Psychology emerged within the last two centuries from a long tradition of philosophical speculation about the mind, and it has to a large degree remained entangled with that tradition. Psychological theorizing overlaps with philosophical discourse at many points, and has also produced a host of concepts, methods, and models that shed new light on some of philosophy’s old problems. This combination has made it one of the most fertile sources of material for philosophers of science. The emergence of cognitive science as an organizing conception for the interfield study of the mind is a testament to the reciprocal influence of philosophy on scientific theorizing. As increasing attention has been paid in recent years to the analysis of the practices of particular sciences, the philosophy of psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science have flourished.
BJPS Co-Chief Editor Michela Massimi and Professor of Astronomy Ofer Lahav have written a piece for Astronomy & Geophysics on the Standard Model. Just how many anomalies are necessary for a paradigm shift?
Most professional philosophers of science would, I hope, agree that our discipline shares the object of its investigations with some other academics, i.e. scientists. But how often do we actually talk to them? Till Grüne-Yanoff has published a paper over at the EJPS, making a case for science students to be taught compulsory philosophy of science courses, and setting out some constraints on the optimal design of such courses. He does a great job of identifying some obstacles that advocates of such courses need to overcome.
Some new additions to our advance access page for your perusal
Over on OUP’s blog, Peter Vickers (Durham) argues that inconsistency and science go hand in hand.
What is an organism? Ask any two biologists from any two different sub-disciplines, and you’d probably get two different answers. A physiologist would give you a physiological answer, an immunologist would give you an immunological answer, a developmental biologist would give you a developmental answer, an evolutionary theorist would give an evolutionary answer… and so on. There would, of course, be some important recurring themes (organisms are ‘integrated wholes’, they are ‘organized’, they are in some sense ‘autonomous’) but as soon as we get down to details it’s plurality, not unity, that prevails.
The philosophy of science is entering an exciting era. Its horizons are wider than ever, the topics and areas it covers are even more stimulating, and the interactions with the sciences are both more productive and provocative. As Editors of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, we have front row seats on all this activity, allowing us to witness an unprecedented period of thrilling research being carried out at the frontiers of biology, neuroscience, cognitive science, as well as the physical and human sciences. The sheer variety and stimulating nature of the topics that we have the pleasure to publish is a testament to the vibrancy of the field.