Graduate studies at Western
Synthese 78 (1):1 - 24 (1989)
|Abstract||This paper is a critique of a project, outlined by Laudan et al. (1986) recently in this journal, for empirically testing philosophical models of change in science by comparing them against the historical record of actual scientific practice. While the basic idea of testing such models of change in the arena of science is itself an appealing one, serious questions can be raised about the suitability of seeking confirmation or disconfirmation for large numbers of specific theses drawn from a massive list of claims abstracted from the writings of a few philosophers of science. The present paper discusses what one might reasonably expect from a model of change in science and then compares some clusters of theses from Laudan et al. with developments in recent theoretical physics. The results suggest that such straightforward testing of theses may be largely inconclusive.|
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