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  1. Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
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  • Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen: Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism provides decisive grounds for accepting scientific realism and rejecting instrumentalism. But it goes further than this. Aim-oriented empiricism implies that physicalism is a central part of current (conjectural) scientific knowledge. Furthermore, we can and need, I argue, to interpret fundamental physical theories as attributing necessitating physical properties to fundamental physical entities.
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  • Projection, Physical Intelligibility, Objectivity and Completeness: The Divergent Ideals of Bohr and Einstein.C. A. Hooker - 1991 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 42 (4):491-511.
    It is shown how the development of physics has involved making explicit what were homocentric projections which had heretofore been implicit, indeed inexpressible in theory. This is shown to support a particular notion of the invariant as the real. On this basis the divergence in ideals of physical intelligibility between Bohr and Einstein is set out. This in turn leads to divergent, but explicit, conceptions of objectivity and completeness for physical theory. *I am indebted to Dr. G. McLelland. Professor F. (...)
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  • Theories of Probability.Colin Howson - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):1-32.
    My title is intended to recall Terence Fine's excellent survey, Theories of Probability [1973]. I shall consider some developments that have occurred in the intervening years, and try to place some of the theories he discussed in what is now a slightly longer perspective. Completeness is not something one can reasonably hope to achieve in a journal article, and any selection is bound to reflect a view of what is salient. In a subject as prone to dispute as this, there (...)
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  • The Aharonov-Bohm Effect and the Reality of Wave Packets.Chuang Liu - 1994 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (4):977-1000.
    The objective of this paper is to show that, instead of quantum probabilities, wave packets are physically real. First, Cartwright's recent argument for the reality of quantum probabilities is criticized. Then, the notion of ‘physically real’ is precisely defined and the difference between wave functions and quantum probabilities clarified. Being thus prepared, some strong reasons are discussed for considering the wave packet to be physically real. Finding the reasons inconclusive, I explain how the Aharonov—Bohm effect delivers the final punch. I (...)
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  • Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part Three: Einstein, Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Discovery of Special and General Relativity.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):275-305.
    In this paper I show that Einstein made essential use of aim-oriented empiricism in scientific practice in developing special and general relativity. I conclude by considering to what extent Einstein came explicitly to advocate aim-oriented empiricism in his later years.
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  • Quantum Superpositions and Causality: On the Multiple Paths to the Measurement Result.Christian de Ronde - unknown
    The following analysis attempts to provide a general account of the multiple solutions given to the quantum measurement problem in terms of causality. Leaving aside instrumentalism which restricts its understanding of quantum mechanics to the algorithmic prediction of measurement outcomes, the many approaches which try to give an answer can be distinguished by their explanation based on the efficient cause —recovering in this way a classical physical description— or based on the final cause —which goes back to the hylomorphic tradition. (...)
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  • Discrete Degrees Within and Between Nature and Mind.Ian J. Thompson - 2008 - In Alessandro Antonietti, Antonella Corradini & E. Jonathan Lowe (eds.), Psycho-Physical Dualism Today: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Lexington Books.
    Examining the role of dispositions (potentials and propensities) in both physics and psychology reveals that they are commonly derivative dispositions, so called because they derive from other dispositions. Furthermore, when they act, they produce further propensities. Together, therefore, they appear to form discrete degrees within a structure of multiple generative levels. It is then constructively hypothesized that minds and physical nature are themselves discrete degrees within some more universal structure. This gives rise to an effective dualism of mind and nature, (...)
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  • Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - London: UCL Press.
    Karl Popper is famous for having proposed that science advances by a process of conjecture and refutation. He is also famous for defending the open society against what he saw as its arch enemies – Plato and Marx. Popper’s contributions to thought are of profound importance, but they are not the last word on the subject. They need to be improved. My concern in this book is to spell out what is of greatest importance in Popper’s work, what its failings (...)
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  • The Merli-Missiroli-Pozzi Two-Slit Electron Interference Experiment.Rodolfo Rosa - unknown
    In 2002 the readers of the scientific magazine 'Physics World' voted Young's double-slit experiment applied to the interference of single electrons to be 'the most beautiful experiment in physics'; this experiment, in truth, had already been carried out 30 years beforehand. The present article aims to re-examine the latter real experiment and put it into its proper historical perspective. Even though the experiment was not afforded the importance it perhaps deserved among philosophers, its philosophical mplications add new arguments to the (...)
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  • Do Dispositions and Propensities Have a Role in the Ontology of Quantum Mechanics? Some Critical Remarks.Mauro Dorato - unknown - Synthese Library.
    In order to tackle the question posed by the title – notoriously answered in the positive, among others, by Heisenberg, Margenau, Popper and Redhead – I first discuss some attempts at distinguishing dispositional from non-dispositional properties, and then relate the distinction to the formalism of quantum mechanics. Since any answer to the question titling the paper must be interpretation-dependent, I review some of the main interpretations of quantum mechanics in order to argue that the ontology of theories regarding “wave collapse” (...)
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  • We Need to Recreate Natural Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (4):28-0.
    Modern science began as natural philosophy, an admixture of philosophy and science. It was then killed off by Newton, as a result of his claim to have derived his law of gravitation from the phenomena by induction. But this post-Newtonian conception of science, which holds that theories are accepted on the basis of evidence, is untenable, as the long-standing insolubility of the problem of induction indicates. Persistent acceptance of unified theories only in physics, when endless equally empirically successful disunified rivals (...)
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  • Propensities in Quantum Mechanics.Mauricio Suárez - 2006 - Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science.
