David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Towards the last quarter of the 20th century, philosophers of science began to develop a research programme to show that neo-Darwinian models of species evolution are analogous to the evolution of scientific theories. This programme is known as the evolutionary epistemology of theories (Bradie, p. 414, 1986). Karl Popper’s influential book The Logic of Discovery was one of the first accounts to draw out the analogy between the evolution of biological species and the evolution of scientific theories. Many philosophers of science have later adopted this analogy, for Stephen Toulmin (1972), and Donald Campbell (1974). The aim of the metaphor is to not just be a model that explains how science progresses, but to actually account for how it does so. At the heart of this analogy is the fact that the generation of new scientific theories and scientific knowledge is conducted through a random process known as “blind variation” (Popper 1963, 1979 & Campbell 1974). If this analogy holds a philosophical consequence, it is that there is no logic of discovery. If there is no logic of discovery, this then supports the Fregean view that there is a gulf between the context of justification and context of discovery. If there is no logic of discovery, then the philosopher’s job is to analyze the justification rather than the discovery. However, Poppers analogy has come under pressure from fellow philosophers of science. Most notably, Paul Thagard argues that Popper’s analogy is a disanalogy because scientists don’t generate hypotheses blindly. My aim of this essay is to show that this is correct. My thesis is that Popper’s analogy is a disanalogy because there is a logic of discovery, thus making evolutionary epistemology of theory (EET) false. I will begin by explaining how Popper argues for the metaphor and the rejection of a logic of discovery. In section II, I will then build off of Thagard’s critiques of Popper to show that in order for science to progress, there needs to be some form of logic. Finally, I will argue that the most likely candidates for a logic of discovery are two types negative-logic: error-elimination and error-correction. I will then conclude that since there are suitable logics for discovery, Popper’s analogy is a disanalogy. This is important to philosophy because it allows for philosophers to analyze the context of discovery and not just the context of justification.
|Keywords||Philosophy of Science Evolutionary Epistemology Epistemology Karl Popper Negative Logic Logic of Discovery|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Mehul Shah (2008). The Logics of Discovery in Popper's Evolutionary Epistemology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 39 (2):303 - 319.
Claude Savary (1995). Discovery and its Logic: Popper and the "Friends of Discovery". Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (3):318-344.
Mehul Shah (2007). Is It Justifiable to Abandon All Search for a Logic of Discovery? International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (3):253 – 269.
Matthew D. Lund (2010). N. R. Hanson: Observation, Discovery, and Scientific Change. Humanity Books.
Paul Thagard (1980). Against Evolutionary Epistemology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:187 - 196.
Jan M. Zytkow & Herbert A. Simon (1988). Normative Systems of Discovery and Logic of Search. Synthese 74 (1):65 - 90.
Herbert A. Simon (1973). Does Scientific Discovery Have a Logic? Philosophy of Science 40 (4):471-480.
Michel Ter Hark (2004). Popper, Otto Selz, and the Rise of Evolutionary Epistemology. Cambridge University Press.
Kevin T. Kelly (1987). The Logic of Discovery. Philosophy of Science 54 (3):435-452.
Elżbieta Pietruska-Madej (1995). Pragmatyczne i apragmatyczne aspekty odkrycia naukowego. Filozofia Nauki 4.
Noretta Koertge (1982). Explaining Scientific Discovery. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:14 - 28.
Timothy Cleveland (1997). A Refutation of Pure Conjecture. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 28 (1):55-81.
Bence Nanay (2011). Popper's Darwinian Analogy. Perspectives on Science 19 (3):337-354.
Added to index2011-12-14
Total downloads112 ( #10,756 of 1,140,064 )
Recent downloads (6 months)12 ( #16,844 of 1,140,064 )
How can I increase my downloads?