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  1. Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.D. Walsh - 1997 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (4):613-617.
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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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  • Self-Supporting Arguments.Andrew D. Cling - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (2):279-303.
    Deductive and inductive logic confront this skeptical challenge: we can justify any logical principle only by means of an argument but we can acquire justification by means of an argument only if we are already justified in believing some logical principle. We could solve this problem if probative arguments do not require justified belief in their corresponding conditionals. For if not, then inferential justification would not require justified belief in any logical principle. So even arguments whose corresponding conditionals are epistemically (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.
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  • Realism and Truth.Philip Gasper - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (3):446.
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  • Seven Types of Adaptationism.Tim Lewens - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):161-182.
    Godfrey-Smith ( 2001 ) has distinguished three types of adaptationism. This article builds on his analysis, and revises it in places, by distinguishing seven varieties of adaptationism. This taxonomy allows us to clarify what is at stake in debates over adaptationism, and it also helps to cement the importance of Gould and Lewontin’s ‘Spandrels’ essay. Some adaptationists have suggested that their essay does not offer any coherent alternative to the adaptationist programme: it consists only in an exhortation to test adaptationist (...)
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  • The Foundations of Knowing.Joseph Levine - 1984 - Philosophical Review 93 (3):462.
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  • Hume's Problem: Induction and the Justification of Belief.Colin Howson - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    In the mid-eighteenth century David Hume argued that successful prediction tells us nothing about the truth of the predicting theory. But physical theory routinely predicts the values of observable magnitudes within very small ranges of error. The chance of this sort of predictive success without a true theory suggests that Hume's argument is flawed. However, Colin Howson argues that there is no flaw and examines the implications of this disturbing conclusion; he also offers a solution to one of the central (...)
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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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  • Peirce's Notion of Abduction.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1958 - Journal of Philosophy 55 (14):593-597.
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  • The Metaphysics of Scientific Realism.Brian Ellis - 2009 - Routledge.
    This book presents a major statement on the dominant philosophy of science by one of the world's leading metaphysicians. Brian Ellis's new book develops the metaphysics of scientific realism to the point where it begins to take on the characteristics of a first philosophy. As most people understand it, scientific realism is not yet such a theory. It is not sufficiently general, and has no plausible applications in fields other than the well-established sciences. Nevertheless, Ellis demonstrates that the original arguments (...)
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  • Philosophical Darwinism: On the Origin of Knowledge by Means of Natural Selection.Peter Munz - 1993 - Routledge.
    Philosophers have not taken the evolution of human beings seriously enough. If they did, argues Peter Munz, many long-standing philosophical problems would be resolved. One of the philosophical consequences of biology is that all the knowledge produced in evolution is a priori established hypothetically by chance mutation and selective retention rather than by observation and intelligent induction. For organisms as embodied theories, selection is natural. For theories as disembodied organisms, it is artificial. Following Karl Popper, the growth of knowledge is (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1993 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? The model of " inference to the best explanation " -- that we infer the hypothesis that would, if correct, provide the best explanation of the available evidence--offers a compelling account of inferences both in science and in ordinary life. Widely cited by epistemologists and philosophers of science, IBE has nonetheless remained little more than a slogan. Now this influential work has been thoroughly revised and updated, and features (...)
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  • Modest Evolutionary Naturalism.Ronald N. Giere - 2006 - Biological Theory 1 (1):52-60.
    I begin by arguing that a consistent general naturalism must be understood in terms of methodological maxims rather than metaphysical doctrines. Some specific maxims are proposed. I then defend a generalized naturalism from the common objection that it is incapable of accounting for the normative aspects of human life, including those of scientific practice itself. Evolutionary naturalism, however, is criticized as being incapable of providing a sufficient explanation of categorical moral norms. Turning to the epistemological norms of science itself, particularly (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation, Coherence and Other Explanatory Virtues.Adolfas Mackonis - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):975-995.
    This article generalizes the explanationist account of inference to the best explanation. It draws a clear distinction between IBE and abduction and presents abduction as the first step of IBE. The second step amounts to the evaluation of explanatory power, which consist in the degree of explanatory virtues that a hypothesis exhibits. Moreover, even though coherence is the most often cited explanatory virtue, on pain of circularity, it should not be treated as one of the explanatory virtues. Rather, coherence should (...)
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  • Success and Truth in the Realism/Anti-Realism Debate.K. Brad Wray - 2013 - Synthese 190 (9):1719-1729.
