International Society for Philosophers

International Society for Philosophers

Wisdom begins with wonder

PHILOSOPHY PATHWAYS                   ISSN 2043-0728


Issue number 156 21st September 2010


I. 'Know Thyself' by Raam Gokhale

II. 'Luis Villoro on Knowledge and Truth' by Alfredo Lucero-Montano

III. 'Can Hacking's conception of manipulated unobservable entities overcome the Underdetermination Thesis?' by Sim-Hui Tee and Mohd Hazim Shah Hj Abdul Murad

IV. CFP: Cultura: International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology



This issue of Philosophy Pathways is dedicated to the question of knowledge. What is knowledge and how do we attain it? When is it correct to say that someone knows something? What are the limits of knowledge, and how does scientific inquiry increase our knowledge?

In his thought-provoking dialogue which makes a useful introduction to Epistemology, Raam Gokhale considers a number of ways of defining knowledge which claim to be more informative than the man-in-the-street's definition of knowledge as just another name for true belief. Beliefs which are merely true by luck or accident don't count as genuine 'knowledge'. Or do they? What makes the difference, if there is one?

Alfredo Lucero-Montano looks at the proposal from the Spanish philosopher Luis Villoro that we should remove the requirement that a belief be 'true' from the definition of knowledge. A number of my students taking Epistemology have expressed worries about the 'truth' requirement. How can one ever be certain that a proposition is true? We can only be sure about what we believe. In that case, if truth is required for knowledge, how can we ever be justified in using the term 'knowledge'?

Sim-Hui Tee and Mohd Hazim Shah Hj Abdul Murad take a sceptical look at the claim by the British philosopher Ian Hacking, that when we 'use' unobserved entities in an experiment -- for example, bombarding a sheet of metal with electrons -- we do not need to assume the truth of our theory of electrons. Electrons are 'real' just so long as they enable us to perform our experiment successfully. The opposing view is summed up in the claim, 'Every experimental observation is theory-dependent.' In that case, as Pierre Duhem (1861-1916) claimed, there will always be more than one theory that explains a given set of data.

Geoffrey Klempner



An Imagined Dialog on Eastern and Western Philosophy and the Nature of Knowledge

     The search for knowledge is like the search for true love.
     We live in a web of relationships, be it of propositions or
     people. Sometimes we are in a skeptical mood and we grasp
     for a solid base -- a belief that we're sure of or a friend
     or lover we can trust completely -- but experience seems to
     admonish us, 'all are fickle'; at such times the web can
     seem inscrutable. Then at other times we're completely in
     the moment and the web is worldwide, and we're secure in
     its interrelationships, confident in our position. We're in
     a web all right -- just sometimes we see ourselves as the
     spider other times as the fly.
     -- Raam Gokhale
     Truth may have been found but might never be known.
     -- Kedar Joshi
Scene: Kedar's flat in Pune, India.

Players: Ram, an older philosopher, and Kedar, a younger philosopher (for other philosophical adventures of this duo, go to http:---).

Ram: You know the quote from Kipling, 'East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet'? Do you think it applies to philosophy?

Kedar: It applies there more than anywhere else. Western philosophy demands the rigors of sound arguments. Eastern philosophy is virtually indistinguishable from religion.

Ram: But 'NEVER the twain shall meet' is pretty radical. Don't you think they must meet in some sense if both are to be labeled as philosophy? To compare them, to use the same word, 'philosophy', to describe them, they must have something in common. It's not like say comparing farming with the Dewey-decimal system, for example.

Kedar: You seem to have a common ground in mind?

Ram: I do. I think it's contained in the inscription at the Temple of the Delphic oracle, namely 'Know Thyself'.

Kedar: Hmm. I think you're right. Western philosophy exhorts 'Know Thyself' in order to know all other things. Eastern philosophy exhorts 'Know Thyself' in order to forget about all other things.

Ram: As usual, you've put things very pithily. In western philosophy, whether you're dealing with ideas that have an external existence as in Plato or Berkeley or ideas only present in the mind as in Descartes, Locke, or Hume, ideas are known first and are the basis of knowing everything else. Know thyself in order to know all other things.

Kedar: How about your favorite philosopher, Wittgenstein? Doesn't he argue that even self-knowledge is only possible through outward criteria, that there is no such thing as a private language? I for one would be only too happy to dismiss Wittgenstein as not a true philosopher.

Ram: Ah so that's how philosophers trade barbs huh? They don't directly insult each other; they insult each other's intellectual heroes. I agree Wittgenstein doesn't fit the paradigm too neatly but you must admit, even his linguistic analysis can be described as an exercise in 'Knowing Thyself' -- except in his case the thyself that you're exhorted to know is the linguistic practices of your 'form of life', your community of speakers. Not 'Know Thyself in order to know all other things' but 'know the practices of thy community in order not to muck up the enterprise of knowing other things'.

Kedar: At any rate, the later Wittgenstein is understood partly as attacking the phenomenalists who definitely fit into the 'Know Thyself in order to know all other things' camp. So I guess he's a philosopher in the same sense as the statement, 'Philosophy is crap' is itself taken to express a philosophical position.

Ram: You put it more crudely than I would but I think we agree that in western philosophy, 'Knowing Thyself' is generally necessary in order to know other things. Wittgenstein might be an exception, but if he is, he is the exception that proves the rule.

Kedar: OK... perhaps. Now how about eastern philosophy? I take it you have in mind 'Atman is Brahman' and the doctrine of Maya from the Vedas when you say eastern philosophy exhorts, 'Know Thyself in order to forget about all other things'.

Ram: Actually you said eastern philosophy exhorts 'Know Thyself in order to forget about all other things'. I recently read The Tao of Physics and I would have to redescribe eastern philosophy as exhorting, 'Know Thyself in order to know the subjective nature of all other things'. I think that's a more accurate formulation of eastern philosophy.

Kedar: Interesting reformulation. It still fits the 'Atman is Brahman' and Maya doctrines of Hindu philosophy. And I can see how one might draw parallels with quantum mechanics where the observer plays an inseparable role in the process of observing. But can it really be taken to represent all eastern philosophy? I mean I don't know much about Chinese and Japanese philosophy for instance.

Ram: Actually it better fits non-Hindu eastern philosophy, especially Taoism, much better because, unlike Hinduism, Taoism, in exhorting us to see the subjective nature of all other things, actively encourages us to understand all other things. Each separate thing is a Tao, composed of opposites like the yin-yang, with each piece containing the seeds of its opposite. The parallels with modern physics are clear: matter is energy; particles are waves. In Hinduism, a genuine interest in understanding individual things outside the self is sometimes lacking. This is certainly true in Hinduism's emphasis on the big picture, of transcending the veil of Maya in order for the atman or self to merge with the Brahman or God. But even Hinduism holds that the duality of Shiva and Shakti, the male and female elements, like yin and yang from Taoism, or matter and energy, particles and waves from modern physics, can be seen in everything.

