News

Studying consciousness in prelinguistic infants presents a challenge. We cannot ask them what they saw, and they cannot understand complex task instructions. This paper offers an optimistic methodology for studying infant consciousness, by drawing on philosophical work concerning natural kinds. I argue that this methodology is scientifically realis...

Natural Kinds / ClassificationContributed Papers

Philosophers have the impression that evolutionary medicine is plagued by naive adaptationism (e.g., Murphy 2005, Valles 2011, Méthot 2012), leading to poor science through the proliferation of untestable ‘just-so stories’ and to poor medicine through not considering alternative explanations with different medical implications. It is therefore...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

Scientific TheoriesPoster

Mathematics is the “language of nature,” a privileged mode of expression in science. We think it latches onto something essential about the physical universe, and we seek theories that reduce phenomena to mathematical laws. Yet, this attitude could not arise from the philosophies dominant before the early modern period. In orthodox Aristotelian...

History of philosophy of scienceContributed Papers

Debates about racism and calls for racial equality have recently surged. This shift is reflected in the EU’s expansion of its anti-discriminatory policies to include race and ethnicity as categories. To determine the extent of racial/ethnic discrimination and the success of ‘positive action’ measures, the EU recommends the collection of stati...

Philosophy of Social ScienceSymposium

Philosophy of Physics - quantum mechanicsPoster

Philosophy of Physics - quantum mechanicsPoster

While many by now acknowledge that wide-spread replication failures are indicative of a crisis in psychology, there is less agreement about questions such as (a) what this “replication crisis” is a crisis of, precisely (i.e., whether it is really, at heart, a crisis of replication) and (b) what socio-historical factors have contributed (and con...

Philosophy of PsychologySymposium

Levels-eliminativists, including this symposium’s participants, have raised a variety of criticisms about specific conceptions of levels as well as the broad use of levels as a metaphor or heuristic in science. The general question inspired by such criticisms and explored in this symposium is: then what? Craver (2014) has suggested it’s impract...

Reduction and Inter-theoretic RelationsSymposium

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the sensitivity of earth’s near-surface temperature to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. When numerous state-of-the-art climate models recently indicated values for climate sensitivity outside of a range that had been stable for decades, climate scientists faced a dilemma. On the one hand, t...

Philosophy of Climate ScienceSymposium

This joint work between a philosopher and two chemists illustrates the practical scientific need for improved approaches to multiscale modeling. Nucleation models are essential to predicting the composition, structure, and growth rate, of nanoscale materials synthesis, and many models of nucleation exist. Classical nucleation models, for example, ...

Contributed Papers

Traditional theories of health and disease have a tendency to focus on either the evaluative aspect of health at the cost of capturing its descriptive character or they focus on the descriptive character at the cost of capturing its evaluative aspect. We provide a naturalistically respectable account of health that captures both these features of h...

Values in ScienceContributed Papers

This paper examines the importance of the concept of magnitude to the philosophy of measurement. Until the mid-twentieth century, magnitude was a central concept in theories of measurement, including those of Kant (1781 A162/B203), Helmholtz (1887), Hölder (1901), Russell (1903, Chapter XIX), Campbell (1920) and Nagel (1931). In the 1950s, the con...

MeasurementSymposium

General philosophy of science - otherPoster

Recent philosophical work on explanation explores the notion of “constraints” and the role they play in scientific explanation. An influential account of “explanation by constraint” is provided by Lange (2017), who considers these topics in the context of the physical sciences. Lange’s account contains two main features. First, he suggest...

ExplanationContributed Papers

Equilibrium climate sensitivity is a measure of the sensitivity of earth’s near-surface temperature to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. When numerous state-of-the-art climate models recently indicated values for climate sensitivity outside of a range that had been stable for decades, climate scientists faced a dilemma. On the one hand, t...

Contributed Papers

It is widely accepted by physicists and philosophers of physics alike that there are certain contexts in which general relativity will "break down". In such cases, one expects to need some as-yet undiscovered successor theory. This paper will discuss certain pathologies of general relativity that might be taken to signal that the theory is breaking...

Philosophy of Physics - space and timeContributed Papers

The central aim of the nutrition sciences is to understand how nutrition impacts health. One problem supposedly plaguing this endeavor is nutritionism—a ‘reductive’ focus on the role of nutrient composition or isolated nutrients (e.g., macronutrients or vitamins) for explaining a food’s effects on health (Scrinis 2008; 2013). Methodological...

Philosophy of Biology - general / otherSymposium

Current approaches to resolving psychology’s theoretical problems converge in their call for the further formalization of psychological theory (e.g., Fried, 2020; Van Rooij & Baggio, 2021; Borsboom et al., 2021; Robinaugh et al., 2021; Guest & Martin, 2021). In contrast, we have argued that psychology’s theoretical problems are in large part ca...

Scientific TheoriesSymposium

Cancer researchers and clinicians speak of both cancer “drivers” and “actionable” mutations. In this paper, we explore how these two concepts are overlapping, and how they are different. Cases like the BCR-ABL1 gene fusion found in people with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) have served as exemplars in clinical teaching and research abou...

Philosophy of MedicineContributed Papers