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  1. Explanation and the Nature of Scientific Knowledge.Kevin McCain - 2015 - Science & Education 24 (7-8):827-854.
    Explaining phenomena is a primary goal of science. Consequently, it is unsurprising that gaining a proper understanding of the nature of explanation is an important goal of science education. In order to properly understand explanation, however, it is not enough to simply consider theories of the nature of explanation. Properly understanding explanation requires grasping the relation between explanation and understanding, as well as how explanations can lead to scientific knowledge. This article examines the nature of explanation, its relation to understanding, (...)
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  • How Models Represent.James Nguyen - 2016 - Dissertation,
    Scientific models are important, if not the sole, units of science. This thesis addresses the following question: in virtue of what do scientific models represent their target systems? In Part i I motivate the question, and lay out some important desiderata that any successful answer must meet. This provides a novel conceptual framework in which to think about the question of scientific representation. I then argue against Callender and Cohen’s attempt to diffuse the question. In Part ii I investigate the (...)
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  • Missing Concepts in Natural Selection Theory Reconstructions.Santiago Ginnobili - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3):1-33.
    The concept of fitness has generated a lot of discussion in philosophy of biology. There is, however, relative agreement about the need to distinguish at least two uses of the term: ecological fitness on the one hand, and population genetics fitness on the other. The goal of this paper is to give an explication of the concept of ecological fitness by providing a reconstruction of the theory of natural selection in which this concept was framed, that is, based on the (...)
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  • MODIFIED STRUCTURE-NOMINATIVE RECONSTRUCTION OF PRACTICAL PHYSICAL THEORIES AS A FRAME FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS.Vladimir Kuznetsov - forthcoming2021 - Epistemological studies in Philosophy, Social and Political Sciences 4 (1):20-28.
    Physical theories are complex and necessary tools for gaining new knowledge about their areas of application. A distinction is made between abstract and practical theories. The last are constantly being improved in the cognitive activity of professional physicists and studied by future physicists. A variant of the philosophy of physics based on a modified structural-nominative reconstruction of practical theories is proposed. Readers should decide whether this option is useful for their understanding of the philosophy of physics, as well as other (...)
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  • Scientific Phenomena and Patterns in Data.Pascal Ströing - 2018 - Dissertation, LMU München
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  • On the Empirical Coherence and the Spatiotemporal Gap Problem in Quantum Gravity: And Why Functionalism Does Not (Have to) Help.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - Synthese 199 (S2):395-412.
    The empirical coherence problem of quantum gravity is the worry that a theory which does not fundamentally contain local beables located in space and time—such as is arguably the case for certain approaches to quantum gravity—cannot be connected to measurements and thus has its prospects of being empirically adequate undermined. Spacetime functionalism à la Lam and Wüthrich is said to solve this empirical coherence problem as well as bridging a severe conceptual gap between spatiotemporal structures of classical spacetime theories on (...)
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  • On the empirical coherence and the spatiotemporal gap problem in quantum gravity: and why functionalism does not (have to) help.Niels Linnemann - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 2):1-18.
    The empirical coherence problem of quantum gravity is the worry that a theory which does not fundamentally contain local beables located in space and time—such as is arguably the case for certain approaches to quantum gravity—cannot be connected to measurements and thus has its prospects of being empirically adequate undermined. Spacetime functionalism à la Lam and Wüthrich is said to solve this empirical coherence problem as well as bridging a severe conceptual gap between spatiotemporal structures of classical spacetime theories on (...)
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  • Stating Structural Realism: Mathematics-First Approaches to Physics and Metaphysics.David Wallace - unknown
    I respond to the frequent objection that structural realism fails to sharply state an alternative to the standard predicate-logic, object / property / relation, way of doing metaphysics. The approach I propose is based on what I call a 'math-first' approach to physical theories where the content of a physical theory is to be understood primarily in terms of its mathematical structure and the representational relations it bears to physical systems, rather than as a collection of sentences that attempt to (...)
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  • Externalismo semántico y subdeterminación empírica. Respuesta a un desafío al realismo científico.Marc Jiménez Rolland - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana
    I offer an explicit account of the underdetermination thesis as well as of the many challenges it poses to scientific realism; a way to answer to these challenges is explored and outlined, by shifting attention to the content of theories. I argue that, even if we have solid grounds (as I contend we do) to support that some varieties of the underdetermination thesis are true, scientific realism can still offer an adequate picture of the aims and achievements of science.
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  • La noción de teoría en la filosofía de la ciencia: una revisión actual.M. Maribel Barroso - 2021 - Revista Colombiana de Filosofía de la Ciencia 21 (42):11-35.
