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The Cement of the Universe

Oxford, Clarendon Press (1974)

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  1. What Did Hume Really Show About Induction?Samir Okasha - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (204):307-327.
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  • The Confounding Question of Confounding Causes in Randomized Trials.Jonathan Fuller - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    It is sometimes thought that randomized study group allocation is uniquely proficient at producing comparison groups that are evenly balanced for all confounding causes. Philosophers have argued that in real randomized controlled trials this balance assumption typically fails. But is the balance assumption an important ideal? I run a thought experiment, the CONFOUND study, to answer this question. I then suggest a new account of causal inference in ideal and real comparative group studies that helps clarify the roles of confounding (...)
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  • Is Understanding a Species of Knowledge?Stephen R. Grimm - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):515-535.
    Among philosophers of science there seems to be a general consensus that understanding represents a species of knowledge, but virtually every major epistemologist who has thought seriously about understanding has come to deny this claim. Against this prevailing tide in epistemology, I argue that understanding is, in fact, a species of knowledge: just like knowledge, for example, understanding is not transparent and can be Gettiered. I then consider how the psychological act of "grasping" that seems to be characteristic of understanding (...)
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  • Why Be Coherent?Glauber De Bona & Julia Staffel - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):405-415.
    Bayesians defend norms of ideal rationality such as probabilism, which they claim should be approximated by non-ideal thinkers. Yet, it is not often discussed exactly in what sense it is beneficial for an agent’s credence function to approximate probabilistic coherence. Some existing research indicates that approximating coherence leads to improvements in accuracy, whereas other research suggests that it decreases Dutch book vulnerability. Yet, the existing results don’t settle whether there is a way of approximating coherence that delivers both benefits at (...)
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  • Knowledge and Tracking Revisited.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):396-405.
    An explanatorily powerful approach to the modal dimension of knowledge is Robert Nozick’s idea that knowledge stands in a tracking relation to the world. However, pinning down a specific modal condition has proved elusive. In this paper, I offer a diagnosis and a positive proposal. The root of the problem, I argue, is the unquestioned assumption that tracking is a matter of directly preserving conformity between what is believed and what is the case in certain possible worlds. My proposal is (...)
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  • Basic Reasons and First Philosophy: A Coherentist View of Reasons.Ted Poston - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):75-93.
    This paper develops and defends a coherentist account of reasons. I develop three core ideas for this defense: a distinction between basic reasons and noninferential justification, the plausibility of the neglected argument against first philosophy, and an emergent account of reasons. These three ideas form the backbone for a credible coherentist view of reasons. I work toward this account by formulating and explaining the basic reasons dilemma. This dilemma reveals a wavering attitude that coherentists have had toward basic reasons. More (...)
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  • Propensities and Probabilities.Nuel Belnap - 2007 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (3):593-625.
    Popper’s introduction of ‘‘propensity’’ was intended to provide a solid conceptual foundation for objective single-case probabilities. By considering the partly opposed contributions of Humphreys and Miller and Salmon, it is argued that when properly understood, propensities can in fact be understood as objective single-case causal probabilities of transitions between concrete events. The chief claim is that propensities are well-explicated by describing how they fit into the existing formal theory of branching space-times, which is simultaneously indeterministic and causal. Several problematic examples, (...)
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  • A Theory of Causation: Causae Causantes (Originating Causes) as Inus Conditions in Branching Space-Times.Nuel Belnap - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (2):221-253.
    permits a sound and rigorously definable notion of ‘originating cause’ or causa causans—a type of transition event—of an outcome event. Mackie has famously suggested that causes form a family of ‘inus’ conditions, where an inus condition is ‘an insufficient but non-redundant part of an unnecessary but sufficient condition’. In this essay the needed concepts of BST theory are developed in detail, and it is then proved that the causae causantes of a given outcome event have exactly the structure of a (...)
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  • Processus Causal Et Intrication Quantique.Laurent Jodoin - 2010 - Ithaque 6:111-131.
