David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 154 (3):383 - 399 (2007)
In order to develop an account of scientific rationality, two problems need to be addressed: (i) how to make sense of episodes of theory change in science where the lack of a cumulative development is found, and (ii) how to accommodate cases of scientific change where lack of consistency is involved. In this paper, we sketch a model of scientific rationality that accommodates both problems. We first provide a framework within which it is possible to make sense of scientific revolutions, but which still preserves some (partial) relations between old and new theories. The existence of these relations help to explain why the break between different theories is never too radical as to make it impossible for one to interpret the process in perfectly rational terms. We then defend the view that if scientific theories are taken to be quasi-true, and if the underlying logic is paraconsistent, it's perfectly rational for scientists and mathematicians to entertain inconsistent theories without triviality. As a result, as opposed to what is demanded by traditional approaches to rationality, it's not irrational to entertain inconsistent theories. Finally, we conclude the paper by arguing that the view advanced here provides a new way of thinking about the foundations of science. In particular, it extends in important respects both coherentist and foundationalist approaches to knowledge, without the troubles that plague traditional views of scientific rationality
|Keywords||Rationality Inconsistency Scientific change Paraconsistent logic Coherence|
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References found in this work BETA
Laurence BonJour (1985). The Structure of Empirical Knowledge. Harvard University Press.
George Boolos (1998). Logic, Logic, and Logic. Harvard University Press.
O. Bueno (1997). Empirical Adequacy: A Partial Structures Approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 28 (4):585-610.
Otávio Bueno (1999). Empiricism, Conservativeness, and Quasi-Truth. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):485.
Otávio Bueno (2002). On Representing the Relationship Between the Mathematical and the Empirical. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):497-518.
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