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  1. Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
    "How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses and making inferences? According to the model of 'inference to the Best explanation', we work out what to inter from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the development and assessment it deserves." "The (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? According to the model of _Inference to the Best Explanation_, we work out what to infer from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In _Inference to the Best Explanation_, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the development and assessment it deserves. The (...)
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  • Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge.Karl Raimund Popper - 1962 - London, England: Routledge.
    _Conjectures and Refutations_ is one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history. It provides one of the clearest and most accessible statements of the fundamental idea that guided his work: not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.
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  • The Growth of Biological Thought: Diversity, Evolution, and Inheritance.Ernst Mayr - 1982 - Belknap Press, 1982.
    An incisive study of the development of the biological sciences chronicles the origins, maturation, and modern views of the classification of life forms, the evolution of species, and the inheritance and variation of characteristics.
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  • Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography.Karl Popper - 2002 - Routledge.
    At the age of eight, Karl Popper was puzzling over the idea of infinity and by fifteen was beginning to take a keen interest in his father's well-stocked library of books. Unended Quest recounts these moments and many others in the life of one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century, providing an indispensable account of the ideas that influenced him most. As an introduction to Popper's philosophy, Unended Quest also shines. Popper lucidly explains the central ideas in (...)
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  • The Art of the Soluble: Creativity and Originality in Science.Peter Brian Medawar - 1967 - London: Penguin Books.
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  • Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2008 - Harvard University Press.
    Approaches to explanation -- Causal and explanatory relevance -- The kairetic account of /D making -- The kairetic account of explanation -- Extending the kairetic account -- Event explanation and causal claims -- Regularity explanation -- Abstraction in regularity explanation -- Approaches to probabilistic explanation -- Kairetic explanation of frequencies -- Kairetic explanation of single outcomes -- Looking outward -- Looking inward.
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  • Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1993 - University of Chicago Press.
    Kenneth F. Schaffner compares the practice of biological and medical research and shows how traditional topics in philosophy of science--such as the nature of theories and of explanation--can illuminate the life sciences. While Schaffner pays some attention to the conceptual questions of evolutionary biology, his chief focus is on the examples that immunology, human genetics, neuroscience, and internal medicine provide for examinations of the way scientists develop, examine, test, and apply theories. Although traditional philosophy of science has regarded scientific discovery--the (...)
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  • Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach.Karl Raimund Popper - 1972 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    The essays in this volume represent an approach to human knowledge that has had a profound influence on many recent thinkers. Popper breaks with a traditional commonsense theory of knowledge that can be traced back to Aristotle. A realist and fallibilist, he argues closely and in simple language that scientific knowledge, once stated in human language, is no longer part of ourselves but a separate entity that grows through critical selection.
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  • Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge.Karl Raimund Popper - 1962 - London, England: Routledge.
    This classic remains one of Karl Popper's most wide-ranging and popular works, notable not only for its acute insight into the way scientific knowledge grows, but also for applying those insights to politics and to history.
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  • Science and Selection: Essays on Biological Evolution and the Philosophy of Science.David L. Hull - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    One way to understand science is as a selection process. David Hull, one of the dominant figures in contemporary philosophy of science, sets out in this 2001 volume a general analysis of this selection process that applies equally to biological evolution, the reaction of the immune system to antigens, operant learning, and social and conceptual change in science. Hull aims to distinguish between those characteristics that are contingent features of selection and those that are essential. Science and Selection brings together (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
    Science depends on judgments of the bearing of evidence on theory. Scientists must judge whether an observation or the result of an experiment supports, disconfirms, or is simply irrelevant to a given hypothesis. Similarly, scientists may judge that, given all the available evidence, a hypothesis ought to be accepted as correct or nearly so, rejected as false, or neither. Occasionally, these evidential judgments can be made on deductive grounds. If an experimental result strictly contradicts a hypothesis, then the truth of (...)
