Scientific rationality and human reasoning

Philosophy of Science 59 (3):439-455 (1992)
The work of Tversky, Kahneman and others suggests that people often make use of cognitive heuristics such as availability, salience and representativeness in their reasoning and decision making. Through use of a historical example--the recent plate tectonics revolution in geology--I argue that such heuristics play a crucial role in scientific decision making also. I suggest how these heuristics are to be considered, along with noncognitive factors (such as motivation and social structures) when drawing historical and epistemological conclusions. The normative perspective is community-wide, contextual, and instrumental
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DOI 10.1086/289680
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