News

Scientific consensus plays a crucial role in public life. In the face of increasing science denialism, scientists are under pressure to present themselves as a united front to combat misinformation and conspiracy theories. However, the drive for consensus also has negative epistemic consequences, such as masking expert disagreement and obscuring va...

Values in ScienceSymposium

Parts of the politically conservative block in the United States have a long history of “science denialism”. As a means to explore the nature of the New Demarcation Problem (Holman and Wilholt, 2022) and its relation to the original Popperian demarcation problem this paper considers an example of each. The first is the movement to undermine the...

Values in ScienceSymposium

The Representational Theory of Measurement (RTM) offers a formal theory of measurement, with measurement understood as a homomorphic mapping between two types of structure: an empirical relational structure on the one hand, and a numerical structure on the other. These two types of structure are characterised axiomatically, as sets with certain rel...

MeasurementSymposium

In this speculative talk, I'm going to "think" adjacently with Stuart Kauffman's recent work on what he calls "the adjacent possible" in biological systems (Kauffman 2019). My aim is to articulate a way of thinking about the role of "environments" and behavior as the leading edge of evolutionary transitions (here: transitions in both individuality ...

Philosophy of Biology - evolutionSymposium

Iterative testing is essential to exploring complex phenomena, especially in computationally intensive fields, where no analytical solutions or reliable observations can guide the models’ development. Hence, its success cannot be justified by reference to a correct solution, but only by its capacity to self-correct despite initial imperfect ingre...

Computer Simulation and ModelingSymposium

This proposed symposium brings together four philosophers of physics to discuss the interrelated web of topics surrounding theoretical equivalence in physics, the structure of physical theories, and the interpretation of those theories. In particular, it offers a variety of perspectives on the recent flowering of work on formal notions of equivalen...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherSymposium

The origins of individuality in evolution has been a major topic both in evolutionary biology and philosophy of biology over the past 30 years. New levels of individuality are the outcomes of successive processes known as evolutionary transitions in individuality (ETIs). Arguably, the most influential models of ETIs place fitness at the center of t...

Philosophy of Biology - evolutionSymposium

Machine learning (ML) and Deep learning (DL) modeling applications in science are becoming increasingly common. Despite their growing pervasiveness in the sciences, the potential implications of these models for philosophy of science have just scratched the surface. So far interest has largely centered around explainable AI (XAI) challenges, especi...

Machine learning and AISymposium

Indigenous expertise has become increasingly recognized in a wide range of academic fields including agricultural sciences, ecology, public health, and sustainability studies (Chilisa 2019, Kimmerer 2013). The recognition of Indigenous expertise in academia interacts with a wider shift in the science system towards transdisciplinary and participato...

General philosophy of science - otherSymposium

Recently the topic of values in science has been extremely important in the philosophy of science. Initially, the debates were over whether and what sorts of values are present in the sciences. For example, are they epistemic or non-epistemic? However, if one grants non-epistemic values find their way into scientific practice, then what role should...

Philosophy of Environmental ScienceSymposium

When philosophers investigate molecular concepts to determine whether particular accounts of molecules are satisfactory, they face a methodological challenge: they must make assumptions regarding the role(s) such concepts are intended to play. I suggest recognizing a distinction between explanatory and ontological concepts. While scientific theorie...

Philosophy of ChemistrySymposium

One of the most important proposed examples of a trophic cascade concerns the reintroduction of grey wolves into Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Ripple et. al. 2001, 2014, 2015). As the story goes, the reintroduced grey wolves have reduced elk populations, and this has encouraged a variety of plant and animal species to increase. However, some have ...

Philosophy of Environmental ScienceSymposium

This study investigates how belief dynamics and social network structures generate different patterns of social change and diversity. The two belief dynamics studied here are indirect minority influence and random drift; the former is parameterized by a leniency threshold ($\lambda$) and the later by an error rate ($\epsilon$). The patterns of soci...

Formal EpistemologySymposium

My aim in this paper will be to explore which deeper and more general epistemic stances underlie methodological naturalism. In particular, I aim to consider whether the same epistemic stance that underlies scientific realism must also underlie methodological naturalism. Since it is often assumed that realism is a prerequisite of methodological natu...

