Category Archives: Philosophy of science

Pentru seminarul de miercuri 14 decembrie

Pentru urmatoarele doua cursuri si seminarii va propun sa citim impreuna primele patru capitole din cartea lui Bas van Fraasen, Scientific Representation: Paradoxes of Perspective, Oxford 2008. Pentru miercuri, introducerea si cap. 1 plus cap 2.

Va rog ca pe masura ce cititi sa incarcati aici comentariile voastre. Sper ca aceste capitole sa lamureasca unele dintre intrebarile la care am ajuns impreuna in decursul ultimelor trei seminarii.

Pentru miercuri 7 ianuarie

Propunerile pentru miercuri 7 ianuarie sunt:

1. articolul lui Hacking care ne-a ramas de saptamana trecuta

2. Arabatzis, Rethinking the “Discovery” of the Electron, atasat aici:

Arabatzis Theodore — Rethinking the ‘discovery’ of the electron
Ambele articole sunt propuse de voi, asa ca ma astept sa particip relativ pasiv, la o discutie interesanta, si sa adresez doar cate o intrebare, ici si colo 🙂

 

 

Textul pentru miercuri

Iata si textul lui George E. Smith despre Thomson si descoperirea electronului (in caz ca n-ati reusit sa dati de el singuri)

 

smith_J.J.Thomson

Pentru seminarul viitor: experimente si ipoteze de lucru in stiinta experimentala

Pentru seminarul de miercuri v-as propune sa citim:

George E. Smith, J.J. Thomson and the Electron, in Zed Buchwald, Histories of the Electron, 2004 (se gaseste pe library.nu).

Plus articolul lui Hacking propus de acum cateva saptamani si pe care-l gasiti postat intr-un post anterior.

Experimente exploratorii si descoperirea particulelor ‘elementare’

Am discutat data trecuta despre cateva dintre experimentele cu care a inceput un nou ‘domeniu’ al fizicii, fizica sub-atomica. Am trecut prin experimentele facute de Thomson si Rutherford si am vazut cum se pot ele reconstrui ca parte a unui scenariu ipotetico-deductiv si ca parte a unui scenariu exploratoriu. V-am promis bibliografie suplimentara.

Iata:

A. Chalmers, The Scientists’ Atom and the Philosphers’ Stone: How Science Succeeded and Philosophy Failed to Gain Knowledge of the Atoms, in special ch. 13

Weinberg, The Discovery of Subatomic Particles

O parte din corespondenta Bohr-Rhuterford se gaseste in Bohr, Collected works, vol.2. (tot acolo se gasesc si cele doua publicatii relevante cu care Bohr inaugureaza noul ‘domeniu’ al fizicii atomice ‘cuantice’).

Toate acestea pentru aceia dintre voi care ar vrea sa-si construiasca o lucrare pornind de aici. Pentru saptamana viitoare am sa va propun niste capitole din Zed. Buchwald, The Histories of the Electron (le postez intr-un post separat). Si am ramas datori cu propunerea mai veche de a citi articolul lui Hacking – daca l-ati parcurs, propun sa-l discutam si pe acela miercuri.

 

Pentru saptamana viitoare

Pentru saptamana viitoare, inainte de a trece sa citim propunerile voastre (Hacking, Van Fraasen), v-as propune sa citim niste articole care sa ne lamureasca cateva dintre intrebarile de ieri. Va propun prin urmare  un articol despre problema testarii teoriilor si a ‘evidentei’ (un articol care discuta insa studiul nostru de caz de la ultimul seminar).

Martens testability

V-as propune, de asemenea, un articol pe care l-am mai discutat cu unii dintre voi, articolul lui Hilary Putnam, The corroboration of theories, din Boyd et all, Philosophy of science (se gaseste online, asa ca nu mai incarc pagina aici).

Va reamintesc ca astept de la voi tema si bibliografia la care v-ati gandit pentru lucrare; si, poate, avem o discutie pe aceasta tema, ca sa va ajut sa va lamuriti mai bine ce vreti sa faceti.

De asemenea, va rog sa veniti doar de la ora 16 (de la ora 14 am sedinta…).

