David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Social Epistemology 23 (2):105 – 124 (2009)
Despite its proliferation in technology studies, the concept of “path dependence” has scarcely been applied to epistemology. In this essay, I investigate path dependence in the production of scientific knowledge, first, by considering Kuhn's scattered remarks that lend support to a path-dependence thesis (Section I) and second by developing and criticising Kuhn's embryonic account (Sections II and III). I examine a case from high-energy physics that brings the path-dependent nature of scientific knowledge to the fore and I pay attention to two sources of path dependence—“theoretical” and “instrumental”. The latter source is particularly important in “big science”. I ask in Section IV whether path dependence in scientific knowledge can lead to circumstances like those in the technological field, in which a theory can come to dominate a scientific speciality even though it is inferior to alternatives. In Section V, I ask what implications my thesis has for science policy
|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
Paul Feyerabend (1999). Knowledge, Science, and Relativism: 1960-1980. Cambridge University Press.
Ian Hacking (1992). The Self-Vindication of the Laboratory Sciences. In Andrew Pickering (ed.), Science as Practice and Culture. University of Chicago Press. 29--64.
T. Kuhn (1970). Natural Science and Its Dangers. In Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) (1970). Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Quassim Cassam (2003). Can Transcendental Epistemology Be Naturalized? Philosophy 78 (2):181-203.
David James (2013). Rousseau on Dependence and the Formation of Political Society. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):343-366.
J. Väänänen (2007). Dependence Logic: A New Approach to Independence Friendly Logic. Cambridge University Press.
Juan Urrutia Elejalde (2008). Puzzles and Problems. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 96 (1):49-70.
Peter P. Kirschenmann (2001). “Intrinsically” or Just “Instrumentally” Valuable? On Structural Types of Values of Scientific Knowledge. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 32 (2):237-256.
Eric Desjardins (2011). Reflections on Path Dependence and Irreversibility: Lessons From Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):724-738.
W. Y. Evans-Wentz (1968). Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. New York [Etc.],Oxford U.P..
James R. Griesemer (1991). Must Scientific Diagrams Be Eliminable? The Case of Path Analysis. Biology and Philosophy 6 (2):155-180.
Added to index2010-05-07
Total downloads20 ( #81,233 of 1,096,601 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #153,658 of 1,096,601 )
How can I increase my downloads?