•  9
    Historical Case Studies: The “Model Organisms” of Philosophy of Science
    with Raphael Scholl
    Erkenntnis 1-20. forthcoming.
    Philosophers use historical case studies to support wide-ranging claims about science. This practice is often criticized as problematic. In this paper we suggest that the function of case studies can be understood and justified by analogy to a well-established practice in biology: the investigation of model organisms. We argue that inferences based on case studies are no more problematic than inferences from model organisms to larger classes of organisms in biology. We demonstrate our view in de…Read more
  •  33
    Proponents of the “negative program” in experimental philosophy have argued that judgements in philosophical cases, also known as case judgements, are unreliable and that the method of cases should be either strongly constrained or even abandoned. Here we put one of the main proponent’s account of why philosophical cases may cause the unreliability of case judgements to the test. We conducted our test with thought experiments from physics, which exhibit the exact same supposedly “disturbing char…Read more
  •  7
    Linguistic Intuitions: Evidence and Method
    with Anna Drożdżowicz and Karen Brøcker
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    This book examines the evidential status and use of linguistic intuitions, a topic that has seen increased interest in recent years. Linguists use native speakers' intuitions - such as whether or not an utterance sounds acceptable - as evidence for theories about language, but this approach is not uncontroversial. The two parts of this volume draw on the most recent work in both philosophy and linguistics to explore the two major issues at the heart of the debate. Chapters in the first part addr…Read more
  •  26
    Causality in the Sciences of the Mind and Brain
    with Lise Marie Andersen, Jonas Fogedgaard Christensen, and Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen
    Minds and Machines 28 (2): 237-241. 2018.
  •  7
    What are the features of a good scientific theory? Samuel Schindler's book revisits this classical question in the philosophy of science and develops new answers to it. Theoretical virtues matter not only for choosing theories 'to work with', but also for what we are justified in believing: only if the theories we possess are good ones can we be confident that our theories' claims about nature are actually correct. Recent debates have focussed rather narrowly on a theory's capacity to predict ne…Read more
  •  50
    Theoretical fertility McMullin-style
    European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (1): 151-173. 2017.
    A theory’s fertility is one of the standard theoretical virtues. But how is it to be construed? In current philosophical discourse, particularly in the realism debate, theoretical fertility is usually understood in terms of novel success: a theory is fertile if it manages to make successful novel predictions. Another, more permissible, notion of fertility can be found in the work of Ernan McMullin. This kind of fertility, McMullin claims, gives us just as strong grounds for realism. My paper cri…Read more
  •  20
    A coherentist conception of ad hoc hypotheses
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 67 54-64. 2018.
    What does it mean for a hypothesis to be ad hoc? One prominent account has it that ad hoc hypotheses have no independent empirical support. Others have viewed ad hoc judgements as subjective. Here I critically review both of these views and defend my own Coherentist Conception of Ad hocness by working out its conceptual and descriptive attractions.
  •  20
    Kuhnian theory-choice and virtue convergence: Facing the base rate fallacy
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 64 30-37. 2017.
    Perhaps the strongest argument for scientific realism, the no-miracles-argument, has been said to commit the so-called base rate fallacy. The apparent elusiveness of the base rate of true theories has even been said to undermine the rationality of the entire realism debate. In this paper, I confront this challenge by arguing, on the basis of the Kuhnian picture of theory choice, that a theory is likely to be true if it possesses multiple theoretical virtues and is embraced by numerous scientists…Read more
  •  398
    The Kuhnian mode of HPS
    Synthese 190 (18): 4137-4154. 2013.
    In this article I argue that a methodological challenge to an integrated history and philosophy of science approach put forth by Ronald Giere almost forty years ago can be met by what I call the Kuhnian mode of History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). Although in the Kuhnian mode of HPS norms about science are motivated by historical facts about scientific practice, the justifiers of the constructed norms are not historical facts. The Kuhnian mode of HPS therefore evades the naturalistic fallacy…Read more
  •  35
    Rehabilitating theory: refusal of the 'bottom-up' construction of scientific phenomena
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 38 (1): 160-184. 2007.
