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  1. Reconstructing rational reconstructions: on Lakatos’s account on the relation between history and philosophy of science.Thodoris Dimitrakos - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-29.
    In this paper, I argue that Imre Lakatos’s account on the relation between the history and the philosophy of science, if properly understood and also if properly modified, can be valuable for the philosophical comprehension of the relation between the history and the philosophy of science. The paper is divided into three main parts. In the first part, I provide a charitable exegesis of the Lakatosian conception of the history of science in order to show that Lakatos’s history cannot be (...)
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  • The Aims and Structures of Research Projects That Use Gene Regulatory Information with Evolutionary Genetic Models.Steve Elliott - 2017 - Dissertation, Arizona State University
    At the interface of developmental biology and evolutionary biology, the very criteria of scientific knowledge are up for grabs. A central issue is the status of evolutionary genetics models, which some argue cannot coherently be used with complex gene regulatory network (GRN) models to explain the same evolutionary phenomena. Despite those claims, many researchers use evolutionary genetics models jointly with GRN models to study evolutionary phenomena. -/- This dissertation compares two recent research projects in which researchers jointly use the two (...)
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  • Appraising the Epistemic Performance of Social Systems: The Case of Think Tank Evaluations.François Claveau & Andréanne Veillette - forthcoming - Episteme:1-19.
    This article elaborates a conceptual framework to systematize the epistemic evaluation of social systems. This framework can be used to structure an evaluation or to characterize and assess existing ones. The article then uses the framework to assess four representative evaluations of think tanks. This meta-evaluation exemplifies how the framework can play its structuring role. It also leads us to general conclusions about the existing evaluations of think tanks. Most importantly, by focusing on the organizational level, existing evaluations miss factors (...)
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  • So close no matter how far: counterfactuals in history of science and the inevitability/contingency controversy.Luca Tambolo - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2111-2141.
    This paper has a twofold purpose. First, it aims at highlighting one difference in how counterfactuals work in general history, on the one hand, and in history of the natural sciences, on the other hand. As we show, both in general history and in history of science good counterfactual narratives need to be plausible, where plausibility is construed as appropriate continuity of both the antecedent and the consequent of the counterfactual with what we know about the world. However, in general (...)
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  • Stabilization of Phenomenon and Meaning: On the London & London Episode as a Historical Case in Philosophy of Science.Jan Potters - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):23.
    In recent years, the use of historical cases in philosophy of science has become a proper topic of reflection. In this article I will contribute to this research by means of a discussion of one very famous example of case-based philosophy of science, namely the debate on the London & London model of superconductivity between Cartwright, Suárez and Shomar on the one hand, and French, Ladyman, Bueno and Da Costa on the other. This debate has been going on for years, (...)
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  • Cementing Science. Understanding Science Through Its Development.Veli Virmajoki - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Turku
    In this book, I defend the present-centered approach in historiography of science (i.e. study of the history of science), build an account for causal explanations in historiography of science, and show the fruitfulness of the approach and account in when we attempt to understand science. -/- The present-centered approach defines historiography of science as a field that studies the developments that led to the present science. I argue that the choice of the targets of studies in historiography of science should (...)
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  • What Is the Epistemic Function of Highly Idealized Agent-Based Models of Scientific Inquiry?Daniel Frey & Dunja Šešelja - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (4):407-433.
    In this paper we examine the epistemic value of highly idealized agent-based models of social aspects of scientific inquiry. On the one hand, we argue that taking the results of such simulations as informative of actual scientific inquiry is unwarranted, at least for the class of models proposed in recent literature. Moreover, we argue that a weaker approach, which takes these models as providing only “how-possibly” explanations, does not help to improve their epistemic value. On the other hand, we suggest (...)
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  • Could Science Be Interestingly Different?Veli Virmajoki - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 12 (2):303-324.
    In this paper, I investigate the issue of the contingency and inevitability of science. First, I point out valuable insights from the existing discussion about the issue. I then formulate a general framework, built on the notion of contrastive explanation and counterfactuals, that can be used to approach questions of contingency of science. I argue, with an example from the existing historiography of science, that this framework could be useful to historians of science. Finally, I argue that this framework shows (...)
