Current Controversies in Philosophy of Science asks twelve philosophers to debate six questions that are driving contemporary work in this area of philosophy. The questions are:
I. Are Boltzmann Brains Bad?
II. Does Mathematical Explanation Require Mathematical Truth?
III. Does Quantum Mechanics Suggest Spacetime is Nonfundamental?
IV. Is Evolution Fundamental When It Comes to Defining Biological Ontology?
V. Is Chance Ontologically Fundamental?
VI. Are Sexes Natural Kinds?
These debates explore the philosophical foundations of particular scientific disciplines, while also examining more general issues in the philosophy of science. The result is a book that’s perfect for the advanced philosophy student, building up their knowledge of the foundations of the field and engaging with its cutting-edge questions. Preliminary descriptions of each chapter, annotated lists of further readings for each controversy, and study questions for each chapter help provide clearer and richer snapshots of active controversies for all readers.
Table of Contents
Ravit Dotan and Shamik Dasgupta
Part I: Are Boltzmann Brains Bad?
1. Why Boltzmann Brains Are Bad
Sean M. Carroll
2. What Follows from the Possibility of Boltzmann Brains?
Part II: Does Mathematical Explanation Require Mathematical Truth?
3. Mathematical Explanation Requires Mathematical Truth
4. Mathematical Explanation Doesn’t Require Mathematical Truth
Part III: Does Quantum Mechanics Suggest Spacetime is Non-fundamental?
5. Against Wavefunction Realism
6. Separability, Locality, and Higher Dimensions in Quantum Mechanics
Part IV: Is Evolution Fundamental When it Comes to Defining Biological Ontology?
7. Is Evolution Fundamental When It Comes to Biological Ontology?
Maureen A. O'Malley
8. Is Evolution Fundamental When It Comes to Defining Biological Ontology? Yes
Part V: Is Chance Ontologically Fundamental?
9. Chance and the Great Divide
10. On Chance (or, Why I am Only a Half-Humean)
J. T. Ismael
Part VI: Are Sexes Natural Kinds?
11. Are Sexes Natural Kinds?
Muhammad Ali Khalidi
12 The Animal Sexes as Historical Explanatory Kinds
Shamik Dasgupta is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2016. He works in metaphysics, philosophy of science, and value theory.
Ravit Dotan is a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She specializes in epistemology, philosophy of science, and philosophy of machine learning.
Brad Weslake is Associate Professor of Philosophy at NYU Shanghai. His central research interest is philosophy of science, especially causation and explanation.