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Release the Kraken? Well-Controlled and Dangerous Speculation in Geohistory

Dresow, Max (2022) Release the Kraken? Well-Controlled and Dangerous Speculation in Geohistory. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

This paper is about the wilder side of speculation in geohistory. Specifically, it is about what I call “dangerous speculation” and the circumstances under which it is likely to be well-received. Dangerous speculation is speculation that departs from an ideal of “well-controlled speculation” in one or more of several ways. These departures correspond to familiar epistemic sins and are individually sufficient to render a hypothesis epistemically suspect. But an epistemically suspect hypothesis may still be regarded as viable under certain circumstances. This paper explores these circumstances using three examples from geohistory. These are the “Triassic kraken hypothesis,” the “vendobiont hypothesis” and the “Nemesis (or Death Star) hypothesis.” It asks two major questions. First, what accounts for the relatively enthusiastic reception of the vendobiont hypothesis, the more complicated reception of Nemesis, and the heckling dismissal of the Triassic kraken? And second, what epistemic lessons (if any) can be extracted from this comparison?


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Dresow, Max
Keywords: Speculation; historical science; Geohistory; paleontology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Dr. Max Dresow
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 13:55
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 13:55
Item ID: 20881
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20881

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