    La notion de causalité repose sur une grande prétention : rendre intelligibles l’origine, la constitution et le devenir du monde. On lui attribue donc une portée universelle : tout événement a une cause. La majeure partie des débats philosophiques sur la causalité a concerné nos jugements intuitifs selon deux types de conceptions causales, soit la conception probabiliste et la conception processuelle. Chacune d’elles fait face à d’importants obstacles conceptuels dont les principaux sont la préemption, l’inaboutissement, la déconnexion et la méconnexion. (...)
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  • Biological Mechanisms: A Case Study in Conceptual Plasticity.Alexander Powell - unknown
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  • Causality Reunified.Michael Strevens - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):299-320.
    Hall has recently argued that there are two concepts of causality, picking out two different kinds of causal relation. McGrath, and Hitchcock and Knobe, have recently argued that the facts about causality depend on what counts as a “default” or “normal” state, or even on the moral facts. In the light of these claims you might be tempted to agree with Skyrms that causal relations constitute, metaphysically speaking, an “amiable jumble”, or with Cartwright that ‘causation’, though a single word, encompasses (...)
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  • On Topological Issues of Indeterminism.Tomasz Placek, Nuel Belnap & Kohei Kishida - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):1-34.
    Indeterminism, understood as a notion that an event may be continued in a few alternative ways, invokes the question what a region of chanciness looks like. We concern ourselves with its topological and spatiotemporal aspects, abstracting from the nature or mechanism of chancy processes. We first argue that the question arises in Montague-Lewis-Earman conceptualization of indeterminism as well as in the branching tradition of Prior, Thomason and Belnap. As the resources of the former school are not rich enough to study (...)
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  • Aspects of Theory-Ladenness in Data-Intensive Science.Wolfgang Pietsch - unknown
    Recent claims, mainly from computer scientists, concerning a largely automated and model-free data-intensive science have been countered by critical reactions from a number of philosophers of science. The debate suffers from a lack of detail in two respects, regarding the actual methods used in data-intensive science and the specific ways in which these methods presuppose theoretical assumptions. I examine two widely-used algorithms, classificatory trees and non-parametric regression, and argue that these are theory-laden in an external sense, regarding the framing of (...)
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  • Causal Selection Versus Causal Parity in Biology: Relevant Counterfactuals and Biologically Normal Interventions.Marcel Weber - forthcoming - In C. Kenneth Waters & James Woodward (eds.), Philosophical Perspectives on Causal Reasoning in Biology. Minnesota Studies in Philosophy of Science. Vol. XXI. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
    Causal selection is the task of picking out, from a field of known causally relevant factors, some factors as elements of an explanation. The Causal Parity Thesis in the philosophy of biology challenges the usual ways of making such selections among different causes operating in a developing organism. The main target of this thesis is usually gene centrism, the doctrine that genes play some special role in ontogeny, which is often described in terms of information-bearing or programming. This paper is (...)
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  • Probabilistic Measures of Causal Strength.Branden Fitelson & Christopher Hitchcock - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 600--627.
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  • Mackie Remixed.Michael Strevens - 2007 - In J. K. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. S. Silverstein (eds.), Causation and Explanation. MIT Press. pp. 4--93.
    Cases of overdetermination or preemption continue to play an important role in the debate about the proper interpretation of causal claims of the form "C was a cause of E". I argue that the best treatment of preemption cases is given by Mackie's venerable INUS account of causal claims. The Mackie account suffers, however, from problems of its own. Inspired by its ability to handle preemption, I propose a dramatic revision to the Mackie account – one that Mackie himself would (...)
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  • In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological mechanism, the mechanism of (...)
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  • A Generalized Probabilistic Theory of Causal Relevance.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1993 - Synthese 97 (3):335 - 364.
    I advance a new theory of causal relevance, according to which causal claims convey information about conditional probability functions. This theory is motivated by the problem of disjunctive factors, which haunts existing probabilistic theories of causation. After some introductory remarks, I present in Section 3 a sketch of Eells's (1991) probabilistic theory of causation, which provides the framework for much of the discussion. Section 4 explains how the problem of disjunctive factors arises within this framework. After rejecting three proposed solutions, (...)
