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  1. A System of Logic.John Stuart Mill - 1874 - Longman.
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  • Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
    How should you take into account the opinions of an advisor? When you completely defer to the advisor's judgment, then you should treat the advisor as a guru. Roughly, that means you should believe what you expect she would believe, if supplied with your extra evidence. When the advisor is your own future self, the resulting principle amounts to a version of the Reflection Principle---a version amended to handle cases of information loss. When you count an advisor as an epistemic (...)
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Duhem - 1954 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    This classic work in the philosophy of physical science is an incisive and readable account of the scientific method. Pierre Duhem was one of the great figures in French science, a devoted teacher, and a distinguished scholar of the history and philosophy of science. This book represents his most mature thought on a wide range of topics.
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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • On Progress in Philosophy.Vladimir V. Mironov - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):10-14.
    This article seeks to clarify the concept of progress in philosophy. It treats progress as a kind of development. But not every development is a progress. When we talk about progress, what really matters is the direction of development. In some cases it is relatively easy to reach agreement about this direction. But not in the case of philosophy, if we abstract it from the obvious and the trivial, like the number of books on philosophy. As a result, the article (...)
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  • The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
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  • Inductions, Red Herrings, and the Best Explanation for the Mixed Record of Science.P. D. Magnus - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):803-819.
    Kyle Stanford has recently claimed to offer a new challenge to scientific realism. Taking his inspiration from the familiar Pessimistic Induction (PI), Stanford proposes a New Induction (NI). Contra Anjan Chakravartty’s suggestion that the NI is a ‘red herring’, I argue that it reveals something deep and important about science. The Problem of Unconceived Alternatives, which lies at the heart of the NI, yields a richer anti-realism than the PI. It explains why science falls short when it falls short, and (...)
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  • The Problem of Unconceived Objections.Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - Argumentation 28 (4):425-436.
    In this paper, I argue that, just as the problem of unconceived alternatives provides a basis for a New Induction on the History of Science to the effect that a realist view of science is unwarranted, the problem of unconceived objections provides a basis for a New Induction on the History of Philosophy to the effect that a realist view of philosophy is unwarranted. I raise this problem not only for skepticism’s sake but also for the sake of making a (...)
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  • Extending the Argument From Unconceived Alternatives: Observations, Models, Predictions, Explanations, Methods, Instruments, Experiments, and Values.Darrell Rowbottom - 2016 - Synthese (10).
    Stanford’s argument against scientific realism focuses on theories, just as many earlier arguments from inconceivability have. However, there are possible arguments against scientific realism involving unconceived (or inconceivable) entities of different types: observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. This paper charts such arguments. In combination, they present the strongest challenge yet to scientific realism.
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  • Realism and Anti-Realism About Science.Otávio Bueno - 2015 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 5 (2):145-167.
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  • Why Isn't There More Progress in Philosophy?David J. Chalmers - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (1):3-31.
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  • The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Problem of the Unconceived Alternatives.Fabio Sterpetti & Marta Bertolaso - forthcoming - Topoi:1-12.
    In the process of scientific discovery, knowledge ampliation is pursued by means of non-deductive inferences. When ampliative reasoning is performed, probabilities cannot be assigned objectively. One of the reasons is that we face the problem of the unconceived alternatives: we are unable to explore the space of all the possible alternatives to a given hypothesis, because we do not know how this space is shaped. So, if we want to adequately account for the process of knowledge ampliation, we need to (...)
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  • II—Persistent Philosophical Disagreement.Chris Daly - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (1):23-40.
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  • Forever Beyond Our Grasp?: Review of P. Kyle Stanford , Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Patrick Forber - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):135-141.
    Does science successfully uncover the deep structure of the natural world? Or are the depths forever beyond our epistemic grasp? Since the decline of logical positivism and logical empiricism, scientific realism has become the consensus view: of course our scientific theories apprehend the deep structure of the world. What else could explain the remarkable success of science? This is the explanationist defense of scientific realism, the “ultimate argument.” Kyle Stanford starts here and, using the history of theorizing about biological inheritance (...)
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  • Historical Inductions, Unconceived Alternatives, and Unconceived Objections.Moti Mizrahi - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (1):59-68.
    In this paper, I outline a reductio against Stanford’s “New Induction” on the History of Science, which is an inductive argument against scientific realism that is based on what Stanford (2006) calls “the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives” (PUA). From the supposition that Stanford’s New Induction on the History of Science is cogent, and the parallel New Induction on the History of Philosophy (Mizrahi 2014), it follows that scientific antirealism is not worthy of belief. I also show that denying a key (...)
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  • The Presidential Address: Philosophical Scepticism and the Aims of Philosophy.Helen Beebee - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (1):1-24.
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  • Method and Continuity in Science.K. Wray - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):363-375.
