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  1. The Levels of the Empirical Sciences.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    It is the aim of this paper to develop and defend an interpretation of level of scientific discipline within the truth-maker framework. In particular, I exploit the mereological relation of proper parthood, which is integral to truth-maker semantics, in order to provide an account of scientific level.
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  2. Die Physik und die Wissenschaftstheorie – Diagnose und Analyse eines Missverständnisses, sowie Konklusionen in Betreff Biologie und Epistemologie.Rudolf Lindpointner - manuscript
    Die Physik nimmt aus zwei Gründen eine herausragende Stellung unter den Wissenschaften ein. Zum einen aufgrund ihrer anerkannten Stellung als Grundlagenwissenschaft, und zum anderen auch durch das Merkmal ihrer offenkundigen Erkenntnissicherheit. Aus beiden Gründen gilt sie gewissermaßen als Paradigma von Wissenschaftlichkeit schlechthin. Mit ihrem Fokus auf das Thema der Erkenntnissicherheit tritt die Wissenschaftstheorie in die Fußstapfen der klassischen Erkenntnistheorie, und darauf gründet sich auch ihr 'richterlicher' Anspruch gegenüber der Physik. Wohingegen die Physik in puncto ihrer Stellung als Grundlagenwissenschaft – sogar (...)
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  3. Our World Isn't Organized Into Levels.Angela Potochnik - 2021 - In Dan Brooks Brooks, James DiFrisco & William C. Wimsatt (eds.), Levels of Organization in Biology. Cambridge, USA: MIT Press.
    Levels of organization and their use in science have received increased philosophical attention of late, including challenges to the well-foundedness or widespread usefulness of levels concepts. One kind of response to these challenges has been to advocate a more precise and specific levels concept that is coherent and useful. Another kind of response has been to argue that the levels concept should be taken as a heuristic, to embrace its ambiguity and the possibility of exceptions as acceptable consequences of its (...)
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  4. Coincidences and the Grain of Explanation.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):677-694.
    I give an account of what makes an event a coincidence. -/- I start by critically discussing a couple of other approaches to the notion of coincidence -- particularly that of Lando (2017) -- before developing my own view. The central idea of my view is that the correct understanding of coincidences is closely related to our understanding of the correct 'level' or 'grain' of explanation. Coincidences have a kind of explanatory deficiency — if they did not have this deficiency (...)
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  5. Near-Decomposability and the Timescale Relativity of Causal Representations.Naftali Weinberger - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):841-856.
    A common strategy for simplifying complex systems involves partitioning them into subsystems whose behaviors are roughly independent of one another at shorter timescales. Dynamic causal models clarify how doing so reveals a system’s nonequilibrium causal relationships. Here I use these models to elucidate the idealizations and abstractions involved in representing a system at a timescale. The models reveal that key features of causal representations—such as which variables are exogenous—may vary with the timescale at which a system is considered. This has (...)
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  6. In Defense of a Realization Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):483-493.
    In earlier work, I proposed and defended a formulation of physicalism that was distinctive in appealing to a carefully-defined relation of physical realization. Various philosophers (Robert Francescotti, Daniel Stoljar, Carl Gillett, and Susan Schneider) have since presented challenges to this formulation. In the present paper, I aim to show that these challenges can be overcome.
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  7. Specialisation, Interdisciplinarity, and Incommensurability.Vincenzo Politi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):301-317.
    Incommensurability may be regarded as driving specialisation, on the one hand, and as posing some problems to interdisciplinarity, on the other hand. It may be argued, however, that incommensurability plays no role in either specialisation or interdisciplinarity. Scientific specialties could be defined as simply 'different' (that is, about different things), rather than 'incommensurable' (that is, competing for the explanation of the same phenomena). Interdisciplinarity could be viewed as the co- ordinated effort of scientists possessing complemetary and interlocking skills, and not (...)
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  8. Must Structural Realism Cover the Special Sciences?Holger Lyre - 2013 - In Vassilios Karakostas & Dennis Dieks (eds.), Epsa11 Perspectives and Foundational Problems in Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 383--390.
    Structural Realism (SR) is typically rated as a moderate realist doctrine about the ultimate entities of nature described by fundamental physics. Whether it must be extended to the higher-level special sciences is not so clear. In this short paper I argue that there is no need to ‘structuralize’ the special sciences. By mounting concrete examples I show that structural descriptions and structural laws certainly play a role in the special sciences, but that they don’t play any exclusive role nor that (...)
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  9. The Limitations of Hierarchical Organization.Angela Potochnik & Brian McGill - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (1):120-140.
    The concept of hierarchical organization is commonplace in science. Subatomic particles compose atoms, which compose molecules; cells compose tissues, which compose organs, which compose organisms; etc. Hierarchical organization is particularly prominent in ecology, a field of research explicitly arranged around levels of ecological organization. The concept of levels of organization is also central to a variety of debates in philosophy of science. Yet many difficulties plague the concept of discrete hierarchical levels. In this paper, we show how these difficulties undermine (...)