    I aim to clarify the relationship between the success of a theory and the truth of that theory. This has been a central issue in the debates between realists and anti-realists. Realists assume that success is a reliable indicator of truth, but the details about the respects in which success is a reliable indicator or test of truth have been largely left to our intuitions. Lewis (Synthese 129:371–380, 2001) provides a clear proposal of how success and truth might be connected, (...)
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  • Why The Pessimistic Induction Is A Fallacy.Peter J. Lewis - 2001 - Synthese 129 (3):371-380.
    Putnam and Laudan separately argue that the falsity of past scientific theories gives us reason to doubt the truth of current theories. Their arguments have been highly influential, and have generated a significant literature over the past couple of decades. Most of this literature attempts to defend scientific realism by attacking the historical evidence on which the premises of the relevant argument are based. However, I argue that both Putnam's and Laudan's arguments are fallacious, and hence attacking their premises is (...)
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  • Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
    Our ability for scientific reasoning is a byproduct of cognitive faculties that evolved in response to problems related to survival and reproduction. Does this observation increase the epistemic standing of science, or should we treat scientific knowledge with suspicion? The conclusions one draws from applying evolutionary theory to scientific beliefs depend to an important extent on the validity of evolutionary arguments (EAs) or evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs). In this paper we show through an analytical model that cultural transmission of scientific (...)
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  • Witchcraft, Relativism and the Problem of the Criterion.Howard Sankey - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):1-16.
    This paper presents a naturalistic response to the challenge of epistemic relativism. The case of the Azande poison oracle is employed as an example of an alternative epistemic norm which may be used to justify beliefs about everyday occurrences. While a distinction is made between scepticism and relativism, an argument in support of epistemic relativism is presented that is based on the sceptical problem of the criterion. A response to the resulting relativistic position is then provided on the basis of (...)
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  • Knowledge, Truth and Plausibility.Carlo Cellucci - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (4):517-532.
    From antiquity several philosophers have claimed that the goal of natural science is truth. In particular, this is a basic tenet of contemporary scientific realism. However, all concepts of truth that have been put forward are inadequate to modern science because they do not provide a criterion of truth. This means that we will generally be unable to recognize a scientific truth when we reach it. As an alternative, this paper argues that the goal of natural science is plausibility and (...)
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  • The Evolution of Misbelief.Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):493.
    From an evolutionary standpoint, a default presumption is that true beliefs are adaptive and misbeliefs maladaptive. But if humans are biologically engineered to appraise the world accurately and to form true beliefs, how are we to explain the routine exceptions to this rule? How can we account for mistaken beliefs, bizarre delusions, and instances of self-deception? We explore this question in some detail. We begin by articulating a distinction between two general types of misbelief: those resulting from a breakdown in (...)
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  • Truth-Reliability and the Evolution of Human Cognitive Faculties.James Sage - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (1-2):95-106.
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  • Why the Pessimistic Induction is a Fallacy.Peter J. Lewis - 2001 - Synthese 129 (3):371--380.
    Putnam and Laudan separately argue that the falsity of past scientific theories gives us reason to doubt the truth of current theories. Their arguments have been highly influential, and have generated a significant literature over the past couple of decades. Most of this literature attempts to defend scientific realism by attacking the historical evidence on which the premises of the relevant argument are based. However, I argue that both Putnam's and Laudan's arguments are fallacious, and hence attacking their premises is (...)
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  • Testing Inference To The Best Explanation.Igor Douven - 2002 - Synthese 130 (3):355-377.
    Inference to the Best Explanation has become the subject of a lively debate in the philosophy of science. Scientific realists maintain, while scientific antirealists deny, that it is a compelling rule of inference. It seems that any attempt to settle this debate empirically must beg the question against the antirealist. The present paper argues that this impression is misleading. A method is described that, by combining Glymour's theory of bootstrapping and Hacking's arguments from microscopy, allows us to test IBE without (...)
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  • Problems with Peirce's Concept of Abduction.Michael Hoffmann - 1999 - Foundations of Science 4 (3):271-305.
    Abductive reasoning takes place in forming``hypotheses'''' in order to explain ``facts.'''' Thus, theconcept of abduction promises an understanding ofcreativity in science and learning. It raises,however, also a lot of problems. Some of them will bediscussed in this paper. After analyzing thedifference between induction and abduction (1), Ishall discuss Peirce''s claim that there is a ``logic''''of abduction (2). The thesis is that this claim can beunderstood, if we make a clear distinction between inferential elements and perceptive elements of abductive reasoning. For (...)
