Darwin's Pangenesis and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives

Abstract
In earlier work I have argued that the most substantial threat to scientific realism arises from the problem of unconceived alternatives: the repeated failure of past scientists and scientific communities to conceive of alternatives to extant scientific theories, even when such alternatives were both (1) well confirmed by the evidence available at the time and (2) sufficiently scientifically serious as to be later embraced by actual scientific communities. In this paper I explore Charles Darwin's development and defense of his 'pangenesis' theory of inheritance and conclude that this particular historical example offers impressive support for the challenge posed to realism by this problem of unconceived alternatives
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Timothy D. Lyons (2009). Non-Competitor Conditions in the Scientific Realism Debate. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (1):65-84.
    Similar books and articles
    Michael Devitt (2011). Are Unconceived Alternatives a Problem for Scientific Realism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 42 (2):285-293.
    Daniel Steel (2011). On Not Changing the Problem: A Reply to Howson. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (3):285 - 291.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    70 ( #16,759 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    14 ( #8,006 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.