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  1. Realism and Lexical Flexibility.Christopher A. Vogel - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):145-186.
    Metaphysical investigation often proceeds by way of linguistic meaning. This tradition relies on an assumption about meanings, namely that they can be given in terms of referential relations and truth. Chomsky and others have illustrated the difficulty with this externalist hypothesis regarding natural language meanings, which implies that natural languages are ill‐suited for the purposes of metaphysical investigation. In reply to this discordance between the features of natural languages and the goals of metaphysical investigation, metaphysicians propose that we look to (...)
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  • How to Incorporate Non-Epistemic Values into a Theory of Classification.Thomas A. C. Reydon & Marc Ereshefsky - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-28.
    Non-epistemic values play important roles in classificatory practice, such that philosophical accounts of kinds and classification should be able to accommodate them. Available accounts fail to do so, however. Our aim is to fill this lacuna by showing how non-epistemic values feature in scientific classification, and how they can be incorporated into a philosophical theory of classification and kinds. To achieve this, we present a novel account of kinds and classification, discuss examples from biological classification where non-epistemic values play decisive (...)
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  • How non-epistemic values can be epistemically beneficial in scientific classification.Soohyun Ahn - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:57-65.
    The boundaries of social categories are frequently altered to serve normative projects, such as social reform. Griffiths and Khalidi argue that the value-driven modification of categories diminishes the epistemic value of social categories. I argue that concerns over value-modified categories stem from problematic assumptions of the value-free ideal of science. Contrary to those concerns, non-epistemic value considerations can contribute to the epistemic improvement of a scientific category. For example, the early history of the category infantile autism shows how non-epistemic value (...)
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  • Epistemological Pitfalls in the Proxy Theory of Race: The Case of Genomics-Based Medicine.Joanna Karolina Malinowska & Davide Serpico - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this article, we discuss epistemological limitations relating to the use of ethnoracial categories in biomedical research as devised by the Office of Management and Budget’s institutional guidelines. We argue that the obligation to use ethnoracial categories in genomics research should be abandoned. First, we outline how conceptual imprecision in the definition of ethnoracial categories can generate epistemic uncertainty in medical research and practice. Second, we focus on the use of ethnoracial categories in medical genetics, particularly genomics-based precision medicine, where (...)
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  • Overlapping Ontologies and Indigenous Knowledge. From Integration to Ontological Self-­Determination.David Ludwig - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:36-45.
    Current controversies about knowledge integration reflect conflicting ideas of what it means to “take Indigenous knowledge seriously”. While there is increased interest in integrating Indigenous and Western scientific knowledge in various disciplines such as anthropology and ethnobiology, integration projects are often accused of recognizing Indigenous knowledge only insofar as it is useful for Western scientists. The aim of this article is to use tools from philosophy of science to develop a model of both successful integration and integration failures. On the (...)
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  • From naturalness to materiality: reimagining philosophy of scientific classification.David Ludwig - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (1):1-23.
    The notion of natural kinds has been widely criticized in philosophy of science but also appears indispensable for philosophical engagement with classificatory practices. Rather than addressing this tension through a new definition of “natural kind”, this article suggests materiality as a substitute for naturalness in philosophical debates about scientific classification. It is argued that a theory of material kinds provides an alternative and more inclusive entry point for analyzing classificatory practices, which is specified through an account of “restricted malleability” of (...)
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  • Pragmatism, Ontology, and Philosophy of the Social Sciences in Practice.Simon Lohse - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (1):3-27.
    In this article, I will discuss two prominent views on the relevance and irrelevance of ontological investigations for the social sciences, namely, ontological foundationalism and anti-ontological pragmatism. I will argue that both views are unsatisfactory. The subsequent part of the article will introduce an alternative role for ontological projects in the philosophy of the social sciences that fares better in this respect by paying attention to the ontological assumptions of actual social scientific theories, models, and related explanatory practices. I will (...)
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  • Should We Punish Responsible Drinkers? Prevention, Paternalism and Categorization in Public Health.Stephen John - 2018 - Public Health Ethics 11 (1):35-44.
    Many public debates over policies aimed at curbing alcohol consumption start from an assumption that policies should not affect ‘responsible’ drinkers. In this article, I examine this normative claim, which I call prudentialism. In the first part of the article, I argue that prudentialism is both a demanding and distinctive doctrine, which philosophers should consider seriously. In the middle sections, I examine the relationship between prudentialism and two familiar topics in public health ethics: the prevention paradox and the relationship between (...)
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  • Science, truth and dictatorship: Wishful thinking or wishful speaking?Stephen John - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78:64-72.
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  • Assessing Modern Monetary Theory’s Peculiar Ontology of Money.Brian Duricy & Maxwell G. Poitier - 2024 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 54 (2):133-150.
    Macroeconomic traditions disagree on the policies needed for the economy to properly function and how to assess them. In this paper, we contend that these disagreements originate from the social ontological commitments of a theory. The ontology of money underlines these disagreements between Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and mainstream economics. First, we assess MMT’s ontology of money. Next, we identify MMT’s normative commitments and classify MMT’s ontology as a taxonomic definition with thick concepts. Finally, we offer reasons why MMT's ontology (...)
