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  1. Against Methodological Naturalism.Mayer Paul - manuscript
    In this essay, I will explain why Methodological Naturalism (MN) fails as a demarcating criteria for science. I will argue that MN is not precise enough to be useful for demarcation, unable to follow the evidence where it leads, not theologically neutral (despite its stated goals as such), and difficult to justify (and currently unjustified) as an ontological or epistemic principle.
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  2. Is simulation a substitute for experimentation?Isabelle Peschard - manuscript
    It is sometimes said that simulation can serve as epistemic substitute for experimentation. Such a claim might be suggested by the fast-spreading use of computer simulation to investigate phenomena not accessible to experimentation (in astrophysics, ecology, economics, climatology, etc.). But what does that mean? The paper starts with a clarification of the terms of the issue and then focuses on two powerful arguments for the view that simulation and experimentation are ‘epistemically on a par’. One is based on the claim (...)
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  3. Review of Franklin *What Makes a Good Experiment?*. [REVIEW] Adam_Morton - forthcoming - Metascience 102.
    I praise Franklin's full descriptions of important and exemplary experiments, and wish that he had said more about why they are exemplary.
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  4. Classic Psychedelics in Translational Research: Addressing Epistemic Challenges from Bench to Bedside.Jaipreet Mattu & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - forthcoming - In Chris Letheby & Philip Gerrans (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Psychedelic Psychiatry. Oxford University Press.
    In the last decade alone, a growing body of preliminary evidence suggests that classic psychedelics (CPs) can rapidly and durably ameliorate symptoms and cognitive deficits associated with depression. However, the mechanisms by which CPs work in the brain are not well understood. Rodent translational research, in which experimental findings from rodents are translated to humans, is fundamental in achieving this goal. This chapter focuses on a representative subset of human and rodent studies investigating CPs for depression, including the various lines (...)
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  5. Why Experimental Balance is Still a Reason to Randomize.David Teira & Marco Martinez - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Experimental balance is usually understood as the control for the value of the conditions, other than the one under study, which are liable to affect the result of a test. We will discuss three different approaches to balance. ‘Millean balance’ requires to identify and equalize ex ante the value of these conditions in order to conduct solid causal inferences. ‘Fisherian balance’ measures ex post the influence of uncontrolled conditions through the analysis of variance. In ‘efficiency balance’ the value of the (...)
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  6. Recipes for Science: An Introduction to Scientific Methods and Reasoning (2nd edition).Angela Potochnik, Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2024 - Routledge.
    Scientific literacy is an essential aspect of an undergraduate education. Recipes for Science responds to this need by providing an accessible introduction to the nature of science and scientific methods appropriate for any beginning college student. The book is adaptable to a wide variety of different courses, such as introductions to scientific reasoning, methods courses in scientific disciplines, science education, and philosophy of science. -/- Recipes for Science ​​was first published in 2018, and a thoroughly revised second edition was published (...)
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  7. A Dialogue among Recent Views of Entity Realism.Mahdi Khalili - 2023 - Philosophy of Science:1-35.
    This paper concerns the recent revival of entity realism. Having been started with the work of Ian Hacking, Nancy Cartwright and Ronald Giere, the project of entity realism has recently been developed by Matthias Egg, Markus Eronen, and Bence Nanay. The paper opens a dialogue among these recent views on entity realism and integrates them into a more advanced view. The result is an epistemological criterion for reality: the property-tokens of a certain type may be taken as real insofar as (...)
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  8. Putting the ‘Experiment’ back into the ‘Thought Experiment’.Lorenzo Sartori - 2023 - Synthese 201 (2):1-36.
    Philosophers have debated at length the epistemological status of scientific thought experiments. I contend that the literature on this topic still lacks a common conceptual framework, a lacuna that produces radical disagreement among the participants in this debate. To remedy this problem, I suggest focusing on the distinction between the internal and the external validity of an experiment, which is also crucial for thought experiments. I then develop an account of both kinds of validity in the context of thought experiments. (...)
