Events Calendar

30 Jul
Cathedral
Event Type

Defenses

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

Subscribe
Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Dissertation Defense-William Penn

 “What's Really Going On: Process Realism in Science

Dissertation Abstract: I argue for a novel form of scientific realism, called “pure process realism,” that rejects orthodox ontologies of static objects and structures. The continuity between an experimenter and experimental systems requires that the processes of intervention and observation are the same ontic type as the observed and inferred features of experimental systems, on pain of ontological incoherence. Therefore, only processes can be inferred to exist within experiments from the epistemology of experiments alone. Additionally, every argument for the existence of a static object or structure within an experiment either fails or fails to rule out that the argument actually supports inferences to a more fundamental process. Firstly, this is because such arguments are either fallacious or inconclusive. Secondly, the history of scientific research, in chemistry and physics in particular, reveals that for each static object or structure posited in the history of science, research eventually redescribes it as a system of processes. For example, the history of the candle flame, the molecule, and the nucleus are explicit evidence of this conclusion, and these examples generalize. By induction, all static objects and structures we could posit are no more than systems of processes.   Taken together, these arguments show that pure process realism is superior in scope, strength, and epistemic modesty to orthodox forms of realism in the epistemology, ontology, and history of science.

 

Dial-In Information

Please contact the Graduate Administrator at frs38@pitt.edu for Zoom link. 

Friday, July 30 at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Dissertation Defense-William Penn

 “What's Really Going On: Process Realism in Science

Dissertation Abstract: I argue for a novel form of scientific realism, called “pure process realism,” that rejects orthodox ontologies of static objects and structures. The continuity between an experimenter and experimental systems requires that the processes of intervention and observation are the same ontic type as the observed and inferred features of experimental systems, on pain of ontological incoherence. Therefore, only processes can be inferred to exist within experiments from the epistemology of experiments alone. Additionally, every argument for the existence of a static object or structure within an experiment either fails or fails to rule out that the argument actually supports inferences to a more fundamental process. Firstly, this is because such arguments are either fallacious or inconclusive. Secondly, the history of scientific research, in chemistry and physics in particular, reveals that for each static object or structure posited in the history of science, research eventually redescribes it as a system of processes. For example, the history of the candle flame, the molecule, and the nucleus are explicit evidence of this conclusion, and these examples generalize. By induction, all static objects and structures we could posit are no more than systems of processes.   Taken together, these arguments show that pure process realism is superior in scope, strength, and epistemic modesty to orthodox forms of realism in the epistemology, ontology, and history of science.

 

Dial-In Information

Please contact the Graduate Administrator at frs38@pitt.edu for Zoom link. 

Friday, July 30 at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Event Type

Defenses

Target Audience

Faculty, Graduate Students

Powered by the Localist Community Events Calendar ©