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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

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https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914126/the-rise-of-cryptographic-metaphors-in-boyle-and-their-use-for-the-mechanical-philosophy
#1
Dana Matthiessen
This paper tracks the development of Boyle's conception of the natural world in terms of the popular "book of nature" trope. Boyle initially spoke of the creatures and phenomena of nature in a spiritual and moral register, as emblems of divine purpose, but gradually shifted from this ideographic view to an alphabetical account, which at times became posed in explicitly cryptographic terms. I explain this transition toward cryptographic metaphors in terms of Boyle's social and intellectual milieu and their concordance with the reductive and conjectural character of the mechanical philosophical program...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914125/are-plants-cognitive-a-reply-to-adams
#2
Miguel Segundo-Ortin, Paco Calvo
According to F. Adams [this journal, vol. 68, 2018] cognition cannot be realized in plants or bacteria. In his view, plants and bacteria respond to the here-and-now in a hardwired, inflexible manner, and are therefore incapable of cognitive activity. This article takes issue with the pursuit of plant cognition from the perspective of an empirically informed philosophy of plant neurobiology. As we argue, empirical evidence shows, contra Adams, that plant behavior is in many ways analogous to animal behavior...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914124/what-is-mechanistic-evidence-and-why-do-we-need-it-for-evidence-based-policy
#3
Caterina Marchionni, Samuli Reijula
It has recently been argued that successful evidence-based policy should rely on two kinds of evidence: statistical and mechanistic. The former is held to be evidence that a policy brings about the desired outcome, and the latter concerns how it does so. Although agreeing with the spirit of this proposal, we argue that the underlying conception of mechanistic evidence as evidence that is different in kind from correlational, difference-making or statistical evidence, does not correctly capture the role that information about mechanisms should play in evidence-based policy...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914123/constitutive-relevance-in-cognitive-science-the-case-of-eye-movements-and-cognitive-mechanisms
#4
Dingmar van Eck
In this paper I assess whether the recently proposed "No De-Coupling" (NDC) theory of constitutive relevance in mechanisms is a useful tool to reconstruct constitutive relevance investigations in scientific practice. The NDC theory has been advanced as a framework theoretically superior to the mutual manipulability (MM) account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms but, in contrast to the MM account, has not yet been applied to detailed case studies. I argue that the NDC account is also applicable to empirical practice and that it fares better than the MM account on both theoretical and empirical grounds...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914122/no-communication-without-manipulation-a-causal-deflationary-view-of-information
#5
Cristian Ariel López, Olimpia Iris Lombardi
In this paper, we shall describe a new account of information in communicational contexts, namely, a causal-deflationary one. Our approach draws from Timpson's deflationary view and supplies the field of philosophy of information with new tools that will help to clarify the underlying structure of communication: information is an abstract entity that must be involved in a causal link in order to achieve communication. In light of our account, communication is not merely the existence of statistical correlations between source and receiver, as usually understood from a purely formal view...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914121/how-could-models-possibly-provide-how-possibly-explanations
#6
Philippe Verreault-Julien
One puzzle concerning highly idealized models is whether they explain. Some suggest they provide so-called 'how-possibly explanations'. However, this raises an important question about the nature of how-possibly explanations, namely what distinguishes them from 'normal', or how-actually, explanations? I provide an account of how-possibly explanations that clarifies their nature in the context of solving the puzzle of model-based explanation. I argue that the modal notions of actuality and possibility provide the relevant dividing lines between how-possibly and how-actually explanations...
