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  1. Climate Models: How to Assess Their Reliability.Martin Carrier & Johannes Lenhard - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (2):81-100.
    ABSTRACTThe paper discusses modelling uncertainties in climate models and how they can be addressed based on physical principles as well as based on how the models perform in light of empirical dat...
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  • Securing the Empirical Value of Measurement Results.Kent W. Staley - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):87-113.
    Reports of quantitative experimental results often distinguish between the statistical uncertainty and the systematic uncertainty that characterize measurement outcomes. This article discusses the practice of estimating systematic uncertainty in high-energy physics. The estimation of systematic uncertainty in HEP should be understood as a minimal form of quantitative robustness analysis. The secure evidence framework is used to explain the epistemic significance of robustness analysis. However, the empirical value of a measurement result depends crucially not only on the resulting systematic uncertainty estimate, (...)
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  • An Impossibility Theorem for Amalgamating Evidence.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2391-2411.
    Amalgamating evidence of different kinds for the same hypothesis into an overall confirmation is analogous, I argue, to amalgamating individuals’ preferences into a group preference. The latter faces well-known impossibility theorems, most famously “Arrow’s Theorem”. Once the analogy between amalgamating evidence and amalgamating preferences is tight, it is obvious that amalgamating evidence might face a theorem similar to Arrow’s. I prove that this is so, and end by discussing the plausibility of the axioms required for the theorem.
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  • The Methodological Strategy of Robustness in the Context of Experimental WIMP Research.Robert Hudson - 2009 - Foundations of Physics 39 (2):174-193.
    According to the methodological principle called ‘robustness’, empirical evidence is more reliable when it is generated using multiple, independent (experimental) routes that converge on the same result. As it happens, robustness as a methodological strategy is quite popular amongst philosophers. However, despite its popularity, my goal here is to criticize the value of this principle on historical grounds. My historical reasons take into consideration some recent history of astroparticle physics concerning the search for WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles), one of (...)
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  • Empirical Evidence Claims Are a Priori.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2821-2834.
    This paper responds to Achinstein’s criticism of the thesis that the only empirical fact that can affect the truth of an objective evidence claim such as ‘e is evidence for h’ (or ‘e confirms h to degree r’) is the truth of e. It shows that cases involving evidential flaws, which form the basis for Achinstein’s objections to the thesis, can satisfactorily be accounted for by appeal to changes in background information and working assumptions. The paper also argues that the (...)
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  • Data, Epistemic Values, and Multiple Methods in Case Study Research.Julie Zahle - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 78:32-39.
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  • Dirac's “Fine-Tuning Problem”: A Constructive Use of Anachronism?Kent W. Staley - 2012 - Perspectives on Science 20 (4):476-503.
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  • Intervention, Causal Reasoning, and the Neurobiology of Mental Disorders: Pharmacological Drugs as Experimental Instruments.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (2):542-551.
    In psychiatry, pharmacological drugs play an important experimental role in attempts to identify the neurobiological causes of mental disorders. Besides being developed in applied contexts as potential treatments for patients with mental disorders, pharmacological drugs play a crucial role in research contexts as experimental instruments that facilitate the formulation and revision of neurobiological theories of psychopathology. This paper examines the various epistemic functions that pharmacological drugs serve in the discovery, refinement, testing, and elaboration of neurobiological theories of mental disorders. I (...)
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  • Computer Models and the Evidence of Anthropogenic Climate Change: An Epistemology of Variety-of-Evidence Inferences and Robustness Analysis.Martin Vezer - 2016 - Computer Models and the Evidence of Anthropogenic Climate Change: An Epistemology of Variety-of-Evidence Inferences and Robustness Analysis MA Vezér Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 56:95-102.
    To study climate change, scientists employ computer models, which approximate target systems with various levels of skill. Given the imperfection of climate models, how do scientists use simulations to generate knowledge about the causes of observed climate change? Addressing a similar question in the context of biological modelling, Levins (1966) proposed an account grounded in robustness analysis. Recent philosophical discussions dispute the confirmatory power of robustness, raising the question of how the results of computer modelling studies contribute to the body (...)
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  • Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):275-300.
    ABSTRACT When scientists seek further confirmation of their results, they often attempt to duplicate the results using diverse means. To the extent that they are successful in doing so, their results are said to be ‘robust’. This article investigates the logic of such ‘robustness analysis’. The most important and challenging question an account of RA can answer is what sense of evidential diversity is involved in RAs. I argue that prevailing formal explications of such diversity are unsatisfactory. I propose a (...)
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  • Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw008.
    When scientists seek further confirmation of their results, they often attempt to duplicate the results using diverse means. To the extent that they are successful in doing so, their results are said to be robust. This paper investigates the logic of such "robustness analysis" [RA]. The most important and challenging question an account of RA can answer is what sense of evidential diversity is involved in RAs. I argue that prevailing formal explications of such diversity are unsatisfactory. I propose a (...)
