The formal Darwinism project

[From time to time the Editors at Scientia Salon select an interesting paper from the primary scientific or philosophical literature to highlight for a broader public. These posts simply include the abstract of the paper and a few choice quotations, occasionally accompanied by brief editorial comments. The idea is to develop an appreciation for what front … Continue reading The formal Darwinism project

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Structural realism and the nature of structure

by Scientia Salon Our new pick for a "notable" paper is Jonas R. Becker Arenhart and Otavio Bueno's "Structural realism and the nature of structure," published in the European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 5:111-139, 2015. (Full text here, free.) Here is the abstract: Ontic Structural Realism is a version of realism about science according to which by positing … Continue reading Structural realism and the nature of structure

How Darwinian is cultural evolution?

by Scientia Salon This is a paper published by Nicolas Claidière, Thomas C. Scott-Phillips and Dan Sperber in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (Series B, Biological Sciences), in 2014 (here is the open access link to the full article). The abstract states: Darwin-inspired population thinking suggests approaching culture as a population of items of … Continue reading How Darwinian is cultural evolution?

Abstract Explanations in Science

  by Scientia Salon This is a paper by Christopher Pincock, a philosopher at Ohio State University, tackling the interesting issue of whether, and in what sense, mathematical explanations are different from causal / empirical ones. Here is the abstract: This article focuses on a case that expert practitioners count as an explanation: a mathematical account of … Continue reading Abstract Explanations in Science

A Bayesian approach to informal argument fallacies

by Scientia Salon This paper, which appeared in the journal Synthese in 2006, touches on a sacred cow of internet discourse, especially within atheist and skeptical communities: the idea of informal logical fallacies. I have a paper on the same topic currently in press, together with my co-authors Maarten Boudry and Fabio Paglieri, so we will return … Continue reading A Bayesian approach to informal argument fallacies

How (not) to bring psychology and biology together

by Scientia Salon [This is a new feature here at Scientia Salon: from time to time we will publish very short entries with the abstracts of selected (by our Editor) papers from the primary literature in philosophy, natural science or social science. Links will be provided to the full published article - which will often be behind … Continue reading How (not) to bring psychology and biology together