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  • Abduction.Igorn D. Douven - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Most philosophers agree that abduction (in the sense of Inference to the Best Explanation) is a type of inference that is frequently employed, in some form or other, both in everyday and in scientific reasoning. However, the exact form as well as the normative status of abduction are still matters of controversy. This entry contrasts abduction with other types of inference; points at prominent uses of it, both in and outside philosophy; considers various more or less precise statements of it; (...)
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  • Four Decades of Scientific Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon & Anne Fagot-Largeault - 1989 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
    As Aristotle stated, scientific explanation is based on deductive argument--yet, Wesley C. Salmon points out, not all deductive arguments are qualified explanations. The validity of the explanation must itself be examined. _Four Decades of Scientific Explanation_ provides a comprehensive account of the developments in scientific explanation that transpired in the last four decades of the twentieth century. It continues to stand as the most comprehensive treatment of the writings on the subject during these years. Building on the historic 1948 essay (...)
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  • Aspects of Scientific Explanation.Carl G. Hempel - 1965 - In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press. pp. 504.
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  • Certainty and Circularity in Evolutionary Taxonomy.David L. Hull - 1967 - Evolution 21 (1):174-189.
    Certain lines of reasoning common in evolutionary taxonomy have been termed viciously circular. They are quite obviously not logically circular. They do give the superficial appearance of epistemological circularity. This appearance arises from the method of successive approximation used by evolutionary taxonomists. It is argued that this method is not epistemologically circular, even when the only evidence that the taxonomist has to go on is the phenetic similarity of contemporary forms. The important criticism of evolutionary taxonomy is rather that in (...)
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  • The Use and Abuse of Sir Karl Popper.David L. Hull - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (4):481-504.
    Karl Popper has been one of the few philosophers of sciences who has influenced scientists. I evaluate Popper's influence on our understanding of evolutionary theory from his earliest publications to the present. Popper concluded that three sorts of statements in evolutionary biology are not genuine laws of nature. I take him to be right on this score. Popper's later distinction between evolutionary theory as a metaphysical research program and as a scientific theory led more than one scientist to misunderstand his (...)
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  • A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: Do Carrion and Dung Odours of Flowers Not Only Attract Pollinators but Also Deter Herbivores?Simcha Lev-Yadun, Gidi Ne'eman & Uri Shanas - 2009 - Bioessays 31 (1):84-88.
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  • What Philosophy of Biology is Not.David Hull - 1969 - Journal of the History of Biology 2 (1):241-268.
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  • Reconceiving Eliminative Inference.Patrick Forber - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):185-208.
    Eliminative reasoning seems to play an important role in the sciences, but should it be part of our best theory of science? Statistical evidence, prevalent across the sciences, causes problems for eliminative inference, supporting the view that probabilistic theories of confirmation provide a better framework for reasoning about evidence. Here I argue that deductive elimination has an important inferential role to play in science, one that is compatible with probabilistic approaches to evidence. Eliminative inferences help frame testing problems, an essential (...)
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  • The No‐Miracles Argument for Realism: Inference to an Unacceptable Explanation.Greg Frost-Arnold - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (1):35-58.
    I argue that a certain type of naturalist should not accept a prominent version of the no-miracles argument (NMA). First, scientists (usually) do not accept explanations whose explanans-statements neither generate novel predictions nor unify apparently disparate established claims. Second, scientific realism (as it appears in the NMA) is an explanans that makes no new predictions and fails to unify disparate established claims. Third, many proponents of the NMA explicitly adopt a naturalism that forbids philosophy of science from using any methods (...)
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  • Two Concepts of Constraint: Adaptationism and the Challenge From Developmental Biology.Ron Amundson - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (4):556-578.
    The so-called "adaptationism" of mainstream evolutionary biology has been criticized from a variety of sources. One, which has received relatively little philosophical attention, is developmental biology. Developmental constraints are said to be neglected by adaptationists. This paper explores the divergent methodological and explanatory interests that separate mainstream evolutionary biology from its embryological and developmental critics. It will focus on the concept of constraint itself; even this central concept is understood differently by the two sides of the dispute.
