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Philosophy: Issues in the Philosophy of Science
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SUNY Oswego
Davis, James ( Speaker )
Robin, Delenn ( Speaker )
Irving, Shaniah ( Speaker )
Peterson, Jared ( Speaker )
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An au revoir to Bonjour's defense of inductive reasoning. by James Davis. Contemporary philosopher Laurence Bonjour's views concerning how we should think about inductive reasoning—reasoning that is of central importance to the sciences—seems to offer a compelling answer to the worries about the irrationality of this type of reasoning raised by 18th century philosopher David Hume. But upon closer inspection it seems that Bonjour's solution to Hume’s skepticism about induction falters with respect to phenomena from unknown populations (or populations that we don’t know the exact number of, such as electrons). Many of our inductive conclusions about things like electrons and other important phenomena, contra Bonjour’s position, still fail to be rational given Hume’s skeptical worries ( ,,, )
Is Creationism a Scientific Theory? by Delenn Robin. Creationism involves the view that the universe is divinely created and that organisms such as humans are created by a divine being. As such creationism, runs counter to a number of claims made by proponents of evolutionary theory. It is an interesting question whether creationism is a scientific theory. This question matters given that some have argued that creationism should not be taught in public schools alongside evolutionary theory because, unlike the latter, creationism is not a scientific theory. For instance, philosopher Michael Ruse argues that there are particular features that scientific theories have that are not features creationism has, and that therefore creationism is not a scientific theory. Ruse concludes that because creationism is not a scientific theory it should not be taught in public schools. In this presentation, I argue that Ruse’s argument in defense of keeping creationism out of public schools is flawed because it is reasonable to think creationism does have the features he believes are the fundamental features of scientific theories. My defense of this claim is supported by the work of philosopher Larry Laudan, another critic of Ruse’s argument. I conclude my talk by discussing what additional work needs to be done to determine whether creationism should be taught in schools.
Thoughts on the demarcation problem. by Shaniah Irving. The talk will address the significance of having a distinction between science and pseudoscience while focusing on the solution Paul Thagard posed in his work "Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience". I will point out several objections that could pose a problem to Thagard's solution as well as draw attention to the problem with trying to create a rule that demarcates between disciplines.
Session Chair: Jared Peterson
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