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  • Epistemic Levels and the Problem of the Criterion.Andrew D. Cling - 1997 - Philosophical Studies 88 (2):109-140.
    The problem of the criterion says that we can know a proposition only if we first know a criterion of truth and vice versa, hence, we cannot know any proposition or any criterion of truth. The epistemic levels response says that since knowledge does not require knowledge about knowledge, we can know a proposition without knowing a criterion of truth. This response (advocated by Chisholm and Van Cleve) presupposes that criteria of truth are epistemic principles. In general, however, criteria of (...)
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  • The Trouble with Infinitism.Andrew D. Cling - 2004 - Synthese 138 (1):101 - 123.
    One way to solve the epistemic regress problem would be to show that we can acquire justification by means of an infinite regress. This is infinitism. This view has not been popular, but Peter Klein has developed a sophisticated version of infinitism according to which all justified beliefs depend upon an infinite regress of reasons. Klein's argument for infinitism is unpersuasive, but he successfully responds to the most compelling extant objections to the view. A key component of his position is (...)
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  • Peirce and the Autonomy of Abductive Reasoning.Tomis Kapitan - 1992 - Erkenntnis 37 (1):1 - 26.
    Essential to Peirce's distinction among three kinds of reasoning, deduction, induction and abduction, is the claim that each is correlated to a unique species of validity irreducible to that of the others. In particular, abductive validity cannot be analyzed in either deductive or inductive terms, a consequence of considerable importance for the logical and epistemological scrutiny of scientific methods. But when the full structure of abductive argumentation — as viewed by the mature Peirce — is clarified, every inferential step in (...)
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  • Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism.Christopher Read Hitchcock - 1992 - Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
    It is widely believed that many of the competing accounts of scientific explanation have ramifications which are relevant to the scientific realism debate. I claim that the two issues are orthogonal. For definiteness, I consider Cartwright's argument that causal explanations secure belief in theoretical entities. In Section I, van Fraassen's anti-realism is reviewed; I argue that this anti-realism is, prima facie, consistent with a causal account of explanation. Section II reviews Cartwright's arguments. In Section III, it is argued that causal (...)
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  • Patterns of Abduction.G. Schurz - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):201-234.
    This article describes abductions as special patterns of inference to the best explanation whose structure determines a particularly promising abductive conjecture and thus serves as an abductive search strategy. A classification of different patterns of abduction is provided which intends to be as complete as possible. An important distinction is that between selective abductions, which choose an optimal candidate from given multitude of possible explanations, and creative abductions, which introduce new theoretical models or concepts. While selective abduction has dominated the (...)
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  • Truth, Selection and Scientific Inquiry.Stephen M. Downes - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):425-442.
    In this paper I examine various ways in whichphilosophers have made connections between truth andnatural selection. I introduce several versions ofthe view that mechanisms of true belief generationarise as a result of natural selection and argue thatthey fail to establish a connection between truth andnatural selection. I then turn to scientific truthsand argue that evolutionary accounts of the origin ofscientific truth generation mechanisms also fail. Iintroduce David Hull's selectionist model ofscientific development and argue that his account ofscientific success does not (...)
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  • Posing the Problem of the Criterion.Andrew D. Cling - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 75 (3):261 - 292.
    Although it has been largely neglected in contemporary philosophy , the problem of the criterion raises questions which must be addressed by any complete account of knowledge . But the problem of the criterion suffers not onl.
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  • Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?John Worrall - 1989 - Dialectica 43 (1-2):99-124.
    SummaryThe main argument for scientific realism is that our present theories in science are so successful empirically that they can't have got that way by chance ‐ instead they must somehow have latched onto the blueprint of the universe. The main argument against scientific realism is that there have been enormously successful theories which were once accepted but are now regarded as false. The central question addressed in this paper is whether there is some reasonable way to have the best (...)
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  • Petitio Principii and Circular Argumentation as Seen From a Theory of Dialectical Structures.Gregor Betz - 2010 - Synthese 175 (3):327-349.
    This paper investigates in how far a theory of dialectical structures sheds new light on the old problem of giving a satisfying account of the fallacy of petitio principii, or begging the question. It defends that (i) circular argumentation on the one hand and petitio principii on the other hand are two distinct features of complex argumentation, and that (ii) it is impossible to make general statements about the defectiveness of an argumentation that exhibits these features. Such an argumentation, in (...)
