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Cartwright, Nancy, Montuschi, Eleonora. Philosophy of Social Science. A New Introduction
2014, Oxford University Press, Oxford
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Added by: Björn Freter

Publisher’s Note: This is a much-needed new introduction to a field that has been transformed in recent years by exciting new subjects, ideas, and methods. It is designed for students in both philosophy and the social sciences. Topics include ontology, objectivity, method, measurement, and causal inference, and such issues as well-being and climate change.

Comment: [This is a stub entry. Please add your comments to help us expand it]

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Chang, Hasok. Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress
2004, Oxford University Press USA.
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Added by: Nick Novelli

Back Matter: In Inventing Temperature, Chang takes a historical and philosophical approach to examine how scientists were able to use scientific method to test the reliability of thermometers; how they measured temperature beyond the reach of thermometers; and how they came to measure the reliability and accuracy of these instruments without a circular reliance on the instruments themselves. Chang discusses simple epistemic and technical questions about these instruments, which in turn lead to more complex issues about the solutions that were developed.

Comment: A very good practical case study that provides some great insight into a number of philosophocal questions about science. Would make a good inclusion in a history and philosophy of science course.

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Sterrett, Susan G.. Turing’s Two Tests For Intelligence
2000, Minds and Machines 10(4): 541-559.
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Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by: Susan G. Sterrett

Abstract: On a literal reading of `Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, Alan Turing presented not one, but two, practical tests to replace the question `Can machines think?” He presented them as equivalent. I show here that the first test described in that much-discussed paper is in fact not equivalent to the second one, which has since become known as `the Turing Test”. The two tests can yield different results; it is the first, neglected test that provides the more appropriate indication of intelligence. This is because the features of intelligence upon which it relies are resourcefulness and a critical attitude to one”s habitual responses; thus the test”s applicablity is not restricted to any particular species, nor does it presume any particular capacities. This is more appropriate because the question under consideration is what would count as machine intelligence. The first test realizes a possibility that philosophers have overlooked: a test that uses a human”s linguistic performance in setting an empirical test of intelligence, but does not make behavioral similarity to that performance the criterion of intelligence. Consequently, the first test is immune to many of the philosophical criticisms on the basis of which the (so-called) `Turing Test” has been dismissed.

Comment: This paper provides a good analysis of some of the problems with the Turing Test and how they can be avoided. It can be good to use in teaching the classic Turing 1950 paper on the question of whether a computer could be said to 'think' that considers the role of gender in the imitation game version of the test. It could also contribute to an examination of the concept of intelligence, and machine intelligence in particular.

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Tiberius, Valerie. Well-Being: Psychological Research for Philosophers
2006, Philosophy Compass 1(5): 493-505.
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Added by: Carl Fox

Abstract: Well-being in the broadest sense is what we have when we are living lives that are not necessarily morally good, but good for us. In philosophy, well-being has been an important topic of inquiry for millennia. In psychology, well-being as a topic has been gathering steam very recently and this research is now at a stage that warrants the attention of philosophers. The most popular theories of well-being in the two fields are similar enough to suggest the possibility of interdisciplinary collaboration. In this essay I provide an overview of three of the main questions that arise from psychologists’ work on well-being, and highlight areas that invite philosophical input. Those questions center on the nature, measurement, and moral significance of well-being. I also argue that the life-satisfaction theory is particularly well suited to meet the various demands on a theory of well-being.

Comment: Tiberius provides a nice exposition of the key approaches to well-being in the philosophical tradition and briefly argues for the 'life-satisfaction' account, but the main thrust of the paper is to introduce areas of overlap with research in psychology and to flag up ways in which philosophy could make a contribution. Some sections could certainly serve as introductory reading to either the philosophical or psychological literature, and the paper as a whole would work well in an applied or inter-disciplinary module.

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