•  3
    Introduction
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2): 5-6. 2007.
  •  70
    Scientific Realism and Antirealism
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016.
    Scientific Realism and Antirealism Debates about scientific realism concern the extent to which we are entitled to hope or believe that science will tell us what the world is really like. Realists tend to be optimistic; antirealists do not. To a first approximation, scientific realism is the view that well-confirmed scientific theories are approximately true; … Continue reading Scientific Realism and Antirealism →
  •  3
    Does" rabbit" refer to rabbits?
    with Michael List
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 1 (1): 39-56. 2005.
    It is commonly presupposed that all instances of the deflationary reference schema ‘F’ applies to x if and only if x is ‘are correct. This paper argues, mainly on the basis of concrete example, that we have little reason to be confident about this presupposition: our tendency to believe the instances is based on local successes that may not be globally extendible. There is a problem of semantic projection, Ii argue, and standard accounts that would resolve or dissolve the problem are problematic…Read more
  •  21
    Duhem: Images of Science, Historical Continuity, and the First Crisis in Physics
    Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science 2 73. 2017.
    Duhem used historical arguments to draw philosophical conclusions about the aim and structure of physical theory. He argued against explanatory theories and in favor of theories that provide natural classifications of the phenomena. This paper presents those arguments and, with the benefit of hindsight, uses them as a test case for the prevalent contemporary use of historical arguments to draw philosophical conclusion about science. It argues that Duhem provides us with an illuminating example o…Read more
  •  12
    Scientific Realism and Antirealism
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016.
    Scientific Realism and Antirealism Debates about scientific realism concern the extent to which we are entitled to hope or believe that science will tell us what the world is really like. Realists tend to be optimistic; antirealists do not. To a first approximation, scientific realism is the view that well-confirmed scientific theories are approximately true; … Continue reading Scientific Realism and Antirealism →
  •  18
    In this paper I discuss lessons that metaphysicians might learn from Duhem. Given Duhem’s well known antipathy to metaphysics, you will likely think that this is a fairly inauspicious beginning with a predictable ending: i.e., physics is one thing, metaphysics another, and never the twain shall meet. If you will bear with me, however, I hope to persuade you differently. On the contrary, I will argue, Duhem was both a common sense and metaphysical realist, his nuanced views about the relationship…Read more
  •  5
    Mathematical Progress: Ariadne's Thread
    In Emily Grosholz & Herbert Breger (eds.), The Growth of Mathematical Knowledge, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 257--268. 2000.
  •  6
    Through a Glass Darkly - Russell on Names
    European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2): 191-226. 2007.
    Russell’s views about the proper logical and epistemological treatment of names conspired to lead him to set aside considerations that support the claim that names are not definite descriptions. Though he appreciated those considerations, he famously argued that ordinary names are truncated definite descriptions. Nevertheless, his appreciation of the distinctive semantic behavior of ordinary names combined with his view that acquaintance comes in degrees led him to attempt to secure a semantical…Read more
  •  1
    Is a God's Eye View an Ideal Theory?
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 66 (3-4): 355. 1985.
  •  6
    Externalist determinants of reference
    ProtoSociology 11 173-215. 1998.
    According to externalism, reference is a relation between uses of an expression and features of the environment. Moreover, the reference relation is normative , and the referential relata of our expressions are explanatory of successful language use. This paper largely agrees with the broad conception underlying externalism: it is what people do with words that makes them have the references they have, and the world constrains what people can successfully do with words. However, the paper strong…Read more
  •  56
    Mr. More on Rigidity and Identity
    Analysis 43 (3). 1983.
  •  78
    Explaining Donnellan's Distinction
    with Jeffrey King
    Analysis 44 (1). 1984.
  • Recensione di Maddy 2007
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. forthcoming.
  •  70
    Knowledge, cause, and abstract objects: Causal objections to platonism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2). 2004.
    Book Information Knowledge, Cause, and Abstract Objects: Causal Objections to Platonism. Knowledge, Cause, and Abstract Objects: Causal Objections to Platonism Colin Cheyne , Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers , 2001 , xvi + 236 , £55 ( cloth ) By Colin Cheyne. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Pp. xvi + 236. £55.
  •  11
    The Fortunes of Inquiry (review)
    Philosophical Review 101 (2): 433-436. 1992.
  •  39
    Reliability in mathematical physics
    Philosophy of Science 60 (1): 1-21. 1993.
    In this paper I argue three things: (1) that the interactionist view underlying Benacerraf's (1973) challenge to mathematical beliefs renders inexplicable the reliability of most of our beliefs in physics; (2) that examples from mathematical physics suggest that we should view reliability differently; and (3) that abstract mathematical considerations are indispensable to explanations of the reliability of our beliefs.
  •  58
    Taking mathematical fictions seriously
    Synthese 95 (3). 1993.
    I argue on the basis of an example, Fourier theory applied to the problem of vibration, that Field's program for nominalizing science is unlikely to succeed generally, since no nominalistic variant will provide us with the kind of physical insight into the phenomena that the standard theory supplies. Consideration of the same example also shows, I argue, that some of the motivation for mathematical fictionalism, particularly the alleged problem of cognitive access, is more apparent than real.
  •  25
    On tins and tin-openers
    In Samir Okasha Stephan Hartmann de Regt Henk W. (ed.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009, Springer. pp. 151-160. 2011.
    Most science requires applied mathematics. This truism underlies the Quine-Putnam indispensability argument: we cannot be mathematical nominalists without rejecting whole swaths of good science that are seamlessly linked with mathematics. One style of response (e.g. Field’s program) accepts the challenge head-on and attempts to show how to do science without mathematics. There is some consensus that the response fails because the nominalistic apparatus deployed either is not extendible to all of…Read more
  •  51
    Critical studies / book reviews
    Philosophia Mathematica 8 (2): 190-213. 2000.
  •  39
    In this book physicist Roland Omnès addresses some big questions in philosophy of mathematics. Anyone who reflects on the history and practice of mathematics and the sciences, especially physics, will naturally be struck by some remarkable coincidences. First, often newly developed mathematics was not well understood. But its successful applications and its agreement with intuitive representations of reality promoted confidence in its correctness even absent clear foundations . Later, this confi…Read more
  •  31
    Meaning in Mathematics
    History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (4): 379-381. 2012.
    History and Philosophy of Logic, Volume 0, Issue 0, Page 1-2, Ahead of Print