Kedar: OK it seems 'the twain do meet' in the exhortation, 'Know Thyself'. That's how we can recognize eastern philosophy and western philosophy, as different as they are, as philosophy. But they clearly differ in their recommendation of how best we can know ourselves.

Ram: That's right and the methods they recommend are suited to their widely divergent views about the nature of reality -- the 'twains' do meet but from then on steam in opposite directions. Western science has been making successively more accurate maps of the world but their first approximation was always common sense. Common sense is what all the theorizing must tie back to. And the methods of common sense -- ordinary seeing is believing -- are at the core of classical science just as ordinary introspection is at the heart of western philosophy. Eastern philosophy seeks to transcend common sense; common sense is Maya. The essence of reality is glimpsed in mystical visions. The extra-ordinary visions may explain the world of common sense but their basis is an ineffable contradiction: all things are a unity of opposites, opposites like the tendency to rest/ to move, to sometimes exhibit 'male' sometimes 'female' characteristics, etc. We see these opposites first in our innermost natures. 'Know thyself in order to know the subjective nature of all other things'.

Kedar: And quantum mechanics... I guess it just so happens reality has dictated western maps have eastern legends?

Ram: I couldn't have said it better myself.

Kedar: But like you I consider myself more of a western philosopher. Must the west be so short-changed?

Ram: Not at all. Western philosophy's great contribution is a healthy skepticism. While eastern philosophy goes on to prescribe how to go about acquiring self-knowledge be it through yogic meditation or contemplation of Zen paradoxes, western philosophy, facing a much simpler task as far as acquiring self-knowledge is concerned, goes on to either explicate how we then acquire knowledge of external things or failing that raises doubts about whether such knowledge is even possible.

Kedar: Ahem, with all this talk of knowledge, don't you think we should define knowledge first?

Ram: You're right. Surprisingly, as different as they are, both eastern and western philosophy, I think, would agree, at least as a first approximation, that knowledge is justified, true belief... just the things they believe and their methods of justification would be as different as night and day.

Kedar: I know 'justified, true belief' has been a definition of knowledge at least as far back as Plato but I am not sure it's correct.

Ram: Well a lot of contemporary epistemologists think that the traditional definition needs at least a fourth condition to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge. And even the ones that don't think that the traditional 3-condition definition is deficient, think that justification has to be radically reinterpreted.

Kedar: I'm not referring to that. I think knowledge is just true belief not justified true belief. Yet even with the simpler definition, I don't think we ever have knowledge because we're never sufficiently confident in our beliefs. Indeed the more beliefs we have, the less sure we are of any of them. Our uncertainty is even warranted on purely probabilistic grounds.

Ram: You and I have had this conversation before. As I recall, you think justification is merely a tool that helps us to have greater conviction in our beliefs but that it itself isn't really necessary for knowledge.

Kedar: That's right.

Ram: I think you have the 'man-on-the-street' on your side. I think if we asked an ordinary person to define knowledge, he would say true belief. Justification is usually the kind of thing only philosophers worry about.

Kedar: Is this another way that philosophers trade insults, by saying the 'man-on-the-street' would agree with you? Philosophers are a passive-aggressive lot aren't they? You know me: I usually walk on the opposite side of the street as the 'man-on-the-street'. So I don't exactly find comfort in having the 'man-on-the-street' on my side.

Ram: Philosophy makes strange bedfellows. I usually find comfort in using words as they are used in everyday speech and, as yours is the more 'everyday' definition, let me try to see things from your perspective. First let me try to put a philosopher in your corner so you feel a little more secure. The philosopher Robert Nozick, like you, drops justification from his basic account of knowledge though like you he also thinks justification has a very important role to play in how we acquire knowledge. According to Nozick, knowledge is true belief except the belief has to be so 'secure' that it would vary with the truth of what's believed in 'close' counterfactual situations.

Kedar: Could you elaborate?

Ram: Sure. I believe I'm talking to you. And in fact I AM talking to you. But for my belief to count as knowledge, Nozick would say my belief would have to be such that if I weren't talking to you, I wouldn't believe I was talking to you and in other not-too-farfetched situations where I would be talking to you, I would continue to believe I'm talking to you. As Nozick says it, my belief has to 'track' the truth in close counterfactual situations in order to count as knowledge.

Kedar: I don't think I walk on the same side of the street as Mr. Nozick either. If I weren't talking to you, I might still believe that I was; and there may be situations where I would be talking to you but for whatever reason I wouldn't believe I was talking to you. Still that doesn't change the fact that I know here and now that I am talking to you.

Ram: Nozick tries to capture this intuition by restricting his tracking conditions to close counterfactual situations. For example if I were drugged I could believe I'm talking to you even if I wasn't talking to you. But Nozick would say that is not a close possible world. In 'normal' situations where I wouldn't be talking to you, I would (undrugged) simply be talking to someone else or to no one at all. And in such circumstances, it might seem reasonable to require that I wouldn't continue to believe I'm talking to you if my belief is to count as knowledge.

Kedar: But even if in close-counterfactual situations my belief doesn't track the truth, even then I think I could still be said to know. What does it matter if I'm drugged and would think I'm talking to you even when I'm not. If I believe I'm talking to you when I AM talking to you, and my belief is caused by the usual perceptual cues, and not the drug in my system, then in those circumstances I'm right and have knowledge. For instance, I can give an accurate report of our conversation. It doesn't matter that the drug would make me believe I'm talking to you even when I'm not. In that case I don't have knowledge but that shouldn't infect the case where the belief is properly caused.

Ram: I think I agree with you, though other people, in particular some epistemologists, might have different intuitions so we have to make the situation more precise. Imagine the drug that's in my system only works when I don't hear anything for a length of time. We may imagine the doctor has prescribed it to alleviate my desperate fear of being alone. Then in close counterfactual situations when I'm not talking with you, I would still believe I'm talking with you. My intuition is that, despite this weird drug, when I'm talking with you, I know I'm talking with you. We could imagine a doctor saying the drug only affects my judgment when I don't hear any sounds for a length of time.

