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In recent years, more and more authors have called attention to the fact that the theoretical foundations of psychology are shaky. This has led to a lively debate on the “theory crisis” in psychology, which is argued to be more fundamental than the replication crisis that has received much more attention. In this talk, I first consider why ther...

MeasurementSymposium

Terminological inconsistency in neuroscience obscures ontological relations between neural circuits and cognition. Meanwhile, the dominant view among philosophers is that human cognition is neurally realized. It remains an open question whether the extensive philosophical literature on (multiple) realization sheds light on the ontological unclarity...

Philosophy of NeuroscienceContributed Papers

Court cases involving sexual assault and police violence rely heavily on victim testimony. We consider what we call the “Traumatic Untrustworthiness Argument (TUA)” according to which we should be skeptical about victim testimony because people are particularly liable to misremember traumatic events. The TUA is not obviously based in mere distr...

Feminist Philosophy of ScienceContributed Papers

Philosophy of RaceUPSS Session Submission

It is common to distinguish classificatory, physical, and formal unification. Of these, only physical unification seems to have anything to do with explanation and hence understanding. In this paper, I argue that that view is incorrect. Classificatory and formal unification facilitate understanding. Moreover, I argue that theories that physically u...

General philosophy of science - otherContributed Papers

Black hole complementarity is an influential set of ideas that respond to the black hole information paradox. Unpacking this literature, I argue that black hole complementarity is about the consistency of quantum characterizations of an evaporating black hole and I delineate two consistency claims—i.e., two principles of black hole complementarit...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherContributed Papers

Measurement of subjective animal welfare creates a special problem in validating the measurement indicators. Validation is required to ensure indicators are measuring the intended target state, and not some other object. While indicators can usually be validated through looking for correlation between target and indicator under controlled manipulat...

MeasurementContributed Papers

Over the past twenty years, philosophers of science have given sustained examination to the role that values play in science, identifying positive roles for both cognitive and noncognitive values. These include value judgments made during research, such as the conceptualization of phenomena, data selection and analysis of results, as well as in app...

Philosophy of Environmental ScienceSymposium

The poor replicability of scientific results in psychology, the biomedical sciences, and other sciences is often explained by appealing to scientists’ incentives for productivity and impact: Scientific practices such as publication bias and p-hacking (which are often called “questionable research practices”) enable scientists to increase thei...

Scientific Models / ModelingSymposium

Standard methodological and statistical texts divide research methodology into two strictly separated categories: confirmatory and exploratory research. In some fields, like scientific psychology, almost all research reports are written up as if they are confirmatory, i.e., involve rigorous tests of an antecedent theory. In reality, however, typica...

Scientific TheoriesSymposium

I will use the simple case of a harmonic oscillator to introduce and resolve three novel puzzles about physical symmetries. One puzzle is that the fact that boosts are symmetries of Newtonian mechanics is not particularly important for explaining why a spring inside a ship remains invariant under constant boosts of the ship. A second puzzle is that...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherContributed Papers

Reduction and Inter-theoretic RelationsPoster

This paper argues that there are two different types of causes that we can wish to understand when we talk about wanting machine learning models to be explainable. The first are causes in the features that a model uses to make its predictions. The second are causes in the world that have enabled those features to carry out the model’s predictive ...

Machine learning and AIContributed Papers

In the literature on explanation, philosophers have proposed different conceptions of structural explanations. In this paper, I explore how several seemingly disparate accounts of structural explanation can be tied together with a central notion of abstraction borrowed from the philosophy of mathematics. Some explanations involve abstracting from a...

ExplanationContributed Papers

Philosophical critique of scientific levels or candidate level-systems often blends into critique of the activity of leveling. Here I defend leveling, the activity, with no commitment to any given scientific system of levels or the notion that within a given scientific system there is necessarily one best way to level that system. After looking at ...

Reduction and Inter-theoretic RelationsSymposium

I defend the use of early Covid-19 models in support of social distancing measures against criticisms. Paying close attention to the epistemology of scientific modeling and to what is required of models for the purpose of underwriting precautionary reasoning suggests that epidemiological models were adequate for the purpose of supporting social dis...

Scientific Models / ModelingContributed Papers

When, in 2015, the replication crisis was identified in the field of psychology, many researchers took up the task of working on methodology and suggesting practices that would help improve the replicability of findings in psychology. More recently, it has been noted that many of the identified problems in psychology not only concern the collection...

Scientific TheoriesSymposium

Descriptive Summary: Participants in this symposium will bring diverse perspectives to philosophical issues arising out of cancer science and medicine. Speakers will discuss conceptual and epistemic issues arising in cancer research, such as how best to define cancer “drivers” and “actionable” mutations, whether and in what senses cancer is...

Philosophy of MedicineSymposium

Two conceptions of thermodynamics are distinguished. On one, thermodynamics is a resource theory, a theory about how agents with specified means of manipulating a physical system can exploit its physical properties to achieve specified ends, such as obtaining useful work. On the other, thermodynamics has been severed from its roots in technological...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherContributed Papers

Why are quantum probabilities encoded in measures corresponding to wave functions, rather than by a more general (or more specific) class of measures? Whereas orthodox quantum mechanics has a compelling answer to this question, Bohmian mechanics might not.

Philosophy of Physics - quantum mechanicsContributed Papers

Scholarship on values in science has exploded in recent years. Nevertheless, with the exception of some work on topics like patent policies, funding structures, and corporate influences on science, most scholarship on science and values has focused on the influences of values on individual scientists. The time is now ripe for philosophers of scienc...

Values in ScienceSymposium

Motivated by a desire to make precise the position of structural realism, David Wallace recently articulated a framework for understanding the relationship between metaphysical and scientific theories. In this paper, I demonstrate two particularly significant consequences of this framework for the metaphysics of science, unrelated to considerations...

Realism / Anti-realism / InstrumentalismContributed Papers

No-go theorems attract widespread interest in the philosophy of physics. These results from the foundations of physics are distinctive for their logical force and counter-intuitive implications. A classic example that has attracted much philosophical attention is Haag's theorem, a result in quantum field theory showing that a certain standard metho...

Philosophy of Physics - general / otherSymposium