David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Mind 120 (477):83-115 (2011)
Kuhn’s famous thesis that there is ‘no unique algorithm’ for choosing between rival scientific theories is analysed using the machinery of social choice theory. It is shown that the problem of theory choice as posed by Kuhn is formally identical to a standard social choice problem. This suggests that analogues of well-known results from the social choice literature, such as Arrow’s impossibility theorem, may apply to theory choice. If an analogue of Arrow’s theorem does hold for theory choice this would refute Kuhn’s thesis, but it would also pose a threat to the rationality of science, a threat that is if anything more worrying than that posed by Kuhn. Various possible ‘escape routes’ from Arrow’s impossibility result are examined, in particular Amartya Sen’s idea of ‘enriching the informational basis’. It is shown that Sen’s idea can be applied to the problem of theory choice in science. This in turn sheds light on two well-known approaches to inductive inference in philosophy of science: Bayesianism and statistical model selection
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
Jacob Stegenga (2013). An Impossibility Theorem for Amalgamating Evidence. Synthese 190 (12):2391-2411.
Sahotra Sarkar (2011). Sober on Intelligent Design. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (3):683-691.
Samuel Schindler (2013). Theory-Laden Experimentation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):89-.
Thomas Kroedel & Franz Huber (2013). Counterfactual Dependence and Arrow. Noûs 47 (3):453-466.
Michael Morreau (2013). Mr. Fit, Mr. Simplicity and Mr. Scope: From Social Choice to Theory Choice. Erkenntnis:1-16.
Similar books and articles
Greg Fried (2010). Teaching Arrow's Theorem. Teaching Philosophy 33 (2):173-186.
Mozaffar Qizilbash (2007). Social Choice and Individual Capabilities. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (2):169-192.
Howard Sankey (1995). The Problem of Rational Theory-Choice. Epistemologia 18 (2):299-312.
Colin Bird (2000). The Possibility of Self-Government. American Political Science Review 94 (3):563-577.
Marcel Weber (2011). Experimentation Versus Theory Choice: A Social-Epistemological Approach. In Hans Bernhard Schmid, Daniel Sirtes & Marcel Weber (eds.), Collective Epistemology. Ontos. 20--203.
Christian List & John Dryzek (2003). Social Choice Theory and Deliberative Democracy: A Reconciliation. British Journal of Political Science 33 (1):1-28.
Kenneth J. Arrow (2006). Freedom and Social Choice: Notes in the Margin. Utilitas 18 (1):52-60.
D. N. Osherson, M. Stob & S. Weinstein (1987). Social Learning and Collective Choice. Synthese 70 (3):319 - 347.
Robert van Rooij (2011). Revealed Preference and Satisficing Behavior. Synthese 179 (1):1-12.
Christian List (2002). Intradimensional Single-Peakedness and the Multidimensional Arrow Problem. Theory and Decision 52 (3):287-301.
Linda Alcoff (1987). Justifying Feminist Social Science. Hypatia 2 (3):107 - 127.
James Bernard Murphy (1995). Rational Choice Theory as Social Physics. Critical Review 9 (1-2):155-174.
Paul Weirich (1984). Interpersonal Utility in Principles of Social Choice. Erkenntnis 21 (3):295 - 317.
Added to index2011-04-01
Total downloads101 ( #14,185 of 1,410,540 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #19,050 of 1,410,540 )
How can I increase my downloads?