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  • Using History as Evidence in Philosophy of Science: A Methodological Critique.James W. McAllister - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 12 (2):239-258.
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  • State of the Field: Are the Results of Science Contingent or Inevitable?Katherina Kinzel - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:55-66.
    This paper presents a survey of the literature on the problem of contingency in science. The survey is structured around three challenges faced by current attempts at understanding the conflict between “contingentist” and “inevitabilist” interpretations of scientific knowledge and practice. First, the challenge of definition: it proves hard to define the positions that are at stake in a way that is both conceptually rigorous and does justice to the plethora of views on the issue. Second, the challenge of distinction: some (...)
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  • The Problem of Rule-Choice Redux.Luca Tambolo - 2018 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 12 (2):284-302.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 In this paper, we tackle the contribution that history of science can make to the _problem of rule-choice_, i.e., the choice from among competing methodological rules. Taking our cue from Larry Laudan’s writings, we extensively discuss what we call _historicist naturalism_, i.e., the view that history of science plays a pivotal role in the justification of rules, since it is one source of the evidence required to settle methodological controversies. As we illustrate, there are cases (...)
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  • How to Be Rational About Empirical Success in Ongoing Science: The Case of the Quantum Nose and its Critics.Ann-Sophie Barwich - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 69:40-51.
    Empirical success is a central criterion for scientific decision-making. Yet its understanding in philosophical studies of science deserves renewed attention: Should philosophers think differently about the advancement of science when they deal with the uncertainty of outcome in ongoing research in comparison with historical episodes? This paper argues that normative appeals to empirical success in the evaluation of competing scientific explanations can result in unreliable conclusions, especially when we are looking at the changeability of direction in ongoing investigations. The challenges (...)
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  • How Inclusive Is European Philosophy of Science?Hans Radder - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):149-165.
    The main question of this article is given by its title: how inclusive is European philosophy of science? Phrased in this way, the question presupposes that, as a mature discipline, philosophy of science should provide an inclusive account of its subject area. I first provide an explanation of the notion of an inclusive philosophy of science. This notion of an inclusive philosophy of science is specified by discussing three general topics that seem to be missing from, or are quite marginal (...)
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  • Normativity in the Philosophy of Science.Marie I. Kaiser - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):36-62.
    This paper analyzes what it means for philosophy of science to be normative. It argues that normativity is a multifaceted phenomenon rather than a general feature that a philosophical theory either has or lacks. It analyzes the normativity of philosophy of science by articulating three ways in which a philosophical theory can be normative. Methodological normativity arises from normative assumptions that philosophers make when they select, interpret, evaluate, and mutually adjust relevant empirical information, on which they base their philosophical theories. (...)
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  • Experiential Explanation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Topics in Cognitive Science.
    People often answer why-questions with what we call experiential explanations: narratives or stories with temporal structure and concrete details. In contrast, on most theories of the epistemic function of explanation, explanations should be abstractive: structured by general relationships and lacking extraneous details. We suggest that abstractive and experiential explanations differ not only in level of abstraction, but also in structure, and that each form of explanation contributes to the epistemic goals of individual learners and of science. In particular, experiential explanations (...)
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  • Understanding the Selective Realist Defence Against the PMI.Peter Vickers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3221-3232.
    One of the popular realist responses to the pessimistic meta-induction is the ‘selective’ move, where a realist only commits to the ‘working posits’ of a successful theory, and withholds commitment to ‘idle posits’. Antirealists often criticise selective realists for not being able to articulate exactly what is meant by ‘working’ and/or not being able to identify the working posits except in hindsight. This paper aims to establish two results: sometimes a proposition is, in an important sense, ‘doing work’, and yet (...)
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  • Scientists’ Attitudes on Science and Values: Case Studies and Survey Methods in Philosophy of Science.Daniel Steel, Chad Gonnerman & Michael O'Rourke - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:22-30.
    This article examines the relevance of survey data of scientists’ attitudes about science and values to case studies in philosophy of science. We describe two methodological challenges confronting such case studies: 1) small samples, and 2) potential for bias in selection, emphasis, and interpretation. Examples are given to illustrate that these challenges can arise for case studies in the science and values literature. We propose that these challenges can be mitigated through an approach in which case studies and survey methods (...)
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