Philosophy, instinct, intuition: What motivates the scientist in search of a theory?

Biology and Philosophy 15 (1):93-101 (2000)
This article questions whether philosophical considerations play any substantial role in the actual process of scientific research. Using examples mostly from the nineteenth century, it suggests that scientists generally choose their basic theoretical orientation, and their research strategies, on the basis of non-rationalized feelings which might be described as instinct or intuition. In one case where methodological principles were the driving force (Charles Lyell's uniformitarian geology), the effect was counterproductive.
Keywords non-rational methods  research strategies
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DOI 10.1023/A:1006672807518
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