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1. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Andoni Ibarra Letter from the Editor
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monographic section
2. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Vincenzo Politi Guest editor’s introduction
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3. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Alexander Bird The aim of belief and the aim of science
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I argue that the aim of belief and the aim of science are both knowledge. The ‘aim of belief’ is to be identified with the product of a properly functioning cognitive system. Science is an institution that is the social, functional analogue of a cognitive system, and its aim is the same as that of belief. In both cases it is knowledge rather than true belief that is the product of proper functioning.
4. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Manuela Fernández Pinto Scientific ignorance: Probing the limits of scientific research and knowledge production
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The aim of the paper is to clarify the concept of scientific ignorance: what is it, what are its sources, and when is it epistemically detrimental to science. While some sources of scientific ignorance come inevitably with the process of knowledge acquisition, others are deliberately created. The former includes selection processes, inductive reasoning, and cognitive biases, while the latter includes scientific fraud. Another important source of scientific ignorance appears when scientists introduce methodological biases through micro-decisions in the research process. I provide three examples from medical research to illustrate this point. I argue further that methodological biases present a challenge, in so far as they are no easily classifiable as deliberate: they might also be the result of entrenched research practices within a scientific community. Strategies to identify and prevent methodological biases in research should take into account such difference.
5. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Sophia Efstathiou, Rune Nydal, Astrid LÆgreid, Martin Kuiper Scientific knowledge in the age of computation: Explicated, computable and manageable?
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With increasing publication and data production, scientific knowledge presents not simply an achievement but also a challenge. Scientific publications and data are increasingly treated as resources that need to be digitally ‘managed.’ This gives rise to scientific Knowledge Management (KM): second-order scientific work aiming to systematically collect, take care of and mobilise first-hand disciplinary knowledge and data in order to provide new first-order scientific knowledge. We follow the work of Leonelli (2014, 2016), Efstathiou (2012, 2016) and Hislop (2013) in our analysis of the use of KM in semantic systems biology. Through an empirical philosophical account of KM-enabled biological research, we argue that KM helps produce new first-order biological knowledge that did not exist before, and which could not have been produced by traditional means. KM work is enabled by conceiving of ‘knowledge’ as an object for computational science: as explicated in the text of biological articles and computable via appropriate data and metadata. However, these founded knowledge concepts enabling computational KM risk focusing on only computationally tractable data as knowledge, underestimating practice-based knowing and its significance in ensuring the validity of ‘manageable’ knowledge as knowledge.
6. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Vincenzo Politi The interdisciplinarity revolution
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Contemporary interdisciplinary research is often described as bringing some important changes in the structure and aims of the scientific enterprise. Sometimes, it is even characterized as a sort of Kuhnian scientific revolution. In this paper, the analogy between interdisciplinarity and scientific revolutions will be analysed. It will be suggested that the way in which interdisciplinarity is promoted looks similar to how new paradigms were described and defended in some episodes of revolutionary scientific change. However, contrary to what happens during some scientific revolutions, the rhetoric with which interdisciplinarity is promoted does not seem to be accompanied by a strong agreement about what interdisciplinarity actually is. In the end, contemporary interdisciplinarity could be defined as being in a ‘pre-paradigmatic’ phase, with the very talk promoting interdisciplinarity being a possible obstacle to its maturity.
articles
7. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Tamires Dal Magro, Manuel J. García-Pérez On Euclidean diagrams and geometrical knowledge
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We argue against the claim that the employment of diagrams in Euclidean geometry gives rise to gaps in the proofs. First, we argue that it is a mistake to evaluate its merits through the lenses of Hilbert’s formal reconstruction. Second, we elucidate the abilities employed in diagram-based inferences in the Elements and show that diagrams are mathematically reputable tools. Finally, we complement our analysis with a review of recent experimental results purporting to show that, not only is the Euclidean diagram-based practice strictly regimented, it is rooted in cognitive abilities that are universally shared.
8. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Mirco Sambrotta Scientific Models and Metalinguistic Negotiation
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The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility that at least some ontological dispute are better understood as what David Plunkett and Timothy Sundell have called ‘metalinguistic negotiations’. I will take the debate between the dominant approaches of realism and anti-realism (especially fictionalism) about the ontological status of scientific models as a case-study. I will argue that such a debate is best seen as normatively motivated, insofar as a normative and non-factual question may be involved in it: how ought the relevant piece of language to be used? Even though I will generally assess the prospects for a broadly deflationist approach, I shall outline a sense in which such a dispute can be recast as ‘minimally substantive’.
9. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Martín Labarca, Juan Camilo Martínez González Acerca de los elementos pertenecientes al grupo 3 de la tabla periodica: un nuevo enfoque
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En abril de 2015 un equipo internacional de investigadores lograba medir, por primera vez, la primera energía de ionización del laurencio, un elemento superpesado de número atómico 103. El resultado experimental, publicado en la prestigiosa revista científica Nature, daba lugar a la reapertura de un antiguo debate que concierne a los elementos que deben formar parte del grupo 3 de la tabla periódica. El propósito de este trabajo es brindar una nueva línea de argumentación para elucidar este problema.
10. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Summary
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