A Philosophical Evaluation of the Chaos Theory "Revolution"

The scientific study of chaotic dynamics, popularly known as chaos theory, has been described by several writers as a revolution in the sense of Kuhn. I provide a definition of chaos theory and offer a brief description of this field of research. I then take up the question of whether or not chaos theory should be described as "revolutionary," in light of the fact that no well-developed science of nonlinear dynamics preceded it. In some respects, chaos theory may be fruitfully described as an "immature science," and the semantic view of theories helps to bring out some of its important features. Many aspects of this emerging field make it most appropriate to consider it a new style of scientific reasoning, analogous to statistical thinking as interpreted by Ian Hacking.
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DOI 10.2307/192823
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H. Radder (1997). Philosophy and History of Science: Beyond the Kuhnian Paradigm. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 28 (4):633-655.

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