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C. D. McCoy [10]C. McCoy [1]
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C. D. McCoy
Stockholm University
Clinton McCoy
Austin Community College
  1.  70
    The Implementation, Interpretation, and Justification of Likelihoods in Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:19-35.
    I discuss the formal implementation, interpretation, and justification of likelihood attributions in cosmology. I show that likelihood arguments in cosmology suffer from significant conceptual and formal problems that undermine their applicability in this context.
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  2.  82
    Does Inflation Solve the Hot Big Bang Model׳s Fine-Tuning Problems?C. D. McCoy - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 51:23-36.
    Cosmological inflation is widely considered an integral and empirically successful component of contemporary cosmology. It was originally motivated by its solution of certain so-called fine-tuning problems of the hot big bang model, particularly what are known as the horizon problem and the flatness problem. Although the physics behind these problems is clear enough, the nature of the problems depends on the sense in which the hot big bang model is fine-tuned and how the alleged fine-tuning is problematic. Without clear explications (...)
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  3. An Alternative Interpretation of Statistical Mechanics.C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    In this paper I propose an interpretation of classical statistical mechanics that centers on taking seriously the idea that probability measures represent complete states of statistical mechanical systems. I show how this leads naturally to the idea that the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables of the theory rather than with the microstates (as traditional accounts would have it). The usual assumption that microstates are representationally significant in the theory is therefore dispensable, a consequence which suggests (...)
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  4. On Classical Motion.C. D. McCoy - 2018 - Philosophers' Imprint 18.
    The impetus theory of motion states that to be in motion is to have a non-zero velocity. The at-at theory of motion states that to be in motion is to be at different places at different times, which in classical physics is naturally understood as the reduction of velocities to position developments. I first defend the at-at theory against the criticism raised by Arntzenius that it renders determinism impossible. I then develop a novel impetus theory of motion that reduces positions (...)
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  5.  59
    Simplified Models: A Different Perspective on Models as Mediators.C. D. McCoy & Michela Massimi - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):99-123.
    We introduce a novel point of view on the “models as mediators” framework in order to emphasize certain important epistemological questions about models in science which have so far been little investigated. To illustrate how this perspective can help answer these kinds of questions, we explore the use of simplified models in high energy physics research beyond the Standard Model. We show in detail how the construction of simplified models is grounded in the need to mitigate pressing epistemic problems concerning (...)
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  6.  29
    Can Typicality Arguments Dissolve Cosmology’s Flatness Problem?C. D. McCoy - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1239-1252.
    Several physicists, among them Hawking, Page, Coule, and Carroll, have argued against the probabilistic intuitions underlying fine-tuning arguments in cosmology and instead propose that the canonical measure on the phase space of Friedman-Robertson-Walker space-times should be used to evaluate fine-tuning. They claim that flat space-times in this set are actually typical on this natural measure and that therefore the flatness problem is illusory. I argue that they misinterpret typicality in this phase space and, moreover, that no conclusion can be drawn (...)
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  7.  48
    Understanding the Progress of Science.C. D. McCoy - manuscript
    This paper develops a problem-solving account of scientific progress that takes understanding as the principal epistemic aim of science. It examines a recent paper of Bird's on scientific progress, argues for the primacy of understanding over knowledge in this context, illustrates the account using a Kuhnian picture of science, and defends it against knowledge reductionism.
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  8.  44
    Did the Universe Have a Chance?C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science 86 (5).
    In a world awash in statistical patterns, should we conclude that the universe’s evolution or genesis is somehow subject to chance? I draw attention to alternatives that must be acknowledged if we are to have an adequate assessment of what chance the universe might have had.
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  9.  35
    Stability in Cosmology, From Einstein to Inflation.C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - In Claus Beisbart, Tilman Sauer & Christian Wüthrich (eds.), Thinking About Space and Time. Basel: Birkhäuser.
    I investigate the role of stability in cosmology through two episodes from the recent history of cosmology: Einstein’s static universe and Eddington’s demonstration of its instability, and the flatness problem of the hot big bang model and its claimed solution by inflationary theory. These episodes illustrate differing reactions to instability in cosmological models, both positive ones and negative ones. To provide some context to these reactions, I also situate them in relation to perspectives on stability from dynamical systems theory and (...)
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  10.  93
    Prediction in General Relativity.C. McCoy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):491-509.
    Several authors have claimed that prediction is essentially impossible in the general theory of relativity, the case being particularly strong, it is said, when one fully considers the epistemic predicament of the observer. Each of these claims rests on the support of an underdetermination argument and a particular interpretation of the concept of prediction. I argue that these underdetermination arguments fail and depend on an implausible explication of prediction in the theory. The technical results adduced in these arguments can be (...)
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  11.  31
    Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy014.
    I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology— and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions.
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