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  1. Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1245–1272.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism, both of which are well-known accounts of the nature of scientific inference. In Sect. 2, I give a brief overview of Bayesianism and IBE. In Sect. 3, I argue that IBE in its most prominently defended forms is difficult to reconcile with Bayesianism because not all of the items that feature on popular lists of “explanatory virtues”—by means of which IBE ranks competing explanations—have confirmational import. (...)
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  • Scientific Conclusions Need Not Be Accurate, Justified, or Believed by Their Authors.Haixin Dang & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - Synthese:1-17.
    We argue that the main results of scientific papers may appropriately be published even if they are false, unjustified, and not believed to be true or justified by their author. To defend this claim we draw upon the literature studying the norms of assertion, and consider how they would apply if one attempted to hold claims made in scientific papers to their strictures, as assertions and discovery claims in scientific papers seem naturally analogous. We first use a case study of (...)
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  • Beliefs Are Object-Attribute Associations of Varying Strength.Jonathan Jong - 2018 - Contemporary Pragmatism 15 (3):284-301.
    Associative theories of cognitive representation begin with an ontology of two kinds of entities: concepts and associations. According to most social cognitive theories of attitudes, attitudes are object-evaluation associations of varying strength, where strength is defined in terms of accessibility. This paper proposes a cognitive account of belief such that beliefs are object-attribute associations of varying strength: thus, insofar as evaluative concepts are examples of attribute concepts, attitudes are a species of belief. This cognitive account of belief also denies that (...)
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  • Abduction and the Scientific Realist Case for Properties.Matthew Tugby - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 98 (1):123-145.
    Traditionally, many arguments for realism about properties rely on a priori claims. The author argues that if we make use of an abductive principle that is commonly employed by scientific realists, a new argument for property realism can be formulated which is based firmly in scientific practice. The abductive principle says that we should believe in the existence of certain theoretical entities if they figure in the best explanation for what scientists observe. The scientific argument for property realism then says (...)
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  • Inference to the More Robust Explanation.Nicholaos Jones - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):75-102.
    ABSTRACT There is a new argument form within theoretical biology. This form takes as input competing explanatory models; it yields as output the conclusion that one of these models is more plausible than the others. The driving force for this argument form is an analysis showing that one model exhibits more parametric robustness than its competitors. This article examines these inferences to the more robust explanation, analysing them as variants of inference to the best explanation. The article defines parametric robustness (...)
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  • Philosophers and Scientists Are Social Epistemic Agents.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective.
    In this paper, I reply to Markus Arnold’s comment and Amanda Bryant’s comment on my work “Can Kuhn’s Taxonomic Incommensurability be an Image of Science?” in Moti Mizrahi’s edited collection, The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation?. Philosophers and scientists are social epistemic agents. As such, they ought to behave in accordance with epistemic norms governing the behavior of social epistemic agents.
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  • Scientific Understanding, Fictional Understanding, and Scientific Progress.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (1):173–184.
    The epistemic account and the noetic account hold that the essence of scientific progress is the increase in knowledge and understanding, respectively. Dellsén (2018) criticizes the epistemic account (Park, 2017a) and defends the noetic account (Dellsén, 2016). I argue that Dellsén’s criticisms against the epistemic account fail, and that his notion of understanding, which he claims requires neither belief nor justification, cannot explain scientific progress, although it can explain fictional progress in science-fiction.
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  • String Theory, Non-Empirical Theory Assessment, and the Context of Pursuit.Frank Cabrera - 2018 - Synthese:1-29.
    In this paper, I offer an analysis of the radical disagreement over the adequacy of string theory. The prominence of string theory despite its notorious lack of empirical support is sometimes explained as a troubling case of science gone awry, driven largely by sociological mechanisms such as groupthink (e.g. Smolin 2006). Others, such as Dawid (2013), explain the controversy by positing a methodological revolution of sorts, according to which string theorists have quietly turned to nonempirical methods of theory assessment given (...)
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  • Accepting Our Best Scientific Theories.Seungbae Park - 2015 - Filosofija. Sociologija 26 (3):218-227.
    Dawes (2013) claims that we ought not to believe but to accept our best scientific theories. To accept them means to employ them as premises in our reasoning with the goal of attaining knowledge about unobservables. I reply that if we do not believe our best scientific theories, we cannot gain knowledge about unobservables, our opponents might dismiss the predictions derived from them, and we cannot use them to explain phenomena. We commit an unethical speech act when we explain a (...)
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  • Theory Selection in Modal Epistemology.Robert William Fischer - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 52 (4):381-395.
    Accounts of modal knowledge are many and varied. How should we choose between them? I propose that we employ inference to the best explanation, and I suggest that there are three desiderata that we should use to rank hypotheses: conservatism, simplicity, and the ability to handle disagreement. After examining these desiderata, I contend that they can’t be used to justify belief in the modal epistemology that fares best, but that they can justify our accepting it in an epistemically significant sense. (...)
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  • Why Aren’T More Philosophers Interested in Freud? Re-Evaluating Philosophical Arguments Against Psychoanalysis.Michael Michael - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):959-976.
    Despite its profound influence on modern thought, psychoanalysis remains peripheral to the concerns of most analytic philosophers. I suggest that one of the main reasons for this is intellectual reservation, and explore some philosophical arguments against psychoanalysis that may be contributing to such reservation. Specifically, I address the objections that psychoanalytic theories are unfalsifiable, that the purported findings of psychoanalysis are readily explained as due to suggestion, that there is a troubling lack of consensus in psychoanalytic interpretation, and that there (...)
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  • Metaphysics and the Vera Causa Ideal: The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.Aaron Novick - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):1161-1176.
    L.A. Paul has recently defended the methodology of metaphysics on the grounds that it is continuous with the sciences. She claims that both scientists and metaphysicians use inference to the best explanation to choose between competing theories, and that the success of science vindicates the use of IBE in metaphysics. Specifically, the success of science shows that the theoretical virtues are truth-conducive. I challenge Paul’s claims on two grounds. First, I argue that, at least in biology, scientists adhere to the (...)
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  • Against Deliberative Indispensability as an Independent Guide to What There Is.Brendan Cline - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3235-3254.
    David Enoch has recently proposed that the deliberative indispensability of irreducibly normative facts suffices to support their inclusion in our ontology, even if they are not necessary for the explanation of any observable phenomena. He challenges dissenters to point to a relevant asymmetry between explanation and deliberation that shows why explanatory indispensability, but not deliberative indispensability, is a legitimate guide to ontology. In this paper, I aim to do just that. Given that an entity figures in the actual explanation of (...)
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