About this topic
Summary Interest in the topic of scientific theory change (and theory choice) arose in the context of the "historical turn" in the philosophy of science associated with Thomas Kuhn, Paul Feyerabend and others.  While a significant focus of the theory change literature relates to the transition between theories in the context of a scientific revolution, the general topic of theory change is not restricted to revolutionary transition between theories.  It covers not only non-revolutionary transition between theories, but also change internal to theory.
Key works The work that placed this topic on the philosophical agenda is Kuhn 1962, and later editions, e.g. Kuhn 1962.  An important book dealing with philosophical reactions to Kuhn's account of theory change is Lakatos & Musgrave 1970 (see especially Imre 1970).  Another important document is Suppe 1974.
Introductions Chalmers 1979
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  1. Models of Scientific Change.Benjamin Aguilar - manuscript
    This paper challenges premises regarding the ‘Kuhn vs Popper debate’ which is often introduced to students at a university level. Though I acknowledge the disagreements between Kuhn and Popper, I argue that their models of science are greatly similar. To begin, some preliminary context is given to point out conceptual and terminological barriers within this debate. The remainder of paper illuminates consistencies between the influential books The Logic of Scientific Discoveries (by Popper, abbreviated as Logic) and The Structure of Scientific (...)
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  2. From Measurability to a Model of Scientific Progress.Luigi Scorzato - manuscript
    I argue that the key to understand many fundamental issues in philosophy of science lies in understanding the subtle relation between the non-empirical cognitive values used in science and the constraints imposed by measurability. In fact, although we are not able to fix the interpretation of a scientific theory through its formulation, I show that measurability puts constraints that can at least exclude some implausible interpretations. This turns out to be enough to define at least one cognitive value that is (...)
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  3. Defining a Crisis: The Roles of Principles in the Search for a Theory of Quantum Gravity.Karen Crowther - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    In times of crisis, when current theories are revealed as inadequate to task, and new physics is thought to be required---physics turns to re-evaluate its principles, and to seek new ones. This paper explores the various types, and roles of principles that feature in the problem of quantum gravity as a current crisis in physics. I illustrate the diversity of the principles being appealed to, and show that principles serve in a variety of roles in all stages of the crisis, (...)
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  4. Philosophy of Science, Network Theory, and Conceptual Change: Paradigm Shifts as Information Cascades.Patrick Grim, Joshua Kavner, Lloyd Shatkin & Manjari Trivedi - forthcoming - In Euel Elliot & L. Douglas Kiel (eds.), Complex Systems in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Theory, Method, and Application. University of Michigan Press.
    Philosophers have long tried to understand scientific change in terms of a dynamics of revision within ‘theoretical frameworks,’ ‘disciplinary matrices,’ ‘scientific paradigms’ or ‘conceptual schemes.’ No-one, however, has made clear precisely how one might model such a conceptual scheme, nor what form change dynamics within such a structure could be expected to take. In this paper we take some first steps in applying network theory to the issue, modeling conceptual schemes as simple networks and the dynamics of change as cascades (...)
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  5. James Marcum, Thomas Kuhn's Revolutions.Vasso Kindi - forthcoming - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science.
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  6. Constitutive Elements in Science Beyond Physics: The Case of the Hardy–Weinberg Principle.Michele Luchetti - forthcoming - Synthese.
    In this paper, I present a new framework supporting the claim that some elements in science play a constitutive function, with the aim of overcoming some limitations of Friedman's (2001) account. More precisely, I focus on what I consider to be the gradualism implicit in Friedman's interpretation of the constitutive a priori, that is, the fact that it seems to allow for degrees of 'constitutivity'. I tease out such gradualism by showing that the constitutive character Friedman aims to track can (...)
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  7. Kuhn, Coherentism and Perception.Howard Sankey - forthcoming - In Pablo Melogno, Hernán Miguel & Leandro Giri (eds.), Perspectives On Kuhn.
    The paper takes off from the suggestion of Jouni-Matti Kuukkanen that Kuhn’s account of science may be understood in coherentist terms. There are coherentist themes in Kuhn’s philosophy of science. But one crucial element is lacking. Kuhn does not deny the existence of basic beliefs which have a non-doxastic source of justification. Nor does he assert that epistemic justification only derives from inferential relationships between non-basic beliefs. Despite this, the coherentist interpretation is promising and I develop it further in this (...)
