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  1. The Aim of Belief and the Aim of Science.Alexander Bird - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):171.
    I argue that the constitutive aim of belief and the constitutive aim of science are both knowledge. The ‘aim of belief’, understood as the correctness conditions of belief, is to be identified with the product of properly functioning cognitive systems. Science is an institution that is the social functional analogue of a cognitive system, and its aim is the same as that of belief. In both cases it is knowledge rather than true belief that is the product of proper functioning.
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  • Scientific Understanding, Fictional Understanding, and Scientific Progress.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:00-00.
    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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  • Should Scientific Realists Embrace Theoretical Conservatism?Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:30-38.
    A prominent type of scientific realism holds that some important parts of our best current scientific theories are at least approximately true. According to such realists, radically distinct alternatives to these theories or theory-parts are unlikely to be approximately true. Thus one might be tempted to argue, as the prominent anti-realist Kyle Stanford recently did, that realists of this kind have little or no reason to encourage scientists to attempt to identify and develop theoretical alternatives that are radically distinct from (...)
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  • The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  • Explicating Objectual Understanding: Taking Degrees Seriously.Christoph Baumberger - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 1:1-22.
    The paper argues that an account of understanding should take the form of a Carnapian explication and acknowledge that understanding comes in degrees. An explication of objectual understanding is defended, which helps to make sense of the cognitive achievements and goals of science. The explication combines a necessary condition with three evaluative dimensions: An epistemic agent understands a subject matter by means of a theory only if the agent commits herself sufficiently to the theory of the subject matter, and to (...)
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  • Why Adding Truths Is Not Enough: A Reply to Mizrahi on Progress as Approximation to the Truth.Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-7.
    ABSTRACTIn a recent paper in this journal, entitled ‘Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough’, Moti Mizrahi argues that the view of progress as approximation to the truth or increasing verisimilitude is plainly false. The key premise of his argument is that on such a view of progress, in order to get closer to the truth one only needs to arbitrarily add a true disjunct to a hypothesis or theory. Since quite clearly scientific progress is not a (...)
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  • Evidence Amalgamation, Plausibility, and Cancer Research.Marta Bertolaso & Fabio Sterpetti - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3279-3317.
    Cancer research is experiencing ‘paradigm instability’, since there are two rival theories of carcinogenesis which confront themselves, namely the somatic mutation theory and the tissue organization field theory. Despite this theoretical uncertainty, a huge quantity of data is available thanks to the improvement of genome sequencing techniques. Some authors think that the development of new statistical tools will be able to overcome the lack of a shared theoretical perspective on cancer by amalgamating as many data as possible. We think instead (...)
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  • Deductive Cogency, Understanding, and Acceptance.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3121-3141.
    Deductive Cogency holds that the set of propositions towards which one has, or is prepared to have, a given type of propositional attitude should be consistent and closed under logical consequence. While there are many propositional attitudes that are not subject to this requirement, e.g. hoping and imagining, it is at least prima facie plausible that Deductive Cogency applies to the doxastic attitude involved in propositional knowledge, viz. belief. However, this thought is undermined by the well-known preface paradox, leading a (...)
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  • Scientific Realism: What It is, the Contemporary Debate, and New Directions.Darrell Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):451-484.
    First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
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  • Sulla concezione noetica del progresso scientifico.Fabio Sterpetti - 2017 - Paradigmi. Rivista di Critica Filosofica 35 (3):135-155.
    Le principali concezioni del progresso scientifico sono tre: la concezione epistemica, secondo cui il progresso si verifica quando si verifica un incremento della conoscenza; la concezione semantica, secondo cui il progresso si verifica quando vi è un incremento delle verità; la concezione problem-solving, secondo cui il progresso si verifica quando si verifica un incremento del numero dei problemi che si è in grado di risolvere. La concezione epistemica è ritenuta la più compatibile con una prospettiva realista. Di recente, Dellsén ha (...)
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  • The Noetic Account of Scientific Progress and the Factivity of Understanding.Fabio Sterpetti - 2018 - In David Danks & Emiliano Ippoliti (eds.), Building Theories. Heuristics and Hypotheses in Sciences. Cham: Springer Verlag.
    There are three main accounts of scientific progress: 1) the epistemic account, according to which an episode in science constitutes progress when there is an increase in knowledge; 2) the semantic account, according to which progress is made when the number of truths increases; 3) the problem-solving account, according to which progress is made when the number of problems that we are able to solve increases. Each of these accounts has received several criticisms in the last decades. Nevertheless, some authors (...)