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  • J.S. Mill’s Canons of Induction: From True Causes to Provisional Ones.Steffen Ducheyne - 2008 - History and Philosophy of Logic 29 (4):361-376.
    In this essay, my aim is twofold: to clarify how the late Mill conceived of the certainty of inductive generalizations and to offer a systematic clarification of the limited domain of application of the Mill’s Canons of Induction. I shall argue that Mill’s views on the certainty of knowledge changed overtime and that this change was accompanied by a new view on the certainty of the inductive results yielded by the Canons of Induction. The key message of the later editions (...)
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  • Wisdom in Theology.Stephen R. Grimm - forthcoming - In William and Frederick Abraham and Aquino (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Epistemology of Theology.
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  • Information Channels and Biomarkers of Disease.Phyllis Illari & Federica Russo - 2016 - Topoi 35 (1):175-190.
    Current research in molecular epidemiology uses biomarkers to model the different disease phases from environmental exposure, to early clinical changes, to development of disease. The hope is to get a better understanding of the causal impact of a number of pollutants and chemicals on several diseases, including cancer and allergies. In a recent paper Russo and Williamson address the question of what evidential elements enter the conceptualisation and modelling stages of this type of biomarkers research. Recent research in causality has (...)
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  • Inferring Causal Complexity.Michael Baumgartner - 2006 - Sociological Methods & Research 38:71-101.
    In "The Comparative Method" Ragin (1987) has outlined a procedure of Boolean causal reasoning operating on pure coincidence data that has meanwhile become widely known as QCA (Qualitative Comparative Analysis) among social scientists. QCA -- also in its recent form as presented in Ragin (2000) -- is designed to analyze causal structures featuring one effect and a possibly complex configuration of mutually independent direct causes of that effect. The paper at hand presents a procedure of causal reasoning that operates on (...)
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  • Die kausale Struktur der Welt: Eine philosophische Untersuchung über Verursachung, Naturgesetze, freie Handlungen, Möglichkeit und Gottes kausale Rolle in der Welt.Daniel von Wachter - 2009 - Alber.
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  • 'New Age' Philosophies of Science: Constructivism, Feminism and Postmodernism.N. Koertge - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):667-683.
    This paper surveys three controversial new directions in research about the nature of science and briefly summarizes both the intellectual and sociological impact of this work. A bibliographic introduction to the major literature is provided and some fruitful directions for future research are proposed. Philosophers of science are also exhorted to perform 'community service' by correcting misunderstandings of the methods of science fostered by these new approaches.
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  • A Theory of Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
    Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the ?requirement of relevance?, which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue (...)
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  • Causality in Medicine with Particular Reference to the Viral Causation of Cancers.Brendan Clarke - 2011 - Dissertation, University College London
    In this thesis, I give a metascientific account of causality in medicine. I begin with two historical cases of causal discovery. These are the discovery of the causation of Burkitt’s lymphoma by the Epstein-Barr virus, and of the various viral causes suggested for cervical cancer. These historical cases then support a philosophical discussion of causality in medicine. This begins with an introduction to the Russo- Williamson thesis (RWT), and discussion of a range of counter-arguments against it. Despite these, I argue (...)
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  • How Neurons Mean: A Neurocomputational Theory of Representational Content.Chris Eliasmith - 2000 - Dissertation, Washington University in St. Louis
    Questions concerning the nature of representation and what representations are about have been a staple of Western philosophy since Aristotle. Recently, these same questions have begun to concern neuroscientists, who have developed new techniques and theories for understanding how the locus of neurobiological representation, the brain, operates. My dissertation draws on philosophy and neuroscience to develop a novel theory of representational content.
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  • Quine and His Critics on Truth-Functionality and Extensionality.Charles Sayward - 2007 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 16 (1):45-63.
