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Michael Bishop
University of Chicago
  1. Why the Generality Problem is Everybody’s Problem.Michael A. Bishop - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):285 - 298.
    The generality problem is widely considered to be a devastating objection to reliabilist theories of justification. My goal in this paper is to argue that a version of the generality problem applies to all plausible theories of justification. Assume that any plausible theory must allow for the possibility of reflective justification—S's belief, B, is justified on the basis of S's knowledge that she arrived at B as a result of a highly (but not perfectly) reliable way of reasoning, R. The (...)
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  2. Why Thought Experiments Are Not Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):534-541.
    Are thought experiments nothing but arguments? I argue that it is not possible to make sense of the historical trajectory of certain thought experiments if one takes them to be arguments. Einstein and Bohr disagreed about the outcome of the clock-in-the-box thought experiment, and so they reconstructed it using different arguments. This is to be expected whenever scientists disagree about a thought experiment's outcome. Since any such episode consists of two arguments but just one thought experiment, the thought experiment cannot (...)
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  3. In Praise of Epistemic Irresponsibility: How Lazy and Ignorant Can You Be?Michael A. Bishop - 2000 - Synthese 122 (1-2):179 - 208.
    Epistemic responsibility involves at least two central ideas. (V) To be epistemically responsible is to display the virtue(s) epistemic internalists take to be central to justification (e.g., coherence, having good reasons, fitting the evidence). (C) In normal (non-skeptical)circumstances and in thelong run, epistemic responsibility is strongly positively correlated with reliability. Sections 1 and 2 review evidence showing that for a wide range of real-world problems, the most reliable, tractable reasoning strategies audaciously flout the internalist''s epistemic virtues. In Section 3, I (...)
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  4. The Flight to Reference, or How Not to Make Progress in the Philosophy of Science.Michael A. Bishop & Stephen P. Stich - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (1):33-49.
    The flight to reference is a widely-used strategy for resolving philosophical issues. The three steps in a flight to reference argument are: (1) offer a substantive account of the reference relation, (2) argue that a particular expression refers (or does not refer), and (3) draw a philosophical conclusion about something other than reference, like truth or ontology. It is our contention that whenever the flight to reference strategy is invoked, there is a crucial step that is left undefended, and that (...)
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  5. The Theory Theory Thrice Over: The Child as Scientist, Superscientist or Social Institution?Michael A. Bishop & Stephen M. Downes - 2002 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (1):117-132.
    Alison Gopnik and Andrew Meltzoff have argued for a view they call the ‘theory theory’: theory change in science and children are similar. While their version of the theory theory has been criticized for depending on a number of disputed claims, we argue that there is a fundamental problem which is much more basic: the theory theory is multiply ambiguous. We show that it might be claiming that a similarity holds between theory change in children and (i) individual scientists, (ii) (...)
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  6. The Pessimistic Induction, the Flight to Reference and the Metaphysical Zoo.Michael A. Bishop - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (2):161 – 178.
    Scientific realism says of our best scientific theories that (1) most of their important posits exist and (2) most of their central claims are approximately true. Antirealists sometimes offer the pessimistic induction in reply: since (1) and (2) are false about past successful theories, they are probably false about our own best theories too. The contemporary debate about this argument has turned (and become stuck) on the question, Do the central terms of successful scientific theories refer? For example, Larry Laudan (...)
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  7. Fast and Frugal Heuristics.Michael A. Bishop - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (2):201–223.
    A heuristic is a rule of thumb. In psychology, heuristics are relatively simple rules for making judgments. A fast heuristic is easy to use and allows one to make judgments quickly. A frugal heuristic relies on a small fraction of the available evidence in making judgments. Typically, fast and frugal heuristics (FFHs) have, or are claimed to have, a further property: They are very reliable, yielding judgments that are about as accurate in the long run as ideal non-fast, non-frugal rules. (...)
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  8.  58
    The Possibility of Conceptual Clarity in Philosophy.Michael A. Bishop - 1992 - American Philosophical Quarterly 29 (3):267 - 277.
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  9. Strategic Reliabilism: A Naturalistic Approach to Epistemology.Michael A. Bishop & J. D. Trout - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (5):1049-1065.
    Strategic Reliabilism is a framework that yields relative epistemic evaluations of belief-producing cognitive processes. It is a theory of cognitive excellence, or more colloquially, a theory of reasoning excellence (where 'reasoning' is understood very broadly as any sort of cognitive process for coming to judgments or beliefs). First introduced in our book, Epistemology and the Psychology of Human Judgment (henceforth EPHJ), the basic idea behind SR is that epistemically excellent reasoning is efficient reasoning that leads in a robustly reliable fashion (...)
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  10.  38
    The Autonomy of Social Epistemology.Michael A. Bishop - 2005 - Episteme 2 (1):65-78.
    Social epistemology is autonomous: When applied to the same evidential situations, the principles of social rationality and the principles of individual rationality sometimes recommend inconsistent beliefs. If we stipulate that reasoning rationally from justified beliefs to a true belief is normally sufficient for knowledge, the autonomy thesis implies that some knowledge is essentially social. When the principles of social and individual rationality are applied to justified evidence and recommend inconsistent beliefs and the belief endorsed by social rationality is true, then (...)
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  11. Why the Semantic Incommensurability Thesis is Self-Defeating.Michael A. Bishop - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 63 (3):343 - 356.
    What factors are involved in the resolution of scientific disputes? What factors make the resolution of such disputes rational? The traditional view confers an important role on observation statements that are shared by proponents of competing theories. Rival theories make incompatible (sometimes contradictory) observational predictions about a particular situation, and the prediction made by one theory is borne out while the prediction made by the other is not. Paul Feyerabend, Thomas Kuhn, and Paul Churchland have called into question this account (...)
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  12.  47
    Theory-Ladenness of Perception Arguments.Michael A. Bishop - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:287 - 299.
    The theory-ladenness of perception argument is not an argument at all. It is two clusters of arguments. The first cluster is empirical. These arguments typically begin with a discussion of one or more of the following psychological phenomena: (a) the conceptual penetrability of the visual system, (b) voluntary perceptual reversal of ambiguous figures, (c) adaptation to distorting lenses, or (d) expectation effects. From this evidence, proponents of theory-ladenness typically conclude that perception is in some sense "laden" with theory. The second (...)
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