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  • The Value-Free Ideal of Science: A Useful Fiction? A Review of Non-epistemic Reasons for the Research Integrity Community.Jacopo Ambrosj, Kris Dierickx & Hugh Desmond - 2023 - Science and Engineering Ethics 29 (1):1-22.
    Even if the “value-free ideal of science” (VFI) were an unattainable goal, one could ask: can it be a useful fiction, one that is beneficial for the research community and society? This question is particularly crucial for scholars and institutions concerned with research integrity (RI), as one cannot offer normative guidance to researchers without making some assumptions about what ideal scientific research looks like. Despite the insofar little interaction between scholars studying RI and those working on values in science, the (...)
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  • Taxonomy and conservation science: interdependent and value-laden.Stijn Conix - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (2):15.
    The relation between conservation science and taxonomy is typically seen as a simple dependency of the former on the latter. This dependency is assumed to be strictly one-way to avoid normative concerns from conservation science inappropriately affecting the descriptive discipline of taxonomy. In this paper, I argue against this widely assumed standard view on the relation between these two disciplines by highlighting two important roles for conservation scientists in scientific decisions that are part of the internal stages of taxonomy. I (...)
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  • Enzyme classification and the entanglement of values and epistemic standards.Stijn Conix - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 84:37-45.
    This paper investigates the case of enzyme classification to evaluate different ideals for regulating values in science. I show that epistemic and non-epistemic considerations are inevitably and untraceably entangled in enzyme classification, and argue that this has significant implications for the two main kinds of views on values in science, namely, Epistemic Priority Views and Joint Satisfaction Views. More precisely, I argue that the case of enzyme classification poses a problem for the usability and descriptive accuracy of these two views. (...)
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  • How to Philosophically Tackle Kinds without Talking About ‘Natural Kinds’.Ingo Brigandt - 2022 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 52 (3):356-379.
    Recent rival attempts in the philosophy of science to put forward a general theory of the properties that all (and only) natural kinds across the sciences possess may have proven to be futile. Instead, I develop a general methodological framework for how to philosophically study kinds. Any kind has to be investigated and articulated together with the human aims that motivate referring to this kind, where different kinds in the same scientific domain can answer to different concrete aims. My core (...)
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  • Social Categories are Natural Kinds, not Objective Types (and Why it Matters Politically).Theodore Bach - 2016 - Journal of Social Ontology 2 (2):177-201.
    There is growing support for the view that social categories like men and women refer to “objective types” (Haslanger 2000, 2006, 2012; Alcoff 2005). An objective type is a similarity class for which the axis of similarity is an objective rather than nominal or fictional property. Such types are independently real and causally relevant, yet their unity does not derive from an essential property. Given this tandem of features, it is not surprising why empirically-minded researchers interested in fighting oppression and (...)
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  • Science and Justice: Beyond the New Orthodoxy of Value-Laden Science.David Ludwig - forthcoming - In Anjan Chakravartty (ed.), Science and Humanism.
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  • Philosophy of Ethnobiology: Understanding Knowledge Integration and Its Limitations. Journal of Ethnobiology.David Ludwig & Charbel El-Hani - 2019 - Journal of Ethnobiology 39.
    Ethnobiology has become increasingly concerned with applied and normative issues such as climate change adaptation, forest management, and sustainable agriculture. Applied ethnobiology emphasizes the practical importance of local and traditional knowledge in tackling these issues but thereby also raises complex theoretical questions about the integration of heterogeneous knowledge systems. The aim of this article is to develop a framework for addressing questions of integration through four core domains of philosophy -epistemology, ontology, value theory, and political theory. In each of these (...)
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  • Revamping the Metaphysics of Ethnobiological Classification.David Ludwig - 2018 - Current Anthropology 59 (4):415-438.
    Ethnobiology has a long tradition of metaphysical debates about the “naturalness,” “objectivity”, “reality”, and “universality” of classifications. Especially the work of Brent Berlin has been influential in developing a “convergence metaphysics” that explains cross-cultural similarities of knowledge systems through shared recognition of objective discontinuities in nature. Despite its influence on the development of the field, convergence metaphysics has largely fallen out of favor as contemporary ethnobiologists tend to emphasize the locality and diversity of classificatory practices. The aim of this article (...)
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  • Human-Nonhuman Chimeras, Ontology, and Dignity: A Constructivist Approach to the Ethics of Conducting Research on Cross-Species Hybrids.Jonathan Vajda - 2016 - Hilltop Review: A Journal of Western Michigan University Graduate Student Research 9 (1):49-62.
    Developments in biological technology in the last few decades highlight the surprising and ever-expanding practical benefits of stem cells. With this progress, the possibility of combining human and nonhuman organisms is a reality, with ethical boundaries that are not readily obvious. These inter-species hybrids are of a larger class of biological entities called “chimeras.” As the concept of a human-nonhuman creature is conjured in our minds, either incredulous wonder or grotesque horror is likely to follow. This paper seeks to mitigate (...)
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