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Ivanova, Milena. Conventionalism, structuralism and neo-Kantianism in Poincare’s philosophy of science
2015, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):114-122.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Milena Ivanova
Abstract: Poincare is well known for his conventionalism and structuralism. However, the relationship between these two theses and their place in Poincare's epistemology of science remain puzzling. In this paper I show the scope of Poincare's conventionalism and its position in Poincare's hierarchical approach to scientific theories. I argue that for Poincare scientific knowledge is relational and made possible by synthetic a priori, empirical and conventional elements, which, however, are not chosen arbitrarily. By examining his geometric conventionalism, his hierarchical account of science and defence of continuity in theory change, I argue that Poincare defends a complex structuralist position based on synthetic a priori and conventional elements, the mind-dependence of which precludes epistemic access to mind-independent structures.


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Morgan, Mary S.. The curious case of the prisoner’s dilemma: model situation? Exemplary narrative?”
2007, Science Without Laws: Model Systems, Cases, Exemplary Narratives. Science and cultural theory, ed. by Creager, Angela N. H., Lunbeck, Elizabeth, Norton Wise, M., Duke University Press, Durham, 157-185
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Anna Alexandrova

Abstract: The Prisoner’s Dilemma game is one of the classic games discussed in game theory,  the  study  of  strategic  decision  making  in  situations  of conflict,  which  stretches  between  mathematics  and  the  social  sciences. Game theory was  primarily developed  during  the  late  1940s  and  into  the  1960s  at  a number of research sites funded by various arms of the U.S. military establishment as part of their Cold War research.

Comment: I assign this piece to give students a sense of where Prisoner's Dilemma comes from and what its ubiquity teaches us about economics (that laws matter less than exemplary situations).

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