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  • The Semantic Structure of Evolutionary Biology as an Argument Against Intelligent Design.James A. T. Lancaster - 2011 - Zygon 46 (1):26-46.
    Abstract. This paper examines the impact of two formalizations of evolutionary biology on the antiselectionist critiques of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement. It looks first at attempts to apply the syntactic framework of the physical sciences to biology in the twentieth century, and to their effect upon the ID movement. It then examines the more heuristic account of biological-theory structure, namely, the semantic model. Finally, it concludes by advocating the semantic conception and emphasizing the problems that the semantic model creates (...)
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  • Van Fraassen's Critique Of Inference To The Best Explanation.Samir Okasha - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (4):691-710.
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  • The Exaptive Excellence of Spandrels as a Term and Prototype.Stephen Jay Gould - unknown
    In 1979, Lewontin and I borrowed the archi- tectural term “spandrel” (using the pendentives of San Marco in Venice as an example) to designate the class of forms and spaces that arise as necessary byproducts of another decision in design, and not as adaptations for direct utility in them- selves. This proposal has generated a large literature featur- ing two critiques: (i) the terminological claim that the span- drels of San Marco are not true spandrels at all and (ii) the (...)
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  • Manipulating Underdetermination in Scientific Controversy: The Case of the Molecular Clock.Michael R. Dietrich & Robert A. Skipper - 2007 - Perspectives on Science 15 (3):295-326.
    : Where there are cases of underdetermination in scientific controversies, such as the case of the molecular clock, scientists may direct the course and terms of dispute by playing off the multidimensional framework of theory evaluation. This is because assessment strategies themselves are underdetermined. Within the framework of assessment, there are a variety of trade-offs between different strategies as well as shifting emphases as specific strategies are given more or less weight in assessment situations. When a strategy is underdetermined, scientists (...)
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  • The Adaptationist-Byproduct Debate on the Evolution of Religion: Five Misunderstandings of the Adaptationist Program.Richard Sosis - 2009 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 9 (3-4):315-332.
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  • The Historical Turn in the Study of Adaptation.Paul E. Griffiths - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):511-532.
    A number of philosophers and ‘evolutionary psychologists’ have argued that attacks on adaptationism in contemporary biology are misguided. These thinkers identify anti-adaptationism with advocacy of non-adaptive modes of explanation. They overlook the influence of anti-adaptationism in the development of more rigorous forms of adaptive explanation. Many biologists who reject adaptationism do not reject Darwinism. Instead, they have pioneered the contemporary historical turn in the study of adaptation. One real issue which remains unresolved amongst these methodological advances is the nature of (...)
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  • Spandrels and a Pervasive Problem of Evidence.Patrick Forber - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):247-266.
    Evolutionary biology, indeed any science that attempts to reconstruct prehistory, faces practical limitations on available data. These limitations create the problem of contrast failure: specific observations may fail to discriminate between rival evolutionary hypotheses. Assessing the risk of contrast failure provides a way to evaluate testing protocols in evolutionary science. Here I will argue that part of the methodological critique in the Spandrels paper involves diagnosing contrast failure problems. I then distinguish the problem of contrast failure from the more familiar (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.
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  • What Philosophy of Biology is Not.David L. Hull - 1969 - Synthese 20 (2):157 - 184.
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  • Optimality Modeling in a Suboptimal World.Angela Potochnik - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):183-197.
    The fate of optimality modeling is typically linked to that of adaptationism: the two are thought to stand or fall together (Gould and Lewontin, Proc Relig Soc Lond 205:581–598, 1979; Orzack and Sober, Am Nat 143(3):361–380, 1994). I argue here that this is mistaken. The debate over adaptationism has tended to focus on one particular use of optimality models, which I refer to here as their strong use. The strong use of an optimality model involves the claim that selection is (...)