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30914120/scientific-autonomy-and-the-unpredictability-of-scientific-inquiry-the-unexpected-might-not-be-where-you-would-expect
#7
Baptiste Bedessem, Stéphanie Ruphy
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
February 2019: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30497588/knowledge-transfer-without-knowledge-the-case-of-agentive-metaphors-in-biology
#8
Ariane Castellane, Cédric Paternotte
Are scientific metaphors dispensable shortcuts that encapsulate knowledge but can always be translated back? Or do they constitute cases of knowledge transfer, even if seemingly based on scientifically underdeveloped domains? This paper defends the latter view. By drawing on the linguistic theories of metaphors, we assess a variety of agentive metaphors that pervade biology. Intentional metaphors are found unsatisfying because their use is either rigid or too widely flexible. By contrast, rational agent metaphors constitute good scientific metaphors, displaying flexible use and heuristic fruitfulness...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30497587/constructing-dystopian-experience-a-neurath-cartwrightian-approach-to-the-philosophy-of-social-technology
#9
Ivan Ferreira da Cunha
Social situations, the object of the social sciences, are complex and unique: they contain so many variable aspects that they cannot be reproduced, and it is even difficult to experience two situations that are alike in many respects. The social scientists' past experiences that serve as their background knowledge to intervene in an existent situation is poor compared to what a traditional epistemologist would consider ideal. A way of dealing with the variable and insufficient background of social scientists is by means of models...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30497586/rip-it-up-and-start-again-the-rejection-of-a-characterization-of-a-phenomenon
#10
David Colaço
In this paper, I investigate the nature of empirical findings that provide evidence for the characterization of a scientific phenomenon, and the defeasible nature of this evidence. To do so, I explore an exemplary instance of the rejection of a characterization of a scientific phenomenon: memory transfer. I examine the reason why the characterization of memory transfer was rejected, and analyze how this rejection tied to researchers' failures to resolve experimental issues relating to replication and confounds...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30497585/mechanisms-the-interventionist-theory-and-the-ability-to-use-causal-relationships
#11
Georgie Statham
In the area of social science, in particular, although we have developed methods for reliably discovering the existence of causal relationships, we are not very good at using these to design effective social policy. Cartwright argues that in order to improve our ability to use causal relationships, it is essential to develop a theory of causation that makes explicit the connections between the nature of causation, our best methods for discovering causal relationships, and the uses to which these are put. I argue that Woodward's interventionist theory of causation is uniquely suited to meet Cartwright's challenge...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30497584/the-role-of-psychology-in-behavioral-economics-the-case-of-social-preferences
#12
Chiara Lisciandra
Behavioral economics is a field of study that is often thought of as interdisciplinary, insofar as it uses psychological insights to inform economic models. Yet the level of conceptual and methodological exchange between the two disciplines is disputed in the literature. On the one hand, behavioral economic models are often presented as psychologically informed models of individual decision-making (Camerer & Loewenstein, 2003). On the other hand, these models have often been criticized for being merely more elaborated "as if" economic models (Berg & Gigerenzer, 2010)...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30497583/microbes-mathematics-and-models
#13
Maureen A O'Malley, Emily C Parke
Microbial model systems have a long history of fruitful use in fields that include evolution and ecology. In order to develop further insight into modelling practice, we examine how the competitive exclusion and coexistence of competing species have been modelled mathematically and materially over the course of a long research history. In particular, we investigate how microbial models of these dynamics interact with mathematical or computational models of the same phenomena. Our cases illuminate the ways in which microbial systems and equations work as models, and what happens when they generate inconsistent findings about shared targets...
December 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342578/towards-a-research-program-in-kantian-positive-psychology
#14
Patrick R Frierson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342577/the-soul-as-the-guiding-idea-of-psychology-kant-on-scientific-psychology-systematicity-and-the-idea-of-the-soul
#15
Katharina T Kraus
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342576/kant-and-the-scope-of-analogy-in-the-life-sciences
#16
Hein van den Berg
In the present paper I investigate the role that analogy plays in eighteenth-century biology and in Kant's philosophy of biology. I will argue that according to Kant, biology, as it was practiced in the eighteenth century, is fundamentally based on analogical reflection. However, precisely because biology is based on analogical reflection, biology cannot be a proper science. I provide two arguments for this interpretation. First, I argue that although analogical reflection is, according to Kant, necessary to comprehend the nature of organisms, it is also necessarily insufficient to fully comprehend the nature of organisms...
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342575/kant-on-science-and-normativity
#17
Alix Cohen
The aim of this paper is to explore Kant's account of normativity through the prism of the distinction between the natural and the human sciences. Although the pragmatic orientation of the human sciences is often defined in contrast with the theoretical orientation of the natural sciences, I show that they are in fact regulated by one and the same norm, namely reason's demand for autonomy.
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342574/the-stage-on-which-our-ingenious-play-is-performed-kant-s-epistemology-of-weltkenntnis
#18
Silvia De Bianchi
This paper focuses on Kant's account of physical geography and his theory of the Earth. In spelling out the epistemological foundations of Kant's physical geography, the paper examines 1) their connection to the mode of holding-to-be-true, mathematical construction and empirical certainty and 2) their implications for Kant's view of cosmopolitan right. Moreover, by showing the role played by the mathematical model of the Earth for the foundations of Kant's Doctrine of Right, the exact relationship between the latter and physical geography is highlighted...
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342573/a-kantian-account-of-mathematical-modelling-and-the-rationality-of-scientific-theory-change-the-role-of-the-equivalence-principle-in-the-development-of-general-relativity
#19
Jonathan Everett
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
https://read.qxmd.com/read/30342572/maimon-s-criticism-of-kant-s-doctrine-of-mathematical-cognition-and-the-possibility-of-metaphysics-as-a-science
#20
Hernán Pringe
The aim of this paper is to discuss Maimon's criticism of Kant's doctrine of mathematical cognition. In particular, we will focus on the consequences of this criticism for the problem of the possibility of metaphysics as a science. Maimon criticizes Kant's explanation of the synthetic a priori character of mathematics and develops a philosophical interpretation of differential calculus according to which mathematics and metaphysics become deeply interwoven. Maimon establishes a parallelism between two relationships: on the one hand, the mathematical relationship between the integral and the differential and on the other, the metaphysical relationship between the sensible and the supersensible...
October 2018: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
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