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  • Confirmation and Robustness of Climate Models.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):971–984.
    Recent philosophical attention to climate models has highlighted their weaknesses and uncertainties. Here I address the ways that models gain support through observational data. I review examples of model fit, variety of evidence, and independent support for aspects of the models, contrasting my analysis with that of other philosophers. I also investigate model robustness, which often emerges when comparing climate models simulating the same time period or set of conditions. Starting from Michael Weisberg’s analysis of robustness, I conclude that his (...)
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  • Using Multiple Means of Determination.Jutta Schickore & Klodian Coko - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):295-313.
    This article examines a metaphilosophical issue, namely existing disagreements in philosophy of science about the significance of using multiple means of determination in scientific practice. We argue that this disagreement can, in part, be resolved by separating different questions that can be asked about the use of multiple means of determination, including the following: what can be concluded from the convergence of data or the convergence of claims about phenomena? Are the conclusions drawn from the convergence of data and of (...)
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  • Going Outside the Model: Robustness Analysis and Experimental Science.Michael Trevor Bycroft - 2009 - Spontaneous Generations 3 (1):123-141.
    In 1966 the population biologist Richard Levins gave a forceful and in?uential defence of a method called “robustness analysis” (RA). RA is a way of assessing the result of a model by showing that different but related models give the same result. As Levins put it, “our truth is the intersection of independent lies” (1966, 423). Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober (1993) responded with an equally forceful critique of this method, concluding that the idea of robustness “lacks proper de?nition and (...)
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  • Conventional Norms of Reasoning.Adam Morton - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (2):247-260.
    I describe conventions not of correct reasoning but of giving and taking advice about reasoning. This article is asn anticipation of part of the first chapter of my forthcoming *Bounded Thinking*, OUP 2012.
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  • Two Ways to Rule Out Error: Severity and Security.Kent Staley - unknown
    I contrast two modes of error-elimination relevant to evaluating evidence in accounts that emphasize frequentist reliability. The contrast corresponds to that between the use of of a reliable inference procedure and the critical scrutiny of a procedure with regard to its reliability, in light of what is and is not known about the setting in which the procedure is used. I propose a notion of security as a category of evidential assessment for the latter. In statistical settings, robustness theory and (...)
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  • Using Inferential Robustness to Establish the Security of an Evidence Claim.Kent Staley - unknown
    : Evidence claims depend on fallible assumptions. This paper discusses inferential robustness as a strategy for justifying evidence claims in spite of this fallibility. I argue that robustness can be understood as a means of establishing the partial security of evidence claims. An evidence claim is secure relative to an epistemic situation if it remains true in all scenarios that are epistemically possible relative to that epistemic situation.
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  • Economics as Robustness Analysis.Jaakko Kuorikoski, Aki Lehtinen & Caterina Marchionni - unknown
    All economic models involve abstractions and idealisations. Economic theory itself does not tell which idealizations are truly fatal or harmful for the result and which are not. This is why much of what is seen as theoretical contribution in economics is constituted by deriving familiar results from different modelling assumptions. If a modelling result is robust with respect to particular modelling assumptions, the empirical falsity of these particular assumptions does not provide grounds for criticizing the result. In this paper we (...)
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  • Securing Reliable Evidence.Kent W. Staley - unknown
    : Evidence claims depend on fallible assumptions. Three strategies for making true evidence claims in spite of this fallibility are strengthening the support for those assumptions, weakening conclusions, and using multiple independent tests to produce robust evidence. Reliability itself, understood in frequentist terms, does not explain the usefulness of all three strategies; robustness, in particular, sometimes functions in a way that is not well-characterized in terms of reliability. I argue that, in addition to reliability, the security of evidence claims is (...)
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  • Legacy Data, Radiocarbon Dating, and RObustness Reasoning.Alison Wylie - unknown
    Archaeologists put a premium on pressing “legacy data” into service, given the notoriously selective and destructive nature of their practices of data capture. Legacy data consist of material and records that been assembled over decades, sometimes centuries, often by means and for purposes long since discredited or superseded. The primary strategies by which archaeologists put the data to work for new purposes are, I argue, secondary retrieval, recontextualization, and experimental modelling. I focus here on a particularly telling and complex example (...)
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  • The CDF Collaboration and Argumentation Theory: The Role of Process in Objective Knowledge.William Rehg & Kent W. Staley - 2008 - Perspectives on Science 16 (1):1-25.
    : For philosophers of science interested in elucidating the social character of science, an important question concerns the manner in which and degree to which the objectivity of scientific knowledge is socially constituted. We address this broad question by focusing specifically on philosophical theories of evidence. To get at the social character of evidence, we take an interdisciplinary approach informed by categories from argumentation studies. We then test these categories by exploring their applicability to a case study from high-energy physics. (...)
