What is the nature of meaning? This is one of the core questions on which the Vienna Circle, a group of early 20th century philosophers, took a stance. The kind of bumper sticker version of their answer is that a sentence only has meaning if it can be empirically verified (or tested, or confirmed, or… Continue reading Paper Review: The Regression of the Unstructural

# Tag: philosophy of science

## Paper Review: Contribution to discussion on Probability

Probability can seem like a slippery notion. Indeed, though we have an intuitive notion of various aspects of probability, it took a long time for humanity to develop a rigorous formal theory. And even with the mathematics of probability on surer footing, the interpretation of probability -- what does it mean -- is still plagued… Continue reading Paper Review: Contribution to discussion on Probability

## Paper Review: Measurement Scales on the Continuum

Often we begin exploring a topic because we find it interesting, perhaps even mysterious. For example quantum mechanics gets a lot of play in the media these days -- probably because it is seen as puzzling, mysterious, even ineffable. There are perfectly coherent ways to understand quantum mechanics without sliding into mysticism, but that is… Continue reading Paper Review: Measurement Scales on the Continuum

## Paper Review: Bell’s Theorem: The Price of Locality

Quantum phenomena--and the theories built to account for them--can be strange. One of the most fundamental and (to some), spooky, things about quantum mechanics is action at a distance. What exactly is action at a distance in quantum mechanics, and what are its implications? This is one of the central questions of Tim Maudlin's book… Continue reading Paper Review: Bell’s Theorem: The Price of Locality

## Paper Review: Experimental Rejection of Observer-independence in the Quantum World

The MIT Technology Review recently published an article entitled "A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality". This sounds rather spicy: if this were true, and there were no objective reality, what would that mean? Would the postmodernists be right? Would it all be purely subjective? How about claims like "there is… Continue reading Paper Review: Experimental Rejection of Observer-independence in the Quantum World

## Paper Review: “Antiscience Zealotry”? Values, Epistemic Risk, and the GMO Debate

From climate change to vaccinations to the shape of the Earth (???!?!), scientific claims are often in dispute. Indeed, when encountering people who hold views against the (scientific) norm, we often think of them as "anti-scientific." Of course, the people who hold these views don't think they are being irrational. They think their position is… Continue reading Paper Review: “Antiscience Zealotry”? Values, Epistemic Risk, and the GMO Debate

## Paper Review: Free Variables and Local Causality

When can we treat certain experimental parameters as free variables? Consider trying to figure out whether or not a certain drug is efficacious. We design an experiment that proceeds as follow: Break a collection of experimental subjects up into two groups randomly.To one of the groups give the drug, and to the other give a… Continue reading Paper Review: Free Variables and Local Causality