    In this paper I inquire into Bogen and Woodward’s data/phenomena distinction, which in a similar way to Cartwright’s construal of the model of superconductivity —although in a different domain—argues for a ‘bottom-up’ construction of phenomena from data without the involvement of theory. I criticise Bogen and Woodward’s account by analysing their melting point of lead example in depth, which is usually cited in the literature to illustrate the data/phenomenon distinction. Yet, the main focus of …Read more
  •  244
    Some twenty years ago, Bogen and Woodward challenged one of the fundamental assumptions of the received view, namely the theory-observation dichotomy and argued for the introduction of the further category of scientific phenomena. The latter, Bogen and Woodward stressed, are usually unobservable and inferred from what is indeed observable, namely scientific data. Crucially, Bogen and Woodward claimed that theories predict and explain phenomena, but not data. But then, of course, the thesis of th…Read more
  •  52
    Use-novel predictions and Mendeleev’s periodic table: response to Scerri and Worrall
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2): 265-269. 2008.
    In this paper I comment on a recent paper by [Scerri, E., & Worrall, J. . Prediction and the periodic table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 32, 407–452.] about the role temporally novel and use-novel predictions played in the acceptance of Mendeleev’s periodic table after the proposal of the latter in 1869. Scerri and Worrall allege that whereas temporally novel predictions—despite Brush’s earlier claim to the contrary—did not carry any special epistemic weight, use-novel predicti…Read more
  •  9
    Invariance, Mechanisms and Epidemiology
    In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation, Springer. pp. 137--140. 2011.
  •  434
    In a recent book and an article, Carl Craver construes the relations between different levels of a mechanism, which he also refers to as constitutive relations, in terms of mutual manipulability (MM). Interpreted metaphysically, MM implies that inter-level relations are symmetrical. MM thus violates one of the main desiderata of scientific explanation, namely explanatory asymmetry. Parts of Craver’s writings suggest a metaphysical interpretation of MM, and Craver explicitly commits to constituti…Read more
  •  35
    Scientific discovery: that-what’s and what-that’s
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2. 2015.
    In this paper I defend Kuhn’s view of scientific discovery, which involves two central tenets, namely that a scientific discovery always requires a discovery-that and a discovery-what, and that there are two kinds of scientific discovery, resulting from the temporal order of the discovery-that and the discovery-what. I identify two problems with Kuhn’s account and offer solutions to them from a realist stance. Alternatives to Kuhn’s account are also discussed
  •  13
    Conceptions of Causality
    Metascience 18 (2): 301-305. 2009.
  •  74
    Model, theory, and evidence in the discovery of the DNA structure
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4): 619-658. 2008.
    In this paper, I discuss the discovery of the DNA structure by Francis Crick and James Watson, which has provoked a large historical literature but has yet not found entry into philosophical debates. I want to redress this imbalance. In contrast to the available historical literature, a strong emphasis will be placed upon analysing the roles played by theory, model, and evidence and the relationship between them. In particular, I am going to discuss not only Crick and Watson's well-known model a…Read more
  •  27
    A Matter of Kuhnian Theory-Choice? The GWS Model and the Neutral Current
    Perspectives on Science 22 (4): 491-522. 2014.
    In a widely received paper on theory choice, Kuhn made three central claims. First, as a matter of empirical fact, different theories tend to score differently with regard to what Kuhn considered to be the standard set of theoretical virtues, i.e., empirical accuracy, internal and external consistency, scope, simplicity, and fertility. Whereas some theories will for instance be more empirically accurate than others, other theories will have greater external coherence with our background theories…Read more
  •  548
    Theory-laden experimentation
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1): 89-101. 2013.
    The thesis of theory-ladenness of observations, in its various guises, is widely considered as either ill-conceived or harmless to the rationality of science. The latter view rests partly on the work of the proponents of New Experimentalism who have argued, among other things, that experimental practices are efficient in guarding against any epistemological threat posed by theory-ladenness. In this paper I show that one can generate a thesis of theory-ladenness for experimental practices from an…Read more
  •  91
    Explanatory fictions—for real?
    Synthese 191 (8): 1741-1755. 2014.
    In this article I assess Alisa Bokulich’s idea that explanatory model fictions can be genuinely explanatory. I draw attention to a tension in her account between the claim that model fictions are explanatorily autonomous, and the demand that model fictions be justified in order for them to be genuinely explanatory. I also explore the consequences that arise from Bokulich’s use of Woodward’s account of counterfactual explanation and her abandonment of Woodward’s notion of an intervention. As it s…Read more
  •  70
    Novelty, coherence, and Mendeleev’s periodic table
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 62-69. 2014.
    Predictivism is the view that successful predictions of “novel” evidence carry more confirmational weight than accommodations of already known evidence. Novelty, in this context, has traditionally been conceived of as temporal novelty. However temporal predictivism has been criticized for lacking a rationale: why should the time order of theory and evidence matter? Instead, it has been proposed, novelty should be construed in terms of use-novelty, according to which evidence is novel if it was n…Read more