Is scientific methodology interestingly atemporal?

Any division between scientific practice and a metalevel of the methods and goals of science is largely a false dichotomy. Since a priori, foundationist or logicist approaches to normative principles have proven unequal to the task of representing actual scientific practice, methodologies of science must be abstracted from episodes in the history of science. Of course, it is possible that such characteristics could prove universal and constant across various eras. But, case studies show that they are not in anything beyond the strictures applied to everyday, commonsense reasoning (e.g., a requirement of noncontradiction in a deductive argument). Hence, even if some presently-on-offer methodology or description of past scientific practice were adequate, it need not remain so for current (‘frontier’) areas of science. For this reason, it is important to examine recent episodes in, say, high-energy physics. Results from case studies of several episodes in that field are used to argue that successful practice leads scientists to countenance essential changes in the methodological framework at the levels of the criteria employed in judging theories (i.e., what counts for an explanation and what are canons of rationality) and of the goals of science. *Partial support for this research was provided by the History and Philosophy of Science Program of the National Science Foundation under grants Nos. SES-8606472 and SES-8705469. A preliminary version of this paper was given at an HPS seminar at King's College, London University in May 1988. Helpful comments and useful criticisms were made by several colleagues, especially Ernan McMullin, Heinz Post and Simon Saunders (none of whom are to be held responsible for or necessarily even in agreement with the views expressed here.).
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/41.2.177
 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: 16,667
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Frank Haney (1994). Alternativen der Wissenschaftsgeschichte. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 25 (2):207 - 222.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
G. Hardcastle (1999). Are There Scientific Goals? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 30 (3):297-311.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

11 ( #219,154 of 1,726,249 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )

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.