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Data on the efficacy of alternative fumigants to methyl bromide for weed control in perennial crop nurseries in California are needed because few herbicides are registered for this purpose. Field studies were conducted from 2003 to 2006 in four commercial perennial crop nurseries in California. Treatments included a nonfumigated control; methyl bromide (98%) (MeBr) with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film; iodomethane (50%) + chloropicrin (50%) with HDPE film; 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) with HDPE film; 1,3-D (61%) + chloropicrin (35%) with HDPE film; 1,3-D (62%) + chloropicrin (35%) subsurface drip; and 1,3-D (61%) + chloropicrin (35%) with virtually impermeable film (VIF). All the fumigants reduced the seed viability of common purslane, johnsongrass, and tall morningglory but were not as effective on little mallow and field bindweed. Although total weed densities and the level of control provided by each fumigant differed between locations, weed density was generally reduced by all the fumigation treatments, compared to the nonfumigated control. At three locations, alternative fumigation treatments usually resulted in hand-weeding time similar to MeBr. Reductions in weed seed viability, weed emergence, and weed densities suggest that these alternative fumigants will provide weed control similar to MeBr in perennial nurseries.
In his discussion of “Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding” (Trout 2002), de Regt (2004) argues that Trout “denounces understanding as irrelevant, if not dangerous, from an epistemic perspective…” (de Regt 2004, 98), and that Trout prefers “a thoroughly objectivist view, in which understanding has no epistemic function and explanations require only accurate theories” (100). I argue that this is a fundamental misinterpretation of the objectivist proposal of Trout (2002), and that it results from de Regt's failure to address the distinction announced there between genuine and counterfeit understanding. De Regt also advances a pragmatic alternative to my realist account of understanding in scientific explanation, one that focuses on the skills of scientists and the intelligibility of theories. After supplementing my earlier account of genuine understanding, I argue that de Regt's pragmatic account obscures the nature of scientific explanation, and is vulnerable on several additional fronts.
Our aim in this paper is to bring the woefully neglected literature on predictive modeling to bear on some central questions in the philosophy of science. The lesson of this literature is straightforward: For a very wide range of prediction problems, statistical prediction rules (SPRs), often rules that are very easy to implement, make predictions than are as reliable as, and typically more reliable than, human experts. We will argue that the success of SPRs forces us to reconsider our views about what is involved in understanding, explanation, good reasoning, and about how we ought to do philosophy of science.
Scientists and laypeople alike use the sense of understanding that an explanation conveys as a cue to good or correct explanation. Although the occurrence of this sense or feeling of understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for good explanation, it does drive judgments of the plausibility and, ultimately, the acceptability, of an explanation. This paper presents evidence that the sense of understanding is in part the routine consequence of two well-documented biases in cognitive psychology: overconfidence and hindsight. In light of the prevalence of counterfeit understanding in the history of science, I argue that many forms of cognitive achievement do not involve a sense of understanding, and that only the truth or accuracy of an explanation make the sense of understanding a valid cue to genuine understanding.
The use of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST) in psychology has been under sustained attack, despite its reliable use in the notably successful, so-called “hard” areas of psychology, such as perception and cognition. I argue that, in contrast to merely methodological analyses of hypothesis testing (in terms of “test severity,” or other confirmation-theoretic notions), only a patently metaphysical position can adequately capture the uneven but undeniable successes of theories in “hard psychology.” I contend that Measured Realism satisfies this description, and characterizes the role of NHST in hard psychology.
Scientific realists contend that theory-conjunction presents a problem for empiricist conceptions of scientific knowledge and practice. Van Fraassen (1980) has offered a competing account of theory-conjunction which I argue fails to capture the mercenary character of epistemic dependence in science. Representative cases of theory-conjunction developed in the present paper show that mercenary reliance implies a “principle of epistemic symmetry” which only a realist can consistently accommodate. Finally, because the practice in question involves the conjunction of theories, a version of realism more robust than the “entity realism” of Cartwright (1983, 1989) and Hacking (1983) is required to explain the success of theory-conjunction.
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