By Peter Achinstein
The essays during this quantity deal with 3 basic questions within the philosophy of technological know-how: what's required for a few truth to be facts for a systematic speculation? What does it suggest to claim scientist or a thought explains a phenomenon? should still clinical theories that postulate "unobservable" entities corresponding to electrons be construed realistically as aiming to properly describe an international underlying what's at once observable, or may still such theories be understood as aiming to properly describe basically the observable international? uncommon thinker of technological know-how Peter Achinstein presents solutions to every of those questions in essays written over a interval of greater than forty years. the current quantity brings jointly his vital formerly released essays, permitting the reader to confront one of the most uncomplicated and tough concerns within the philosophy of technological know-how, and to contemplate Achinstein's many influential contributions to the answer of those matters. He provides a thought of facts that relates this idea to likelihood and rationalization; a concept of clarification that relates this idea to an explaining act in addition to to the various ways that factors are to be evaluated; and an empirical safeguard of medical realism that invokes either the concept that of facts and that of rationalization.
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The essays during this quantity tackle 3 primary questions within the philosophy of technological know-how: what's required for a few truth to be facts for a systematic speculation? What does it suggest to claim scientist or a concept explains a phenomenon? should still clinical theories that postulate "unobservable" entities akin to electrons be construed realistically as aiming to properly describe a global underlying what's without delay observable, or should still such theories be understood as aiming to properly describe merely the observable international?
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Extra resources for Evidence, Explanation, and Realism: Essays in Philosophy of Science
Shifting to Hempel’s satisfaction view, the fact that the hypothesis that all ravens are black is satisfied by the one black raven I have observed is not by itself a good reason to believe that hypothesis. Surely I need a bigger sample. Even more important, it depends crucially on how I selected the raven for observation. , I purposely selected it from a cage marked “black birds” then the result does not provide a good reason at all for believing that all ravens are black. On all of the views of evidence I have cited—the two Bayesian views, hypothetico-deductivism, Hempel’s satisfaction theory, and Glymour’s bootstrapping conception—it is too easy to get evidence.
Is this just a matter of people in very different fields ignoring one another’s work? That may be part of the answer, but I don’t think that is the main problem or the most interesting one. I think the problem is deeper and stems from very basic, but questionable, assumptions philosophers usually make about evidence. Before indicating what these offending assumptions are, let me say that the notion of evidence I am concerned with is an objective, not a subjective, one: whether e is evidence that h, and how strong that evidence is, does not depend on what anyone believes about e, h, or their relationship.
Hempel’s NES requirement, however, leads to serious counterexamples in which, although the explanans is true (and satisfies all of Hempel’s conditions, including NES), it does not correctly explain the explanandum. Suppose it is a law of nature that anyone who eats a pound of arsenic dies within 24 hours. Suppose Ann eats a pound of arsenic at time T and dies within 24 hours. The following explanation of this event satisfies all of Hempel’s conditions for being a correct D–N explanation: At time T, Ann ate a pound of arsenic Anyone who eats a pound of arsenic dies within 24 hours Therefore, Ann died within 24 hours of T.