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  8. Mapping Kinds in GIS and Cartography.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - forthcoming - In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 197-216.
    Geographic Information Science (GIS) is an interdisciplinary science aiming to detect and visually represent patterns in spatial data. GIS is used by businesses to determine where to open new stores and by conservation biologists to identify field study locations with relatively little anthropogenic influence. Products of GIS include topographic and thematic maps of the Earth’s surface, climate maps, and spatially referenced demographic graphs and charts. In addition to its social, political, and economic importance, GIS is of intrinsic philosophical interest due (...)
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  9. Kuhn's Intellectual Path: Charting The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.K. Brad Wray - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  10. Other Stars, Other Planets, and Other Life: A Primer That Goes Two-Thirds of the Way: Niall Deacon: Twenty Worlds: The Extraordinary Story of Planets Around Other Stars. London: Reaktion Books, 2020, 216 Pp, $22.50.Marc Champagne - 2021 - Metascience 30 (1):153-156.
  11. Feyerabend’s Theoretical Pluralism: An Investigation of the Epistemic Value of False Theories.Wray K. Brad - 2021 - In Jamie Shaw & Karim Bschir (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press. pp. 72-88.
    I examine Feyerabend's defense for theoretical pluralism. I compare it to other influential defenses of pluralism, including Philip Kitcher's and Hasok Chang's. I argue that, unlike others, Feyerabend emphasizes importance of comparative evaluations when choosing between competing theories, and that such evaluations are enhanced by the development of multiple competing theories. I also argue that the development of numerous alternative theories enables scientists to make piecemeal changes when replacing one theory with another. I illustrate this by examining the impact of (...)
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  12. Synthesising Arguments and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.Andrew Buskell - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80:101244.
  13. How to Overcome Antirealists’ Objections to Scientific Realism.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (1):1-12.
    Van Fraassen contends that there is no argument that rationally compels us to disbelieve a successful theory, T. I object that this contention places upon him the burden of showing that scientific antirealists’ favorite arguments, such as the pessimistic induction, do not rationally compel us to disbelieve T. Van Fraassen uses the English view of rationality to rationally disbelieve T. I argue that realists can use it to rationally believe T, despite scientific antirealists’ favorite arguments against T.
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  14. Doing Integrated History and Philosophy of Science: A Case Study of the Origin of Genetics.Yafeng Shan - 2020 - Cham: Springer.
    This book offers an integrated historical and philosophical examination of the origin of genetics. The author contends that an integrated HPS analysis helps us to have a better understanding of the history of genetics, and sheds light on some general issues in the philosophy of science. This book consists of three parts. It begins with historical problems, revisiting the significance of the work of Mendel, de Vries, and Weldon. Then it turns to integrated HPS problems, developing an exemplar-based analysis of (...)
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  15. Paradigms in Structure: Finally, a Count.K. Brad Wray - 2020 - Scientometrics 125:823–828.
    Following the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions the term paradigm became ubiquitous. It is now commonplace in academic writing across the disciplines. Though much has been written about Kuhn’s use of the term and its impact on other fields, there has not yet been a systematic study of how frequently Kuhn used the term in Structure. My aim in this paper is to provide such an analysis. I aim to answer the following questions: (1) How many times (...)
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  16. How is a Revolutionary Scientific Paper Cited?: The Case of Hess’ “History of Ocean Basins”.K. Brad Wray - 2020 - Scientometrics 124:1677–1683.
    I examine the citation patterns to a revolutionary scientific paper, Hess’ “History of Ocean Basins”, which played a significant role in the plate tectonics revolution in the geosciences. I test two predictions made by the geoscientist Menard (in Science: growth and change. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1971): (1) that the peak year of citations for Hess’ article will be 1968; and (2) that the rate of citations to the article will then reach some lower level, continuing on accumulating citations at (...)
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  17. Reporting the discovery of new chemical elements: working in different worlds, only 25 years apart.K. Brad Wray & Line Edslev Andersen - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (2):137-146.
    In his account of scientific revolutions, Thomas Kuhn suggests that after a revolutionary change of theory, it is as if scientists are working in a different world. In this paper, we aim to show that the notion of world change is insightful. We contrast the reporting of the discovery of neon in 1898 with the discovery of hafnium in 1923. The one discovery was made when elements were identified by their atomic weight; the other discovery was made after scientists came (...)