    Quine argues that if sentences that are set theoretically equivalent are interchangeable salva veritate, then all transparent operators are truth-functional. Criticisms of this argument fail to take into account the conditional character of the conclusion. Quine also argues that, for any person P with minimal logical acuity, if ‘belief’ has a sense in which it is a transparent operator, then, in that sense of the word, P believes everything if P believes anything. The suggestion is made that he intends that (...)
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  • A Case for Justified Non-Voluntary Active Euthanasia: Exploring the Ethics of the Groningen Protocol.B. A. Manninen - 2006 - Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (11):643-651.
    One of the most recent controversies to arise in the field of bioethics concerns the ethics for the Groningen Protocol: the guidelines proposed by the Groningen Academic Hospital in The Netherlands, which would permit doctors to actively euthanise terminally ill infants who are suffering. The Groningen Protocol has been met with an intense amount of criticism, some even calling it a relapse into a Hitleresque style of eugenics, where people with disabilities are killed solely because of their handicaps. The purpose (...)
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  • Two Consequences of Richard Dawkins' View of Genes and Organisms.M. Hampe & S. R. Morgan - 1988 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 19 (1):119-138.
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  • Direct Causation in the Linguistic Coding and Individuation of Causal Events.Phillip Wolff - 2003 - Cognition 88 (1):1-48.
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  • Shifty Talk: Knowledge and Causation.Jessica Brown - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):183-199.
    In this paper, I criticise one main strategy for supporting anti-intellectualism, the view that whether a subject knows may depend on the stakes. This strategy appeals to difficulties with developing contextualist and pragmatic treatments of the shiftiness of our talk about knowledge to motivate anti-intellectualism. I criticise this strategy by drawing an analogy between debates about causation and knowledge. In each case, talk about a phenomenon is shifty and contextualist and pragmatic explanations of the shifty talk face the same objections. (...)
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  • Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account.James Woodward & Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):1–24.
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  • Mechanisms, Counterfactuals and Laws.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2018 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 144-156.
    In this chapter we examine the relation between mechanisms and laws/counterfactuals by revisiting the main notions of mechanism found in the literature. We distinguish between two different conceptions of ‘mechanism’: mechanisms-of underlie or constitute a causal process; mechanisms-for are complex systems that function so as to produce a certain behavior. According to some mechanists, a mechanism fulfills both of these roles simultaneously. The main argument of the chapter is that there is an asymmetrical dependence between both kinds of mechanisms and (...)
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  • An Analysis of Probabilistic Causation in Dichotomous Structures.Frederick S. Elett & David P. Ericson - 1986 - Synthese 67 (2):175-193.
    During the past decades several philosophers of science and social scientists have been interested in the problems of causation. Recently attention has been given to probabilistic causation in dichotomous causal systems. The paper uses the basic features of probabilistic causation to argue that the causal modeling approaches developed by such researchers as Blalock (1964) and Duncan (1975) can provide, when an additional assumption is added, adequate qualitative measures of one variable causal influence upon another. Finally, some of the difficulties and (...)
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  • Determinism and the Method of Difference.Urs Hofmann & Michael Baumgartner - 2011 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 26 (2):155-176.
    The first part of this paper reveals a conflict between the core principles of deterministic causation and the standard method of difference, which is widely seen (and used) as a correct method of causally analyzing deterministic structures. We show that applying the method of difference to deterministic structures can giverise to causal inferences that contradict the principles of deterministic causation. The second part then locates the source of this conflict in an inference rule implemented in the method of difference according (...)
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  • Viability Explanation.Arno Wouters - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
    This article deals with a type of functional explanation, viability explanation, that has been overlooked in recent philosophy of science. Viability explanations relate traits of organisms and their environments in terms of what an individual needs to survive and reproduce. I show that viability explanations are neither causal nor historical and that, therefore, they should be accounted for as a distinct type of explanation.
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  • On Kant’s Argument in the Second Analogy.Robert Lantin - 1999 - Philosophia 27 (3-4):483-495.
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  • Causes, Contrasts, and the Non-Identity Problem.Thomas Bontly - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1233-1251.