    Devitt has developed an interesting defense of realism against the threats posed by the Pessimistic Induction and the Argument from Unconceived Alternatives. Devitt argues that the best explanation for the success of our current theories, and the fact that they are superior to the theories they replaced, is that they were developed and tested with the aid of better methods than the methods used to develop and test the many theories that were discarded earlier in the history of science. It (...)
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  • Counterfactual Philosophers.Nathan Ballantyne - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):368-387.
    I argue that reflection on philosophers who could have been working among us but aren’t can lead us to give up our philosophical beliefs.
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  • A Historically Informed Modus Ponens Against Scientific Realism: Articulation, Critique, and Restoration.Timothy D. Lyons - 2013 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):369-392.
    There are two primary arguments against scientific realism, one pertaining to underdetermination, the other to the history of science. While these arguments are usually treated as altogether distinct, P. Kyle Stanford's ‘problem of unconceived alternatives’ constitutes one kind of synthesis: I propose that Stanford's argument is best understood as a broad modus ponens underdetermination argument, into which he has inserted a unique variant of the historical pessimistic induction. After articulating three criticisms against Stanford's argument and the evidence that he offers, (...)
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  • Scientific Progress.I. Niiniluoto - 2011 - In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
    This essay contains a partial exploration of some key concepts associated with the epistemology of realist philosophies of science. It shows that neither reference nor approximate truth will do the explanatory jobs that realists expect of them. Equally, several widely-held realist theses about the nature of inter-theoretic relations and scientific progress are scrutinized and found wanting. Finally, it is argued that the history of science, far from confirming scientific realism, decisively confutes several extant versions of avowedly 'naturalistic' forms of scientific (...)
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  • Laws and Symmetry.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysicians speak of laws of nature in terms of necessity and universality; scientists, in terms of symmetry and invariance. In this book van Fraassen argues that no metaphysical account of laws can succeed. He analyzes and rejects the arguments that there are laws of nature, or that we must believe there are, and argues that we should disregard the idea of law as an adequate clue to science. After exploring what this means for general epistemology, the author develops the empiricist (...)
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  • Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History, and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.P. Kyle Stanford - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    The incredible achievements of modern scientific theories lead most of us to embrace scientific realism: the view that our best theories offer us at least roughly accurate descriptions of otherwise inaccessible parts of the world like genes, atoms, and the big bang. In Exceeding Our Grasp, Stanford argues that careful attention to the history of scientific investigation invites a challenge to this view that is not well represented in contemporary debates about the nature of the scientific enterprise. The historical record (...)
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Pierre Duhem, P. P. Wiener.Martin J. Klein - 1954 - Philosophy of Science 21 (4):354-355.
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  • Metaepistemology and Skepticism.Richard Fumerton - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):905-906.
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  • Metaepistemology and Skepticism.Stewart Cohen - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 58 (4):913-918.
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  • The Problem of the Justification of a Theory of Knowledge.Luciano Floridi - 1993 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (2):205 - 233.
    The article concerns the meta-epistemological problem of the justification of a theory of knowledge and provides a reconstruction of the history of its formulations. In the first section, I analyse the connections between Sextus Empiricus' diallelus, Montaigne's rouet and Chisholm's "problem of criterion"; in the second section I focus on the link between the diallelus and the Cartesian circle; in the third section I reconstruct the origin of "Fries' trilemma"; finally, in the last section I draw some general conclusions about (...)
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  • Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism?Michael Devitt - 2011 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (2):285-293.
    Stanford, in Exceeding Our Grasp , presents a powerful version of the pessimistic meta-induction. He claims that theories typically have empirically inequivalent but nonetheless well-confirmed, serious alternatives which are unconceived. This claim should be uncontroversial. But it alone is no threat to scientific realism. The threat comes from Stanford’s further crucial claim, supported by historical examples, that a theory’s unconceived alternatives are “radically distinct” from it; there is no “continuity”. A standard realist reply to the meta-induction is that past failures (...)
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  • On Knockdown Arguments.John A. Keller - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1205-1215.
    Nathan Ballantyne argues that the knockdown status of certain non-philosophical arguments can be transferred to arguments for substantive philosophical conclusions. Thus, if there are knockdown non-philosophical arguments, there are knockdown philosophical arguments. I show that Ballantyne’s argument is unsound, since arguments that are knockdown in non-philosophical contexts may become question-begging when used to argue for philosophical conclusions.
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  • Worrisome Skepticism About Philosophy.Bryan Frances - 2016 - Episteme 13 (3):289-303.
    A new kind of skepticism about philosophy is articulated and argued for. The key premise is the claim that many of us are well aware that in the past we failed to have good responses to substantive objections to our philosophical beliefs. The conclusion is disjunctive: either we are irrational in sticking with our philosophical beliefs, or we commit some other epistemic sin in having those beliefs.
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  • Scientific Progress.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1980 - Synthese 45 (3):427 - 462.