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  9. The future won’t be pretty: The nature and value of ugly, AI-designed experiments.Michael T. Stuart - 2023 - In Milena Ivanova & Alice Murphy (eds.), The Aesthetics of Scientific Experiments. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Can an ugly experiment be a good experiment? Philosophers have identified many beautiful experiments and explored ways in which their beauty might be connected to their epistemic value. In contrast, the present chapter seeks out (and celebrates) ugly experiments. Among the ugliest are those being designed by AI algorithms. Interestingly, in the contexts where such experiments tend to be deployed, low aesthetic value correlates with high epistemic value. In other words, ugly experiments can be good. Given this, we should conclude (...)
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  10. Simulation of Trial Data to Test Speculative Hypotheses about Research Methods.Hamed Tabatabaei Ghomi & Jacob Stegenga - 2023 - In Kristien Hens & Andreas de Block (eds.), Advances in experimental philosophy of medicine. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 111-128.
    We simulate trial data to test speculative claims about research methods, such as the impact of publication bias.
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  11. A Monist Proposal: Against Integrative Pluralism About Protein Structure.Agnes Bolinska - 2022 - Erkenntnis 1 (4).
    Mitchell & Gronenborn propose that we account for the presence of multiple models of protein structure, each produced in different contexts, through the framework of integrative pluralism. I argue that two interpretations of this framework are available, neither of which captures the relationship between a model and the protein structure it represents or between multiple models of protein structure. Further, it inclines us toward concluding prematurely that models of protein structure are right in their contexts and makes extrapolation of findings (...)
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  12. Essence, Experiment, and Underdetermination in the Spinoza-Boyle Correspondence.Stephen Harrop - 2022 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 12 (2):447-484.
    I examine the (mediated) correspondence between Spinoza and Robert Boyle concerning the latter’s account of fluidity and his experiments on reconstitution of niter in the light of the epistemology and doctrine of method contained in the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect. I argue that both the Treatise and the correspondence reveal that for Spinoza, the proper method of science is not experimental, and that he accepted a powerful under-determination thesis. I argue that, in contrast to modern versions, Spinoza’s (...)
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  13. Reality in Perspectives.Mahdi Khalili - 2022 - Dissertation, Vu University Amsterdam
    This dissertation is about human knowledge of reality. In particular, it argues that scientific knowledge is bounded by historically available instruments and theories; nevertheless, the use of several independent instruments and theories can provide access to the persistent potentialities of reality. The replicability of scientific observations and experiments allows us to obtain explorable evidence of robust entities and properties. The dissertation includes seven chapters. It also studies three cases – namely, Higgs bosons and hypothetical Ϝ-particles (section 2.4), the Ptolemaic and (...)
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  14. Evidence of effectiveness.Jacob Stegenga - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91 (C):288-295.
    There are two competing views regarding the role of mechanistic knowledge in inferences about the effectiveness of interventions. One view holds that inferences about the effectiveness of interventions should be based only on data from population-level studies (often statistical evidence from randomised trials). The other view holds that such inferences must be based in part on mechanistic evidence. The competing views are local principles of inference, the plausibility of which can be assessed by a more general normative principle of inference. (...)
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  15. Red herrings about relative measures: A response to Hoefer and Krauss.Jacob Stegenga - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 92 (C):56-59.
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  16. Novel Tool Development and the Dynamics of Control: The Rodent Touchscreen Operant Chamber as a Case Study.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (5):1-19.
    In the quest to discover the neural bases of cognition, rigorous behavioral tools are equally as important as sophisticated tools for neural intervention. This paper evaluates several episodes in the development of a novel behavioral tool for rodent cognitive testing, the rodent touchscreen operant chamber. Using conceptual tools on offer in the philosophical literature on exploratory experimentation and control, I illuminate how optimization of this behavioral tool and an understanding of the causal knowledge it may be used to generate historically (...)
