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Logic and Philosophy of Science Group Talk (Michael Strevens, NYU)
Wednesday November 14, 2018, 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Logic and Philosophy of Science Group, along with the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, is pleased to welcome guest speaker Michael Strevens, professor in the Philosophy Department at New York University. Professor Strevens’ research is in philosophy of science (including scientific explanation, complex systems, probability, the social structure of science) and the philosophical applications of cognitive science (especially the psychology of concepts).
Causal Difference-Making and Inference to the Best Explanation
Explainers are difference-makers, and scientific explainers are (for the most part) causal difference-makers—so many of us believe. If there is such a thing as scientific inference to the best explanation, then, it is more often than not inference from phenomena to the causal difference-makers that explain them. That sounds sensible, as Peter Lipton remarked 25 years ago. I will refresh this venerable line of thought by investigating ways in which more recent work on the difference-making approach to causal explanation illuminates characteristic features of scientific confirmation, above all the fact, emphasized by Clark Glymour, that phenomena are typically considered to confirm some but not all elements of the theories that predict them.
About the Logic and Philosophy of Science Group
One of five departmental Research Interest Groups, the Logic and Philosophy of Science Group hosts talks on logic, general philosophy of science, and philosophy of the particular sciences, as well as talks in allied areas such as formal epistemology, decision theory, and the metaphysics of science.