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Science and Rationality for One and All

Ergo 1 (5):129-138 (2014)

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  1. The Scope of Inductive Risk.P. D. Magnus - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    The Argument from Inductive Risk (AIR) is taken to show that values are inevitably involved in making judgements or forming beliefs. After reviewing this conclusion, I pose cases which are prima facie counterexamples: the unreflective application of conventions, use of black-boxed instruments, reliance on opaque algorithms, and unskilled observation reports. These cases are counterexamples to the AIR posed in ethical terms as a matter of personal values. Nevertheless, it need not be understood in those terms. The values which load a (...)
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  • William James on Risk, Efficacy, and Evidentialism.P. D. Magnus - forthcoming - Episteme:1-13.
    William James’ argument against William Clifford in The Will to Believe is often understood in terms of doxastic efficacy, the power of belief to influence an outcome. Although that is one strand of James’ argument, there is another which is driven by ampliative risk. The second strand of James’ argument, when applied to scientific cases, is tantamount to what is now called the Argument from Inductive Risk. Either strand of James’ argument is sufficient to rebut Clifford's strong evidentialism and show (...)
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  • Some Lessons From Simulations of Scientific Disagreements.Dunja Šešelja - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6143-6158.
    This paper examines lessons obtained by means of simulations in the form of agent-based models about the norms that are to guide disagreeing scientists. I focus on two types of epistemic and methodological norms: norms that guide one’s attitude towards one’s own theory, and norms that guide one’s attitude towards the opponent’s theory. Concerning I look into ABMs that have been designed to examine the context of peer disagreement. Here I challenge the conclusion that the given ABMs provide a support (...)
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  • Scientific Rationality: Phlogiston as a Case Study.Jonathon Hricko - 2017 - In Timothy Joseph Lane & Tzu-Wei Hung (eds.), Rationality: Constraints and Contexts. London, UK: pp. 37-59.
    I argue that it was rational for chemists to eliminate phlogiston, but that it also would have been rational for them to retain it. I do so on the grounds that a number of prominent phlogiston theorists identified phlogiston with hydrogen in the late 18th century, and this identification became fairly well entrenched by the early 19th century. In light of this identification, I critically evaluate Hasok Chang’s argument that chemists should have retained phlogiston, and that doing so would have (...)
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  • Cautious Realism and Middle Range Ontology.P. D. Magnus - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):365-370.
    Part of a book symposium on Anjan Chakravartty's Scientific ontology: integrating naturalized metaphysics and voluntarist epistemology (Oxford University Press, 2017).
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