    I review five explicit attempts throughout the history of quantum mechanics to invoke dispositional notions in order to solve the quantum paradoxes, namely: Margenau’s latencies, Heisenberg’s potentialities, Popper’s propensity interpretation of probability, Nick Maxwell’s propensitons, and the recent selective propensities interpretation of quantum mechanics. I raise difficulties and challenges for all of them, but conclude that the selective propensities approach nicely encompasses the virtues of its predecessors. I elaborate on some of the properties of the type of propensities that I (...)
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  • Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness: A Causal Correspondence Theory.Ian J. Thompson - manuscript
    We may suspect that quantum mechanics and consciousness are related, but the details are not at all clear. In this paper, I suggest how the mind and brain might fit together intimately while still maintaining distinct identities. The connection is based on the correspondence of similar functions in both the mind and the quantum-mechanical brain. Accompanying material for a talk at The Second Mind and Brain Symposium held at the Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London on 20th October, 1990.
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  • Immanent Powers Versus Causal Powers in Quantum Mechanics.Christian de Ronde - unknown
    In this paper we compare two different notions of 'power', both of which attempt to provide a realist understanding of quantum mechanics grounded on the potential mode of existence. For this propose we will begin by introducing two different notions of potentiality present already within Aristotelian metaphysics, namely, irrational potentiality and rational potentiality. After discussing the role played by potentiality within classical and quantum mechanics, we will address the notion of causal power which is directly related to irrational potentiality and (...)
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  • Causality and the Modeling of the Measurement Process in Quantum Theory.Christian de Ronde - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (47):657-690.
    In this paper we provide a general account of the causal models which attempt to provide a solution to the famous measurement problem of Quantum Mechanics. We will argue that—leaving aside instrumentalism which restricts the physical meaning of QM to the algorithmic prediction of measurement outcomes—the many interpretations which can be found in the literature can be distinguished through the way they model the measurement process, either in terms of the efficient cause or in terms of the final cause. We (...)
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  • Popper’s Paradoxical Pursuit of Natural Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2004 - In Jeremy Shearmur & Geoffrey Stokes (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Popper. Cambridge University Press. pp. 170-207.
    Unlike almost all other philosophers of science, Karl Popper sought to contribute to natural philosophy or cosmology – a synthesis of science and philosophy. I consider his contributions to the philosophy of science and quantum theory in this light. There is, however, a paradox. Popper’s most famous contribution – his principle of demarcation – in driving a wedge between science and metaphysics, serves to undermine the very thing he professes to love: natural philosophy. I argue that Popper’s philosophy of science (...)
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  • Reply to Comments on Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom.Nicholas Maxwell - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):667-690.
    In this article I reply to comments made by Agustin Vicente and Giridhari Lal Pandit on Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom (McHenry 2009 ). I criticize analytic philosophy, go on to expound the argument for the need for a revolution in academic inquiry so that the basic aim becomes wisdom and not just knowledge, defend aim-oriented empiricism, outline my solution to the human world/physical universe problem, and defend the thesis that free will is compatible with physicalism.
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  • Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Metaphysics of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Philosophia:1-18.
    Over 40 years ago, I put forward a new philosophy of science based on the argument that physics, in only ever accepting unified theories, thereby makes a substantial metaphysical presupposition about the universe, to the effect it possesses an underlying unity. I argued that a new conception of scientific method is required to subject this problematic presupposition to critical attention so that it may be improved as science proceeds. This view has implications for the study of the metaphysics of science. (...)
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  • Unification and Revolution: A Paradigm for Paradigms.Nicholas Maxwell - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):133-149.
    Incommensurability was Kuhn’s worst mistake. If it is to be found anywhere in science, it would be in physics. But revolutions in theoretical physics all embody theoretical unification. Far from obliterating the idea that there is a persisting theoretical idea in physics, revolutions do just the opposite: they all actually exemplify the persisting idea of underlying unity. Furthermore, persistent acceptance of unifying theories in physics when empirically more successful disunified rivals can always be concocted means that physics makes a persistent (...)
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  • Materialism and the "Problem" of Quantum Measurement.Gregory R. Mulhauser - 1995 - Minds and Machines 5 (2):207-17.
    For nearly six decades, the conscious observer has played a central and essential rôle in quantum measurement theory. I outline some difficulties which the traditional account of measurement presents for material theories of mind before introducing a new development which promises to exorcise the ghost of consciousness from physics and relieve the cognitive scientist of the burden of explaining why certain material structures reduce wavefunctions by virtue of being conscious while others do not. The interactive decoherence of complex quantum systems (...)
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  • Quantum Propensities.Mauricio Suárez - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 38 (2):418-438.
    This paper reviews four attempts throughout the history of quantum mechanics to explicitly employ dispositional notions in order to solve the quantum paradoxes, namely: Margenau’s latencies, Heisenberg’s potentialities, Maxwell’s propensitons, and the recent selective propensities interpretation of quantum mechanics. Difficulties and challenges are raised for all of them, and it is concluded that the selective propensities approach nicely encompasses the virtues of its predecessors. Finally, some strategies are discussed for reading dispositional notions into two other well-known interpretations of quantum mechanics, (...)
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  • A Comment on Maxwell's Resolution of the Wave/Particle Dilemma.Euan J. Squires - 1989 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (3):413-417.
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  • Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Compatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):640-645.
    Are special relativity and probabilism compatible? Dieks argues that they are. But the possible universe he specifies, designed to exemplify both probabilism and special relativity, either incorporates a universal "now" (and is thus incompatible with special relativity), or amounts to a many world universe (which I have discussed, and rejected as too ad hoc to be taken seriously), or fails to have any one definite overall Minkowskian-type space-time structure (and thus differs drastically from special relativity as ordinarily understood). Probabilism and (...)
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