Philosophical Papers

ISBN : 9780199334872

Paul Humphreys
296 ページ
156 x 235 mm

Paul Humphreys pioneered philosophical investigations into the methodological revolution begun by computer simulations. He has also made important contributions to the contemporary literature on emergence by developing the fusion account of diachronic emergence and its generalization, transformational emergence. He is the discoverer of what has come to be called `Humphreys' Paradox' in probability theory and has also made influential contributions to the literature on probabilistic causality and scientific explanation. This collection contains fourteen of his previously published papers on topics ranging from numerical experiments to the status of scientific metaphysics. There is also a previously unpublished paper on social dynamics. The volume is divided into four parts on, respectively, computational science, emergence, probability, and general philosophy of science. The first part contains the seminal 1990 paper on computer simulations, with three other papers arguing that these new methods cannot be accounted for by traditional methodological approaches. The second part contains the original presentation of fusion emergence and three companion papers arguing for diachronic approaches to the topic, rather than the then dominant synchronic accounts. The third part starts with the paper that introduced the probabilistic paradox followed by a later evaluation of attempts to solve it. A third paper argues, contra Quine, that probability theory is a purely mathematical theory. The final section includes papers on causation, explanation, metaphysics, and an agent-based model that shows how endogenous uncertainty undermines utility maximization. Each of the four parts is followed by a comprehensive postscript with retrospective assessments of each of the papers, replies to some responses, and in some cases elaborations of the original arguments. An introduction to the volume provides a general perspective on unifying themes that run through Humphreys' philosophical work.


Part I - Computational Science
Chapter 1. Computer Simulation
Chapter 2. Computational Science and Its Effects
Chapter 3. The Philosophical Novelty of Computer Simulation Methods
Chapter 4. Numerical Experimentation
Templates, Opacity, and Simulations: Postscript to Part I
Part II - Emergence
Chapter 5. How Properties Emerge
Chapter 6. Emergence, Not Supervenience
Chapter 7. Synchronic and Diachronic Emergence
Chapter 8. Computational and Conceptual Emergence
Postscript to Part II
Part III - Probability
Chapter 9. Why Propensities Cannot Be Probabilities
Chapter 10. Some Considerations on Conditional
Chapter 11. Probability Theory and Its Models
Postscript to Part III
Part IV - General Philosophy of Science
Chapter 12. Aleatory Explanations
Chapter 13. Analytic and Synthetic Understanding
Chapter 14. Scientific Ontology and Speculative Ontology
Chapter 15. Endogenous Uncertainty and the Dynamics of Constraints
Postscript to Part IV


Paul Humphreys is Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Human and Machine Intelligence Group, at the University of Virginia. Author of over one hundred articles, he is the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science, and series editor of Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Science.