Below are listed my forthcoming and published peer-reviewed papers, plus other papers, reviews, and (yet) unpublished papers. To jump to the latter, click here.
Published peer-reviewed papers
- Experiments in Syntax and Philosophy: the method of choice? (with Karen Brøcker), Linguistic intuitions, evidence, and expertise. Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
- A coherentist conception of ad hoc hypotheses, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Volume 67, February 2018, Pages 54–64. [preprint]
- Kuhnian theory-choice and virtue convergence: facing the base rate fallacy, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science,Volume 64, August 2017, pp. 30-37. [preprint]
- Theoretical Fertility McMullin-style, European Journal for the Philosophy of Science, [preprint], , Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 151–173.
- Scientific discovery: that-what’s and what-that’s, Ergo (open access), 2015, Volume 2, No. 6, 123-148. [preprint].
- Explanatory fictions—for real?, Synthese, May 2014, Volume 191(8), pp 1741-55. [preprint]
- A matter of Kuhnian theory-choice? The GSW model and the neutral current, Perspectives on Science, 2014, 22(4), pp. 491–522. [preprint]
- Novelty, Coherence, and Mendeleev’s periodic table, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, Vol. 45, March 2014, p. 62-69. [preprint]
- The Kuhnian mode of HPS’, Synthese, December 2013, Vol. 190 (18), pp 4137-4154. [preprint]
- Mechanistic explanation: asymmetry lost, V. Karakostas and D. Dieks (eds.) (2013), Recent Progress in Philosophy of Science: Perspectives and Foundational Problems, The Third European Philosophy of Science Association Proceedings, Dordrecht: Springer. [preprint]
- Theory-laden experimentation, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, vol. 44, issue 1, March 2013, pp. 89–101. [preprint]
- Bogen and Woodward’s data-phenomena distinction and forms of theory-ladenness, Synthese, Volume 182(1), 2011, pp. 39-55. [preprint]
- Model, Theory, and Evidence in the Discovery of the DNA Structure, The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Dec. 2008, vol. 59(4), pp. 619-658. [preprint]
- Use-Novel Predictions and Mendeleev’s Periodic Table, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 2008, volume 39( 2), pp. 265-269. [preprint]
- Rehabilitating Theory: Refusal of the “bottom-up” Construction of Scientific Phenomena, Studies in the History and the Philosophy of Science, volume 38(1), March 2007, pp. 160-184. [preprint]
- Introduction to the special volume: ‘Causality in the Sciences of the Mind and Brain’, Minds and Machines, 2018, 28:237–241 (with L. Andersen, J. Fogedgaard Christiansen, and A. Steglich-Petersen)
- Observation and theory-ladenness, in B. Kaldis (ed.), (2013), Encyclopaedia for Philosophy and the Social Sciences, Los Angeles: SAGE publishing. [preprint]
- Invariance, Mechanisms, and Epidemiology, commentary on R. Campaner: ‘Causality and Explanation: Issues from Epidemiology’, in: Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. New Trends and Old Ones Reconsidered, edited by S. Hartmann, M. Weber, W.J. Gonzalez, D. Dieks, T. Uebel, 2010, Berlin: Springer. [preprint]
- Naturalness in Physics: just a matter of aesthetics? Review of S. Hossenfelder’s Lost in Math, forthcoming in Metascience.
- Must Philosophy be constrained? Book review of Edouard Machery: Philosophy within its proper bounds. Co-authored with Anna Drożdżowicz, Pierre Saint-Germier. Metascience, N, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 469–475 [draft]
- Philosophy of Science for the Uninitiated. Review of Samir Okasha’s ‘Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction‘, Metascience, March 2018, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 107–109, [draft]
- A theory of everything. Book review of Richard Dawid’s String Theory and the Scientific Method, in: Philosophy of Science, scheduled for July, 2016 Volume 83 Issue 3, pp. 453-8 [preprint on philsci archive]
- Coherent programme at last? Review of Integrating History and Philosophy of Science, Metascience, July 2013, Volume 22, issue 2, pp 457-460
- Conceptions of Causality. Review of Thinking about Causes: From Greek Philosophy to Modern Physics, Peter K. Machamer, Gereon Wolters (eds.), University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007; Metascience. , Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 301-305. [preprint]
Papers under review / work in progress
- Armchair Physics and the Method of Cases (with Pierre Saint-Germier)
The so-called ‘expertise defense’ is the idea that the judgements in philosophical thought experiments by subjects not trained in philosophy have little bearing on the reliability of the method of cases. At the core of the defense is an analogy between judgements by philosophers and judgements made by experts in science. The soundness of this analogy has been questioned by several authors. In this paper, we propose that the most promising way of drawing the analogy is between judgements made in thought experiments in philosophy and judgments made in thought experiments in physics. We test the hypothesis that physicists are experts in making judgements in thought experiments in physics and draw potential lessons for the expertise defense.
