Philosophy of Science and Its Rational Reconstructions: Remarks on the VPI Program for Testing Philosophies of Science

In this paper I argue that the program of L. Laudan et al for empirically testing historiographical philosophies of science ("the VPI program") does not succeed in providing a consistent naturalist program in philosophy of science. In particular, the VPI program endorses a nonnaturalist metamethodology that insists on a hypothetico-deductive structure to scientific testing. But hypothetico-deductivism seems to be both inadequate as an account of scientific theory testing in general and fundamentally at odds with most of the historiographic philosophies under test. I sketch an account of testing historiographic philosophies of science more consistent with the views about scientific testing of those philosophies and argue that such a program is neither viciously circular nor necessarily self-refuting.
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DOI 10.2307/192742
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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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