Two Styles of Reasoning in Scientific Practices: Experimental and Mathematical Traditions

This article outlines a philosophy of science in practice that focuses on the engineering sciences. A methodological issue is that these practices seem to be divided by two different styles of scientific reasoning, namely, causal-mechanistic and mathematical reasoning. These styles are philosophically characterized by what Kuhn called ?disciplinary matrices?. Due to distinct metaphysical background pictures and/or distinct ideas of what counts as intelligible, they entail distinct ideas of the character of phenomena and what counts as a scientific explanation. It is argued that the two styles cannot be reduced to each other. At the same time, although they are incompatible, they must not be regarded as competing. Instead, they produce different kinds of epistemic results, which serve different kinds of epistemic functions. Moreover, some scientific breakthroughs essentially result from relating them. This view of complementary styles of scientific reasoning is supported by pluralism about metaphysical background pictures
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02698595.2011.605248
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,774
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Moti Mizrahi (2013). What is Scientific Progress? Lessons From Scientific Practice. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (2):375-390.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Dominic Lopes (1992). Pictures, Styles and Purposes. British Journal of Aesthetics 32 (4):330-341.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2012). Interweaving Categories: Styles, Paradigms, and Models. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (4):628-639.
Michael A. Peters (2007). Kinds of Thinking, Styles of Reasoning. Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (4):350–363.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #125,553 of 1,727,972 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #354,177 of 1,727,972 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.