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  17. How interventionist accounts of causation work in experimental practice and why there is no need to worry about supervenience.Tudor M. Baetu - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4601-4620.
    It has been argued that supervenience generates unavoidable confounding problems for interventionist accounts of causation, to the point that we must choose between interventionism and supervenience. According to one solution, the dilemma can be defused by excluding non-causal determinants of an outcome as potential confounders. I argue that this solution undermines the methodological validity of causal tests. Moreover, we don’t have to choose between interventionism and supervenience in the first place. Some confounding problems are effectively circumvented by experimental designs routinely (...)
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  18. Causal Inference from Noise.Nevin Climenhaga, Lane DesAutels & Grant Ramsey - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):152-170.
    "Correlation is not causation" is one of the mantras of the sciences—a cautionary warning especially to fields like epidemiology and pharmacology where the seduction of compelling correlations naturally leads to causal hypotheses. The standard view from the epistemology of causation is that to tell whether one correlated variable is causing the other, one needs to intervene on the system—the best sort of intervention being a trial that is both randomized and controlled. In this paper, we argue that some purely correlational (...)
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  19. Scientonomy and the sociotechnical domain.Paul E. Patton (ed.) - 2021 - Wilmington, Delaware: Vernon Press.
    The sociotechnical domain is the realm of scientists, the communities and institutions they form, and the tools and instruments they use to create, disseminate, and preserve knowledge. This paper reviews current scientonomic theory concerning this domain. A core scientonomic concept is that of an epistemic agent. Generally, an agent is an entity capable of intentional action—action that has content or meaning due to its purposeful direction towards a goal. An epistemic agent is one whose actions are the taking of epistemic (...)
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  20. Were experiments ever neglected? Ian Hacking and the history of philosophy of experiment.Massimiliano Simons & Matteo Vagelli - 2021 - Philosophical Inquiries 9 (1):167-188.
    Ian Hacking’s Representing and Intervening is often credited as being one of the first works to focus on the role of experimentation in philosophy of science, catalyzing a movement which is sometimes called the “philosophy of experiment” or “new experimentalism”. In the 1980s, a number of other movements and scholars also began focusing on the role of experimentation and instruments in science. Philosophical study of experimentation has thus seemed to be an invention of the 1980s whose central figure is Hacking. (...)
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  21. Understanding Stability in Cognitive Neuroscience Through Hacking's Lens.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2021 - Philosophical Inquiries (1):189-208.
    Ian Hacking instigated a revolution in 20th century philosophy of science by putting experiments (“interventions”) at the top of a philosophical agenda that historically had focused nearly exclusively on representations (“theories”). In this paper, I focus on a set of conceptual tools Hacking (1992) put forward to understand how laboratory sciences become stable and to explain what such stability meant for the prospects of unity of science and kind discovery in experimental science. I first use Hacking’s tools to understand sources (...)
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  22. Extrapolating from Laboratory Behavioral Research on Nonhuman Primates Is Unjustified.Parker Crutchfield - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):628-645.
    Conducting research on animals is supposed to be valuable because it provides information on how human mechanisms work. But for the use of animal models to be ethically justified, it must be epistemically justified. The inference from an observation about an animal model to a conclusion about humans must be warranted for the use of animals to be moral. When researchers infer from animals to humans, it’s an extrapolation. Often non-human primates are used as animal models in laboratory behavioral research. (...)
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  23. Wundt and “Higher Cognition”: Elements, Association, Apperception, and Experiment.Gary Hatfield - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):48-75.
    Throughout his career, Wundt recognized Völkerpsychologie (VP) as (at first) ancillary to experimental psychology or (later) as its required complement. New scholarship from around 1979 highlighted this fact while claiming to correct a picture of Wundt as a pure associationist, attributed to Boring’s History of Experimental Psychology, by instead emphasizing apperception in Wundt’s scheme (sec. 2). The criticisms of Boring, summarized by Blumenthal in 1980, overshot the mark. Boring’s Wundt was no pure associationist. Both Boring and the seventy-niner historians emphasized (...)
