David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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What is the nature of scientific progress, and what makes it possible? When we look back at the scientific theories of the past and compare them to the state of science today, there seems little doubt that we have made progress. But how have we made this progress? Is it a continuous process, which gradually incorporates past successes into present theories, or are entrenched theories overthrown by superior competitors in a revolutionary manner? Theories of Scientific Progress presents the arguments for and against both these extremes, and the positions in between. It covers the interpretations of scientific progress from William Whewell through Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos to Thomas Kuhn and beyond, to the latest contemporary debates. Along the way John Losee introduces and discusses questions about evidential support and the comparison of theories; whether scientific progress aims at truth or merely problem-solving effectiveness; what mechanisms underlie either process; and whether there are necessary or sufficient conditions for scientific progress. He ends with a look at the analogy between the growth of science and the operation of natural selection in the organic world, and the current ideas of evolutionary theorists such as Stephen Toulmin and Michael Ruse.
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|Call number||Q175.L665 2004|
|ISBN(s)||0415320674 9780415320665 0415320666 9780415320672|
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Citations of this work BETA
Moti Mizrahi (2012). Idealizations and Scientific Understanding. Philosophical Studies 160 (2):237-252.
Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo (2013). Progress as Approximation to the Truth: A Defence of the Verisimilitudinarian Approach. Erkenntnis 78 (4):921-935.
Peter Gärdenfors & Frank Zenker (2013). Theory Change as Dimensional Change: Conceptual Spaces Applied to the Dynamics of Empirical Theories. Synthese 190 (6):1039-1058.
Mark Newman (2010). Beyond Structural Realism: Pluralist Criteria for Theory Evaluation. Synthese 174 (3):413 - 443.
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