- Philosophical Expertise put to the Test (with Pierre Saint-Germier)
The so-called expertise defense has it that philosophers have skills superior to lay subjects when it comes to making judgements in philosophical thought experiments. Although the nature of philosophical expertise (should it exist) is controversial, it makes for an empirically testable hypothesis: philosophical education and training should improve judgements in philosophical thought experiments. In this paper, we tested this hypothesis on the basis of three skills which we identify as crucial for thought experimentation. Our findings indicate that philosophers do indeed have better skills in thought experimentation than the folk.
- Experiments in Syntax and Philosophy: the method of choice? (with Karen Broecker) [as part of an OUP collection on linguistic intuitions]
Within Chomskyan syntax, linguistic intuitions have traditionally been gathered informally from small samples of linguists. Since the mid-1990s, however, several linguists have called for more `scientific’ methods, including the use of larger sample sizes of ordinary speakers and the use of statistics. In the first part of this chapter, we discuss whether such an “experimental approach” to obtaining syntactical intuitions is really methodologically superior to the informal approach, as sometimes claimed. We think the answer is: not always and not in all respects. In the second part, we turn our attention to another academic field in which intuitions arguably play an evidential role, namely philosophy. Also here, critics have demanded that intuitions be harvested more systematically and have even appealed to experimental syntax in order to support their cause. However, given our assessment, experimental methods in syntax can be a model for the promotion of experimental methods in philosophy only under certain conditions.
- Justifying the method of historical case studies: a phylogenetic approach (with Raphael Scholl)
Philosophers use historical case studies to support general claims about science. Such inferences are prima facie problematic and are widely criticized. In this paper we argue that inferences based on case studies are no more problematic than phylogenetic inferences from model organisms in biology.
- Model Fictions, Structural Necessitation, and Explanatory Liberalism
Standard accounts of scientific explanation presuppose that the explanans of a good explanation must be true. Scientific models pose a conundrum to this presumption: how can models explain their targets despite representing their properties in highly idealized, viz. literally false, ways? In this paper, I identify a feature of model explanations that has been overlooked: the representation of empirical regularities as necessities. With the help of this notion of structural necessitation I argue that we should drop the demand of truth and be explanatory liberalists, though not anarchists.
- Constructive theories and explanation by structural necessitation
Einstein famously distinguished between constructive and principle theories. He believed only the former to be explanatory. Lange has recently argued that principle theories explain, too, by virtue of putting necessary constraints on the laws of physics. In this paper, I want to draw attention to the fact that constructive theories also offer explanations in terms of necessities: they represent contingent regularities as necessities. I call this feature ‘structural necessitation’ and the understanding afforded by it ‘how-necessarily’ understanding. In contrast to the necessities of Lange’s explanations by constraint, structural necessitation can be brought about by causal mechanisms.
- Pseudo-solutions to the demarcation problem
Although many philosophers have given up on the idea that there are any necessary and sufficient conditions for demarcating science from pseudo-science, some philosophers have recently championed the idea that ‘science’ might be thought of as in terms of Wittgensteinian family resemblance. In this paper I argue that this proposal is inherently problematic and also does not do justice to the problem of demarcation, which is inherently a normative problem. Instead, I argue for a solution according to which the meaning of terms such as ‘science’ is determined by a paradigm or basic predicate the properties of which must be fully specifiable (at least in principle). I argue that testability is not one of these properties; it is a red herring and should not figure at all in the correct list of demarcation criteria.