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  1. Social construction, natural science Kareem Khalifa Philosophy Department Middlebury College

  2. Overview • Hacking’s Central Point • Contingency • Convergence Objection • Nominalism • Explanations of stability

  3. I. Hacking’s Central Point

  4. II. Contingency • Constructing quarks • No Predetermination • “Alien Science”

  5. A less technical example ofII.C.3.a • Fido is a dog. • All dogs are mammals. • All mammals are warm-blooded. • So Fido is warm-blooded • Fido is an organism that never changes color when we aliens see him. • All organisms that never change color when we aliens see them are warm-blooded. • So Fido is warm-blooded.

  6. III. Convergence Objection • The Objection • Hacking’s Response • Small-Scale • Big-Scale • Unique-Ultimate

  7. IV. Nominalism • What is it? • Critics of constructionism

  8. Inherent-structurism Nominalism Tree Research Program A Research Program B Organic cone

  9. V. Explanations of stability • Stability • The Debate