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  24. Experimental Design: Ethics, Integrity and the Scientific Method.Jonathan Lewis - 2020 - In Ron Iphofen (ed.), Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity. Springer. pp. 459-474.
    Experimental design is one aspect of a scientific method. A well-designed, properly conducted experiment aims to control variables in order to isolate and manipulate causal effects and thereby maximize internal validity, support causal inferences, and guarantee reliable results. Traditionally employed in the natural sciences, experimental design has become an important part of research in the social and behavioral sciences. Experimental methods are also endorsed as the most reliable guides to policy effectiveness. Through a discussion of some of the central concepts (...)
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  25. Examining Tensions in the Past and Present Uses of Concepts (Preprint).Eden T. Smith - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:84-94.
    Examining tensions between the past and present uses of scientific concepts can help clarify their contributions as tools in experimental practices. This point can be illustrated by considering the concepts of mental imagery and hallucinations: despite debates over their respective referential reliabilities remaining unresolved within their interdependent histories, both are used as independently stable concepts in neuroimaging experiments. Building on an account of how these concepts function as tools structured for pursuit of diverging goals in experiments, this paper explores this (...)
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  26. The Aims and Structures of Ecological Research Programs.William Bausman - 2019 - Philosophical Topics 47 (1):1-20.
    Neutral Theory is controversial in ecology. Ecologists and philosophers have diagnosed the source of the controversy as: its false assumption that individuals in different species within the same trophic level are ecologically equivalent, its conflict with Competition Theory and the adaptation of species, its role as a null hypothesis, and as a Lakatosian research programme. In this paper, I show why we should instead understand the conflict at the level of research programs which involve more than theory. The Neutralist and (...)
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  27. Epistemic tools and epistemic agents in Scientonomy.Paul E. Patton - 2019 - Scientonomy: Journal for the Science of Science 3:63-89.
    The only subtype of epistemic agent currently recognized within scientonomy is community. The place of both individuals and epistemic tools in the scientonomic ontology is yet to be clarified. This paper extends the scientonomic ontology to include epistemic agents and epistemic tools as well as their relationship to one another. Epistemic agent is defined as an agent capable of taking epistemic stances towards epistemic elements. These stances must be taken intentionally, that is, based on a semantic understanding of the epistemic (...)
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  28. Examining the Structured Uses of Concepts as Tools: Converging Insights.Eden T. Smith - 2019 - Filozofia Nauki 27 (4):7-22.
    Examining the historical development of scientific concepts is important for understanding the structured routines within which these concepts are currently used as goal-directed tools in experiments. To illustrate this claim, I will outline how the concepts of mental imagery and hallucinations each draw on an older interdependent set of associations that, although nominally-discarded, continues to structure their current independent uses for pursuing discrete experimental goals. In doing so, I will highlight how three strands of literature offer mutually instructive insights for (...)
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  29. Placebo trials without mechanisms: How far can they go?David Teira - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 77 (C):101177.
    In this paper, Isuggest that placebo effects, as we know them today, should be understood as experimental phenomena, low-level regularities whose causal structure is grasped through particular experimental designs with little theoretical guidance. Focusing on placebo interventions with needles for pain reduction -one of the few placebo regularities that seems to arise in meta-analytical studies- I discuss the extent to which it is possible to decompose the different factors at play through more fine-grained randomized clinical trials. My sceptical argument is (...)
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  30. In defence of transcendental idealism: reply to McWherter.Guus Duindam - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (5):514-518.
    I recently argued that critical realists ought to adopt transcendental idealism in favour of Bhaskar’s transcendental realism. In response, Dustin McWherter presents two arguments against transcendental idealism: it is inferior to transcendental realism because it cannot account for the epistemic significance of experimentation, and it is internally inconsistent because it affirms the existence of things-in-themselves. This brief reply defends transcendental idealism against both objections.