Nozick with his observations about 'keeping the method fixed' has some wiggle-room to deal with our intuitions, but ultimately I think he fails. But let's not lose sight of what his tracking conditions were really meant to do. They were intended to rule out lucky guesses as not instances of knowledge; the intuition he was trying to capture is that if your belief is only accidentally true, it shouldn't count as knowledge. The trouble is in our example, the belief I am talking to you is NOT accidentally true -- it's properly caused by the fact that I am talking to you; it's just that even if it weren't true, there would be another cause -- namely the drug -- that would make me believe I was talking to you; but the existence of this other cause doesn't make my belief accidentally true when the right cause is the one that's operating at the present time.

Kedar: My view of knowledge, as you know, permits even accidentally true beliefs or lucky guesses to count, provided they are firmly believed.

Ram: I was wondering when you were going to say that. I happen to think lucky guesses should be excluded, though not as Nozick does, so let me try to dissuade you with the following example: suppose someone has a dream he is going to win the lottery; the dream firmly convinces him it's going to happen and so he buys a ticket; the ticket wins. You would say that though he wasn't justified in believing he would win, he nevertheless knew he would win?

Kedar: Sure I would. Wouldn't we in such circumstances say he JUST KNEW he was going to win?

Ram: Watch it! You're in danger of appealing to the man-on-the-street again. The man-on-the-street's intuitions can be notoriously slippery. Though in the lottery example, we could picture him agreeing to the claim, 'the dreamer just knew he was going to win', if we pressed him, the man-on-the-street could equally be brought to say the dreamer didn't really know he was going to win, he just got lucky.

We've had this type of conversation before. The other day when we were talking about necessity in the Deccan Dugout, you stated there can be multiple, sometimes conflicting intuitions about the proper meaning of common words. But you said the philosopher has the right, the obligation, to select or define a technical meaning to suit his purpose. I submit to you, justified, true belief or some account of knowledge that precludes accidentally true beliefs is a more technical, philosophically more interesting definition of knowledge than just true belief, and so should be chosen by the philosopher over the latter.

Kedar: Well I have to admit just true belief as a definition of knowledge is not very philosophically interesting. For example, as you pointed out before, a man could be said to acquire a lot of knowledge on this definition simply by believing each pair of a series of contradictory statements. One of each pair has to be true and if he 'hedges his bets' by believing both he's guaranteed to have knowledge. This is clearly a pretty ridiculous way of acquiring knowledge. Perhaps when I proposed the 'true-belief' definition, I was guilty of appealing to the man-on-the-street's lesser intuitions.

So it seems beliefs have to be non-accidentally true in order to count as knowledge. How do we flush out exactly the conditions necessary to rule out accidentally true beliefs?

Ram: Certainly if someone as illustrious as Robert Nozick, the winner of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, has failed, we should be on guard.

Kedar: I'm not sure whether you're being facetious or passive-aggressive again, but we definitely should be on guard. For example, your justification condition -- we would want to say most people have knowledge about the content of their perceptual beliefs without having a justification for them. We know the causes that make most perceptual beliefs true -- i.e. their reliability in conditions of good lighting, the perceiver not being under the influence of drugs, etc. -- so we would say such people are justified but these people may not be aware all the premises that go into their justification.

Ram: You bring up an interesting point. Could someone be justified in his knowledge claim only from the outside and still be said to know?

Kedar: What do you mean 'from the outside'?

Ram: I mean inaccessible to the putative knower. This is the internalism/ externalism distinction one encounters in contemporary epistemology. We from the outside, external perspective know why the man-on-the-street's perceptual beliefs are justified but from the internal perspective, based solely on what the man is aware of, the man might have no justification -- he simply believes what he sees. The question is do we want to require the man be aware of the full justification of his beliefs in order to know them or do we allow external justifications to support his knowledge claims?

Kedar: I've re-girded myself against the man-on-the-street. My intuitions about justifications are that it's an internal thing, so I would say if the man-on-the-street doesn't have the full justifications for his perceptual beliefs internally, so much the worse for him -- he doesn't know.

Ram: Now we have to be careful what we require as full justification. For consider the following example. A man in an empty public square sees a prominent clock in a country known for punctuality and precision...

Kedar: Not India, I take it.

Ram: Ha, Ha, OK not India. The man notices that the clock reads 5:00 pm. He thinks to himself, 'clocks around here generally tell the correct time', looks at the position of the sun in the sky and judges that it's about 5:00 pm and takes similar other measures to justify his belief that it is in fact 5:00 pm. Suppose it is in fact 5:00 pm but the clock he is looking at stopped working at 5:00 am. A philosopher named Edmund Gettier used examples like this to argue that knowledge can't simply be justified, true belief because the man seems to meet all three conditions but we don't want to say he knows it's 5:00 pm.

Kedar: Interesting example. My first inclination is to maintain that knowledge can be justified, true belief. It's just that the man's justification is not a full, complete justification.

Ram: I had the same reaction when I first heard this example. But remember: you're committed to justification being internal, that the man be fully aware of each premise in his justification. What would you have him do? Wait a few minutes to see if the clock is running? We could suppose the clock did coincidentally restart at 5:00 pm so it seems to be running. Still we don't want to say that the man who relies on such an on-off clock knows what time it is. Do we want to further require he examine the inner workings of the clock? Again since the clock has restarted, inner workings might yield no clue that in fact it's reading 5:00 am and that therefore the man's belief that it's 5:00 pm is only accidentally true.

In general any belief inductively justified can be false. That's the nature of inductive justification. All we have to do to cook up a Gettieresque example is to imagine a scenario in which the inductively justified belief would be false but suppose the belief coincidentally is true. Then you have truth, belief, justification -- just not knowledge.

Kedar: Extending your example to the n-th degree, we could imagine a full justification would require a justification for induction, which the history of philosophy has taught us is a losing battle.

Ram: Fortunately it's not as bad as that. In the case of inductive justification you could argue that a justification only has to make it likely that the conclusion-belief is true. Against Gettieresque examples, the only thing that's required is that there be no genuine defeaters of that justification as there are in the clock example.

Kedar: What's a genuine defeater?

Ram: Well, a defeater of a person's justification for a belief is a true proposition such that if the person believed this proposition, he would no longer be justified in holding the belief in question. The proposition 'the clock stopped working at 5:00 am' is a defeater, a genuine defeater, in the earlier example because if the man believed it, he would no longer be justified in believing it's 5:00 pm.

Kedar: I guess to understand why you say genuine defeater, I have to know what's a non-genuine defeater.

Ram: A non-genuine defeater, or a misleading defeater as it's known in the literature, is a proposition that is a defeater in the sense that were the putative knower to believe it, he would no longer be justified. But it is a misleading defeater in the sense that its power to defeat is dependent on a false proposition. That at least is how my graduate school professor, Peter Klein, a defeasibility theorist, put it.