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  18. Theory-Choice, Transient Diversity and the Efficiency of Scientific Inquiry.AnneMarie Borg, Daniel Frey, Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):26.
    Recent studies of scientific interaction based on agent-based models suggest that a crucial factor conducive to efficient inquiry is what Zollman has dubbed ‘transient diversity’. It signifies a process in which a community engages in parallel exploration of rivaling theories lasting sufficiently long for the community to identify the best theory and to converge on it. But what exactly generates transient diversity? And is transient diversity a decisive factor when it comes to the efficiency of inquiry? In this paper we (...)
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  19. Theory-Choice, Transient Diversity and the Efficiency of Scientific Inquiry.AnneMarie Borg, Daniel Frey, Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):26.
    Recent studies of scientific interaction based on agent-based models suggest that a crucial factor conducive to efficient inquiry is what Zollman has dubbed ‘transient diversity’. It signifies a process in which a community engages in parallel exploration of rivaling theories lasting sufficiently long for the community to identify the best theory and to converge on it. But what exactly generates transient diversity? And is transient diversity a decisive factor when it comes to the efficiency of inquiry? In this paper we (...)
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  20. Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Metaphysics of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Philosophia:1-18.
    Over 40 years ago, I put forward a new philosophy of science based on the argument that physics, in only ever accepting unified theories, thereby makes a substantial metaphysical presupposition about the universe, to the effect it possesses an underlying unity. I argued that a new conception of scientific method is required to subject this problematic presupposition to critical attention so that it may be improved as science proceeds. This view has implications for the study of the metaphysics of science. (...)
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  21. A New Task for Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (3):316-338.
    This paper argues that philosophers of science have before them an important new task that they urgently need to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science (...)
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  22. Perennial Symmetry Arguments: Aristotle’s Heavenly Cosmology and Noether’s First Theorem.Ryan Michael Miller - 2019 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 93.
    Attempts to find perennial elements in Aristotle’s cosmology are doomed to failure because his distinction of sub- and supra-lunary realms no longer holds. More fruitful approaches to the contemporary importance of Aristotelian cosmology must focus on parities of reasoning rather than content. This paper highlights the striking parallels between Aristotle’s use of symmetry arguments in cosmology and instances of Noether’s First Theorem in contemporary physics. Both observe simple motion, find symmetries in that motion, argue from those symmetries to notions of (...)
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  23. The Absolute and Relative Pessimistic Inductions.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Problemos 95:94-104.
    The absolute pessimistic induction states that earlier theories, although successful, were abandoned, so current theories, although successful, will also be abandoned. By contrast, the relative pessimistic induction states that earlier theories, although superior to their predecessors, were discarded, so current theories, although superior to earlier theories, will also be discarded. Some pessimists would have us believe that the relative pessimistic induction avoids empirical progressivism. I argue, however, that it has the same problem as the absolute pessimistic induction, viz., either its (...)
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  24. In Defense of Realism and Selectivism From Lyons’s Objections.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (4):605-615.
    Lyons (2016, 2017, 2018) formulates Laudan’s (1981) historical objection to scientific realism as a modus tollens. I present a better formulation of Laudan’s objection, and then argue that Lyons’s formulation is supererogatory. Lyons rejects scientific realism (Putnam, 1975) on the grounds that some successful past theories were (completely) false. I reply that scientific realism is not the categorical hypothesis that all successful scientific theories are (approximately) true, but rather the statistical hypothesis that most successful scientific theories are (approximately) true. Lyons (...)
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  25. New Objections to the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (2):138-145.
    The problem of unconceived alternatives can be undermined, regardless of whether the possibility space of alternatives is bounded or unbounded. If it is bounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet eliminated enough false alternatives is higher than the probability that scientists have already eliminated enough false alternatives. If it is unbounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet moved from the possibility space of false alternatives (...)
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  26. Thomas Kuhn's Theory of Rationality.Paulo Pirozelli - 2019 - Manuscrito 42 (3):1-46.
    According to a widespread view, Thomas Kuhn’s model of scientific development would relegate rationality to a second plane, openly flirting with irrationalist positions. The intent of this article is to clarify this aspect of his thinking and refute this common interpretation. I begin by analysing the nature of values in Kuhn’s model and how they are connected to rationality. For Kuhn, a theory is chosen rationally when: i) the evaluation is based on values characteristic of science; ii) a theory is (...)