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  31. Why critical realists ought to be transcendental idealists.Guus Duindam - 2018 - Journal of Critical Realism 17 (3):297-307.
    In A Realist Theory of Science, Roy Bhaskar provides several transcendental arguments for critical realism – a position Bhaskar himself characterized as transcendental realism. Bhaskar provides an argument from perception and from the intelligibility of scientific experimentation, maintaining that transcendental realism is necessary for both. I argue that neither argument succeeds, and that transcendental idealism can better vindicate scientific practice than Bhaskar’s realism. Bhaskar’s arguments against the Kantian view fail, for they misrepresent the transcendental idealist position. I conclude that, if (...)
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  32. Recipes for Science: An Introduction to Scientific Methods and Reasoning.Angela Potochnik, Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    There is widespread recognition at universities that a proper understanding of science is needed for all undergraduates. Good jobs are increasingly found in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine, and science now enters almost all aspects of our daily lives. For these reasons, scientific literacy and an understanding of scientific methodology are a foundational part of any undergraduate education. Recipes for Science provides an accessible introduction to the main concepts and methods of scientific reasoning. With the help of (...)
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  33. The epistemic superiority of experiment to simulation.Sherrilyn Roush - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4883-4906.
    This paper defends the naïve thesis that the method of experiment has per se an epistemic superiority over the method of computer simulation, a view that has been rejected by some philosophers writing about simulation, and whose grounds have been hard to pin down by its defenders. I further argue that this superiority does not come from the experiment’s object being materially similar to the target in the world that the investigator is trying to learn about, as both sides of (...)
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  34. The epistemic superiority of experiment to simulation.Sherrilyn Roush - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4883-4906.
    This paper defends the naïve thesis that the method of experiment has per se an epistemic superiority over the method of computer simulation, a view that has been rejected by some philosophers writing about simulation, and whose grounds have been hard to pin down by its defenders. I further argue that this superiority does not come from the experiment’s object being materially similar to the target in the world that the investigator is trying to learn about, as both sides of (...)
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  35. When Should We Stop Investing in a Scientific Project? The Halting Problem in Experimental Physics.Vlasta Sikimić, Sandro Radovanović & Slobodan Perovic - 2018 - In Kaja Damnjanović, Ivana Stepanović Ilić & Slobodan Marković (eds.), Proceedings of the XXIV Conference “Empirical Studies in Psychology”. pp. 105-107.
    The question of when to stop an unsuccessful experiment can be difficult to answer from an individual perspective. To help to guide these decisions, we turn to the social epistemology of science and investigate knowledge inquisition within a group. We focused on the expensive and lengthy experiments in high energy physics, which were suitable for citation-based analysis because of the relatively quick and reliable consensus about the importance of results in the field. In particular, we tested whether the time spent (...)
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  36. Interdependent Concepts and their Independent Uses: Mental Imagery and Hallucinations.Eden T. Smith - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (3):360-399.
    The scientific concepts of mental imagery and hallucinations are each used independently of the other in experiments; uses that simultaneously evoke and obscure their historical connections. To highlight one of these connections, I will begin by sketching episodes from the largely separate developmental trajectories of each concept. Considering these historical sketches side-by-side, I will argue that the independent uses of these concepts each inherited a shared set of interdependent associations. In doing so, I seek to illustrate the value of examining (...)
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  37. Optogenetics, Pluralism, and Progress.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (00):1090-1101.
    Optogenetic techniques are described as “revolutionary” for the unprecedented causal control they allow neuroscientists to exert over neural activity in awake behaving animals. In this paper, I demonstrate by means of a case study that optogenetic techniques will only illuminate causal links between the brain and behavior to the extent that their error characteristics are known and, further, that determining these error characteristics requires comparison of optogenetic techniques with techniques having well known error characteristics and consideration of the broader neural (...)