Kedar: Can you give an example?

Ram: We already had one. The drug that caused conversations to be imagined when no conversation was going on is an example of a misleading defeater. Imagine that I was unknowingly given this drug. This proposition is a defeater of my justification for believing that I'm talking to you. It is a defeater because if I believed it, I would no longer be justified in believing I was talking to you. Yet to some it seems like a misleading defeater because its power to defeat is dependent on the false proposition that the drug in my system is active right now. Remember we said the drug doesn't operate so long as I hear sounds.

Kedar: OK -- I think I have some sense of defeasibility theories of knowledge. And in Nozick I got some flavor of a different type of theory. I know we couldn't have covered every epistemological theory but did we at least hit all the major classifications?

Ram: Let's see... Nozick was an example of reliabilism. We talked about defeasibility. I guess the only other major strand is the causal theory of knowledge.

Kedar: That sounds interesting... maybe just the kind of theory I can espouse. I don't know exactly what a causal theory of knowledge is but it sounds like it could fit our intuitions in the drug case. There we said I know I am talking to you because my belief is caused by the facts that make it true.

Ram: A causal theory has strong intuitive appeal. We want to say what's true caused us to know it's true. It's the basis of our most common beliefs, namely perceptual beliefs. Seeing is believing because the thing we believe plays a causal role in forming our belief.

Kedar: And a causal theory would handle our Gettieresque clock example. The man doesn't know it's 5:00 pm because there is a causal disconnect between it actually being 5:00 pm and his belief that it's 5:00 pm.

Ram: That's right, but...

Kedar: I just knew there would be a but. Did you ever think, philosophy is crap because it's full of butts?

Ram: Very funny. Seriously though, a causal theory of knowledge faces some challenges distinguishing causal connections of the right sort from causal connections that don't result in knowledge.

Kedar: Could you give an example of the wrong sort of causal connection?

Ram: Certainly. Let's modify our drugged conversation example. Suppose the drug administered unknown to me makes me imagine a conversation, perhaps a very flattering conversation, when someone is talking to me. I think we would say I don't know you're talking to me though my belief that you're talking to me is caused by your talking to me.

Kedar: It's funny how our strongest intuitions fall prey to such easy to dream up counterexamples.

Ram: They're not that easy to dream up -- I've just heard them or their kind before. For example another criticism of the causal theory I've heard is that it's unable to handle deductive knowledge like our knowledge of the truths of mathematics. Numbers don't cause anything because they're simply logical constructs.

Kedar: Remember, I happen to be a Platonist about truths of mathematics so I can believe that somehow they cause our beliefs. They cause our beliefs because our mind directly 'grasps' them.

Ram: Well let's just say numbers pose difficulties for most 'normal' causal theorists of knowledge.

Kedar: As usual you're being very cagey and passive-aggressively insulting. We've surveyed the major epistemological theories but you still haven't said which one you prefer.

Ram: If I am being cagey it's not from any deviousness. Remember, like Wittgenstein, I'm an ordinary language philosopher. To borrow Wittgenstein's metaphor, maybe knowledge is like a family resemblance: we see a family's photographs and the faces all seem to resemble one another but we may be hard-pressed to find a single feature that is common to them all; knowledge may be like that, a concept that has many intuitions running through it without one being common to them all. For example, for knowledge we have intuitions that it must be reliable, non-accidental, caused by the thing known, be supported by a justification. It wouldn't surprise me if all these intuitions couldn't be brought together under one rubric. Maybe all philosophically interesting concepts are like that, making our attempts to find necessary and sufficient conditions for them ultimately doomed to failure.

Kedar: Don't be so pessimistic. After all, as different as eastern and western philosophies are, you found a common thread running through all of them -- know thyself.

Ram: I think I got lucky. But you may have a point. Maybe I got lucky because philosophy is a more technical word than knowledge. Maybe philosophers should only focus on words that have already been lifted out of the confused din of common discourse. Maybe epistemologists would do better to focus on concepts like evidence or justification which are already more technical than knowledge.

Though, wouldn't it be funny if the word philosophy was the only philosophically interesting word that permits a philosophically satisfying definition?

Kedar: I think that would be funny only to a philosopher. I choose to believe that concepts like justification and evidence would permit philosophically interesting definitions. Let's talk about them next.

Ram: Wait a minute. I see by the clock outside it's 5:00 pm. I think I better be getting back. We can talk about justification and evidence next time.

Kedar: OK. Meanwhile I'll take the imagined conversation drug and think about what you and I might say.

(c) Raam Gokhale 2010


Web site: http:---



The aim of this work is to review how Luis Villoro (Barcelona: 1922, of Mexican parents) -- a well-known philosopher in the Spanish-speaking world -- comes to grip with knowledge and truth in his book Creer, saber, conocer [1]. One of the most important contributions of Villoro's work is his modification of the traditional analysis of 'knowledge'. Villoro states that the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge are:

     S knows that p if and only if:

     1) S believes that p, and

     2) S has objectively sufficient grounds [2] in believing
        that p [3] (175).

Villoro claims that the notion of 'knowledge' requires the notion of 'objectively sufficient grounds' (objective justification), and at the same time, the notion of 'objective justification' requires the notion of 'truth' (181) [4]. Villoro's interpretation of truth does not only include semantic, but metaphysical ideas on a realistic ground. Thus Villoro writes that in the analysis of,

     'p' is true if and only if p

p is 'what makes true the proposition 'p', and p could only be the real fact, just like it exists independently of a subject that believes that 'p'' (176). Villoro then admits the independent-existence of real facts, and the mind-independent nature of reality: 'We must admit that if 'p' is true, p exists with independence of the subject' (178).

Villoro justifies his realism appealing to the argument of the best explanation:

     The notions of 'reality' and 'truth' are necessary for
     explaining the objectivity of the justification...
     Objectivity presupposes the coincidence of statements
     within a community of epistemic subjects. With regard to
     the statements of facts (empirical statements), the best
     explanation for that coincidence is the real existence,
     mind-independent, of the facts judged. Otherwise the
     inter-subjectivity will only be on that account a bizarre
     hypothesis... The acknowledgement of a real world, common
     to every subject, based on the verification of all
     empirical statements, is the only conclusive, complete and
     coherent explanation of our knowledge. Truth, as
     reality-correspondence of our statements, is the only
     adequate rational explanation of the objective
     justification of our reasons
Villoro claims that the notion of truth and its correlative notion of reality are necessary to understand the concept of objective justification. He understands objective justification as the coincidence of statements within an epistemic community; coincidence of the subjects' reliability with regard to what is objective. Here reliability is understood in relation to the actual epistemic conditions (available knowledge, level of technology, basic beliefs and social relations) for such community. But the possibility of objective justification lies on the truth that is known. For Villoro, objective justification only means that the subjects of a community have the best justification available for believing that something is true (but it could be revealed false for the same subject at another time, for another subject of the same community or for an external observer). In this sense, objective justification is a warranty as reliability; warranty that depends on the justified beliefs of the involved subjects.