Textele pentru seminarul viitor (2 noiembrie)

Pentru seminarul viitor va rog sa cititi urmatoarele:

Davis Baird, Outline of a Materialist Theory of Knowledge in Radder, Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation, 39-68

Baird2003

si, pentru a continua discutia noastra despre metoda popperiana, urmatorul articol din volumul Rethinking Popper

Gattei Kepler Popper
Mircea, multumim pentru sugestii, as spune ca ar merita sa le citim pentru urmatorul curs/seminar (9 noiembrie). Astept si alte sugestii.

Propuneri bibliografice

Unii dintre voi au propuneri de teme sau articole pe care ar dori sa le discute la seminar. Am sa va rog sa le postati aici, in continuarea acestui post. E important sa adunam propunerile si sa le discutam, sa strangem articolele etc.

Evaluare: teme de cercetare, posibile teme de eseuri si bibliografie (generala)

Research and Essay Topics

Here are some possible topics for further research and some questions worth exploring. They are by no means all the interesting problems and ideally you should find your own interesting research topic. They are also very general and you need to specify them AND to find the appropriate case-study to develop them. Below is a list of suggestions for case studies. However, you don’t have to feel constrained by it. You can choose other case studies, bearing on the history of 20th century physics, biology, psychology, social sciences etc.

The form of the essay

The form of your essay would be the following: you will address a philosophical problem (one of the important questions in the current philosophy of science) and you will discuss it on a case-study. You can choose your case studies from any period of the history of science. However, you should only choose case-studies that you can follow and understand yourself – including the more ‘technical’ details and questions. Don’t take second-hand reports of famous experiments for granted! For each essay, the reading of the appropriate primary bibliography is compulsory.

 Research topics

1.  Theory-ladenness and experimentation

  • Newton’s rejection of the mechanical aether: empirical difficulties or metaphysics?
  • Why was Galileo a Copernican?
  • The case of Michelson-Morley experiment

2. Tests and refutations: are there Popperians among the scientists?

    • Francis Bacon’s Popperian methodology
    • Kepler’s Popperian’s methodology

3. The problem of “crucial experiments”

    • Newton’s optical experiments and the debate surrounding the nature of light. In what ways are Newton’s prisms experiments ‘crucial experiments’
    • Robert Hooke’s crucial experiments
    • Francis Bacon’s crucial instances and their domain of application (plus epistemological considerations)
    • Eddington’s expedition and the crucial ‘test’ for general relativity: philosophical problems

4. Epistemological and metaphysical problems of experimentation

5. Scientific instruments and the construction of ‘scientific facts’

    • Instrumental realism
    • Constructivism
    • The construction of scientific facts

6. Measurement

7. Creativity and discovery in scientific thought

    • Kepler’s ‘discoveries’
    • The role of analogy in Newton’s natural philosophy

 

Bibliography:

This is a general bibliography where you can find interesting articles and books relating to your subject. It is orientative and you have to be selective and critical in picking  your sources. In order to construct a good paper you will need to read one or two relevant books/chapters/articles of a more general character (ideally an essay review of the field), and a couple of more focused articles/books bearing on the philosophical problem, plus at least two chapters/papers relating to the precise historical case study you are focusing on. So you should start working on your research topic/essay right away J.

Bibliographical research is one of the most important – indeed, a key factor in the establishment of a successful research topic and the plan of a good research paper. You need to see many books/paper, select the relevant one and read the few that really matters. You need to spend some time (some days) in the library.

Useful points: Use the on-line research instrument of BCU (baze de date stiintifice); a wonderful instrument for the researcher where you can find a lot, on very many topics. The Sciverse and Ebsco contain up-to-date research, until 2011. Springerlink contains not only journals but also all the books published by Springer. All resources are available from BCU and from the terminals in our library.

 General bibliography and collections of articles:

Duhem, Pierre (1906): La Théorie Physique, son Objet et sa Structure. 1st ed. Paris 1906. Engl. trans. by Philip P. Wiener: The aim and Structure of Physical Theory. Princeton: Princeton UP 1954.

