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Theory choice and resistance to change

Philosophy of Science 47 (2):227-243 (1980)
The object of this paper is twofold: to show that resistance to scientific change on the part of scientists need signal neither irrationality nor the presence of extra-scientific influences; and to show how such resistance can be accommodated within a theory of rational choice. After considerations have been outlined suggesting that scientists cannot rationally resist new scientific theories unless theory choice is subjectivistic (section I), evidence is adduced favoring the contrary view (section II). In section III, a non-subjectivistic, non-relativistic conception of rational choice is proposed which recognizes the possibility of scientists' rationally resisting new scientific developments. Finally, in section IV, some minor misunderstandings concerning resistance are discussed
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