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  38. Judging Mechanistic Neuroscience: A Preliminary Conceptual-Analytic Framework for Evaluating Scientific Evidence in the Courtroom.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan & Emily Baron - 2018 - Psychology, Crime and Law (00):00-00.
    The use of neuroscientific evidence in criminal trials has been steadily increasing. Despite progress made in recent decades in understanding the mechanisms of psychological and behavioral functioning, neuroscience is still in an early stage of development and its potential for influencing legal decision-making is highly contentious. Scholars disagree about whether or how neuroscientific evidence might impact prescriptions of criminal culpability, particularly in instances in which evidence of an accused’s history of mental illness or brain abnormality is offered to support a (...)
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  39. On the Identity of Thought Experiments: Thought Experiments Rethought.Alisa Bokulich & Mélanie Frappier - 2017 - In Michael T. Stuart, Yiftach Fehige & James Robert Brown (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Thought Experiments. London: Routledge.
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  40. Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Jeff Kochan - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers.
    REVIEW (1): "Jeff Kochan’s book offers both an original reading of Martin Heidegger’s early writings on science and a powerful defense of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) research program. Science as Social Existence weaves together a compelling argument for the thesis that SSK and Heidegger’s existential phenomenology should be thought of as mutually supporting research programs." (Julian Kiverstein, in Isis) ---- REVIEW (2): "I cannot in the space of this review do justice to the richness and range of Kochan's (...)
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  41. ¿Metacognición en los animales? Los argumentos de Carruthers en contra de los test metacognitivos.Joan Sebastián Mejía-Rendón - 2017 - Versiones 2° 12 (2° época):62-76.
    This paper reconstructs Peter Carruthers’s arguments for criticizing the test focused on the metacognitive capacities of non-humans animals. It is possible to discuss metacognition or there are other mechanisms that being is used by animals in the metacognitive test? This paper offers an overview about the dispute about the metacognitive capacities(metaperception and metamemory) of the animals. The structure of this paper is the following: the first part presents the most relevant arguments that Carruthers offers to discuss and criticize the experiments (...)
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  42. Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
    What role does the imagination play in scientific progress? After examining several studies in cognitive science, I argue that one thing the imagination does is help to increase scientific understanding, which is itself indispensable for scientific progress. Then, I sketch a transcendental justification of the role of imagination in this process.
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  43. The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations.Anita Bandrowski, Ryan Brinkman, Mathias Brochhausen, Matthew H. Brush, Bill Bug, Marcus C. Chibucos, Kevin Clancy, Mélanie Courtot, Dirk Derom, Michel Dumontier, Liju Fan, Jennifer Fostel, Gilberto Fragoso, Frank Gibson, Alejandra Gonzalez-Beltran, Melissa A. Haendel, Yongqun He, Mervi Heiskanen, Tina Hernandez-Boussard, Mark Jensen, Yu Lin, Allyson L. Lister, Phillip Lord, James Malone, Elisabetta Manduchi, Monnie McGee, Norman Morrison, James A. Overton, Helen Parkinson, Bjoern Peters, Philippe Rocca-Serra, Alan Ruttenberg, Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Richard H. Scheuermann, Daniel Schober, Barry Smith, Larisa N. Soldatova, Christian J. Stoeckert, Chris F. Taylor, Carlo Torniai, Jessica A. Turner, Randi Vita, Patricia L. Whetzel & Jie Zheng - 2016 - PLoS ONE 11 (4):e0154556.
    The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) is an ontology that provides terms with precisely defined meanings to describe all aspects of how investigations in the biological and medical domains are conducted. OBI re-uses ontologies that provide a representation of biomedical knowledge from the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) project and adds the ability to describe how this knowledge was derived. We here describe the state of OBI and several applications that are using it, such as adding semantic expressivity to (...)
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  44. The ImmPort Antibody Ontology.William Duncan, Travis Allen, Jonathan Bona, Olivia Helfer, Barry Smith, Alan Ruttenberg & Alexander D. Diehl - 2016 - Proceedings of the International Conference on Biological Ontology 1747.