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  • Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)
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  • A Hybrid Account of Scientific Progress: Finding Middle Ground Between the Epistemic and the Noetic Accounts.Clara Goebel - 2019 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy (AO):1-16.
    Whereas the progressive nature of science is widely recognised, specifying the standards of scientific progress has been subject to philosophical debate since the enlightenment. Recently, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Alexander Bird, and Finnur Dellsén have revived this debate by setting forward a semantic, epistemic and noetic account of scientific progress respectively. I argue that none of these accounts is satisfactory. The semantic and epistemic accounts might advance necessary conditions for scientific progress, namely an accumulation of true, justified, and non-Gettiered beliefs, but fail (...)
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  • Does Scientific Progress Consist in Increasing Knowledge or Understanding?Seungbae Park - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):569-579.
    Bird argues that scientific progress consists in increasing knowledge. Dellsén objects that increasing knowledge is neither necessary nor sufficient for scientific progress, and argues that scientific progress rather consists in increasing understanding. Dellsén also contends that unlike Bird’s view, his view can account for the scientific practices of using idealizations and of choosing simple theories over complex ones. I argue that Dellsén’s criticisms against Bird’s view fail, and that increasing understanding cannot account for scientific progress, if acceptance, as opposed to (...)
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  • Defense of Epistemic Reciprocalism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Filosofija. Sociologija 28 (1):56-64.
    Scientific realists and antirealists believe that a successful scientific theory is true and merely empirically adequate, respectively. In contrast, epistemic reciprocalists believe that realists’ positive theories are true, and that antirealists’ positive theories are merely empirically adequate, treating their target agents as their target agents treat other epistemic agents. Antirealists cannot convince reciprocalists that their positive theories are true, no matter how confident they might be that they are true. In addition, reciprocalists criticize antirealists’ positive theories exactly in the way (...)
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  • Scientific Progress: Four Accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
    Scientists are constantly making observations, carrying out experiments, and analyzing empirical data. Meanwhile, scientific theories are routinely being adopted, revised, discarded, and replaced. But when are such changes to the content of science improvements on what came before? This is the question of scientific progress. One answer is that progress occurs when scientific theories ‘get closer to the truth’, i.e. increase their degree of truthlikeness. A second answer is that progress consists in increasing theories’ effectiveness for solving scientific problems. A (...)
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  • Scientific Progress, Understanding, and Knowledge: Reply to Park.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):451-459.
    Dellsén has recently argued for an understanding-based account of scientific progress, the noetic account, according to which science makes cognitive progress precisely when it increases our understanding of some aspect of the world. I contrast this account with Bird’s ; epistemic account, according to which such progress is made precisely when our knowledge of the world is increased or accumulated. In a recent paper, Park criticizes various aspects of my account and his arguments in favor of the noetic account as (...)
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  • Beyond Explanation: Understanding as Dependency Modeling.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper presents and argues for an account of objectual understanding that aims to do justice to the full range of cases of scientific understanding, including cases in which one does not have an explanation of the understood phenomenon. According to the proposed account, one understands a phenomenon just in case one grasps a sufficiently accurate and comprehensive model of the ways in which it or its features are situated within a network of dependence relations; one’s degree of understanding is (...)
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  • Analogue Quantum Simulation: A Philosophical Prospectus.Dominik Hangleiter, Jacques Carolan & Karim P. Y. Thebault - unknown
    This paper provides the first systematic philosophical analysis of an increasingly important part of modern scientific practice: analogue quantum simulation. We introduce the distinction between `simulation' and `emulation' as applied in the context of two case studies. Based upon this distinction, and building upon ideas from the recent philosophical literature on scientific understanding, we provide a normative framework to isolate and support the goals of scientists undertaking analogue quantum simulation and emulation. We expect our framework to be useful to both (...)
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  • Taming Theory with Thought Experiments: Understanding and Scientific Progress.Michael T. Stuart - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 58:24-33.
    I claim that one way thought experiments contribute to scientific progress is by increasing scientific understanding. Understanding does not have a currently accepted characterization in the philosophical literature, but I argue that we already have ways to test for it. For instance, current pedagogical practice often requires that students demonstrate being in either or both of the following two states: 1) Having grasped the meaning of some relevant theory, concept, law or model, 2) Being able to apply that theory, concept, (...)
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