Displaying: 1-20 of 5350 documents

Show/Hide alternate language

0.126 sec

1. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Steve Fuller Steve Fuller
Social Epistemology as the Science of Cognitive Management: Releasing the Hidden Potential in the History of Philosophy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Looking broadly at the history of philosophy, I develop the ideas of 'cognitive management' and 'cognitive economy', which have always informed my conception of social epistemology. I elaborate two general tendencies, which have been also expressed in more conventional philosophical terms, such as Kant's famous contrast of 'rationalism' and 'empiricism'. The former tradition stresses the mind's capacity to remake the world in its own image, whereas the latter stresses the mind's receptiveness to the inherent character of the world. In 'economic' terms, the resulting conceptions of knowledge are, respectively, 'demand' and 'supply' driven. In the former case, knowledge consists in the realization of the mind's own needs; in the latter, knowledge is proportionate what the world has to offer. In terms of access to ultimate truth, the former tends to overestimate (i.e. 'proactionary'), the latter to underestimate (i.e. 'precautionary'). I also discuss the idea of 'undiscovered public knowledge' as a pressing problem in cognitive management that relates to the scale and scope of the scientific enterprise in our time.
2. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Ilya Kasavin, Tom Rockmore, Evgeny Blinov Ilya Kasavin
Social Epistemology, Interdisciplinarity and Context: A Discussion by Ilya Kasavin, Tom Rockmore and Evgeny Blinov
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The discussion is devoted to the notion of context and its use in connection to the notion of interdisciplinarity. These two notions are claimed to be crucial for understanding how “naturalization of social epistemology” can be possible and whether it can be exhausted by an interpretation of knowledge in social context and whether it has its own philosophical importance. These questions were initially raised in the works of I.Kasavin.
3. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 55 > Issue: 4
Amanda Machin Аманда Мэчин
Bodies of Knowledge and Knowledge of Bodies: “We Can Know More than We Can Tell”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Classic epistemological accounts, as far back as Plato, have regarded knowledge as essentially disembodied. Bodies are seen as either distracting objects or passive instruments of knowledge. In this paper I attend to the knowledge of human bodies. Using insights from Michael Polanyi and feminist epistemology, I not only argue that bodies have a tacit and habitual knowledge of their own, but I also challenge the idea that scientific knowledge is itself separable from the bodies of scientists. I focus upon the arena of environmental governance, an arena in which scholars have already challenged the dominance of scientific knowledge over other forms of knowledge. I aim to extend this challenge, by highlighting the bodily knowledge that is relevant in environmental science and policy. I do not query the value of the knowledge of scientific experts, but I show that this knowledge is always embodied. I consider, first, critiques that challenge the assumption that scientific knowledge is universally applicable and demand the inclusion of different type of knowledge in environmental governance. Second, I argue that not only local, but also bodily knowledge is relevant in detecting, understanding and responding to environmental concerns and implementing, resisting and extending policy. Third, using Polanyi I show that science itself is entangled with bodily knowledge. Finally, I suggest that far from undermining the value of scientific knowledge, acknowledging its corporeality may allow a reassessment of the role and responsibilities of scientists. Polanyi’s ideas lead him to defend the authority of “the body of scientists”. In contrast, I argue that his ideas rather compel an on-going critical attentiveness to the constitution of this body. The aim of the paper is to underline is the omission of the body from prevailing epistemological discussions, and to show that bodies are tricky objects, critical subjects and situated agents of knowledge.
4. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 1
Elisabeth A. Lloyd, Naomi Oreskes Элизабет Ллойд
Climate Change Attribution: When Does it Make Sense to Add Methods?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
A specific form of research question, for instance, “What is the probability of a certain class of weather events, given global climate change, relative to a world without?” could be answered with the use of FAR or RR (Fraction of Attributable Risk or Risk Ratio) as the most common approaches to discover and ascribe extreme weather events. Kevin Trenberth et al. (2015) and Theodore Shepherd (2016) have expressed doubts in their latest works whether it is the most appropriate explanatory tool or the way of public outreach concerning climate events and extremes. As an alternative, these researchers focus on complementary questions, for example, “How much did climate change affect the severity of a given storm?” advocating a “storyline” approach. New methods and new research questions are neither foreign, nor controversial from the standpoint of history and philosophy of science, especially those, related to public interest. Nevertheless, the new proposal has got a tepid reception from the majority of professionals of the given field. They argued that this approach can cause weakening of standards and neglecting of scientific method. The following paper attempts to find the roots of the supposed controversy. We claim inefficiency of uncompromising approach to D&A in absolute sense and assert that errors of a particular type may have a different level of concern in society, depending on the variety of contexts. Therefore, context defines the risk of over-estimation vs. under-estimation of harm.
5. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Timothy Williamson Тимоти Уильямсон
Armchair Philosophy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The article presents an anti-exceptionalist view of philosophical methodology, on which it is much closer to the methodology of other disciplines than many philosophers like to think. Like mathematics, it is a science, but not a natural science. Its methods are notprimarily experimental, though it can draw on the results of natural science. Likefoundational mathematics, its methods are abductive as well as deductive. As in the natural sciences, much progress in philosophy consists in the construction of better models rather than in the discovery of new laws. We should not worry about whether philosophy is a priori or a posteriori, because the distinction is epistemologically superficial.
6. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Daniel C. Dennett Дэниел Деннет
Philosophy or Auto-Anthropology?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Timothy Williamson is mainly right, I think. He defends armchair philosophy as a variety of armchair science, like mathematics, or computer modeling in evolutionary theory, economics, statistics, and I agree that this is precisely what philosophy is, at its best: working out the assumptions and implications of any serious body of thought, helping everyone formulate the best questions to ask, and then leaving the empirical work to the other sciences. Philosophy – at its best – is to other inquiries roughly as theoretical physics is to experimental physics. You can do it in the armchair, but you need to know a lot about the phenomena with which the inquiry deals.
7. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Joshua Knobe Джошуа Ноуб
Philosophical Intuitions Are Surprisingly Robust Across Demographic Differences
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Within the existing metaphilosophical literature on experimental philosophy, a great deal of attention has been devoted to the claim that there are large differences in philosophical intuitions between people of different demographic groups. Some philosophers argue that this claim has important metaphilosophical implications; others argue that it does not. However, the actual empirical work within experimental philosophy seems to point to a very different sort of metaphilosophical question. Specifically, what the actual empirical work suggests is that intuitions are surprisingly robust across demographic groups. Prior to empirical study, it seemed plausible that unexpected patterns of intuition found in one demographic group would not emerge in other demographic groups. Yet, again and again, empirical work obtains the opposite result: that unexpected patterns found in one demographic group actually emerge also in other demographic groups. I cite 30 studies that find this sort of robustness. I then argue that to the extent that metaphilosophical work is to engage with the actual findings from experimental philosophy, it needs to explore the implications of the surprising robustness of philosophical intuitions across demographic differences.
8. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Daniel Stoljar Дэниел Столджар
Williamson on Laws and Progress in Philosophy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Williamson rejects the stereotype that there is progress in science but none in philosophy on the grounds (a) that it assumes that in science progress consists in the discovery of universal laws and (b) that this assumption is false, since in both science and philosophy progress consists at least sometimes in the development of better models. I argue that the assumption is false for a more general reason as well: that progress in both science and philosophy consists in the provision of better information about dependency structures.
9. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Anton V. Kuznetsov Антон Викторович Кузнецов
Armchair Science and Armchair Philosophy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Williamson defends armchair philosophy by likening it to armchair science – they have the same echelon of results and use such a priori methods as model building and conditional analyses. More, if a priori methods are accepted within science, then they acceptable in philosophy – thus, armchair philosophy is justified. However, I am not swayed by this reasoning: there could be non-armchair philosophers who use these a priori methods. So, there are two options – revise the notion of armchair philosophy or add more details to the aforementioned reasoning.
10. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Timothy Williamson Тимоти Уильямсон
Reply to Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov, and Stoljar on Philosophical Methodology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The paper replies to replies by Dennett, Knobe, Kuznetsov, and Stoljar to the author’s ‘Armchair Philosophy’.
11. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Axel Gelfert Аксель Гелферт
Beyond The ‘Null Setting’: The Method of Cases in the Epistemology of Testimony
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Epistemologists of testimony have tended to construct highly stylized (so-called “null setting”) examples in support of their respective philosophical positions, the paradigmatic case being the casual request for directions from a random stranger. The present paper analyzes the use of such examples in the early controversy between reductionists and anti-reductionists about testimonial justification. The controversy concerned, on the one hand, the source of whatever epistemic justification our testimony-based beliefs might have, and, on the other hand, the phenomenology of testimonial acceptance and rejection. As it turns out, appeal to “null setting” cases did not resolve, but instead deepened, the theoretical disputes between reductionists and anti-reductionists. This, it is suggested, is because interpreters ‘fill in’ missing details in ways that reflect their own peculiarities in perspective, experience, upbringing, and philosophical outlook. In response, two remedial strategies have been pursued in recent years: First, we could invert the usual strategy and turn to formal contexts, rather than informal settings, as the paradigmatic scenarios for any prospective epistemology of testimony. Second, instead of “null setting” scenarios, we can focus on richly described cases that either include, or are embedded into, sufficient contextual information to allow for educated judgments concerning the reliability and trustworthiness of the testimony and testifiers involved. The prospects of both of these approaches are then discussed and evaluated.
12. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Esther Goh Esther Goh
The Argument from Variation against Using One’s Own Intuitions as Evidence
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
In philosophical methodology, intuitions are used as evidence to support philosophical theories. In this paper, I evaluate the skeptical argument that variation in intuitions is good evidence that our intuitions are unreliable, and so we should be skeptical about our theories. I argue that the skeptical argument is false. First, variation only shows that at least one disputant is wrong in the dispute, but each disputant lacks reason to determine who is wrong. Second, even though variation in intuitions shows that at least one disputant has the wrong intuition in the thought experiment, it is not evidence of unreliability of any disputant’s intuition regarding the philosophical theory being tested. So, variation in intuitions is not good evidence that one’s own intuitions are unreliable. One reply from the literature in peer disagreement is that we should conciliate if we cannot determine who is wrong. I argue that these disagreements are instead unconfirmed peer disagreements (i.e., no good reason to take or dismiss disputants as an epistemic peer, inferior or superior). I argue that if you have a strong intuition about a case, then it is rational for you to remain steadfast. Thus, variation in intuitions does not call for skepticism.
13. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Dustin Olson Дастин Олсон
Epistemic Progress Despite Systematic Disagreement
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
A number of philosophers argue that because of its history of systematic disagreement, philosophy has made little to no epistemic progress – especially in comparison to the hard sciences. One argument for this conclusion contends that the best explanation for systematic disagreement in philosophy is that at least some, potentially all, philosophers are unreliable. Since we do not know who is reliable, we have reason to conclude that we ourselves are probably unreliable. Evidence of one’s potential unreliability in a domain purportedly defeats any first-order support one has for any judgments in that domain. This paper defends philosophy. First, accepting that science is rightfully treated as the benchmark of epistemic progress, I contend that a proper conception of epistemic progress highlights that philosophy and science are relevantly similar in terms of such progress. Secondly, even granting that systematic disagreement is a mark of unreliability and that it does characterize philosophy, this paper further argues that evidence of unreliability is insufficient for meta-level, domain-wide, defeat of philosophical judgments more generally.
14. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Johnnie R.R. Pedersen Джонни Педерсен
Normative Ethics: an Armchair Discipline?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This paper discusses a challenge to normative ethics motivated by experimental philosophy. Experimental philosophers object to the perceived “armchair” or a priori nature of philosophy, claiming it should rather be empirical or naturalistic. The paper investigates the application of this claim to normative ethics. Dubbing the application of the experimental philosophers’ contention to normative ethics “the Armchair Claim,” I distinguish descriptive and normative versions of this challenge, and consider their merits as comments on the method of normative ethics (descriptive versions), and as comments on how normative ethics should be done (normative versions). Characterizing normative ethics as essentially involving the use of the method of reflective equilibrium, I show how the versions of the Armchair Claim that I distinguish either misconstrue normative ethics, or are committed to metaethical views that are controversial. To bring home the latter point, I contrast two meta-ethical positions, and show how, on one such view, naturalism, the descriptive version could be correct, whereas on another, intuitionism, it would be false. The normative version, in turn, is consistent with naturalism, but begs the question against the intuitionist since she argues that normative ethics cannot be empirical. The upshot is that a conclusive assessment of the Armchair Claim will have to await the resolution of disputed issues in meta-ethics. However, normative ethicists can get on with their work since reflective equilibrium is unaffected by such debates.
15. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 2
Marketa Jakešova Маркета Якешова
The Question of Reflexivity
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This article aims to critically examine three approaches to reflexivity in philosophical texts, specifically the case when the textuality becomes its own topic. The first approach is when there is no reflexivity at all. It is just describing how – according to the author – things are. As an example of this approach I take German media philosophy. This tradition is specific because reflexivity is supposed to be its very topic. However, the media philosophers succeeded in touching the indefinability of mediality itself. Another method is to question one’s own and possibly also the reader’s position. I have chosen Annemarie Mol’s empirical philosophy as the example here. The problem is that despite following the “ontological turn”, the author remains (probably inevitably) also to a large extent trapped in the fact that he/she describes the world, that is, in subject/object dichotomy and therefore, in epistemology. The third way to write aims to make readers feel what the author tells. My example here is the varied work of Walter Benjamin whom I for the purpose of this article consider more as a prophet rather than the precise thinker who he (also) by all means was. While using the second approach myself, I discuss advantages and challenges of the three and find their points of touch.
16. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 3
Trevor Pinch Тревор Пинч
From Technology Studies to Sound Studies: How Materiality Matters
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
In this paper I put in dialogue two areas of scholarship: Technology Studies and Sound Studies. Within Technology Studies I discuss the influential social construction of technology approach and illustrate it with the history of the moog electronic music synthesizer, the first commercial music synthesizer. I stress the role of standardization of keyboards and the key role played by users in the development of this technology. I examine certain iconic sounds that the moog synthesizer produces and discuss the stabilization of sound. It is argued that just as technologies can be traced as stabilizing over time, sounds also can be traced with certain sounds stabilizing and being taken up by users whilst other sounds fail to stabilize. The technology required to produce a sound, performance practice, and wider cultural concerns such as the naming of sounds are crucial ingredients in the stabilization of sound.
17. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 3
Igor F. Mikhailov Игорь Феликсович Михайлов
Computational Knowledge Representation in Cognitive Science
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
Cognitive research can contribute to the formal epistemological study of knowledge representation inasmuch as, firstly, it may be regarded as a descriptive science of the very same subject as that, of which formal epistemology is a normative one. And, secondly, the notion of representation plays a constitutive role in both disciplines, though differing therein in shades of its meaning. Representation, in my view, makes sense only being paired with computation. A process may be viewed as computational if it adheres to some algorithm and is substrate-independent. Traditionally, psychology is not directly determined by neuroscience, sticking to functional or dynamical analyses in the what-level and skipping mechanistic explanations in the how-level. Therefore, any version of computational approach in psychology is a very promising move in connecting the two scientific realms. On the other hand, the digital and linear computational approach of the classical cognitive science is of little help in this way, as it is not biologically realistic. Thus, what is needed there on the methodological level, is a shift from classical Turing-style computationalism to a generic computational theory that would comprehend the complicated architecture of neuronal computations. To this end, the cutting-edge cognitive neuroscience is in need of а satisfactory mathematical theory applicable to natural, particularly neuronal, computations. Computational systems may be construed as natural or artificial devices that use some physical processes on their lower levels as atomic operations for algorithmic processes on their higher levels. A cognitive system is a multi-level mechanism, in which linguistic, visual and other processors are built on numerous levels of more elementary operations, which ultimately boil down to atomic neural spikes. The hypothesis defended in this paper is that knowledge derives not only from an individual computational device, such as a brain, but also from the social communication system that, in its turn, may be presented as a kind of supercomputer of the parallel network architecture. Therefore, a plausible account of knowledge production and exchange must base on some mathematical theory of social computations, along with that of natural, particularly neuronal, ones.
18. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 4
Yulia V. Shaposhnikova, Lada V. Shipovalova Юлия Владимировна Шапошникова
Imagination in Action: The Case of Historical Epistemology
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The intention of this article is to study the role of imagination in science. We are going to examine the communicative role that imagination plays in interdisciplinary scientific interaction. We are referring to that specific kind of interaction in which science is the object of research that is to a complicated situation in the contemporary science studies. We posit that the interaction between different disciplines engaged in the study of science is far from being concordant. This is especially true of the history and philosophy of science. Currently, the situation is such that, on the one hand, the philosophical reference to the historical research of science has proved being constructive in nature. On the other hand, historians remain mostly indifferent to the philosophy of science, seeking no methodological guidance from philosophers. Revealing the reasons for such an asymmetry of interests, and, as a consequence, the failure of the constructive interaction of history and philosophy of science, we analyze one hypothesis which directly refers to the work of imagination in the Kantian sense. Next, we determine that Kant's appeal to imagination opens the way for another interpretation of both the work of imagination and, as a result, the interaction of history and philosophy of science. We demonstrate why the analysis of the role of image, associated primarily with art, becomes relevant in modern research of science. Additionally, we turn to imagination, not just as a transcendental condition of knowledge but as an effective tool to organize specific research practices of interdisciplinary interaction. Therefore, an important component of our research is an appeal to a “successful” example of the synthesis of historical and philosophical research of science, which is the contemporary historical epistemology, in which one can see imagination in action.
19. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 4
Tom Rockmore Том Рокмор
German Idealism, Epistemic Constructivism and Metaphilosophy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
This paper concerns the nature and a significance of metaphilosophy with special attention to German idealism. Metaphilosophy, or the philosophy of philosophy, is understood differently from different perspectives, for instance, if philosophy concerns the consciousness of the object, as the self-consciousness of the knowing process. If we assume that the Western philosophical tradition consists in a long series of efforts to demonstrate claims to know, then metaphilosophy is not present in the ancient Greek tradition. It only arises in the modern tradition through the turn from a theory of knowledge that depends on consciousness, more precisely consciousness of the independent object, to a theory of knowledge that depends on self-consciousness, more precisely consciousness of the independent object as well as consciousness of consciousness of the independent object.
20. Epistemology & Philosophy of Science: Volume > 56 > Issue: 4
Harry Collins, Robert Evans Гарри Коллинз
Populism and Science
abstract | view |  rights & permissions
The risk of populism is ever-present in democratic societies. Here we argue that science provides one way in which this risk can be reduced. This is not because science provides a superior truth but because it (a) preserves and celebrates values that are essential for democracy and (b) contributes to the network of the checks and balances that constrain executive power. To make this argument, we draw on Wittgenstein’s idea of a form of life to characterize any social group as being composed of two opposing elements: an organic aspect that defines what the group has in common and an enumerative aspect that describes the differing ways in which the organic core can be displayed. Whilst the organic faces of science and democracy are clearly different there are significant overlaps that include values such as disinterestedness, universalism and honesty. This overlap in values is the first way in which science can prevent populism: by providing moral leadership. The second, its role in a network of checks and balances, also depends on these values. Science does not contribute to the checks and balances because it provides epistemically superior knowledge; it contributes because it provides morally superior knowledge that, alongside institutions such a free press, independent judiciary and additional tiers of government, support the democratic ecosystem. Failures of democracy occur when this ecosystem is damaged – too much science leads to technocracy, but too little creates the conditions for populism. To prevent this, we argue that citizens must (re)learn the value of democratic values. These include endorsing an independent judiciary and other state institutions, even when these hinder policies of which they might approve and, of particular concern in this context, recognizing that independent experts, of which scientists are the exemplar, are part of this network of checks and balances.