University of Iceland
Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences
  •  143
    Tvö viðhorf til vísindalegrar þekkingar -- eða eitt?
    Ritið -- Tímarit Hugvísindastofnunar 15 (1): 135-155. 2015.
    There are two main approaches to the epistemology of science. On the one hand, some hold that a scientific hypothesis is confirmed to the extent that the hypothesis explains the evidence better than alternative hypotheses concerning the same subject-matter. This idea is often referred to as Inference to the Best Explanation. On the other hand, some hold that a scientific hypothesis is confirmed to the extent that the hypothesis is probable given the evidence. This idea is often associated with B…Read more
  •  116
    We Owe It to Others to Think for Ourselves
    In Jonathan Matheson & Kirk Lougheed (eds.), Epistemic Autonomy, Routledge. 2021.
    We are often urged to figure things out for ourselves rather than to rely on other people’s say-so, and thus be ‘epistemically autonomous’ in one sense of the term. But why? For almost any important question, there will be someone around you who is at least as well placed to answer it correctly. So why bother making up your own mind at all? I consider, and then reject, two ‘egoistic’ answers to this question according to which thinking for oneself is beneficial for the autonomous agent herself. …Read more
  •  100
    What is scientific progress? This paper advances an interpretation of this question, and an account that serves to answer it (thus interpreted). Roughly, the question is here understood to concern what type of cognitive change with respect to a topic or phenomenon X constitutes a scientific improvement (to a greater or lesser extent) with respect to X. The answer explored in the paper is that the requisite type of cognitive change occurs when scientific results are made publicly available so as …Read more
  •  64
    An Epistemic Advantage of Accommodation over Prediction
    Philosophers' Imprint. forthcoming.
    Many philosophers have argued that a hypothesis is better confirmed by some data if the hypothesis was not specifically designed to fit the data. ‘Prediction’, they argue, is superior to ‘accommodation’. Others deny that there is any epistemic advantage to prediction, and conclude that prediction and accommodation are epistemically on a par. This paper argues that there is a respect in which accommodation is superior to prediction. Specifically, the information that the data was accommodated rat…Read more
  •  34
    A contribution to a symposium on Steven French's book There Are No Such Things as Theories.
  •  27
    Manifestationalism holds that science aims only to give us theories that are correct about what has been observed thus far. Several philosophers, including Bas van Fraassen, have argued that manifestationalism cannot make sense of the scientific impetus to make new observations, since such observations only risk turning manifestationally adequate theories into inadequate ones. This paper argues that a strikingly similar objection applies to van Fraassen’s own constructive empiricism, the view th…Read more
  •  22
    English abstract: In order for experts to serve as authorities in our society, people need to trust them when they make claims that fall within their domains of expertise. However, it also seems important for people to think independently and critically about the experts‘ conclusions – one shouldn‘t believe everything one is told. In this paper, I examine this tension with the aim of answering four closely related questions: (1) What is it to trust experts? (2) Why do we often have to rely on ex…Read more
  •  16
    English summary: This paper engages with a tradition in Icelandic philosophy of theorizing about critical thinking. The central thesis of the paper is that critical thinking should not be identified with scientific thinking, since scientific research is often (and inevitably so) based on a kind of epistemic trust in other scientists' testimony that is incompatible with critical thinking. The paper also criticizes the idea that critical thinking should be associated with any of Charles Peirce's …Read more
  •  15
    English summary: This paper uses research on the COVID-19 pandemic as the backdrop for an accessible discussion of the value and status of science, and of the role of valuesin science. In particular, the paper seeks to debunk three common myths or dogmas about scientific research: (i) that there is such a thing as 'scientific proof' of a theory or hypothesis, (ii) that disagreement is necessarily unhealthy or unnatural in science, (iii) and that personal values play no role in scientific researc…Read more
  •  12
    English abstract: This paper discusses the delicate relationship between traditional epistemology and the increasingly influential probabilistic (or ‘Bayesian’) approach to epistemology. The paper introduces some of the key ideas of probabilistic epistemology, including credences or degrees of belief, Bayes’ theorem, conditionalization, and the Dutch Book argument. The tension between traditional and probabilistic epistemology is brought out by considering the lottery and preface paradoxes as th…Read more
  •  10
    English abstract: Feminist philosophers of science have argued that various biases can and do influence the results of scientific investigations. Two kinds of arguments have been most influential: On the one hand, it has been argued that biased assumptions frequently bridge the gap between observation and theory associated with ‘the underdetermination thesis’. On the other hand, it has been argued that biased value judgments determine when the evidence in favor of a particular theory is consider…Read more