    Se revisan las nociones de teoría que han ofrecido dos importantes corrientes dentro de la filosofía de la ciencia: las concepciones sintáctica y semántica de las teorías. En tal sentido, el presente recorrido crítico de la literatura especializada centra su atención en la dimensión sincrónica de las teorías y aborda qué son las teorías científicas, cómo se caracterizan y cuál es su relación con la realidad, con base en el análisis estático de estas; además, ofrece una aproximación al estado actual (...)
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  • Semantic Realism in the Semantic Conception of Theories.Quentin Ruyant - 2021 - Synthese 198 (8):7965-7983.
    Semantic realism can be characterised as the idea that scientific theories are truth-bearers, and that they are true or false in virtue of the world. This notion is often assumed, but rarely discussed in the literature. I examine how it fares in the context of the semantic view of theories and in connection with the literature on scientific representation. Making sense of semantic realism requires specifying the conditions of application of theoretical models, even for models that are not actually used, (...)
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  • The Cultural Argument for Understanding Nature of Science.Christiane S. Reiners, Markus Bliersbach & Karl Marniok - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (5):583-610.
    Understanding Nature of Science is a central component of scientific literacy, which is agreed upon internationally, and consequently has been a major educational goal for many years all over the globe. In order to justify the promotion of an adequate understanding of NOS, educators have developed several arguments, among them the cultural argument. But what is behind this argument? In order to answer this question, C. P. Snow’s vision of two cultures was used as a starting point. In his famous (...)
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  • Coordination Instead of Consensus Classification: Insights From Systematics for Bio-Ontologies.Beckett Sterner, Joeri Witteveen & Nico Franz - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
    Big data is opening new angles on old questions about scientific progress. Is scientific knowledge cumulative? If yes, how does it make progress? In the life sciences, what we call the Consensus Principle has dominated the design of data discovery and integration tools: the design of a formal classificatory system for expressing a body of data should be grounded in consensus. Based on current approaches in biomedicine and systematic biology, we formulate and compare three types of the Consensus Principle: realist, (...)
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  • Conceptual (and Hence Mathematical) Explanation, Conceptual Grounding and Proof.Francesca Poggiolesi & Francesco Genco - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-27.
    This paper studies the notions of conceptual grounding and conceptual explanation, with an aim of clarifying the links between them. On the one hand, it analyses complex examples of these two notions that bring to the fore features that are easily overlooked otherwise. On the other hand, it provides a formal framework for modeling both conceptual grounding and conceptual explanation, based on the concept of proof. Inspiration and analogies are drawn with the recent research in metaphysics on the pair metaphysical (...)
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  • Data objects for knowing.Fred Fonseca - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-10.
    Although true in some aspects, the suggested characterization of today’s science as a dichotomy between traditional science and data-driven science misses some of the nuance, complexity, and possibility that exists between the two positions. Part of the problem is the claim that Data Science works without theories. There are many theories behind the data that are used in science. However, for data science, the only theories that matter are those in mathematics, statistics, and computer science. In this conceptual paper, we (...)
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  • On the Status of Newtonian Gravitational Radiation.Niels Linnemann & James Read - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (2):1-16.
    We discuss the status of gravitational radiation in Newtonian theories. In order to do so, we consider various options for interpreting the Poisson equation as encoding propagating solutions, reflect on the extent to which limit considerations from general relativity can shed light on the Poisson equation’s conceptual status, and discuss various senses in which the Poisson equation counts as a dynamical equation.
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  • The Emerging Structure of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Where Does Evo-Devo Fit In?Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Theory in Biosciences 137.
    The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES) debate is gaining ground in contemporary evolutionary biology. In parallel, a number of philosophical standpoints have emerged in an attempt to clarify what exactly is represented by the EES. For Massimo Pigliucci, we are in the wake of the newest instantiation of a persisting Kuhnian paradigm; in contrast, Telmo Pievani has contended that the transition to an EES could be best represented as a progressive reformation of a prior Lakatosian scientific research program, with the extension (...)
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  • Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  • The Orbital: A Pivotal Concept in the Relationship Between Chemistry and Physics? A Comment to the Work by Fortin and Coauthors.Giovanni Villani, Elena Ghibaudi & Luigi Cerruti - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (2):89-97.
    The present work is a comment of a recent paper by Fortin and coauthors in which the authors propose the introduction of Bohmian mechanics in the philosophy of chemistry and the use of standard quantum mechanics as a mere instrument of prediction. This way would allow overcoming the obstacles found in linking molecular chemistry and quantum mechanics. Starting from some remarks on the orbital concept, we highlight and discuss some general issues that need to be taken into account when two (...)
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  • Prediction in Selectionist Evolutionary Theory.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):889-901.