What is the fact that makes true a statement? Villoro writes:

     We must accept that if 'p' is true, p exists with
     independence of any subject. But what exists with
     independence of any subject cannot be known with the same
     independence. It is not contradictory that someone knows a
     fact that exists with independence of his knowledge, but it
     is contradictory that someone knows a real fact with
     independence of his knowledge. Hence, I cannot know that
     something is true independently of my ways of grasping
     truth... Now, then, the reasons to know are all those that
     allow a subject to rely his judgment on reality... so that
     when anyone knows, it is necessary that his reasons be
     enough to warrant the real existence of p; but then the
     statement about the truth of 'p' depends on those same
     reasons (178-179).
If truth in the sense of correspondence to reality is true adequate explanation for the inter-subjective agreement which is required for objective justification, doesn't this seem to require that any objectively justified statement be true? Villoro replies:

     The absolute truth is not completely achievable to
     historical subjects; their access to it will always be
     partial and limited by factual conditions. Nevertheless,
     the complete correspondence of our statements to reality is
     a normative ideal of reason. (88).
Therefore, the access to truth will always be historically conditioned, and the normative aim is to achieve progressive descriptions of the world -- historically conditioned in all epistemic communities, but every day better furnished with warrants to achieve that reality. Hence, these progressive approaches to reality will have a relative and progressive character.

In short, Villoro holds: 1) the independent-existence of the world, but not necessarily the independence of the (mental) objects with respect to the mind; 2) that any subject can judge the truth of his statements but with his own reasons; and 3) there is not a definite, complete and truthful description of the world.

In order to maintain his claim, Villoro states three arguments to eliminate the truth condition for the analysis of 'S knows that p', that is, his view of knowledge as truth-free condition.

a) The first one states:

     In the traditional definition of 'knowledge', the second
     condition ('p is true') takes a different form than the
     other two. While the latter two mention the subject of
     knowledge, the second one does not. The definition is not
     precise while it does not mention who considers the truth
     of 'p'. Must 'p is true' be understood as asserted by S, or
     by any possible subject? (182).
Against the possible reply that the truth condition must be met because p is an independent condition of the other conditions (belief and justification), and it only holds concerning that the fact p -- what S's belief refers to -- and therefore exists externally and independently of the subject, Villoro writes:

     The second condition states the absolute truth of 'p' as a
     two-fold relation between a sentence (or proposition) and a
     fact. Then one must presuppose that there is no-one to
     consider the existence of such relation. Indeed, in the
     moment we admit that someone considers it, he will judge it
     by his grounds (S at another time or Sn, an adequate
     epistemic subject, member of the same community of S, who
     judges it)... If we interpret the relation of truth as
     absolute, independently of the grounds considered by the
     subject, we cannot apply it to any subject's statement.
     Thus we would state the second condition in such a manner
     that, in principle, anyone can assert it, and therefore
     no-one can assert that S knows. Indeed, one can never know
that a sentence is true, and hence that someone knows,
     except by means of a criterion of truth, that is, by
     grounds (183).
I think Villoro's statement is right. Nevertheless, Villoro does not consider a third possibility. When he writes about a subject, he refers to an adequate (pertinent) epistemic subject [5]. I think this notion is relevant to the notion of objective justification, but it is very weak way to determine the notion of truth. Of course Sn (an adequate epistemic subject, member of the same community of S) is always the subject that examines the presupposed knowledge of S, but in addition to the two possibilities considered by Villoro -- S at other time or Sn -- , there is a third possibility: that Sn might be an external observer of S's community. The fact is that Sn will examine S's reasons in accordance with his own reasons -- those relative to his society.

b) The second argument states:

     If 'S knows that p' includes 'p is true' and 'true' is
     understood in the sense of absolute truth, then we would
     only know infallible propositions (184).
Villoro states a conjunctive proposition: that the notion of knowledge includes that 'p is true' and 'true' is understood in the sense of absolute truth as correspondence. In order to defeat the conclusion -- that we only know infallible propositions -- Villoro rejects the truth condition in the notion of knowledge, that is, he excludes the sentence 'p is true'.

But there is in Villoro's analysis a conceptual tension between the definition of knowledge and the criteria for accepting that something is the case. His argument implies the idea that the definition must by met by the one who considers that p is true. But you can reply that this condition is only necessary for a criterion for deciding that S knows p, and not for the definition of 'knowledge'. I believe that his arguments are consistent in regard with the criterion that a belief is a case of knowledge, but not against the notion of truth.

Let us review this difficulty. Certainly, Villoro wants to apply the notion of 'knowledge' to beliefs objectively justified, but fallible. A belief is objectively justified, if it includes objectively sufficient grounds for a subject:

     ... that the object of his belief not only has existence
     for him, but it has real existence too, independently of
     his own judgment. Therefore, objectively sufficient grounds
     are for a subject enough warrant that his belief is true,
     and he knows; hence they are criterion of truth (179).
Because the objectively sufficient grounds are the criteria of truth for p, they warrant 'for a subject, the real existence of p' (ibid.).

According to Villoro the existence of p is not relative to S, but only to S's 'warranties' in believing that p. Therefore, 'knowledge' implies the possession of objectively adequate grounds in order to affirm that p is true, that is, that p is a fact that exists independently of any statement. But this can only be applied to the subjects in the same epistemic community. After all, a subject of another community could claim that p is false and p does not exist. Villoro then states that our empirical knowledge is fallible in the sense of correctable:
     The warranty of truth, for empirical propositions, is
     relative to a time and historical society. The reasons that
     could be sufficient for an epistemic community C1 at time
     t1, could be insufficient for another community C2 at time
     t2 (180) [6].
For Villoro, the warranties of truth are relative to S, not truth itself as correspondence. Villoro's analysis is compromised by the idea that knowledge is fallible. If we admit that knowledge is by definition objectively justified, it might be probably true, but not necessarily, hence it is fallible and correctable at a time. Because knowledge refers to reality -- there is not an absolute correspondence -- it is fallible, and consequently correctable.

c) Finally, Villoro's third argument is based on Gettier's examples. His conclusion entails that those examples arise because of:

     [the] justification, insofar it is based on different
of those which warrant the truth of the belief. For
     S knowing that p it is necessary that he knows it by the
     reasons that account for the truth of 'p', and not other
     reasons (190).
His strategy for meeting those examples is obtained by simplifying the analysis, understanding the 'justification' in a way that is not independent of the truth condition. But then we cannot understand it as justification only for the subject, but for everyone (191).

