Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Models and Experts: The Contribution of Expertise to Epidemic and Pandemic Modelling [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Carlo Martini
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

Modelling is a precious source of information in science. With models, we can simplify an otherwise messy reality in order to understand the fundamental driving forces of a system, like an epidemic, and we can try to predict the course of events in complex scenarios where there is a great degree of uncertainty. In short, models can be used to explain and predict phenomena. Yet models interact with expert opinions in two fundamental ways. They are sometimes in competition with expert opinion, and they are sometimes heavily dependent, for their…

Grassroots Modeling during the Covid-19 Pandemic [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Cecilia Nardini, Fridolin Gross
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

One of the many peculiar phenomena that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about is the engagement of non-scientists with specific questions surrounding the interpretation of epidemiological data and models. Many of them have even begun to get involved in the collection, analysis, and presentation of the data themselves. A reason for this might be that the insights that science can provide in a situation of crisis are often inconclusive or preliminary, motivating many people to look for the answers to pressing questions themselves. Moreover, public engagement is facilitated by the…

Science, Scientism, and the Disunity of Science: Popular Science during the COVID-19 Pandemic [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Nicolò Gaj, Giuseppe Lo Dico
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

Unsurprisingly, science has been conferred growing expectations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accordingly, the issue of dissemination and popularization of scientific outcomes has come to the fore. The article describes the main features of the so-called dominant view in popular science, which is claimed to be implicitly connected to scientism, a stance identifying science as the most (if not the only) reliable source of legitimate knowledge. Scientism’s implicit philosophical roots are argued to lie in naturalism and a trivialized neopositivist concept of science, which underscores the supposed unity…

Keeping Doors Open: Another Reason to Be Skeptical of Fine-Based Vaccine Policies [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Stefano Calboli, Vincenzo Fano
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

An impressive effort by the scientific community has quickly made available SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, indispensable allies in the fight against COVID-19. Nevertheless, in liberal democracies, getting vaccinated is an individual choice and a not-negligible number of persons might turn out to be vaccine refusers. Behavioral and Cognitive (B&C) scientists have cast light on the key behavior drivers of the vaccine choice and suggested choice architectures to boost vaccine uptake. In this paper, we identify a somehow neglected psychological phenomenon, that it is reasonable to believe to hamper the vaccine uptake whereby…

Can a City Be Relocated? Exploring the Metaphysics of Context-Dependency

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Fabio Bacchini, Nicola Piras
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy

This paper explores the Persistence Question about cities, that is, what is necessary and sufficient for two cities existing at different times to be numerically identical. We first show that we can possibly put an end to the existence of a city in a number of ways other than by physically destroying it, which reveals the metaphysics of cities to be partly different from that of ordinary objects. Then we focus in particular on the commonly perceived vulnerability of cities to imaginary relocation; and we make the hypothesis that cities…

What Galileo Said

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: John Biro
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of language

Davidson’s paratactic account of indirect speech has it that a natural-language report of an utterance such as Galileo’s supposed one of ‘The Earth moves’ should be understood as analyzable into two separate, and semantically independent, utterances, the first of which points to the second, with the latter meaning in the reporter’s mouth what Galileo’s meant in his. The account rests on the assumption—shared by most writers on the subject, including critics of the account—that the correct natural-language report of Galileo’s utterance is ‘Galileo said that the Earth moves.’ I show…

Non-Doxastic Conspiracy Theories

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Anna Ichino, Juha Räikkä
Topics: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy

To a large extent, recent debates on conspiracy theories have been based on what we call the “doxastic assumption”. According to that assumption, a person who supports a conspiracy theory believes that the theory is (likely to be) true, or at least equally plausible as the “official explanation”. In this paper we argue that the doxastic assumption does not always hold. There are, indeed, “non-doxastic conspiracy theories”: theories that have many supporters who do not really believe in their truth or likelihood. One implication of this view is that some…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Lisa Giombini, Mirko Daniel Garasic, Andrea Strollo
Topics: book reviews

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