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  10. Penser la science et la foi par la passion de la recherche. À propos de 'Chercheurs en science, chercheurs de sens'.Philippe Gagnon - 2011 - Laval Théologique et Philosophique 67 (1):149-154.
    This critical notice was occasioned by the reading of a recent monograph, published at the end of 2009, which features a dialogue and a mutual critical assessment of the work of a microbiologist, also a priest from the Mission de France, and an astrophysicist who was agnostic. The book inquires into the motivations of scientific research, looks at the quest for a Creator behind the said work when done by a believer, and tries to retrieve the spiritual presuppositions that would (...)
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  11. A Neurathian Conception of the Unity of Science.Angela Potochnik - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (3):305-319.
    An historically important conception of the unity of science is explanatory reductionism, according to which the unity of science is achieved by explaining all laws of science in terms of their connection to microphysical law. There is, however, a separate tradition that advocates the unity of science. According to that tradition, the unity of science consists of the coordination of diverse fields of science, none of which is taken to have privileged epistemic status. This alternate conception has roots in Otto (...)
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  12. Deterministic Chance.Luke Glynn - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):51–80.
    I argue that there are non-trivial objective chances (that is, objective chances other than 0 and 1) even in deterministic worlds. The argument is straightforward. I observe that there are probabilistic special scientific laws even in deterministic worlds. These laws project non-trivial probabilities for the events that they concern. And these probabilities play the chance role and so should be regarded as chances as opposed, for example, to epistemic probabilities or credences. The supposition of non-trivial deterministic chances might seem to (...)
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  13. Levels of Explanation Reconceived.Angela Potochnik - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (1):59-72.
    A common argument against explanatory reductionism is that higher‐level explanations are sometimes or always preferable because they are more general than reductive explanations. Here I challenge two basic assumptions that are needed for that argument to succeed. It cannot be assumed that higher‐level explanations are more general than their lower‐level alternatives or that higher‐level explanations are general in the right way to be explanatory. I suggest a novel form of pluralism regarding levels of explanation, according to which explanations at different (...)
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  14. Can Physics Ever Be Complete If There is No Fundamental Level in Nature?Markus Schrenk - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (2):205-208.
    In their recent book Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross claim: (i) Physics is analytically complete since it is the only science that cannot be left incomplete. (ii) There might not be an ontologically fundamental level. (iii) We should not admit anything into our ontology unless it has explanatory and predictive utility. In this discussion note I aim to show that the ontological commitment in implies that the completeness of no science can be achieved where no fundamental level exists. (...)
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  15. La simulation conçue comme expérience concrète.Franck Varenne - 2003 - In Jean-Pierre Müller (ed.), Le statut épistémologique de la simulation. Editions de l'ENST.
    Par un procédé d'objections/réponses, nous passons d'abord en revue certains des arguments en faveur ou en défaveur du caractère empirique de la simulation informatique. A l'issue de ce chemin clarificateur, nous proposons des arguments en faveur du caractère concret des objets simulés en science, ce qui légitime le fait que l'on parle à leur sujet d'une expérience, plus spécifiquement d'une expérience concrète du second genre.
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  16. The Brain's 'New' Science: Psychology, Neurophysiology, and Constraint.Gary Hatfield - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):388-404.
    There is a strong philosophical intuition that direct study of the brain can and will constrain the development of psychological theory. When this intuition is tested against case studies on the neurophysiology and psychology of perception and memory, it turns out that psychology has led the way toward knowledge of neurophysiology. An abstract argument is developed to show that psychology can and must lead the way in neuroscientific study of mental function. The opposing intuition is based on mainly weak arguments (...)
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  17. Über Die Heuristische Funktion des Korrespondenzprinzips.Stephan Hartmann - 1995 - In Jürgen Mittelstrass (ed.), Die Zunkunft des Wissens. Universitätsverlag Konstanz. pp. 500-506.
    Die Frage nach dem Verhältnis aufeinanderfolgender Theorien rückte spätestens mit der Publikation von T. S. Kuhns einflußreicher Schrift Die Struktur wissenschaftlicher Revolutionen im Jahre 1961 in den Brennpunkt wissenschaftsphilosophischer Untersuchungen. Dabei gibt es im wesentlichen zwei große Lager. Auf der einen Seite stehen Philosophen wie P. Feyerabend und T. S. Kuhn selbst, die den Aspekt der Diskontinuität...
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  18. Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide.Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland - 1992 - In Y. Christen & P. S. Churchland (eds.), Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer's Disease. Cambridge: Springer Verlag. pp. 18--29.
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  19. Mind-Brain Reduction: New Light From Philosophy of Science.Patricia S. Churchland - 1982 - Neuroscience 7:1041-7.
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