Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Barry Smith, Alexander Bird and Keith DeRose

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26 ideas

14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 1. Observation
If theories need observation, and observations need theories, how do we start? [Bird]
14. Science / A. Basis of Science / 4. Prediction
Explanation predicts after the event; prediction explains before the event [Bird]
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 1. Scientific Theory
Relativity ousted Newtonian mechanics despite a loss of simplicity [Bird]
Realists say their theories involve truth and the existence of their phenomena [Bird]
There is no agreement on scientific method - because there is no such thing [Bird]
14. Science / B. Scientific Theories / 3. Instrumentalism
Instrumentalists regard theories as tools for prediction, with truth being irrelevant [Bird]
14. Science / C. Induction / 2. Aims of Induction
Induction is inference to the best explanation, where the explanation is a law [Bird]
14. Science / C. Induction / 3. Limits of Induction
If Hume is right about induction, there is no scientific knowledge [Bird]
Anything justifying inferences from observed to unobserved must itself do that [Bird]
14. Science / C. Induction / 5. Paradoxes of Induction / a. Grue problem
Any conclusion can be drawn from an induction, if we use grue-like predicates [Bird]
Several months of observing beech trees supports the deciduous and evergreen hypotheses [Bird]
We normally learn natural kinds from laws, but Goodman shows laws require prior natural kinds [Bird]
14. Science / C. Induction / 6. Bayes's Theorem
Bayesianism claims to find rationality and truth in induction, and show how science works [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / a. Explanation
The objective component of explanations is the things that must exist for the explanation [Bird]
We talk both of 'people' explaining things, and of 'facts' explaining things [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
We can't reject all explanations because of a regress; inexplicable A can still explain B [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
Explanations are causal, nomic, psychological, psychoanalytic, Darwinian or functional [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / b. Contrastive explanations
Contrastive explanations say why one thing happened but not another [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / e. Lawlike explanations
'Covering law' explanations only work if no other explanations are to be found [Bird]
Livers always accompany hearts, but they don't explain hearts [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / l. Probabilistic explanations
Probabilistic-statistical explanations don't entail the explanandum, but makes it more likely [Bird]
An operation might reduce the probability of death, yet explain a death [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / a. Best explanation
Inference to the Best Explanation is done with facts, so it has to be realist [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 3. Best Explanation / c. Against best explanation
Maybe bad explanations are the true ones, in this messy world [Bird]
Which explanation is 'best' is bound to be subjective, and no guide to truth [Bird]
14. Science / D. Explanation / 4. Explanation Doubts / a. Explanation as pragmatic
Maybe explanation is so subjective that it cannot be a part of science [Bird]