But justification, as we already noted, is not justification for everyone, but only for an adequate epistemic subject. However, Villoro denies the independence of the notion of truth as correspondence while the justification for believing is relative to the subject, and thus fallible. Therefore in his definition of knowledge creates a tension between the notion of truth as correspondence -- independent of frameworks of justification -- and a relative conception of knowledge justification.

Is the idea of justification being a justification for everyone opposed to the idea of justification being justification for an adequate epistemic subject? Is the idea of justification merely for an adequate epistemic subject a weaker condition, relative to a time and community, so this his notion of 'justification' does not require truth as correspondence?

For Villoro, there are two senses of warranty for truth: On the one hand, warranty1 is an objective justification for an adequate epistemic subject within a certain community. Here objective justification relies on the beliefs of the subject for such community. On the other hand, warranty2 relies on the truth-value of statements, that is, on conceptual frameworks. In the first case, there is always the possibility that the justified beliefs may turn out to be false, and also the possibility that truth-value statements are not objectively justified -- the key concept is reliability. In the second case, Villoro admits the possibility of a possible subject -- external to the epistemic community -- who considers the same justified beliefs, and to whom the warranty is not those beliefs, but the truth-value propositions. Here the key idea of warranty for different subjects -- with different conceptual frameworks -- is that they have reality in common.

In sum, I think that Villoro's truth-free condition for the traditional analysis of 'S knows that p' is correct. In this case, Villoro states that knowledge as an objectively justified belief is not necessarily true belief, because objective justification concerns reliability of a belief for an adequate epistemic subject, while truth concerns reliability of a belief for a possible subject.

The correspondence theory of truth sustains that it is rational to demand a justification that our knowledge corresponds to reality. But the epistemic notion of truth -- as stated by Villoro -- holds that is rational to demand an objective justification of our knowledge. The former offers a warranty of truth that responds to the question about the nature of knowledge. Here the case is that if any possible subject has a 'truth-tie' to reality (whether he knows it or not), this 'tie' is the warrant for his actions to succeed. The latter responds to a question about the adequate epistemic subject, that is, why he can be relied upon to succeed in his actions. The answer is because he is objectively justified. Here the criteria of truth are the warranties for knowledge, and they are relative to a community -- in a particular time and historical society. From this perspective knowledge is fallible, and hence correctable, but not false.

In other words, we can save Villoro's tension between the notion of truth as correspondence and knowledge as objective justification, concluding that from an ontological point of view the notion of truth is prior to objective justification, because objective justification is the case if there is truth; but from a cognitive point view the notion of objective justification is prior to truth, because we only know something that is true if it is objectively justified. In other words, Villoro meets this tension admitting the ontological independence of reality, and its cognitive dependence.


1. Luis Villoro, Creer, saber, conocer, Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1982.

2. 'Objectively sufficient grounds' are the adequate reasons that warrant the truth of the belief, independent of the subject's judgment; reasons that are determined by the object, or the objective situation, of the belief and not by subjective justification; and they must be conclusive, complete and coherent to any adequate epistemic subject that considers them (137-138).

3. References in brackets indicate the page number.

4. Here Villoro has in mind Tarski's primitive notion of truth.

5. Villoro seems to be compromised with a naturalized epistemology. But at the end of his book (ch. 12) he admits that a theory of knowledge could be related to contexts of liberation, e.g., as demystification and destabilization of hegemonic ideologies and in this sense could affect social reality, hence it is legitimate to consider a theory of knowledge as objective.

6. According to Villoro an 'adequate epistemic subject' of S's belief that 'p' is a subject that has accessibility (availability) to the same reasons (grounds) of S, and not others, and an 'adequate epistemic community' is the group of adequate epistemic subjects in believing that p (supra, ch. 7).

(c) Alfredo Lucero-Montano 2010




Scientific realists diverge on the 'argument from coincidence' in accounting for the match between theory and data. Those who subscribe to this conception are the proponents of the truth-based governing theory of instruments, such as Boyd and Chalmers. They claim that the reliability of an experimental instrument must be warranted by truth of its governing theory.

However, there is another group of scientific realists, one of them is Hacking, who reject the 'argument from coincidence' as the sole explanation to account for the possibility of theory choice. They do not conceive the reliability of experimental instruments in terms of a truth-based governing theory. On the contrary, they claim that the reliability of an instrument is warranted by its successful manipulation.

     Thus I do not advance the argument from coincidence as the
     sole basis of our conviction that we see true through the
     microscope. It is one element, a compelling visual element,
     that combines with more intellectual modes of understanding,
     and with other kinds of experimental work. (Hacking 1985,
Hacking maintains that the 'argument from coincidence' alone is insufficient to verify a true match between data and theory. For him, the use of an instrument does not lead an observer straight to truth. He holds that additional conceptions are required to explain the experimental results.

     Only a greater understanding of what a gene is can bring
     the conviction of what the micrograph shows. We become
     convinced of the reality of bands and interbands on
     chromosomes not just because we see them, but because we
     formulate conceptions of what they do, what they are for.
     (Hacking 1985, 148)

In Hacking's account, though he does not claim so explicitly, an instrument alone is incapable of arbitrating between rival theories to explain the experimental results. He requires additional theories or conceptions on top of the use of the instrument in the problem of theory choice. In the example given by him, Hacking implies that additional background theory is required in explaining the experimental results:

     Biological microscopy without practical biochemistry is as
     blind as Kant's intuitions in the absence of concepts.
     (Hacking 1985, 148)
The requirement of additional background theory leads Hacking unavoidably into the dilemma of Duhem's underdetermination thesis, for he needs to answer how to arbitrate between rival theories when a crucial experiment is impossible in the holistic context of theory.

To do so, Hacking has recourse to unobservable entities. Unobservable entities 'are regularly manipulated to produce new phenomena and to investigate other aspects of nature.' (Hacking 1984, 154) Hacking goes further to contend that unobservable entities are real in the sense that they can be manipulated to produce new phenomena.