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  • Scientific Realism: Old and New Problems.Ronald N. Giere - 2005 - Erkenntnis 63 (2):149-165.
    Scientific realism is a doctrine that was both in and out of fashion several times during the twentieth century. I begin by noting three presuppositions of a succinct characterization of scientific realism offered initially by the foremost critic in the latter part of the century, Bas van Fraassen. The first presupposition is that there is a fundamental distinction to be made between what is “empirical” and what is “theoretical”. The second presupposition is that a genuine scientific realism is committed to (...)
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  • Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book explains the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing links philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of 'externalist' explanations. The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the work of (...)
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  • Epistemic Circularity.William P. Alston - 1986 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (1):1-30.
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  • Three Kinds of Adaptationism.Peter Godfrey-Smith - unknown
    Debate about adaptationism in biology continues, in part because within “the” problem of assessing adaptationism, three distinct problems are mixed together. The three problems concern the assessment of three distinct adaptationist positions, each of which asserts the central importance of adaptation and natural selection to the study of evolution, but conceives this importance in a different way. As there are three kinds of adaptationism, there are three distinct "anti-adaptationist" positions as well. Or putting it more formally, there are three different (...)
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  • The Inference to the Best Explanation.Gilbert H. Harman - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (1):88-95.
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  • Scientific Realism and the Rationality of Science.Howard Sankey - 2008 - Ashgate.
    Scientific realism is the position that the aim of science is to advance on truth and increase knowledge about observable and unobservable aspects of the mind-independent world which we inhabit. This book articulates and defends that position. In presenting a clear formulation and addressing the major arguments for scientific realism Sankey appeals to philosophers beyond the community of, typically Anglo-American, analytic philosophers of science to appreciate and understand the doctrine. The book emphasizes the epistemological aspects of scientific realism and contains (...)
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  • Peircean Abduction: Instinct or Inference?Sami Paavola - 2005 - Semiotica 2005 (153 - 1/4):131-154.
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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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  • Fix It and Be Damned: A Reply to Laudan.John Worrall - 1989 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (3):376-388.
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  • Miraculous Success? Inconsistency and Untruth in Kirchhoff’s Diffraction Theory.Juha Saatsi & Peter Vickers - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):29-46.
    Kirchhoff’s diffraction theory is introduced as a new case study in the realism debate. The theory is extremely successful despite being both inconsistent and not even approximately true. Some habitual realist proclamations simply cannot be maintained in the face of Kirchhoff’s theory, as the realist is forced to acknowledge that theoretical success can in some circumstances be explained in terms other than truth. The idiosyncrasy (or otherwise) of Kirchhoff’s case is considered.
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  • Truth Does Not Explain Predictive Success.Carsten Held - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):232-234.
    Laudan famously argued that neither truth nor approximate truth can be part of an explanation of a scientific theory's predictive success because in the history of science there were theories that enjoyed some limited success but now are considered outright false. The power of his argument lay in the many historic examples he listed . Realists have disputed that all theories on Laudan's list can be regarded as predictively successful but let's suppose momentarily that at least some exist that support (...)
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  • Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification.Helen de Cruz, Maarten Boudry, Johan de Smedt & Stefaan Blancke - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):517-535.
    What are the consequences of evolutionary theory for the epistemic standing of our beliefs? Evolutionary considerations can be used to either justify or debunk a variety of beliefs. This paper argues that evolutionary approaches to human cognition must at least allow for approximately reliable cognitive capacities. Approaches that portray human cognition as so deeply biased and deficient that no knowledge is possible are internally incoherent and self-defeating. As evolutionary theory offers the current best hope for a naturalistic epistemology, evolutionary approaches (...)
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  • Methodological Pragmatism: A Systems-Theoretic Approach to the Theory of Knowledge.Nicholas Rescher - 1977 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 15 (1):83-87.
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  • Outlines of Pyrrhonism.Sextus Empiricus - 1994 - Harvard University Press.
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  • Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce.Charles S. Peirce - 1931 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY" CHAPTER 1 LESSONS FROM THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY §1. NOMINALISM* 15. Very early in my studies of logic, before I had really been ...
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  • Adaptationist Explanations.David B. Resnik - 1989 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 20 (2):193.
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