Donald A. Gillies

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For other people named Donald Gillies, see Donald B. Gillies.

Donald A. Gillies is a British philosopher and historian of science and mathematics. He is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College, London.

Career[edit]

After undergraduate studies in mathematics and philosophy at Cambridge, Gillies became a graduate student of Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos at the London School of Economics, where he completed a PhD on the foundations of probability.[1]

Gilles is a past President[1] and a current Vice-President[2] of British Society for the Philosophy of Science. From 1982 to 1985 he was an editor of the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.[1]

Gillies is probably best known for his work on confirmation theory, his attempt to simplify and extend Popper’s theory of corroboration. He proposes a novel "principle of explanatory surplus", likening a successful theoretician to a successful entrepreneur. The entrepreneur generates a surplus (of income) over and above his initial investment (of funds) to meet the necessary expenses of the enterprise. Similarly, the theoretician generates a surplus (of explanations) over and above his initial investment (of assumptions) to make the necessary explanations of known facts. The size of this surplus is held to be a measure of the confirmation of the theory - but only in qualitative, rather than quantitative, terms.

Gillies has researched the philosophy of science, most particularly the foundations of probability; the philosophy of logic and mathematics; and the interactions of artificial intelligence with some aspects of philosophy, including probability, logic, causality and scientific method.

Books and articles[edit]

  • Gillies, Donald (2011) "An objective theory of probability". London: Routledge.
  • Gillies, Donald (2011). "Frege, Dedekind, and Peano on the foundations of arithmetic". London: Routledge.
  • Gillies, Donald (2000) Philosophical Theories of Probability. London: Routledge.
  • Gillies, Donald (1996) "Artificial intelligence and scientific method". Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gillies, Donald ed. (1992) Revolutions in Mathematics. Oxford Science Publications. The Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Gillies, Donald (1989). Non-Bayesian Confirmation Theory and the Principle of Explanatory Surplus. The Philosophy of Science Association, PSA 1988, Volume 2, pp. 373–380.
  • Gillies, Donald and Chihara, Charles S. (1988). An Interchange on the Popper-Miller Argument. Philosophical Studies, Volume 54, pp. 1-8.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wenceslao J. González, Contemporary Perspectives in Philosophy and Methodology of Science. Netbiblo, 2006, ISBN 0-9729892-3-4; pp. v-vi
  2. ^ BSPS Officers and Committees 2009-2010, British Society for the Philosophy of Science. Accessed January 25, 2010

External links[edit]