    Can an act harm someone—a future someone, someone who does not exist yet but will—if that person would never exist but for that very action? This is one question raised by the non-identity problem. Many would argue that the answer is No: an action harms someone only insofar as it is worse for her, and an action cannot be worse for someone if she would not exist without it. The first part of this paper contends that the plausibility of the (...)
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  • Why There Isn't a Ready-Made World.Hilary Putnam - 1982 - Synthese 51 (2):205--228.
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  • The Social Epidemiologic Concept of Fundamental Cause.Andrew Ward - 2007 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 28 (6):465-485.
    The goal of research in social epidemiology is not simply conceptual clarification or theoretical understanding, but more importantly it is to contribute to, and enhance the health of populations (and so, too, the people who constitute those populations). Undoubtedly, understanding how various individual risk factors such as smoking and obesity affect the health of people does contribute to this goal. However, what is distinctive of much on-going work in social epidemiology is the view that analyses making use of individual-level variables (...)
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  • Causal Responsibility and Counterfactuals.David A. Lagnado, Tobias Gerstenberg & Ro'I. Zultan - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (6):1036-1073.
    How do people attribute responsibility in situations where the contributions of multiple agents combine to produce a joint outcome? The prevalence of over-determination in such cases makes this a difficult problem for counterfactual theories of causal responsibility. In this article, we explore a general framework for assigning responsibility in multiple agent contexts. We draw on the structural model account of actual causation (e.g., Halpern & Pearl, 2005) and its extension to responsibility judgments (Chockler & Halpern, 2004). We review the main (...)
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  • A Problem for Causal Theories of Action.Mark Thomas Walker - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (1):84–108.
    Philosophical accounts of "action" standardly take an action to be a doing which _satisfies some description that is semantically related to the content of a propositional attitude of the subject's which _explains why that doing occurred. Causal theories of action require that the explanation in question must involve the causation of action-doings by propositional attitudes (typically intentions, volitions, or combinations of belief and desire). I argue that there are actions whose status, as such, cannot be acknowledged by any causal theory, (...)
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  • Hume and the Problem of Induction.Robert Lantin - 1998 - Philosophia 26 (1-2):105-117.
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  • Davidson's Social Externalism.Steven Yalowitz - 1999 - Philosophia 27 (1-2):99-136.
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  • What Causes Effects?Philip L. Peterson - 1981 - Philosophical Studies 39 (2):107 - 139.
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  • Statistical Explanation Reconsidered.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1981 - Synthese 48 (3):437 - 472.
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  • Newtonian Determinism to Branching Space-Times Indeterminism in Two Moves.Nuel Belnap - 2012 - Synthese 188 (1):5-21.
    “Branching space-times” (BST) is intended as a representation of objective, event-based indeterminism. As such, BST exhibits both a spatio-temporal aspect and an indeterministic “modal” aspect of alternative possible historical courses of events. An essential feature of BST is that it can also represent spatial or space-like relationships as part of its (more or less) relativistic theory of spatio-temporal relations; this ability is essential for the representation of local (in contrast with “global”) indeterminism. This essay indicates how BST might be seen (...)
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  • What Realism Implies and What It Does Not.Richard Boyd - 1989 - Dialectica 43 (1‐2):5-29.
    SummaryThis paper addresses the question of what scientific realism implies and what it does not when it is articulated so as to provide the best defense against plausible philosophical alternatives. A summary is presented of “abductive” arguments for scientific realism, and of the epistemological and semantic conceptions upon which they depend. Taking these arguments to be the best current defense of realism, it is inquired what, in the sense just mentioned, realism implies and what it does not. It is concluded (...)
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  • The Relevance of a Relevantly Assertable Disjunction for Material Implication.Liza Verhoeven - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (3):339-366.
    In this paper Grice's requirements for assertability are imposed on the disjunction of Classical Logic. Defining material implication in terms of negation and disjunction supplemented by assertability conditions, results in the disappearance of the most important paradoxes of material implication. The resulting consequence relation displays a very strong resemblance to Schurz's conclusion-relevant consequence relation.
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