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  1. The book of evidence

    Achinstein, Peter
    New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.

    What is required for something to be evidence for an hypothesis? In this text, Peter Achinstein, introduces here a basic concept of potential evidence which is characterised using a novel epistemic interpretation of probability.What is required for something to be evidence for a hypothesis? In this fascinating, elegantly written work, distinguished philosopher of science Peter Achinstein explores this question, rejecting typical philosophical and statistical theories of evidence. He claims these theories are much too weak to give scientists what they want--a good reason to believe--and, in some cases, they furnish concepts that mistakenly make all evidential claims a priori. Achinstein introduces four concepts of evidence, defines three of them by reference to "potential" evidence, and characterizes the latter using a novel epistemic interpretation of probability. The resulting theory is then applied to philosophical and historical issues. Solutions are provided to the "grue, " "ravens, " "lottery, " and "old-evidence" paradoxes, and to a series of questions. These include whether explanations or predictions furnish more evidential weight, whether individual hypotheses or entire theoretical systems can receive evidential support, what counts as a scientific discovery, and what sort of evidence is required for it. The historical questions include whether Jean Perrin had non-circular evidence for the existence of molecules, what type of evidence J. J. Thomson offered for the existence of the electron, and whether, as is usually supposed, he really discovered the electron. Achinstein proposes answers in terms of the concepts of evidence introduced. As the premier book in the fabulous new series Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science, this volume is essential for philosophers of science and historians of science, as well as for statisticians, scientists with philosophical interests, and anyone curious about scientific reasoning.

    Online EBSCO Academic Comprehensive Collection

  2. The epistemology of testimony

    Oxford : Clarendon Press ; Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2006.

    Testimony is a crucial source of knowledge: we are to a large extent reliant upon what others tell us. It has been the subject of much recent interest in epistemology, and this volume collects twelve original essays on the topic by some of the world's leading philosophers. It will be the starting point for future research in this fertile field. Contributors. Robert Audi, C.A.J. Coady, James Van Cleve, Elizabeth Fricker, Richard Fumerton, Sanford C. Goldberg, Peter Graham, Jennifer Lackey, Keith Lehrer, Richard Moran, Frederick F. Schmitt, Ernest Sosa - ; Testimony is a crucial source of knowl.

    Online EBSCO Academic Comprehensive Collection

  3. Philosophical devices : proofs, probabilities, possibilities, and sets

    Papineau, David, 1947-
    Oxford. England : Oxford University Press, 2012.

    "This book is designed to explain the technical ideas that are taken for granted in much contemporary philosophical writing. Notions like "denumerability," "modal scope distinction," "Bayesian conditionalization," and "logical completeness" are usually only elucidated deep within difficult specialist texts. By offering simple explanations that by-pass much irrelevant and boring detail, Philosophical Devices is able to cover a wealth of material that is normally only available to specialists. The book contains four sections, each of three chapters. The first section is about sets and numbers, starting with the membership relation and ending with the generalized continuum hypothesis. The second is about analyticity, a prioricity, and necessity. The third is about probability, outlining the difference between objective and subjective probability and exploring aspects of conditionalization and correlation. The fourth deals with metalogic, focusing on the contrast between syntax and semantics, and finishing with a sketch of Godel's theorem. Philosophical Devices will be useful for university students who have got past the foothills of philosophy and are starting to read more widely, but it does not assume any prior expertise. All the issues discussed are intrinsically interesting, and often downright fascinating. It can be read with pleasure and profit by anybody who is curious about the technical infrastructure of contemporary philosophy."--Publisher's website.This book is designed to explain the technical ideas that are taken for granted in much contemporary philosophical writing. Notions like 'denumerability', 'modal scope distinction', 'Bayesian conditionalization', and 'logical completeness' are usually only elucidated deep within difficult specialist texts. By offering simple explanations that by-pass much irrelevant and boring detail, Philosophical Devices is able to cover a wealth of material that is normally only available to specialists. The book contains four sections, each of three chapters. The first section is about sets and numbers, starting with the membership relation and ending with the generalized continuum hypothesis. The second is about analyticity, a prioricity, and necessity. The third is about probability, outlining the difference between objective and subjective probability and exploring aspects of conditionalization and correlation. The fourth deals with metalogic, focusing on the contrast between syntax and semantics, and finishing with a sketch of Godel's theorem. Philosophical Devices will be useful for university students who have got past the foothills of philosophy and are starting to read more widely, but it does not assume any prior expertise. All the issues discussed are intrinsically interesting, and often downright fascinating. It can be read with pleasure and profit by anybody who is curious about the technical infrastructure of contemporary philosophy.

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