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  • Grasping at Realist Straws. [REVIEW]Juha Saatsi, Stathis Psillos, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther & Kyle Stanford - 2009 - Metascience 18 (3):355-390.
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  • What’s New About the New Induction?P. D. Magnus - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):295-301.
    The problem of underdetermination is thought to hold important lessons for philosophy of science. Yet, as Kyle Stanford has recently argued, typical treatments of it offer only restatements of familiar philosophical problems. Following suggestions in Duhem and Sklar, Stanford calls for a New Induction from the history of science. It will provide proof, he thinks, of "the kind of underdetermination that the history of science reveals to be a distinctive and genuine threat to even our best scientific theories" . This (...)
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  • Some Difficulties for the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):875-886.
    P. Kyle Stanford defends the problem of unconceived alternatives, which maintains that scientists are unlikely to conceive of all the scientifically plausible alternatives to the theories they accept. Stanford’s argument has been criticized on the grounds that the failure of individual scientists to conceive of relevant alternatives does not entail the failure of science as a corporate body to do so. I consider two replies to this criticism and find both lacking. In the process, I argue that Stanford does not (...)
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  • A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1980 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 211.
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  • Philosophical Papers: Volume 1.David Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press USA.
    The first volume of this series presents fifteen selected papers dealing with a variety of topics in ontology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language.
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  • The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
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  • Two Key Differences Between Science and Philosophy.Andrew M. Cavallo - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (1):133-135.
    C. S. Peirce made the following claim: If science reveals truth, then consensus among scientists can be expected in the limit. This article does not dispute this claim; it simply assumes it. On the basis of this assumption, the following question is asked: Is it possible to extend Peirce's claim to philosophy in a natural way? It is argued that two important differences between science and philosophy strongly militate against such an extension. Does this mean that there is no truth (...)
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  • Scepticism About Philosophy.Jason Brennan - 2010 - Ratio 23 (1):1-16.
    Suppose a person who is agnostic about most philosophical issues wishes to have true philosophical beliefs but equally wishes to avoid false philosophical beliefs. I argue that this truth-seeking, error-avoiding agnostic would not have good grounds for pursuing philosophy. Widespread disagreement shows that pursuing philosophy is not a reliable method of discovering true answers to philosophical questions. More likely than not, pursuing philosophy leads to false belief. Many attempts to rebut this sceptical argument fail.
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  • What is Philosophy?Graham Priest - 2006 - Philosophy 81 (2):189-207.
    ‘What is philosophy?’ is a question that every professional philosopher must ask themself sometimes. In a sense, of course, they know: they spend much time doing it. But in another sense, the answer to the question is not at all obvious. In the same way, any person knows by acquaintance what breathing is; but this does not mean that they know the nature of breathing: its mechanism and function. The nature of breathing, in this sense, is now well understood; the (...)
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  • Exceeding Our Grasp.Kyle Stanford - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (1):135-139.
    In the concluding chapter of Exceeding our Grasp Kyle Stanford outlines a positive response to the central issue raised brilliantly by his book, the problem of unconceived alternatives. This response, called "epistemic instrumentalism", relies on a distinction between instrumental and literal belief. We examine this distinction and with it the viability of Stanford's instrumentalism, which may well be another case of exceeding our grasp.
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 1981 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.
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  • Instrumentalism.Kyle Stanford - unknown
    Though John Dewey coined the term ‘instrumentalism’ to describe an extremely broad pragmatist attitude towards ideas or concepts in general, the distinctive application of that label within the philosophy of science is to positions that regard scientific theories not as literal and/or accurate descriptions of the natural world, but instead as mere tools or ‘instruments’ for making empirical predictions and achieving other practical ends. This general instrumentalist thesis has, however, historically been associated with a wide variety of motivations, arguments, and (...)
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  • The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory.Pierre Duhem & Philip P. Wiener - 1955 - Science and Society 19 (1):85-87.
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  • Metaepistemology and Skepticism.Richard Fumerton - 1997 - Mind 106 (424):782-787.
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  • Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1985 - Critica 17 (49):69-71.
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  • Skepticism.P. Klein - 2002 - In P. Moser (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    In ”Skepticism,” Peter Klein distinguishes between the “Academic Skeptic” who proposes that we cannot have knowledge of a certain set of propositions and the “Pyrrhonian Skeptic” who refrains from opining about whether we can have knowledge. Klein argues that Academic Skepticism is plausibly supported by a “Closure Principle‐style” argument based on the claim that if x entails y and S has justification for x, then S has justification for y. He turns to contextualism to see if it can contribute to (...)
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  • Do Unborn Hypotheses Have Rights?Lawrence Sklar - 1981 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 62 (1):17.
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  • Postscripts to “Survival and Identity'.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - In Philosophical Papers. Oxford University Press. pp. 73--77.
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