonomous macrodynamics, and (c) Wallace’s simple dynamical conjecture.
      PubDate: 2022-06-22
       
  • Micro-level model explanation and counterfactual constraint

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract Relationships of counterfactual dependence have played a major role in recent debates of explanation and understanding in the philosophy of science. Usually, counterfactual dependencies have been viewed as the explanantia of explanation, i.e., the things providing explanation and understanding. Sometimes, however, counterfactual dependencies are themselves the targets of explanations in science. These kinds of explanations are the focus of this paper. I argue that “micro-level model explanations” explain the particular form of the empirical regularity underlying a counterfactual dependency by representing it as a physical necessity on the basis of postulated microscopic entities. By doing so, micro-level models rule out possible forms the regularity (and the associated counterfactual) could have taken. Micro-model explanations, in other words, constrain empirical regularities and their associated counterfactual dependencies. I introduce and illustrate micro-level model explanations in detail, contrast them to other accounts of explanation, and consider potential problems.
      PubDate: 2022-06-09
       
  • The Nothing from Infinity paradox versus Plenitudinous Indeterminism

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract The Nothing from Infinity paradox arises when the combination of two infinitudes of point particles meet in a supertask and disappear. Corral-Villate claims that my arguments for disappearance fail and concedes that this failure also produces an extreme kind of indeterminism, which I have called plenitudinous. So my supertask at least poses a dilemma of extreme indeterminism within Newtonian point particle mechanics. Plenitudinous indeterminism might be trivial, although easy attempts to prove it so seem to fail in the face of plausible continuity principles. However, the question of its triviality is here moot, since I show that, except in one case, Corral-Villate’s disproofs fail, and with a correction, the original arguments are unrefuted. Consequently, of the two contenders for the outcome of my supertask, the Nothing from Infinity paradox has won out.
      PubDate: 2022-06-08
       
  • Fictional mechanism explanations: clarifying explanatory holes in
           engineering science

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: This paper discusses a class of mechanistic explanations employed in engineering science where the activities and organization of nonstandard entities (voids, cracks, pits…) are cited as core factors responsible for failures. Given the use of mechanistic language by engineers and the manifestly mechanistic structure of these explanations, I consider several interpretations of these explanations within the new mechanical framework (among others: voids should be considered as shorthand expressions for other entities, voids should be reduced to lower-level mechanisms, or the explanations are simply abstract mechanistic explanations). I argue that these interpretations fail to solve several philosophical problems and propose an account of fictional mechanism explanations instead. According to this account, fictional mechanism explanations provide descriptions of fictional mechanisms that enable the tracking of counterfactual dependencies of the physical system they model by capturing system constraints. Engineers use these models to learn about and understand properties of materials, to build computational simulations of their behaviour, and to design new materials.
      PubDate: 2022-06-08
       
  • Exploratory modeling and indeterminacy in the search for life

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract The aim of this article is to use a model from the origin of life studies to provide some depth and detail to our understanding of exploratory models by suggesting that some of these models should be understood as indeterminate. Models that are indeterminate are a type of exploratory model and therefore have extensive potential and can prompt new lines of research. They are distinctive in that, given the current state of scientific understanding, we cannot specify how and where the model will be useful in understanding the natural world: in this case, the origin of life on Earth. The purpose of introducing indeterminacy is to emphasize the epistemic uncertainty associated with modeling, a feature of this practice that has been under emphasized in the literature in favor of attempts to understand the more specific epistemic successes afforded by models.
      PubDate: 2022-06-08
       
  • Radical artifactualism

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract A powerful idea put forward in the recent philosophy of science literature is that scientific models are best understood as instruments, tools or, more generally, artifacts. This idea has thus far been developed in combination with the more traditional representational approach: accordingly, current artifactualist accounts treat models as representational tools. But artifactualism and representationalism are independent views, and adopting one does not require acceptance of the other. This paper argues that a leaner version of artifactualism, free of representationalist assumptions, is both desirable and viable. Taking seriously the idea that models are artifacts can help us philosophically to make sense of how and why scientific modeling works even without reference to representation.
      PubDate: 2022-06-02
       
  • Non-epistemic values and scientific assessment: an adequacy-for-purpose
           view

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract The literature on values in science struggles with questions about how to describe and manage the role of values in scientific research. We argue that progress can be made by shifting this literature’s current emphasis. Rather than arguing about how non-epistemic values can or should figure into scientific assessment, we suggest analyzing how scientific assessment can accommodate non-epistemic values. For scientific assessment to do so, it arguably needs to incorporate goals that have been traditionally characterized as non-epistemic. Building on this insight, we show how the adequacy-for-purpose framework recently developed for assessing scientific models can provide a general framework for describing scientific assessment so that it goes beyond purely epistemic considerations. Adopting this framework has significant advantages and opens the possibility of effecting a partial rapprochement between critics and proponents of the value-free ideal.
      PubDate: 2022-06-01
       
  • Cultural Theory’s contributions to climate science: reply to Hansson

    • Free pre-print version: Loading...

      Abstract: Abstract In his article, ‘Social constructionism and climate science denial’, Hansson claims to present empirical evidence that the cultural theory developed by Dame Mary Douglas, Aaron Wildavsky and ourselves (among others) leads to (climate) science denial. In this reply, we show that there is no validity to these claims. First, we show that Hansson’s empirical evidence that cultural theory has led to climate science denial falls apart under closer inspection. Contrary to Hansson’s claims, cultural theory has made significant contributions to understanding and addressing climate change. Second, we discuss various features of Douglas’ cultural theory that differentiate it from other constructivist approaches and make it compatible with the scientific method. Thus, we also demonstrate that cultural theory cannot be accused of epistemic relativism.
      PubDate: 2022-05-10
      DOI: 10.1007/s13194-022-00464-y
       
 
JournalTOCs
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Email: journaltocs@hw.ac.uk
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
 


Your IP address: 44.197.230.180
 
Home (Search)
API
About JournalTOCs
News (blog, publications)
JournalTOCs on Twitter   JournalTOCs on Facebook

JournalTOCs © 2009-