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  27. Three Problems with Kuhn's Concept of "Crisis".Paulo Pirozelli - 2019 - Enunciação 4 (2):135-147.
    The aim of the article is to explore Thomas Kuhn’s notion of “scientific crisis” and indicate some difficulties with it. First, Kuhn defines “crisis” through the notion of “anomaly” but distinguishes these concepts in two different ways: categorically and quantitatively. Both of these alternatives face considerable problems. The categorical definition relies on a distinction between “discoveries” and “inventions” that, as Kuhn himself admits, is artificial. The quantitative definition states that crises are a deeper, more profound type of anomaly. Kuhn, however, (...)
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  28. Specialisation and the Incommensurability Among Scientific Specialties.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):129-144.
    In his mature writings, Kuhn describes the process of specialisation as driven by a form of incommensurability, defined as a conceptual/linguistic barrier which promotes and guarantees the insularity of specialties. In this paper, we reject the idea that the incommensurability among scientific specialties is a linguistic barrier. We argue that the problem with Kuhn’s characterisation of the incommensurability among specialties is that he presupposes a rather abstract theory of semantic incommensurability, which he then tries to apply to his description of (...)
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  29. Kuhn's Incommensurability Thesis: Good Examples Still to Be Found.Dusko Prelevic - 2019 - Filozofia Nauki (The Philosophy of Science) 27 (4):61-77.
    In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,Thomas Kuhn famously argued that scientific revolutions consist in paradigm shifts in which the superseded and the new paradigms are incommensurable. My aim in this paper is to show that neither Kuhn’s examples nor Yafeng Shan’s recently proposed example adequately support this incommensurability thesis. Starting from the distinction between global and local incommensurability, I argue that, on the one hand, local incommensurability does not imply that paradigms are globally incommensurable, and, on the other, that it (...)
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  30. A New Functional Approach to Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):739-758.
    This article develops and defends a new functional approach to scientific progress. I begin with a review of the problems of the traditional functional approach. Then I propose a new functional account of scientific progress, in which scientific progress is defined in terms of usefulness of problem defining and problem solving. I illustrate and defend my account by applying it to the history of genetics. Finally, I highlight the advantages of my new functional approach over the epistemic and semantic approaches (...)
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  31. Between History and Philosophy of Science: The Relationship Between Kuhn’s Black-Body Theory and Structure.Adam Timmins - 2019 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 9 (2):371-387.
  32. What is the Point of Reduction in Science?Karen Crowther - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The numerous and diverse roles of theory reduction in science have been insufficiently explored in the philosophy literature on reduction. Part of the reason for this has been a lack of attention paid to reduction2 (successional reduction)---although I here argue that this sense of reduction is closer to reduction1 (explanatory reduction) than is commonly recognised, and I use an account of reduction that is neutral between the two. This paper draws attention to the utility---and incredible versatility---of theory reduction. A non-exhaustive (...)
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  33. Scientific Progress: Four Accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
    Scientists are constantly making observations, carrying out experiments, and analyzing empirical data. Meanwhile, scientific theories are routinely being adopted, revised, discarded, and replaced. But when are such changes to the content of science improvements on what came before? This is the question of scientific progress. One answer is that progress occurs when scientific theories ‘get closer to the truth’, i.e. increase their degree of truthlikeness. A second answer is that progress consists in increasing theories’ effectiveness for solving scientific problems. A (...)
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  34. Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  35. A Compatibility Law and the Classification of Theory Change.Patrick Fraser & Ameer Sarwar - 2018 - Scientonomy: Journal for the Science of Science 2:67-82.
    The current formulation of the zeroth law (the law of compatibility) is marred with a number of theoretical problems, which necessitate its reformulation. In this paper, we propose that compatibility is an independent stance that can be taken towards epistemic elements of all types. We then provide a new definition of compatibility criteria to reflect this change. We show that the content of the zeroth law is deducible from our definition of compatibility. Instead of a static law of compatibility, we (...)
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  36. The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation?Moti Mizrahi (ed.) - 2018 - London: Rowman & Littlefield.
