David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):209-225 (2010)
Both Popper and van Fraassen have used evolutionary analogies to defend their views on the aim of science, although these are diametrically opposed. By employing Price's equation in an illustrative capacity, this paper considers which view is better supported. It shows that even if our observations and experimental results are reliable, an evolutionary analogy fails to demonstrate why conjecture and refutation should result in: (1) the isolation of true theories; (2) successive generations of theories of increasing truth-likeness; (3) empirically adequate theories; or (4) successive generations of theories of increasing proximity to empirical adequacy. Furthermore, it illustrates that appeals to induction do not appear to help. It concludes that an evolutionary analogy is only sufficient to defend the notion that the aim of science is to isolate a particular class of false theories, namely those that are empirically inadequate.
|Keywords||Evolutionary Epistemolgy Popper Van Fraassen Aim of Science Scientific Realism Constructive Empiricism|
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References found in this work BETA
Karl R. Popper (1972). Objective Knowledge. Oxford,Clarendon Press.
Bas C. Van Fraassen (1980). The Scientific Image. Oxford University Press.
Samir Okasha (2006/2008). Evolution and the Levels of Selection. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Darrell P. Rowbottom (2014). Aimless Science. Synthese 191 (6):1211-1221.
Darrell P. Rowbottom (2010). What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird's Epistemic View. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
Moti Mizrahi (2014). Constructive Empiricism: Normative or Descriptive? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):604-616.
Darrell P. Rowbottom (2010). Corroboration and Auxiliary Hypotheses: Duhem's Thesis Revisited. Synthese 177 (1):139-149.
Steven French (2011). Shifting to Structures in Physics and Biology: A Prophylactic for Promiscuous Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (2):164-173.
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