Objectivity, Rationality, and Scientific Change

"Objectivity" and "rationality" of science do not depend on freedom from all "presuppositions", but are inextricably bound with the employment of background beliefs, so long as those background beliefs satisfy certain constraints. These latter have developed through application of the same kind of reasoning that they themselves dictate, and change in response to changes in the reasoning-patterns which they themselves generate. This interaction of constraints and reasoning does not eventuate in a vicious circle; rather, what results is a mutual reinforcement, itself rational in a sense that is coherent with well-founded everyday intuitions from which the ideas in question (objectivity and rationality) are descendants, and that makes intelligible the progressive nature of science.
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DOI 10.2307/192530
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