David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Foundations of Science 13 (2):177-193 (2008)
Scientific anomalies are observations and facts that contradict current scientific theories and they are instrumental in scientific theory change. Philosophers of science have approached scientific theory change from different perspectives as Darden (Theory change in science: Strategies from Mendelian genetics, 1991) observes: Lakatos (In: Lakatos, Musgrave (eds) Criticism and the growth of knowledge, 1970) approaches it as a progressive “research programmes” consisting of incremental improvements (“monster barring” in Lakatos, Proofs and refutations: The logic of mathematical discovery, 1976), Kuhn (The structure of scientific revolutions, 1996) observes that changes in “paradigms” are instigated by a crisis from some anomaly, and Hanson (In: Feigl, Maxwell (eds) Current issues in the philosophy of science, 1961) proposes that discovery does not begin with hypothesis but with some “problematic phenomena requiring explanation”. Even though anomalies are important in all of these approaches to scientific theory change, there have been only few investigations into the specific role anomalies play in scientific theory change. Furthermore, much of these approaches focus on the theories themselves and not on how the scientists and their experiments bring about scientific change (Gooding, Experiment and the making of meaning: Human agency in scientific observation and experiment, 1990). To address these issues, this paper approaches scientific anomaly resolution from a meaning construction point of view. Conceptual integration theory (Fauconnier and Turner, Cogn Sci 22:133–187, 1996; The way we think: Conceptual blending and mind’s hidden complexities, 2002) from cognitive linguistics describes how one constructs meaning from various stimuli, such as text and diagrams, through conceptual integration or blending. The conceptual integration networks that describe the conceptual integration process characterize cognition that occurs unconsciously during meaning construction. These same networks are used to describe some of the cognition while resolving an anomaly in molecular genetics called RNA interference (RNAi) in a case study. The RNAi case study is a cognitive-historical reconstruction (Nersessian, In: Giere (ed) Cognitive models of science, 1992) that reconstructs how the RNAi anomaly was resolved. This reconstruction traces four relevant molecular genetics publications in describing the cognition necessary in accounting for how RNAi was resolved through strategies (Darden 1991), abductive reasoning (Peirce, In: Hartshorne, Weiss (eds) Collected papers, 1958), and experimental reasoning (Gooding 1990). The results of the case study show that experiments play a crucial role in formulating an explanation of the RNAi anomaly and the integration networks describe the experiments’ role. Furthermore, these results suggest that RNAi anomaly resolution is embodied. It is embodied in a sense that cognition described in the cognitive-historical reconstruction is experientially based.
|Keywords||Cognitive linguistics Molecular genetics Abductive reasoning Strategies Meaning construction|
|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
Nancy J. Nersessian (1989). Conceptual Change in Science and in Science Education. Synthese 80 (1):163 - 183.
Daniel Sirtes & Eric Oberheim (2006). Einstein, Entropy, and Anomalies. AIP Conference Proceedings 861:1147-1154.
Keekok Lee (2003). Philosophy and Revolutions in Genetics: Deep Science and Deep Technology. Palgrave Macmillan.
Henk W. Regt (2005). Scientific Realism in Action: Molecular Models and Boltzmann's Bildtheorie. Erkenntnis 63 (2):205 - 230.
Xiang Chen & Peter Barker (2000). Continuity Through Revolutions: A Frame-Based Account of Conceptual Change During Scientific Revolutions. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):223.
Mark Bevir (2003). Notes Toward an Analysis of Conceptual Change. Social Epistemology 17 (1):55 – 63.
Lindley Darden (1991). Theory Change in Science: Strategies From Mendelian Genetics. Oxford University Press.
Lindley Darden (1998). Anomaly-Driven Theory Redesign: Computational Philosophy of Science Experiments. In T. W. Bynum & J. Moor (eds.), The Digital Phoenix. Cambridge: Blackwell. 62--78.
Lindley Darden (2006). Reasoning in Biological Discoveries: Essays on Mechanisms, Interfield Relations, and Anomaly Resolution. Cambridge University Press.
Lindley Darden & Michael Cook (1994). Reasoning Strategies in Molecular Biology: Abstractions, Scans and Anomalies. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:179 - 191.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads11 ( #157,906 of 1,689,894 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #111,640 of 1,689,894 )
How can I increase my downloads?