Systems theory and evolutionary models of the development of science

Philosophy of Science 38 (2):178-199 (1971)
Philosophers of science have used various formulations of the "random mutation--natural selection" scheme to explain the development of scientific knowledge. But the uncritical acceptance of this evolutionary model has led to substantive problems concerning the relation between fact and theory. The primary difficulty lies in the fact that those who adopt this model (Popper and Kuhn, for example) are led to claim that theories arise chiefly through the processes of relatively random change. Systems theory constitutes a general criticism of this model insofar as it demonstrates the necessity of supplementing this mechanism with the non-random influences exercised by the internal organization of a system on its own development
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DOI 10.1086/288353
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Theodore Kisiel & Galen Johnson (1974). New Philosophies of Science in the USA. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 5 (1):138-191.

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