Cassidy, David, Holton, Gerald,  Rutherford, James, Understanding physics, Springer 2005

Dear, Peter, Discipline and experience: the mathematical way in the Scientific Revolution, 1995

Franklin, The Neglect of Experiment, 1986

Ian Hacking (1983): Representing and Intervening. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.

Ian Hacking, Experimentation and Scientific Realism, in Curd and Cover eds. Philosophy of Science. The Central Issues, 1998, 1153-1169

Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What?, Harvard University Press, 1999

Larry Laudan, Progress and its problems.Towards a theory of scientific growth, 1978.

Lakatos, Imre (1970): ‘Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes’, in Imre Lakatos and Alan Musgrave (eds.): Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, pp. 91-196.

Laudan, Larry, Progress and its problems. Towards a theory of scientific growth, 1977

Maxwell, Grover, The Ontological Status of Theoretical Entities, in Curd and Cover eds. Philosophy of Science. The Central Issues, 1998, 1052-1064

Meheus, Nickes, eds. Models of discovery and creativity, Springer, 2009

Nickles, Thomas,  ed. Scientific discovery, logic and rationality, D. Reidel, 1980

Nickles, Thomas, ed. Scientific discovery: case studies, D. Reidel, 1980

Radder, Hans, ed. Philosophy of Scientific Experimentation, Pittsburg 2003

Friedrich Steinle, Jutta Schickore, Revisting discovery and justification: historical and philosophical perspectives on the context distinction, Springer, 2006

Scientific method as problem solving and question answering techniques, special issue of Synthese, 47 (1981)

Van Fraasen, Bas C. (2007), Scientific Representations. Paradoxes of perspective, Oxford, 2008

More focused bibliography and case studies

Daniel Adler, Is Naturalism the Unsurpassable Philosophy for the Sicneces of Man in the 21st Century ?, in , in Friedrich Stadler, ed. The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science, Springer 2010, 283-305

Earman, J., Glymour, C. Rynasiewicz, On writing the history of special relativity, PSA 1982, 403-416

McLaughlin, Invention and Induction : Laudan, Simon and Scientific Discovery, Philosophy of Science 49 (1982) 198-211

Chalmers, Allan, The Theory Dependence of the Use of Instruments in Science, Philosophy of Science, 70 (2003) 493-509

Holland et all., Induction. Processes of Inference, Learning and Discovery, MIT, 1986

B.J.T. Dobbs, Newton’s Rejection of the Mechanical Aether: Empirical difficulties and Guiding Assumptions, in Laudan et. all, Scrutinizing Science: Empirical Studies of Scientific Change, John Hopkins University Press, 1998, 69-85

M. Finocchiaro, Galileo’s Copernicanism and the Acceptability of Guiding Assumptions,  in Laudan et. all, Scrutinizing Science: Empirical Studies of Scientific Change, John Hopkins University Press, 1998, 49-69

Wenceslao J. Gozalez, Trends and Problems in Philosophy of Social and Cultural Sciences: A European Perspective, in Friedrich Stadler, ed. The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science, Springer 2010, 221-243

Ronald Laymon, The Michelson-Morley Experiment and the Appraisal of Theories, in in Laudan et. all, Scrutinizing Science: Empirical Studies of Scientific Change, John Hopkins University Press, 1998, 245-267

Richard W. Miller, Fact and Method in the Social Sciences, in Richard Boyd et. all The Philosophy of Science, MIT 1991, 743-763

For primary bibliography we can talk during my office hours. I can also help you pick useful and relevant case studies from a list of your own choice.

 

Bibliography for next week (October 19)

Don Howard, Lost Wanderers in the Forrest of Knowledge: Some thoughts on the Discovery-Justification Distinction, in Friedrich Steinle, Jutta Schickore eds. Revistiting discovery and justification, Springer 2005, 3-23

Howard2006

Case study: the experiment that has ‘confirmed’ Einstein’s theory – Eddington’s expedition

A more general article presenting the story:

Waller _Fabulous_Science_ch.4_Eddington

A scholarly paper discussing the facts:

Almassi

Eddington’s own account (Eddington, Space, time and Gravity 1920)

Eddington weighting light