•  244
    Naturalized philosophy of science with a plurality of methods
    Philosophy of Science 59 (3): 456-460. 1992.
    Naturalism implies unity of method--an application of the methods of science to the methodology of science itself and to value theory. Epistemological naturalists have tried to find a privileged discipline to be the methodological model of philosophy of science and epistemology. However, since science itself is not unitary, the use of one science as a model amounts to a reduction and distorts the philosophy of science just as badly as traditional philosophy of science distorted science, despite …Read more
  •  185
    Defending conventions as functionally a priori knowledge
    Philosophy of Science 70 (5): 1149-1160. 2003.
    Recent defenses of a priori knowledge can be applied to the idea of conventions in science in order to indicate one important sense in which conventionalism is correctsome elements of physical theory have a unique epistemological status as a functionally a priori part of our physical theory. I will argue that the former a priori should be treated as empirical in a very abstract sense, but still conventional. Though actually coming closer to the Quinean position than recent defenses of a priori k…Read more
  •  142
    New perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The aim and structure of physical theory
    with Anastasios Brenner, Paul Needham, and Robert Deltete
    Metascience 20 (1): 1-25. 2011.
    New perspectives on Pierre Duhem’s The aim and structure of physical theory Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11016-010-9467-3 Authors Anastasios Brenner, Department of Philosophy, Paul Valéry University-Montpellier III, Route De Mende, 34199 Montpellier cedex 5, France Paul Needham, Department of Philosophy, University of Stockholm, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden David J. Stump, Department of Philosophy, University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA Robert Delte…Read more
  •  135
    Poincaré's claim that Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries are translatable has generally been thought to be based on his introduction of a model to prove the consistency of Lobachevskian geometry and to be equivalent to a claim that Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries are logically isomorphic axiomatic systems. In contrast to the standard view, I argue that Poincaré's translation thesis has a mathematical, rather than a meta-mathematical basis. The mathematical basis of Poincaré's transl…Read more
  •  106
    The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power (edited book)
    with Peter Galison
    Stanford University Press. 1996.
    Is science unified or disunified? This collection brings together contributions from prominent scholars in a variety of scientific disciplines to examine this important theoretical question. They examine whether the sciences are, or ever were, unified by a single theoretical view of nature or a methodological foundation and the implications this has for the relationship between scientific disciplines and between science and society.
  •  86
    Pierre Duhem’s virtue epistemology
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1): 149-159. 2007.
    Duhem’s concept of “good sense” is central to his philosophy of science, given that it is what allows scientist to decide between competing theories. Scientists must use good sense and have intellectual and moral virtues in order to be neutral arbiters of scientific theories, especially when choosing between empirically adequate theories. I discuss the parallels in Duhem’s views to those of virtue epistemologists, who understand justified belief as that arrived at by a cognitive agent with int…Read more
  •  60
    Arthur Pap’s Functional Theory of the A Priori
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 1 (2): 273-290. 2011.
    Arthur Pap was not quite a Logical Empiricist. He wrote his dissertation in philosophy of science under Ernest Nagel, and he published a textbook in the philosophy of science at the end of his tragically short career, but most of his work would be classified as analytic philosophy. More important, he took some stands that went against Logical Empiricist orthodoxy and was a persistent if friendly critic of the movement. Pap diverged most strongly from Logical Empiricism in his theory of a “functi…Read more
  •  50
    Henri Poincaré's philosophy of science
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 20 (3): 335-363. 1989.
    Poincare’s arguments for his thesis of the conventionality of metric depend on a relationalist program for dynamics, not on any general philosophical interpretation of science. I will sketch Poincare’s development of the relationalist program and show that his arguments for the conventionality of metric do not depend on any global strategies such as a general empiricism or Duhemian underdetermination arguments. Poincare’s theory of space, while empirically false, is more philosophically sophisti…Read more
  •  39
    Fallibilism, naturalism and the traditional requirements for knowledge
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (3): 451-469. 1991.
    In april 1872, with the caisson at a depth of seventy-odd feet and still no bedrock, two men died. The strain for Roebling was nearly unbearable, as his wife later said. On May 18, a third man died, and that same day Roebling made the most difficult and courageous decision of the project. Staking everything — the success of the bridge, his reputation, his career - he ordered a halt. The New York tower, he had concluded, could stand where it was, at a depth of 78 feet 6 inches, not on bedrock, bu…Read more
  •  35
    Socially constructed technology
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (2). 2000.
    The main innovation in Questioning Technology is Feenberg?s use of the results of various social constructivist accounts of science and technology to rethink the philosophy of technology. I agree with Feenberg that the social constructivist studies developed by historians and sociologists refute the essentialist account of technology that has been the mainstream position of philosophers of technology. The autonomy of technology seems to be nothing but a myth from the point of view of social cons…Read more
  •  32
    I trace the development of arguments for the consistency of non-Euclidean geometries and for the independence of the parallel postulate, showing how the arguments become more rigorous as a formal conception of geometry is introduced. I analyze the kinds of arguments offered by Jules Hoüel in 1860-1870 for the unprovability of the parallel postulate and for the existence of non-Euclidean geometries, especially his reaction to the publication of Beltrami’s seminal papers, showing that Beltrami wa…Read more
  •  32
    In this book, David Stump traces alternative conceptions of the a priori in the philosophy of science and defends a unique position in the current debates over conceptual change and the constitutive elements in science. Stump emphasizes the unique epistemological status of the constitutive elements of scientific theories, constitutive elements being the necessary preconditions that must be assumed in order to conduct a particular scientific inquiry. These constitutive elements, such as logic, ma…Read more
  •  26
    Review of Michael Resnik, Mathematics as a science of patterns (review)
    History and Philosophy of Logic 19 (3): 176-177. 1998.
  •  23
    Science and Hypothesis: The Complete Text by Henri Poincaré (New translation) (edited book)
    with Mélanie Frappier and Andrea Smith
    Bloomsbury. 2017.
    New Translation of Henri Poincaré's Science and Hypothesis, including new material and editorial commentary. New Introduction by David J. Stump.
  •  21
    Fallibilism versus Relativism in the Philosophy of Science
    Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 1-13. 2021.
    In response to a recent argument by David Bloor, I argue that denying absolutes does not necessarily lead to relativism, that one can be a fallibilist without being a relativist. At issue are the empirical natural sciences and what might be called “framework relativism”, that is, the idea that there is always a conceptual scheme or set of practices in use, and all observations are theory-laden relative to the framework. My strategy is to look at the elements that define a relativist stance and s…Read more
  •  21
  •  20
    Scientific pluralism and metaphysics
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64 64-66. 2017.
    Essay review of Stephanie Ruphy, Scientific Pluralism Reconsidered: A New Approach to the (Dis)Unity of Science.
  •  15
    Introduction - Forum: Pragmatism in the Philosophy of Science
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1): 70-71. 2015.
    Introduction to conference papers published in HOPOS
  •  13
    Members of the Vienna Circle played a pivotal role in defining the work that came to be known as the philosophy of science, yet the Vienna Circle itself is now known to have had much broader concerns and to have been more rooted in philosophical tradition than was once thought. Like current and past philosophers of science, members of the Vienna Circle took science as the object of philosophical reflection but they also endeavored to render philosophy in general compatible with contemporary scie…Read more
  •  7
    Robert M. Makus, 1951-2002
    Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 76 (5). 2003.
  •  2
    This is a review of the first volume of Herbert Marcuse's collected works. Highlights include correspondence with Heidegger, who refuses to repudiate the Nazis