Realism / Anti-realism / InstrumentalismSymposium

I put forward a general principle for evidence: an error-prone claim C is warranted to the extent it has been subjected to, and passes, an analysis that very probably would have found evidence of flaws in C just if they are present. This probability is the severity with which C has passed the test. When a test’s error probabilities quantify the c...

Probability and StatisticsSymposium

Philosophers of science have a critical role to play in analyzing technical scientific concepts underlying pressing ethical debates, including informed consent, scientific racism, and human genome editing. Growing awareness of a connection between philosophy of science and bioethics raises an important question: How would scholarship progress if ph...

Philosophy of Biology - geneticsSymposium

Much recent philosophical attention has been given to the concept of validity in psychometrics (Alexandrova 2017; Angner 2013; McClimans 2010). By contrast, the question of whether and when a psychometric instrument is fit for its intended purpose has been largely neglected. Here we argue that fitness for purpose is a distinct feature of a psychome...

MeasurementSymposium

A problem that is common to many sciences is that of having to deal with a multiplicity of statistical inferences. For instance, in GWAS (Genome Wide Association Studies), an experiment might consider 20 diseases and 100,000 genes, and conduct statistical tests of the 20x100,000=2,000,000 null hypotheses that a specific disease is associated with a...

Probability and StatisticsSymposium

I argue that realism requires a stance, but that the realist should maintain that their stance is the only rationally permissible one. The basic motivation for maintaining that only a realist stance is rationally permissible is that being more open-minded induces a kind of pragmatic incoherence on the part of the realist (Psillos 2021). A realist c...

Realism / Anti-realism / InstrumentalismSymposium

One way machine learning (ML) modeling is different from more traditional modeling methods is that they are data-driven, instead of what Knüsel and Baumberger (2020) call process driven. Moreover, ML models suffer from a higher degree of model opacity compared to more traditional modeling methods. Despite these differences, modelers and philosophe...

Machine learning and AISymposium

In recent years, Du Châtelet’s magnum opus, Foundations of Physics (1740 & 1742) has attracted increased attention among philosophers. In this treatise, Du Châtelet made significant contributions to the central foundational issues in philosophy of physics at the time, ranging from Newtonian gravitation, the appropriate role of the Principle of ...

History of philosophy of scienceSymposium

Longstanding common lore in fundamental physics insists that research on the problem of developing a high-energy theory of quantum gravity (QG) is almost certainly a topic for the theoretician alone. Discriminating signatures of QG in data are just too difficult to come by, whether by means of experimentation (in the context of high energy physics)...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherSymposium

Teitel (2021) argues that formal approaches to equivalence cannot be illuminating, since they run afoul of trivial semantic conventionality: the idea that “any representational vehicle can in principle be used to represent the world as being just about any way whatsoever.” In this paper, I consider the relationship between theoretical equivalen...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherSymposium

Evolutionary transitions in individuality (ETIs) are often conceptualized in a static rather than dynamical way. Abstractly, once an ETI is complete, the particles or lower-level entities (e.g., genes or cells) are regarded as the “bricks” constituting the “building” of the higher-level entities or collective (e.g., chromosomes or multicell...

Philosophy of Biology - evolutionSymposium

Consensus is often regarded as an important criterion for laypeople or decision-makers to arbitrate between the opinions of experts. Other criteria include tracking record and unbiasedness of experts, as well as validity of evidence and soundness of arguments. Overall, these criteria aim to ensure that expert judgment is grounded in objective argum...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) is a key metric when trying to understand the past, present and future behavior of Earth’s climate. Several models used in the latest IPCC report’s Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 6 (CMIP6) have failed to yield an ECS value within the consensus range estimated by several previous climate models (IPCC ...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

A popular account of evolutionary transitions in individuality (ETIs) postulates a crucial change in the nature of fitness during an ETI. Fitness at the collective level is supposedly “transferred” or “decoupled” during the process (Michod, 2005; Okasha, 2006). Recently, this view of ETIs has been challenged on the grounds that it may be be...

Philosophy of Biology - evolutionSymposium