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  • Just so Stories and Inference to the Best Explanation in Evolutionary Psychology.Harmon R. Holcomb - 1996 - Minds and Machines 6 (4):525-540.
    Evolutionary psychology is a science in the making, working toward the goal of showing how psychological adaptation underlies much human behavior. The knee-jerk reaction that sociobiology is unscientific because it tells just-so stories has become a common charge against evolutionary psychology as well. My main positive thesis is that inference to the best explanation is a proper method for evolutionary analyses, and it supplies a new perspective on the issues raised in Schlinger's (1996) just-so story critique. My main negative thesis (...)
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  • The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.
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  • The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme.S. J. Gould & R. C. Lewontin - 1979 - In E. Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology. The Mit Press. Bradford Books. pp. 73-90.
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  • Exaptation–A Missing Term in the Science of Form.Stephen Jay Gould & Elisabeth S. Vrba - 1982 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Philosophy of Natural Science.Carl G. Hempel - 1967 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 18 (1):70-72.
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  • Drift Sometimes Dominates Selection, and Vice Versa: A Reply to Clatterbuck, Sober and Lewontin.Robert Brandon & Leonore Fleming - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):577-585.
    Clatterbuck et al. (Biol Philos 28: 577–592, 2013) argue that there is no fact of the matter whether selection dominates drift or vice versa in any particular case of evolution. Their reasons are not empirically based; rather, they are purely conceptual. We show that their conceptual presuppositions are unmotivated, unnecessary and overly complex. We also show that their conclusion runs contrary to current biological practice. The solution is to recognize that evolution involves a probabilistic sampling process, and that drift is (...)
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  • The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.
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  • Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
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  • How to Pursue the Adaptationist Program in Psychology.Russil Durrant & Brian D. Haig - 2001 - Philosophical Psychology 14 (4):357 – 380.
    In recent times evolutionary psychologists have offered adaptation explanations for a wide range of human psychological characteristics. Critics, however, have argued that such endeavors are problematic because the appropriate evidence required to demonstrate adaptation is unlikely to be forthcoming, therefore severely limiting the role of the adaptationist program in psychology. More specifically, doubts have been raised over both the methodology employed by evolutionary psychologists for studying adaptations and about the possibility of ever developing acceptably rigorous evolutionary explanations of human psychological (...)
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  • Adaptationism and Inference to the Best Explanation.Brian Haig & Russil Durrant - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (4):520-521.
    Andrews et al. effectively argue that, despite prominent criticism, adaptationism can be a viable research strategy. We agree. In our complementary commentary, we discuss the neglected method of inference to the best explanation and argue that it is a valuable addition to the adaptationist's methodological practice.
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  • Evolution: The History of an Idea.Peter J. Bowler - 1985 - Journal of the History of Biology 18 (1):155-157.
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  • Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution: An Analysis.Michael Ruse - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 8 (2):219 - 241.
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  • Evolution: The History of an Idea.Peter J. Bowler - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):261-265.
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  • Objective knowledge, an evolutionary approach.Karl R. Popper - 1976 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 166 (1):72-73.
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  • Discovery and Explanation in Biology and Medicine.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1995 - Journal of the History of Biology 28 (1):172-174.
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  • The Relativism of Constraints on Phenotypic Evolution.Kurt Schwenk & Günter P. Wagner - 2004 - In Massimo Pigliucci & Katherine Preston (eds.), Phenotypic Integration: Studying the Ecology and Evolution of Complex Phenotypes. Oxford University Press. pp. 390--408.
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  • The Triumph of the Darwinian Method.Michael T. Ghiselin - 1973 - Philosophy of Science 40 (3):466-467.
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  • The Study of Adaptation.Randy Thornhill - 1996 - In Colin Allen & D. Jamison (eds.), Readings in Animal Cognition. MIT Press. pp. 107.
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