    Monoclonal antibodies are essential biomedical research and clinical reagents that are produced by companies and research laboratories. The NIAID ImmPort (Immunology Database and Analysis Portal) resource provides a long-term, sustainable data warehouse for immunological data generated by NIAID, DAIT and DMID funded investigators for data archiving and re-use. A variety of immunological data is generated using techniques that rely upon monoclonal antibody reagents, including flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and ELISA. In order to facilitate querying, integration, and reuse of data, standardized terminology (...)
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  45. What is Hacking’s argument for entity realism?Boaz Miller - 2016 - Synthese 193 (3):991-1006.
    According to Ian Hacking’s Entity Realism, unobservable entities that scientists carefully manipulate to study other phenomena are real. Although Hacking presents his case in an intuitive, attractive, and persuasive way, his argument remains elusive. I present five possible readings of Hacking’s argument: a no-miracle argument, an indispensability argument, a transcendental argument, a Vichian argument, and a non-argument. I elucidate Hacking’s argument according to each reading, and review their strengths, their weaknesses, and their compatibility with each other.
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  46. The life of the cortical column: opening the domain of functional architecture of the cortex.Haueis Philipp - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3):1-27.
    The concept of the cortical column refers to vertical cell bands with similar response properties, which were initially observed by Vernon Mountcastle’s mapping of single cell recordings in the cat somatic cortex. It has subsequently guided over 50 years of neuroscientific research, in which fundamental questions about the modularity of the cortex and basic principles of sensory information processing were empirically investigated. Nevertheless, the status of the column remains controversial today, as skeptical commentators proclaim that the vertical cell bands are (...)
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  47. Hollow Hunt for Harms.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (5):481-504.
    Harms of medical interventions are systematically underestimated in clinical research. Numerous factors—conceptual, methodological, and social—contribute to this underestimation. I articulate the depth of such underestimation by describing these factors at the various stages of clinical research. Before any evidence is gathered, the ways harms are operationalized in clinical research contributes to their underestimation. Medical interventions are first tested in phase 1 ‘first in human’ trials, but evidence from these trials is rarely published, despite the fact that such trials provide the (...)
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  48. Neuroscientific Kinds Through the Lens of Scientific Practice.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2016 - In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 47-56.
    In this chapter, I argue that scientific practice in the neurosciences of cognition is not conducive to the discovery of natural kinds of cognitive capacities. The “neurosciences of cognition” include cognitive neuroscience and cognitive neurobiology, two research areas that aim to understand how the brain gives rise to cognition and behavior. Some philosophers of neuroscience have claimed that explanatory progress in these research areas ultimately will result in the discovery of the underlying mechanisms of cognitive capacities. Once such mechanistic understanding (...)
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  49. Debiasing Methods and the Acceptability of Experimental Outcomes.David Teira - 2016 - Perspectives on Science 24 (6):722-743.
    Why scientists reach an agreement on new experimental methods when there are conflicts of interest about the evidence they yield? I argue that debiasing methods play a crucial role in this consensus, providing a warrant about the impartiality of the outcome regarding the preferences of different parties involved in the experiment. From a contractarian perspective, I contend that an epistemic pre-requisite for scientists to agree on an experimental method is that this latter is neutral regarding their competing interests. I present (...)
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  50. Experiment and Speculation in Seventeenth-Century Italy: The Case of Geminiano Montanari.Alberto Vanzo - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:52-61.
    This paper reconstructs the natural philosophical method of Geminiano Montanari, one of the most prominent Italian natural philosophers of the late seventeenth century. Montanari’s views are used as a case study to assess recent claims concerning early modern experimental philosophy. Having presented the distinctive tenets of seventeenth-century experimental philosophers, I argue that Montanari adheres to them explicitly, thoroughly, and consistently. The study of Montanari’s views supports three claims. First, experimental philosophy was not an exclusively British phenomenon. Second, in spite of (...)
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