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Extending Ourselves

Author: Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198036005
Size: 79.12 MB
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Computational methods have become the dominant technique in many areas of science. This book contains the first systematic philosophical account of these new methods and their consequences for scientific method. This book will be of interest to philosophers of science and to anyone interested in the role played by computers in modern science.

Thinking Machines And The Philosophy Of Computer Science

Author: Jordi Vallverdú
Publisher: IGI Global
ISBN: 1616920149
Size: 63.67 MB
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"This book offers a high interdisciplinary exchange of ideas pertaining to the philosophy of computer science, from philosophical and mathematical logic to epistemology, engineering, ethics or neuroscience experts and outlines new problems that arise with new tools"--Provided by publisher.

Philosophical Papers

Author: Paul Humphreys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199334889
Size: 79.68 MB
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Paul Humphreys pioneered philosophical investigations into the methodological revolution begun by computer simulations. He has also made important contributions to the contemporary literature on emergence by developing the fusion account of diachronic emergence and its generalization, transformational emergence. He is the discoverer of what has come to be called `Humphreys' Paradox' in probability theory and has also made influential contributions to the literature on probabilistic causality and scientific explanation. This collection contains fourteen of his previously published papers on topics ranging from numerical experiments to the status of scientific metaphysics. There is also a previously unpublished paper on social dynamics. The volume is divided into four parts on, respectively, computational science, emergence, probability, and general philosophy of science. The first part contains the seminal 1990 paper on computer simulations, with three other papers arguing that these new methods cannot be accounted for by traditional methodological approaches. The second part contains the original presentation of fusion emergence and three companion papers arguing for diachronic approaches to the topic, rather than the then dominant synchronic accounts. The third part starts with the paper that introduced the probabilistic paradox followed by a later evaluation of attempts to solve it. A third paper argues, contra Quine, that probability theory is a purely mathematical theory. The final section includes papers on causation, explanation, metaphysics, and an agent-based model that shows how endogenous uncertainty undermines utility maximization. Each of the four parts is followed by a comprehensive postscript with retrospective assessments of each of the papers, replies to some responses, and in some cases elaborations of the original arguments. An introduction to the volume provides a general perspective on unifying themes that run through Humphreys' philosophical work.

Toward A New Dimension

Author: Anne Marcovich
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191024015
Size: 53.82 MB
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Over the course of the last thirty years, the investigation of objects at the nano scale has rocketed. Nanoscale scientific research has not only powerfully affected the amount and orientation of knowledge, it has perhaps even more significantly redirected the ways in which much research work is carried out, changed scientists' methodology and reasoning processes, and influenced aspects of the structure of career trajectory and the functioning of scientific disciplines. This book identifies key historical moments and episodes in the birth and evolution of nanoscience, discusses the novel repertory of epistemological concerns of practitioners, and signals sociological propensities. As Galileo's telescope explored the moon's surface four hundred years ago, nano instrumentation now makes it possible to see the surface of single molecules. Moreover, practitioners are able to manipulate individual atoms and molecules at will to produce pre-designed synthetic materials, non-existent in nature. The combinatorial of heightened observational capacity and the tailoring of synthetic artificial materials exhibiting hitherto novel physical properties has widened and transformed the worlds of scientific knowledge and technical artefact. This book invites the question: to what extent does nanoscale scientific research constitute a kind of 'scientific revolution'?

Inventing Temperature

Author: Hasok Chang
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199883696
Size: 23.94 MB
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What is temperature, and how can we measure it correctly? These may seem like simple questions, but the most renowned scientists struggled with them throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. In Inventing Temperature, Chang examines how scientists first created thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of standard thermometers; and how they managed to assess the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. In a discussion that brings together the history of science with the philosophy of science, Chang presents the simple eet challenging epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, and the complex web of abstract philosophical issues surrounding them. Chang's book shows that many items of knowledge that we take for granted now are in fact spectacular achievements, obtained only after a great deal of innovative thinking, painstaking experiments, bold conjectures, and controversy. Lurking behind these achievements are some very important philosophical questions about how and when people accept the authority of science.

An Introduction To Quantum Physics

Author: A.P. French
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 9780748740789
Size: 69.14 MB
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Provides comprehensive coverage of all the fundamentals of quantum physics. Full mathematical treatments are given. Uses examples from different areas of physics to demonstrate how theories work in practice. Text derived from lectures delivered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Social Mechanisms

Author: Peter Hedström
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521596879
Size: 11.80 MB
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The advancement of social theory requires an analytical approach that systematically seeks to explicate the social mechanisms that generate and explain observed associations between events. These essays, written by prominent social scientists, advance criticisms of current trends in social theory and suggest alternative approaches. The mechanism approach calls attention to an intermediary level of analysis in between pure description and story-telling, on the one hand, and grand theorizing and universal social laws, on the other. For social theory to be of use for the working social scientist, it must attain a high level of precision and provide a toolbox from which middle range theories can be constructed.

Modelling And Simulation In The Social Sciences From The Philosophy Of Science Point Of View

Author: R. Hegselmann
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780792341253
Size: 12.71 MB
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Model building in the social sciences can increasingly rely on well elaborated formal theories. At the same time inexpensive large computational capacities are now available. Both make computer-based model building and simulation possible in social science, whose central aim is in particular an understanding of social dynamics. Such social dynamics refer to public opinion formation, partner choice, strategy decisions in social dilemma situations and much more. In the context of such modelling approaches, novel problems in philosophy of science arise which must be analysed - the main aim of this book. Interest in social simulation has recently been growing rapidly world- wide, mainly as a result of the increasing availability of powerful personal computers. The field has also been greatly influenced by developments in cellular automata theory (from mathematics) and in distributed artificial intelligence which provided tools readily applicable to social simulation. This book presents a number of modelling and simulation approaches and their relations to problems in philosophy of science. It addresses sociologists and other social scientists interested in formal modelling, mathematical sociology, and computer simulation as well as computer scientists interested in social science applications, and philosophers of social science.