     Only at the level of experimental practice is scientific
     realism unavoidable -- but this realism is not about
     theories and truth. The experimentalist need only be a
     realist about the entities used as tools. (Hacking 1984,
     Electrons are no longer ways of organizing our thoughts or
     saving the phenomena that have been observed. They are now
     ways of creating phenomena in some other domain of nature.
     Electrons are tools. (Hacking 1984, 156)
Hence, it is clear that Hacking conceives unobservable entities as real because they are tools. He interprets realism not in term of epistemology and ontology but of experimentation. His position is known as entity realism which takes the 'middle ground between scientific realism and empiricist antirealism' (Clarke 2001, 701). It is a position that maintains realism about causal explanation (Clarke 2001). According to Hacking, unobservable entities are real not because they are governed by underlying truth and the real-in-itself but because they are able to be manipulated.

     The vast majority of experimental physicists are realists
     about entities but not about theories
. Some are, no doubt,
     realists about theories too, but that is less central to
     their concerns. (Hacking 1984, 155)
Hacking thus differentiates an important experimental contrast, between realism about entities and realism about theories (Hacking 1984). He confers a temporal perspective on the contrasting alternatives. In his opinion, realism about entities aims at the experimental entity present when the experiment is taking place. However, realism about theories aims at the truth, which is 'something about the indefinite future.' (Hacking 1984, 156) The former is neutral between values while the latter requires adoption of certain values.

Hacking adopts realism about entities. He holds that a scientist does not need to take stance of the controversy between two rival theories for the purpose of carrying out an experiment. An experiment is value-independent rather than value-dependent.

     Various properties are confidently ascribed to electrons,
     but most of the confident properties are expressed in
     numerous different theories or models about which an
     experimenter can be rather agnostic. Even people in a team,
     who work on different parts of the same large experiment,
     may hold different and mutually incompatible accounts of
     electrons. (Hacking 1984, 156)
Hacking claims that the chief role of a value-independent experiment 'is the creation of phenomena.' (Hacking 1984, 155) Unobservable entities are deemed real because they can be manipulated to create observed phenomena. In Hacking's account, real observed phenomena cannot be created out of void. Thus, unobservable entities must be real ontologically and experimentally.

One may question Hacking by asking 'how do we know nothingness can never produce observed phenomena? Isn't it too dogmatic to hold that an unobserved entity is the cause of observed phenomena?'

This question is posed at the ontological level and ignores the fact that Hacking has differentiated two kinds of real unobservable entities, which are experimental real entities and ontological real entities. Experimentation commits one to believing that an unobservable entity is real in the sense that it is manipulate-able while suspending the issue of existence. Manipulability of experimental real entities commits us to their existence when they are manipulated to experiment on something else.

     Experimenting on an entity does not commit you to believing
     that it exists. Only manipulating an entity, in order to
     experiment on something else, need do that. (Hacking 1984,
An experimental entity may be hypothetical though it is real in terms of manipulability. But once it is used to manipulate other things, it will be conceived as ontologically real.

     At that time this postulated 'neutrino' was thoroughly
     hypothetical, but now it is routinely used to examine other
     things. (Hacking 1984, 168)
The link from experimental real entities to ontological real entities is the causal properties that explain the effects of manipulation of unobserved entities on other entities. (Hacking 1984) Thus, the aforementioned question is not a real threat to Hacking's account of unobservable entities because it assumes the causal relationship to be held firm in the production of observed phenomena, which is agreed by Hacking too. The main point in Hacking's claim is not about the fact of ontological existence of the cause of observed phenomena, which is unobservable entities, but the fact of experimental existence of the causal relation of the manipulation that takes place in an experiment. In another words, when Hacking maintains that an unobservable entity is real, he implies that it exerts causal relation, which is its manipulability, on another entity to yield observed phenomena. Unobservable entities are real ontologically because they are warranted by the causal relation they exert. Without viewing unobservable entities in the context of causal relation, it is meaningless to say that an unobservable entity exists ontologically.

     The best kinds of evidence for the reality of a postulated
     or inferred entity is that we can begin to measure it or
     otherwise understand its causal powers. The best evidence,
     in turn, that we have this kind of understanding is that we
     can set out, from scratch, to build machines that will work
     fairly reliably, taking advantage of this or that causal
     nexus. Hence, engineering, not theorizing, is the best
     proof of scientific realism about entities. (Hacking 1984,
Hence, causal relation, which is the effect of experimental manipulation of unobservable entities on other entities in yielding observed phenomena, plays a significant role in theory choice in Hacking's realist account. Hacking's value-independent characteristic of experiment requires additional background theory to decide between rival theories, as elaborated above. To make theory choice possible, Hacking's conception of experimental manipulability is the key.

Hacking subscribes to the general manipulability theory:

     Causes can be understood as 'handles' for bringing about
     effects in the sense that causes can be manipulated to
     bring about different outcomes. (Waters 2008, 5)
To manipulate the unobserved entities such as electrons, scientists need to have their aim and background theory that drives such manipulation. As we have seen, Hacking holds that an experiment is value-independent, and is not theory-driven, the theory merely serves as a secondary aid, and not a primary guide that helps an experimenter to carry out the experiment.

In fact, Hacking's conception of experimental manipulability which rejects the traditional role of theory in experiment inevitably suggests an exploratory nature of experimentation. Exploratory experimentation is an account of scientific practice that was proposed by Friederich Steinle and Richard Burian separately in the 1990s (O'Malley 2008). It is a variant of Hacking's account of experimental manipulability. Exploratory experimentation is exploratory in nature which is not always guided by theory (Waters 2008a). It is 'theory-informed' instead of theory-driven (Waters 2008a).

However, theory-informed exploratory experimentation is not totally free of theoretical content (Waters 2008a). Theory is not playing a governing role but a secondary aiding role in experimentation. To make an analogy, theory-informed exploratory experimentation makes use of theory as its wheel, not as a steering as in theory-driven experimentation.

Theory-driven experimentation, which is the traditional account of philosophy of science, is directed by theory about what will be observed (Waters 2008a). According to Burian, theory-informed exploratory experimentation 'comes into play when theory does not provide expectations of what investigators will find' (Waters 2008a, 6). Most importantly, exploratory experimentation is 'often conducted without specific theoretical tests in mind as new phenomena and processes are explored.' (O'Malley 2008, 2) Eventually, new conceptual frameworks and bodies of knowledge are the result. (O'Malley 2008)

At a cursory glance, it seems that Hacking's experimental manipulability of unobservable entities or exploratory experimentation is immune from the threat posed by the underdetermination thesis on theory choice, because he claims that observation or experimentation is not driven by theory. In another words, when the experimenters use observations to test theories, they do not need to make use of some other theories or auxiliary hypotheses, which is required by Duhemian holism in drawing the conclusions about the expected observed outcome (Bird 2005). Thus, a crucial experiment is possible where a decisive abandonment of the tested theories can be made when the observation is in conflict with the prediction of the tested theories. The experimental significance of an array of other theories is not an issue here since these two approaches do not subscribe to a holistic view of theory-driven of observation. If this is the case, theory choice is possible.

