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articles
1. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Juan Redmond Orcid-ID A free dialogical logic for surrogate reasoning: generation of hypothesis without ontological commitments
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This article aims to present a Free Dialogic Logic [FDL] as a general framework for hypothesis generation in the practice of modelling in science. Our proposal is based on the idea that the inferential function that models fulfil during the modelling process (surrogate reasoning) should be carried out without ontological commitments. The starting point to achieve our objective is that the scientific consideration of models without a target is a symptom that, on the one hand, the Applicability of Logic should be considered among the conditions of adequacy that should take into account all modeling process and, on the other, that the inferential apparatus at the base of the surrogate reasoning process must be rid of realistic assumptions that lead to erroneous conclusions. In this sense, we propose as an alternative an ontologically neutral inferential system in the perspective of dialogical pragmatism.
2. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
José Ramón Torices Orcid-ID Understanding dogwhistles politics
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This paper aims to deepen our understanding of so-called covert dogwhistles. I discuss whether a covert dogwhistle is a specific sort of mechanism of manipulation or whether, on the contrary, it draws on other already familiar linguistic mechanisms such as implicatures or presuppositions. I put forward a series of arguments aimed at illustrating that implicatures and presuppositions, on the one hand, and covert dogwhistles, on the other, differ in their linguistic behaviour concerning plausible deniability, cancellability, calculability and mutual acceptance. I concluded this paper by outlining a simple theory for covert dogwhistles according to which they are attitude-foregrounders.
3. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Sergio Cermeño-Aínsa Orcid-ID Predictive coding and the strong thesis of cognitive penetrability
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In this paper, I discuss the strong thesis of cognitive penetrability (CPs), to wit, th at the perceptual states (P) of a subject (S) are pervasively influenced, affected, or caused by cognitive factors (C) as expectations, memories, thoughts, goals, and so on, at all levels of perceptual processing. I argue that following the predictive coding models of perception (PC), the strong thesis of cognitive penetrability is to be expected.
4. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Uku Tooming Orcid-ID Politics of Folk Psychology: Believing what Others Believe
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In this paper, I argue that by attributing beliefs the attributer is pushed toward taking a stand on the content of those beliefs and that what stand they take partially depends on the relationship between the attributer and the attributee. In particular, if the attributee enjoys a higher social standing than the attributer, the latter is disposed to adopt the attributed belief, as long as certain other conditions are met. I will call this view the Adoption-by-Attribution model. Because of the non-epistemic influence that derives from the relation of inequality, belief attribution can reinforce the existing unequal power relations and contribute to epistemic injustice.
5. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Bruno Borge, Orcid-ID Nicolás Lo Guercio Orcid-ID Learning from Scientific Disagreement
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The article addresses the question of how should scientific peers revise their beliefs (if at all) upon recognized disagreement. After presenting the basics of peer disagreement in sections 1 and 2, we focus, in section 3, on a concrete case of scientific disagreement, to wit, the dispute over the evidential status of randomized control trials in medical practice. The examination of this case motivates the idea that some scientific disagreements permit a steadfast reaction. In section 4, we support this conclusion by providing a normative argument in the same direction; if we are correct, typical reasons for conciliation are absent in this kind of scientific disagreements.
6. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Javier Anta Orcid-ID The epistemic schism of statistical mechanics
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In this paper I will argue that the two main approaches to statistical mechanics, that of Boltzmann and Gibbs, constitute two substantially different theoretical apparatuses. Particularly, I defend that this theoretical split must be philosophically understood as a separation of epistemic functions within this physical domain: while Boltzmannians are able to generate powerful explanations of thermal phenomena from molecular dynamics, Gibbsians can statistically predict observable values in a highly effective way. Therefore, statistical mechanics is a counterexample to Hempel’s (1958) symmetry thesis, where the predictive capacity of a theory is directly correlated with its explanatory potential and vice versa.
7. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Miguel Escribano Cabeza Orcid-ID La idea de epigénesis en la obra de W. Harvey. Una lectura organicista
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This paper takes an organicist perspective of W. Harvey’s conception of epigenesis in his work Exercitationes de generatione animalium (1651). In line with this reading, I provide a critical assessment of the different interpretations (mechanistic or vitalist) of Harvey’s idea of epigenesis. The English physician develops his conception of embryogenesis as a process that cannot be understood from the categories of human art, as is apparent in his criticisms towards his teacher, Fabricius. Nor is it accurate to say that his position is animistic. An immersion in this last question will show us his organic conception of the soul, as an extension of the Aristotelian-Galenic tradition.
8. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Summary
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9. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 3
Contents of Volume 36
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monographic section
10. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Valeriano Iranzo Orcid-ID Guest editor’s presentation
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11. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Harold Kincaid Orcid-ID Mechanisms, good and bad
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The claim that mechanisms are essential good science is widespread. I argue, however, that these claims are ambiguous in multiple ways. I sort out different version of the mechanism idea: (1) mechanisms that are horizontal —between cause and effect— and mechanisms that are vertical —they realize in lower-level terms causal properties—: and (2) different purposes or uses mechanisms may have. I then focus on the claim that various senses of mechanism are necessary for the confirmation of causal claims. The paper shows that mechanisms can be useful, essential, or harmful depending on context, using the now standard graphical causal structure framework. These conclusions also support the larger philosophy of science moral that methodological norms in science are often context specific and empirical, not a priori and universal.
12. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Jon Williamson Orcid-ID The feasibility and malleability of EBM+
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The EBM+ programme is an attempt to improve the way in which present-day evidence-based medicine (EBM) assesses causal claims: according to EBM+, mechanistic studies should be scrutinised alongside association studies. This paper addresses two worries about EBM+: (i) that it is not feasible in practice, and (ii) that it is too malleable, i.e., its results depend on subjective choices that need to be made in order to implement the procedure. Several responses to these two worries are considered and evaluated. The paper also discusses the question of whether we should have confidence in medical interventions, in the light of Stegenga’s arguments for medical nihilism.
13. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Saúl Pérez-González, Orcid-ID Valeriano Iranzo Orcid-ID Assessing the role of evidence of mechanisms in causal extrapolation
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Extrapolation of causal claims from study populations to other populations of interest is a problematic issue. The standard approach in experimental research, which prioritises randomized controlled trials and statistical evidence, is not devoid of difficulties. Granted that, it has been defended that evidence of mechanisms is indispensable for causal extrapolation. We argue, contrarily, that this sort of evidence is not indispensable. Nonetheless, we also think that occasionally it may be helpful. In order to clarify its relevance, we introduce a distinction between a positive and a negative role of evidence of mechanisms. Our conclusion is that the former is highly questionable, but the latter may be a trustworthy resource for causal extrapolation.
articles
14. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Eduardo Pérez-Navarro Orcid-ID No matter who: What makes one a relativist?
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As part of her argument that relativism and contextualism are nothing but notational variants of each other, Stojanovic holds that contextualism is flexible enough to achieve whatever relativism might do if the matter is what truth-value is assigned to each pair of sentence and context. In this paper, I reply to this statement by arguing that contextualism cannot be made as flexible as relativism without in fact turning it into a version of relativism. The key to my response to Stojanovic is that, while relativism relativizes utterance truth, contextualism does not, so parameters that are not fixed at the context of utterance will be accessible for the relativist, but not for the contextualist. Although the relativity of utterance truth follows as soon as propositional truth is relativized to contexts of assessment, as the relativist does, it is easy to lose sight of this fact if we identify the context of assessment with the assessor’s context. Hence, the point of this paper is that the difference between relativism and contextualism is not one as to whose parameters play a role in determining the sentence’s truth-value. If it were, contextualism could indeed be made just as flexible as relativism.
15. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
David Pineda-Oliva Orcid-ID Defending the motivational theory of desire
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In this paper I offer a defense of the motivational theory of desire. According to the motivational view, a desire is basically a disposition to bring about the desire’s content. First, I argue that two rival views on the nature of desire, the evaluative theory and the deontic theory, fall prey to the problem of the death of desire and that, when one tries to develop a plausible version of these theories which is able to overcome this problem, one ends up with a view that is not relevantly different from the evaluative view. Second, I respond to some objections to the claim that motivations are sufficient for desire, namely, the Radioman objection and the objection that some motivational states like intentions and habits are not desires.
16. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Timm Lampert Orcid-ID Newton’s experimental proofs
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Newton claims that his theorems in the Opticks are derived from experiments alone. The paper explains this dictum by relating Newton’s proof method to an iconic conception of proof as opposed to a symbolic one. Theorems are not derived from hypotheses; instead properties of light are identified by experimental properties based on rules of inductive reasoning.
book reviews
17. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
David Teira Orcid-ID Adolfo Garcia de la Sienra (2019). A Structuralist Theory of Economics
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18. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 36 > Issue: 2
Summary
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in honour of miguel sánchez-mazas
19. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Javier de Lorenzo, Andoni Ibarra The fanciful optimism of Miguel Sánchez-Mazas. Let us calculate... = Freedom and Justice
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May 2020 marked the 25th anniversary of the death of Miguel Sánchez-Mazas, founder of Theoria. An International Journal of Theory, History and Foundations of Science, and regarded as the person who brought mathematical logic to Spain. Here we present some of his biographical features and a summary of his contributions, from his early work in the 1950s - introducing contemporary advances in logic and philosophy of science in a philosophically backward milieu dominated by the scholasticism of that era in Spain - to the development of a project of Lebnizian lineage aimed at producing an arithmetic calculation that would elude some of the difficulties confronting Leibniz’s calculus.
the lullius lectures
20. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 35 > Issue: 3
Nancy Cartwright Middle-range theory: Without it what could anyone do?
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Philosophers of science have had little to say about ‘middle-range theory’ although much of what is done in science and of what drives its successes falls under that label. These lectures aim to spark an interest in the topic and to lay groundwork for further research on it. ‘Middle’ in ‘middle range’ is with respect to the level both of abstraction and generality. Much middle-range theory is about things that come under the label ‘mechanism’. The lectures explore three different kinds of mechanism: struc tural mechanisms or underlying systems that afford causal pathways; causal-chain mechanisms that are represented in what in policy contexts are called ‘theories of change’ and for which I give an extended account following the causal process theory of Wesley Salmon; and middle-range-law mechanisms like those discussed by Jon Elster, which I claim are —and rightly are— rampant throughout the social sciences. The theory of the democratic peace, that democracies do not go to war with democracies, serves as a running example. The discussions build up to the start of, first , an argument that reliability in social (and natural) science depends not so much on evidence as it does on the support of a virtuous tangle of practices (without which there couldn’t even be evidence), and second, a defence of a community-practice centred instrumentalist understanding of many of the central basic principles that we use (often successfully) in social (and in natural) science for explanation, prediction and evaluation.