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  • Aggregating Evidence in Climate Science: Consilience, Robustness and the Wisdom of Multiple Models.A. Vezér Martin - unknown
    The goal of this dissertation is to contribute to the epistemology of science by addressing a set of related questions arising from current discussions in the philosophy and science of climate change: Given the imperfection of computer models, how do they provide information about large and complex target systems? What is the relationship between consilient reasoning and robust evidential support in the production of scientific knowledge? Does taking the mean of a set of model outputs provide epistemic advantages over using (...)
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  • I—Elisabeth A. Lloyd: Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.
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  • Robustness, Discordance, and Relevance.Jacob Stegenga - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):650-661.
    Robustness is a common platitude: hypotheses are better supported with evidence generated by multiple techniques that rely on different background assumptions. Robustness has been put to numerous epistemic tasks, including the demarcation of artifacts from real entities, countering the “experimenter’s regress,” and resolving evidential discordance. Despite the frequency of appeals to robustness, the notion itself has received scant critique. Arguments based on robustness can give incorrect conclusions. More worrying is that although robustness may be valuable in ideal evidential circumstances (i.e., (...)
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  • When Climate Models Agree: The Significance of Robust Model Predictions.Wendy S. Parker - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):579-600.
    This article identifies conditions under which robust predictive modeling results have special epistemic significance---related to truth, confidence, and security---and considers whether those conditions hold in the context of present-day climate modeling. The findings are disappointing. When today’s climate models agree that an interesting hypothesis about future climate change is true, it cannot be inferred---via the arguments considered here anyway---that the hypothesis is likely to be true or that scientists’ confidence in the hypothesis should be significantly increased or that a claim (...)
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  • Varieties of Support and Confirmation of Climate Models.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2009 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 83 (1):213-232.
    Today's climate models are supported in a couple of ways that receive little attention from philosophers or climate scientists. In addition to standard 'model fit', wherein a model's simulation is compared to observational data, there is an additional type of confirmation available through the variety of instances of model fit. When a model performs well at fitting first one variable and then another, the probability of the model under some standard confirmation function, say, likelihood, goes up more than under each (...)
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  • Evidential Variety as a Source of Credibility for Causal Inference: Beyond Sharp Designs and Structural Models.François Claveau - 2011 - Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (3):233-253.
    There is an ongoing debate in economics between the design-based approach and the structural approach. The main locus of contention regards how best to pursue the quest for credible causal inference. Each approach emphasizes one element ? sharp study designs versus structural models ? but these elements have well-known limitations. This paper investigates where a researcher might look for credibility when, for the causal question under study, these limitations are binding. It argues that seeking variety of evidence ? understood specifically (...)
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  • Computer Models and the Evidence of Anthropogenic Climate Change: An Epistemology of Variety-of-Evidence Inferences and Robustness Analysis.Martin A. Vezér - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:95-102.
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  • “Exploratory Experimentation” as a Probe Into the Relation Between Historiography and Philosophy of Science.Jutta Schickore - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 55:20-26.
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  • Evidence and Justification in Groups with Conflicting Background Beliefs.Kent W. Staley - 2010 - Episteme 7 (3):232-247.
    Some prominent accounts of scientific evidence treat evidence as an unrelativized concept. But whether belief in a hypothesis is justified seems relative to the epistemic situation of the believer. The issue becomes yet more complicated in the context of group epistemic agents, for then one confronts the problem of relativizing to an epistemic situation that may include conflicting beliefs. As a step toward resolution of these difficulties, an ideal of justification is here proposed that incorporates both an unrelativized evidence requirement (...)
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  • Michael Faraday’s “Historical Sketch of Electro‐Magnetism” and the Theory‐Dependence of Experimentation.Aaron D. Cobb - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):624-636.
    This article explores Michael Faraday’s “Historical Sketch of Electro‐Magnetism” as a fruitful source for understanding the epistemic significance of experimentation. In this work Faraday provides a catalog of the numerous experimental and theoretical developments in the early history of electromagnetism. He also describes methods that enable experimentalists to dissociate experimental results from the theoretical commitments generating their research. An analysis of the methods articulated in this sketch is instructive for confronting epistemological worries about the theory‐dependence of experimentation. †To contact the (...)
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  • Robustness and Reality.Markus I. Eronen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3961-3977.
    Robustness is often presented as a guideline for distinguishing the true or real from mere appearances or artifacts. Most of recent discussions of robustness have focused on the kind of derivational robustness analysis introduced by Levins, while the related but distinct idea of robustness as multiple accessibility, defended by Wimsatt, has received less attention. In this paper, I argue that the latter kind of robustness, when properly understood, can provide justification for ontological commitments. The idea is that we are justified (...)
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