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monographic section
1. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Thomas Nickles, Thomas Sturm Guest editors’ introduction
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2. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Thomas Sturm Scientific innovation: A conceptual explication and a dilemma
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I offer an analysis of the concept of scientific innovation. When research is innovated, highly novel and useful elements of investigation begin to spread through a scientific community, resulting from a process which is neither due to blind chance nor to necessity, but to a minimal use of rationality. This, however, leads to tension between two claims: (1) scientific innovation can be explained rationally; (2) no existing account of rationality explains scientific innovation. There are good reasons to maintain (1) and (2), but it is difficult for both claims to be accepted simultaneously by a rational subject. In particular, I argue that neither standard nor bounded theories of rationality can deliver a satisfactory explanation of scientific innovations.
3. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Sergio F. Martínez What is innovation?: New lessons from biology
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During the 19th century, evolutionary models of innovation followed a famous thesis of continuity, according to which methods and explanatory patterns of biology should have an important say in the social sciences. In the 20th century, this thesis was considered unacceptable as part of the sharp separation of biology from the social sciences. Recent advances in the biological sciences suggest a way in which a version of the thesis of continuity can be reinstated, to suggest new ways of explaining innovation in the social sciences. Key kinds of innovation can be explained in terms of the evolution of robust complex systems, interpreted as processes of path creation.
4. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Thomas Nickles The crowbar model of method and its implications
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There is a rough, long-term tradeoff between rate of innovation and degree of strong realism in scientific practice, a point reflected in historically changing conceptions of method as they retreat from epistemological foundationism to a highly fallibilistic, modeling perspective. The successively more liberal, innovation-stimulating methods open up to investigation deep theoretical domains at the cost, in many cases, of moving away from strong realism as a likely outcome of research. The crowbar model of method highlights this tension, expressed as the crowbar compromise and the crowbar fallacy. The tools-to-theories heuristic, described and evaluated by Gigerenzer and colleagues, can be regarded as an attempt by some scientific realists to overcome this compromise. Instead, it is an instance of it. Nonetheless, in successful applications the crowbar model implies a modest, instrumental (nonrepresentational) realism.
5. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
David Casacuberta, Anna Estany Convergencia de experimento y teoría en los procesos de invención e innovación
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Este artículo parte del debate en filosofía de la ciencia entre la tradición teórica y la experimental, y muestra su relación con el estudio de los procesos de innovación e invención en ciencia, cruzando así los planteamientos de análisis más teóricos de la filosofía de la ciencia con cuestiones más relacionadas con la filosofía de la tecnología y la ciencia aplicada. De esta manera, analizamos la interrelación entre experimento y teoría en los procesos de invención e innovación y conectamos los campos de la ciencia teórica y la aplicada, mostrando la continuidad entre ambas. Así, podemos mostrar también cómo en ciencia hay siempre dependencia mutua de teoría y experimentación, y cómo esa dependencia es extrapolable también a los procesos de innovación e invención.Tomando como punto de partida el debate en torno a las tradiciones teóricas y experimentales, veremos hasta qué punto los argumentos que cuestionan las tradiciones teóricas y apuestan por las tradiciones experimentales encajan con los fenómenos de invención e innovación. El caso que vamos a tomar como referencia para aplicar este análisis es el de «aprendizaje automático», como una rama de los algoritmos computacionales diseñados para emular la inteligencia humana aprendiendo del entorno. Este campo es relevante pues, a pesar de su naturaleza eminentemente teórica —en substancia es matemática aplicada—, presenta toda una serie de características que lo hacen muy afín al análisis desde las tradiciones experimentales.
6. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Charles Lenay Technical innovation in human science: Examples in cognitive technologies
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In order to show how technological innovation and scientific innovation are linked in the course of research in human science, I present an account of a series of innovations made in our laboratory (Distal Glove – Tactos system – Intertact server – Dialtact module). We will see how research on the technical constitution of cognitive and perceptual activities can be associated with a process of innovation. The technical devices present at each stage carry an interpretative framework that prepares the following stages. Devices which were initially developed for the purposes of performing experiments contributed both to scientific inventions and to developments with a practical and social finality.
articles
7. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Christopher Viger, Carl Hoefer, Daniel Viger The philosopher’s paradox: How to make a coherent decision in the Newcomb Problem
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We offer a novel argument for one-boxing in Newcomb’s Problem. The intentional states of a rational person are psychologically coherent across time, and rational decisions are made against this backdrop. We compare this coherence constraint with a golf swing, which to be effective must include a follow-through after the ball is in flight. Decisions, like golf swings, are extended processes, and their coherence with other psychological states of a player in the Newcomb scenario links her choice with the way she is predicted in a common cause structure. As a result, the standard argument for two-boxing is mistaken.
8. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Miguel Escribano Cabeza Jan Swammerdam y los límites del preformacionismo
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Desde una lectura organicista mostramos que la concepción de la ontogenia que desarrolla Jan Swammerdam a través de su idea de la metamorfosis nos permite revelar la existencia de una continuidad entre el epigenetismo de W. Harvey y el preformacionismo de G.W. Leibniz. La concepción moderna de la epigénesis (Harvey) y la preformación (Leibniz) no implica tanto un posicionamiento antagónico respecto al problema del origen del embrión cuanto un esfuerzo por desarrollar un mismo modelo de ontogenia frente a las alternativas mecanicistas o vitalistas. En línea con esta lectura, hacemos una valoración crítica de las diferentes interpretaciones preformacionistas de Swammerdam.
9. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Omar García Zabaleta La construcción del DSM: genealogía de un producto sociopolítico
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El DSM, elaborado por la Asociación de Psiquiatría Americana (APA), es la clasificación de los trastornos mentales más relevante del ámbito académico y clínico. Se trata de un manual que ha ido cambiando con su contexto, pero sus modificaciones no siempre han respondido a avances en el conocimiento científico. El repaso histórico de sus sucesivas ediciones muestra su naturaleza sociopolítica, y que factores de tipo ideológico o político han tenido gran relevancia en su configuración. Estos factores ayudan a explicar las propiedades de la psiquiatría actual que el DSM-5 representa, y a comprender las fuertes críticas que se le dirigen.
10. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Summary
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11. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 3
Contents of Volume 34
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12. 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
13. Theoria. Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Vincenzo Politi Guest editor’s introduction
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14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. 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
18. 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.
19. 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’.
20. 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.