1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Edition 61 (November 2021)
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License
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première parution
16 Apr 2017
Périodicité
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais
access type Accès libre

Degrees of Freedom: Is Good Philosophy Bad Science?

Publié en ligne: 23 Nov 2021
Volume & Edition: Volume 13 (2021) - Edition 61 (November 2021)
Pages: 73 - 94
Détails du magazine
License
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première parution
16 Apr 2017
Périodicité
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais
Abstract

The lecture starts by considering analytic philosophy as a tradition, and its global spread over recent years, of which Disputatio’s success is itself evidence. The costs and benefits of the role of English as the international language of analytic philosophy are briefly assessed. The spread of analytic philosophy is welcomed as the best hope for scientific philosophy, in a sense of ‘science’ on which mathematics, history, and philosophy can all count as sciences, though not as natural sciences. Arguably, experimental philosophy provides no plausible alternative methodology for philosophy, only a way of psychologizing it. However, it serves a useful purpose by highlighting the inadequacy of current methods for detecting errors in judgments on possible cases, which may result from reliance on possibly universal but imperfectly reliable cognitive heuristics. The problem is exacerbated by analytic philosophers’ tendency to regard increased flexibility in a theoretical framework as progress, where natural scientists would treat it as methodologically vicious profligacy with degrees of freedom. The result is a familiar type of bad science, overfitting theory to uncritically accepted data. The recent ‘hyperintensional revolution’ may be an example of such overfitting, it is suggested. The lecture ends with a call for a more miserly attitude to degrees of freedom.

Keywords

Fine, Kit. (1994). “Essence and Modality”. Philosophical Perspectives 8: 1–16. Search in Google Scholar

Kripke, Saul A. (1979). “A puzzle about belief”. In Meaning and Use, ed. by Avishai Margalit. Dordrecht: Reidel. pp. 239–83. Search in Google Scholar

Williamson, Timothy. (2020). Suppose and Tell: The Semantics and Heuristics of Conditionals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/oso/9780198860662.001.0001 Search in Google Scholar

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