However, the promising possibility of decisive theory choice cannot be well defended. Firstly, it is illusory to hold that theory-informed exploratory experimentation and experimental manipulability are not driven by theory even to the minimal degree. In fact, the direction of exploratory experimentation and experimental manipulation in the course of an experiment is largely driven by unobservable entities, as unobservable entities are basically the product of theories. Consider the invisible genome of an organism. It is widely recognized by patent attorneys and philosophers of biology as a presented sequence (Bostanci and Calvert 2008). Some of them assert that the genome is a computer-related invention (Bostanci and Calvert 2008). Genome sequencing is made possible, which is the manipulation of invisible gene, only if geneticists base their experiment on DNA theories. Anyhow, the invisible genome is postulated not as an independent unobserved entity which can be explored or manipulated in a theory-free fashion. It is indeed a theory-driven entity.

Secondly, theory outlines the expected outcome even before embarking on an experiment. Theory guides an experimenter in knowing what to look for in the result of an experiment. The experimenters will not be able to recognize the findings in the absence of theory. Thus, theory is not just a secondary aiding tool -- as held by Hacking, but the principle that drives experiment. Furthermore, an experimenter is unable to formulate his question to put to nature without the guidance of theory.

Thirdly, it is dubious to claim that the use of experimental instruments is not driven by theory. Despite the fact that some philosophers reject the effects of a governing theory of instrument in the process of observation and experimental result, they cannot deny the fact that the use of experimental instruments requires scientific knowledge in explaining the observed results. At the minimal degree, inference is always required in an observation in order to draw conclusion. Experimenters inevitably need to use theory in his inference.

     Thanks to the electron microscope the delicate threads of
     DNA can actually be photographed bridging the gap between
     one haploid bacterium and another. These photographs add a
     dimension to the actual experiment, which refers to the
     mechanism of direct genetic transfer only very indirectly
     and via a network of inferences, the validity of which
     depends upon our being ready to accept the general picture.
     (Harre 1984, 133)
The above quotation pertaining to the use of electron microscope suggests two things. Firstly, the instrument itself is insufficient in providing explanation for an observed result. The role of an instrument is confined to providing evidence for explanation. An experimenter needs to use inferences, which are based on existing scientific theories, to explain the observed evidence provided by the instrument. Secondly, the explanation which results from the evidence-based inference requires a general theoretical framework for its acceptability. The theoretical framework serves as a background theory or a paradigm for an experimenter to draw his inference from. Two experimenters who subscribe to different theoretical frameworks may arrive at different explanations on the same observed evidence.

Proponents of exploratory experimentation might possibly have recourse to another strategy by arguing that the primary objective of experiments is not to explain but to describe the observed results. They may argue that the descriptive nature of exploratory experimentation does not introduce the predicament of theory choice. However, this is not a persuasive argument because description of an observed phenomenon always requires underlying theory as presupposition. To describe the observed phenomenon 'the sun rises at the east and sets at the west' one has already based his description on the assumption of geocentricism. Harwit's elucidation on astronomical observation exhibits the role of theory in description:

     Any actually performed astronomical observation may be
     described in terms of the five parameters just discussed.
     We can
     1. Report the spectral wavelength at which the observations
     were made
     2. Specify the angular resolution obtained
     3. Give the spectral resolution
     4. State the time resolution
     5. If the equipment also is sensitive to polarization,
     specify whether our observations tested for plane or for
     circular polarization of the received light (Harwit 1984,
To describe an astronomical observation in term of spectral resolution, Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is needed (Harwit 1984). Similarly, a theory for the age of universe is presupposed in describing an observation in term of time resolution (Harwit 1984). Thus, it is apparent that descriptive experimentation is impossible without theory. The strategy which recourses to descriptive experimentation, does not overcome the predicament of theory choice.

In a nutshell, Hacking's account of instrumental manipulability and Burian's assertion of exploratory experimentation do not provide a promising way to get rid of the predicament of theory choice. On the one hand, Hacking's account merely recognizes the existence of unobservable entities through manipulation of an instrument instead of the conception of truth. He still acknowledges the significance of theory in explaining the experimental results. On the other hand, Burian's theory-informed exploratory experimentation does not expel theory from the domain of experimentation. Indeed, his distinction between theory-driven and theory-informed experimentation merely demarcates between the styles of experiments. Theory-grounded inference is still required in experiment to explain the observed result.


Bird, Alexander. 2005. Philosophy of Science. UK: Routledge.

Bostanci, Adam and Calvert, Jane. 2008. Invisible Genomes: The Genomics Revolution and Patenting Practice. In Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 39. Pp 109-119

Clarke, Steve. 2001. Defensible Territory for Entity Realism. In British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 52. Pp 701-722.

Hacking, Ian. 1984. Experimentation and Scientific Realism. In: Leplin, Jarrett (ed). Scientific Realism. USA: University of California Press, Pp 154-172.

______. 1985. Do We See Through A Microscope? In: Churchland, P.M and Hooker, C.A (ed). Images of Science. USA: The University of Chicago Press, Pp 132-152

Harre, Rom. 1984. Great Scientific Experiments. UK: Oxford University Press.

Harwit, Martin. 1984. Cosmic Discovery. USA: The MIT Press.

O'Malley, Maureen A. 2008. Exploratory Experimentation and Scientific Practice: Metagenomics and the Proteorhodopsin Case. Preprint of History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (2007), 29 (3). Pp 335-358. Available at PhilSci Archive of University of Pittsburgh: http:--- [Accessed 2 May 2008]

Waters, C. K. 2008. How Practical Know-how Contextualizes Theoretical Knowledge: Exporting Causal Knowledge From Laboratory to Nature. Preprint of Philosophy of Science (Proceedings PSA 2006). Available at PhilSci Archive of University of Pittsburgh: http:--- [Accessed 2 May 2008]

______. 2008a. The Nature and Context of Exploratory Experimentation: An Introduction to Three Case Studies of Exploratory Research. Preprint of Hist. Phil Life Sci (2007) 29(3). Available at PhilSci Archive of University of Pittsburgh: http:--- [Accessed 2 May 2008]

(c) Sim-Hui Tee and Mohd Hazim Shah Hj Abdul Murad 2010


Sim-Hui Tee Multimedia University Persiaran Multimedia, Cyberjaya 63100 Selangor, Malaysia

Mohd Hazim Shah Hj Abdul Murad Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



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