    Selectionist evolutionary theory has often been faulted for not making novel predictions that are surprising, risky, and correct. I argue that it in fact exhibits the theoretical virtue of predictive capacity in addition to two other virtues: explanatory unification and model fitting. Two case studies show the predictive capacity of selectionist evolutionary theory: parallel evolutionary change in E. coli, and the origin of eukaryotic cells through endosymbiosis.
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  • Data models, representation and adequacy-for-purpose.Alisa Bokulich & Wendy Parker - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    We critically engage two traditional views of scientific data and outline a novel philosophical view that we call the pragmatic-representational view of data. On the PR view, data are representations that are the product of a process of inquiry, and they should be evaluated in terms of their adequacy or fitness for particular purposes. Some important implications of the PR view for data assessment, related to misrepresentation, context-sensitivity, and complementary use, are highlighted. The PR view provides insight into the common (...)
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  • Theories of Creativity in Music: Students' Theory Appraisal and Argumentation.Erkki Huovinen - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Most research on people's conceptions regarding creativity has concerned informal beliefs instead of more complex belief systems represented in scholarly theories of creativity. The relevance of general theories of creativity to the creative domain of music may also be unclear because of the mixed responses these theories have received from music researchers. The aim of the present study was to gain a better comparative understanding of theories of creativity as accounts of musical creativity by allowing students to assess them from (...)
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  • Computational Intention.Raymond Turner - 2020 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 63 (1):19-30.
    The core entities of computer science include formal languages, spec-ifications, models, programs, implementations, semantic theories, type inference systems, abstract and physical machines. While there are conceptual questions concerning their nature, and in particular ontological ones, our main focus here will be on the relationships between them. These relationships have an extensional aspect that articulates the propositional connection between the two entities, and an intentional one that fixes the direction of governance. An analysis of these two aspects will drive our investigation; (...)
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  • Understanding Quantum Phenomena and Quantum Theories.Armond Duwell - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:278-291.
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  • Representing Scientific Knowledge for Quantitative Analysis of Physical Systems.Soroush Mobasheri & Mehrnoush Shamsfard - 2020 - Applied ontology 15 (4):439-474.
    Representation of scientific knowledge in ontologies suffers so often from the lack of computational knowledge required for inference. This article aims to perform quantitative analysis on physical systems, that is, to answer questions about values of quantitative state variables of a physical system with known structure. For this objective, we incorporate procedural knowledge on two distinct levels. At the domain-specific level, we propose a representation model for scientific knowledge, i.e. variables, theories, and laws of nature. At the domain-independent level, we (...)
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  • A Philosophical Analysis of the Relation Between Chemistry and Quantum Mechanics.Vanessa Seifert - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Bristol
    This thesis investigates the epistemological and metaphysical relations between chemistry and quantum mechanics. These relations are examined with respect to how chemistry and quantum mechanics each describe a single inert molecule. A review of how these relations are understood in the literature shows that there is a proliferation of positions which focus on how chemistry is separate from quantum mechanics. This proliferation is accompanied by a tendency within the philosophy of chemistry community to connect the legitimacy of the field with (...)
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  • The Representational Semantic Conception.Mauricio Suárez & Francesca Pero - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (2):344-365.
    This paper argues for a representational semantic conception of scientific theories, which respects the bare claim of any semantic view, namely that theories can be characterised as sets of models. RSC must be sharply distinguished from structural versions that assume a further identity of ‘models’ and ‘structures’, which we reject. The practice-turn in the recent philosophical literature suggests instead that modelling must be understood in a deflationary spirit, in terms of the diverse representational practices in the sciences. These insights are (...)
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  • MUDdy Understanding.Daniel Wilkenfeld - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper focuses on two questions: Is understanding intimately bound up with accurately representing the world? Is understanding intimately bound up with downstream abilities? We will argue that the answer to both these questions is “yes”, and for the same reason-both accuracy and ability are important elements of orthogonal evaluative criteria along which understanding can be assessed. More precisely, we will argue that representational-accuracy and intelligibility are good-making features of a state of understanding. Interestingly, both evaluative claims have been defended (...)
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  • The Mind, the Lab, and the Field: Three Kinds of Populations in Scientific Practice.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Ryan Giordano, Michael D. Edge & Rasmus Nielsen - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 52:12-21.
    Scientists use models to understand the natural world, and it is important not to conflate model and nature. As an illustration, we distinguish three different kinds of populations in studies of ecology and evolution: theoretical, laboratory, and natural populations, exemplified by the work of R.A. Fisher, Thomas Park, and David Lack, respectively. Biologists are rightly concerned with all three types of populations. We examine the interplay between these different kinds of populations, and their pertinent models, in three examples: the notion (...)
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