    More than 50 years after the publication of Thomas Kuhn’s seminal book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, this volume assesses the adequacy of the Kuhnian model in explaining certain aspects of science, particularly the social and epistemic aspects of science. One argument put forward is that there are no good reasons to accept Kuhn’s incommensurability thesis, according to which scientific revolutions involve the replacement of theories with conceptually incompatible ones. Perhaps, therefore, it is time for another “decisive transformation in the (...)
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  37. The (Lack of) Evidence for the Kuhnian Image of Science.Moti Mizrahi - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (7):19-24.
    In their reviews of The Kuhnian Image of Science: Time for a Decisive Transformation? (2018), both Markus Arnold (2018) and Amanda Bryant (2018) complain that the contributors who criticize Kuhn’s theory of scientific change have misconstrued his philosophy of science and they praise those who seek to defend the Kuhnian image of science. In what follows, then, I would like to address their claims about misconstruing Kuhn’s theory of scientific change. But my focus here, as in the book, will be (...)
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  38. Einstein's Revolution: A Study in Theory Unification.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2018 - Sharjah, UAE: Bentham science publishers.
    Press release. -/- The ebook entitled, Einstein’s Revolution: A Study of Theory-Unification, gives students of physics and philosophy, and general readers, an epistemological insight into the genesis of Einstein’s special relativity and its further unification with other theories, that ended well by the construction of general relativity. The book was developed by Rinat Nugayev who graduated from Kazan State University relativity department and got his M.Sci at Moscow State University department of philosophy of science and Ph.D at Moscow Institute of (...)
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  39. The Aesthetics of Theory Selection and the Logics of Art.Ian O’Loughlin & Kate McCallum - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (2):325-343.
    Philosophers of science discuss whether theory selection depends on aesthetic judgments or criteria, and whether these putatively aesthetic features are genuinely extra-epistemic. As examples, judgments involving criteria such as simplicity and symmetry are often cited. However, other theory selection criteria, such as fecundity, coherence, internal consistency, and fertility, more closely match those criteria used in art contexts and by scholars working in aesthetics. Paying closer attention to the way these criteria are used in art contexts allows us to understand some (...)
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  40. The Grand Pessimistic Induction.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Review of Contemporary Philosophy 17:7-19.
    After decades of intense debate over the old pessimistic induction (Laudan, 1977; Putnam, 1978), it has now become clear that it has at least the following four problems. First, it overlooks the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories. Second, it commits the fallacy of biased statistics. Third, it erroneously groups together past theories from different fields of science. Four, it misses the fact that some theoretical components of past theories were preserved. I argue that these four (...)
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  41. The Pessimistic Induction and the Golden Rule.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Problemos 93:70-80.
    Nickles (2017) advocates scientific antirealism by appealing to the pessimistic induction over scientific theories, the illusion hypothesis (Quoidbach, Gilbert, and Wilson, 2013), and Darwin’s evolutionary theory. He rejects Putnam’s (1975: 73) no-miracles argument on the grounds that it uses inference to the best explanation. I object that both the illusion hypothesis and evolutionary theory clash with the pessimistic induction and with his negative attitude towards inference to the best explanation. I also argue that Nickles’s positive philosophical theories are subject to (...)
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  42. Bojana Mladenovic: Kuhn's Legacy: Epistemology, Metaphilosophy, and Pragmatism. [REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (4):532-535.
    This is a book review of Bojana Mladenovic, Kuhn's Legacy: Epistemology, Metaphilosophy, and Pragmatism .
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  43. Scientificity and The Law of Theory Demarcation.Ameer Sarwar & Patrick Fraser - 2018 - Scientonomy: Journal for the Science of Science 2:55-66.
    The demarcation between science and non-science seems to play an important role in the process of scientific change, as theories regularly transition from being considered scientific to being considered unscientific and vice versa. However, theoretical scientonomy is yet to shed light on this process. The goal of this paper is to tackle the problem of demarcation from the scientonomic perspective. Specifically, we introduce scientificity as a distinct epistemic stance that an agent can take towards a theory. We contend that changes (...)
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  44. The Atomic Number Revolution in Chemistry: A Kuhnian Analysis.K. Wray - 2018 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (3):209-217.
    This paper argues that the field of chemistry underwent a significant change of theory in the early twentieth century, when atomic number replaced atomic weight as the principle for ordering and identifying the chemical elements. It is a classic case of a Kuhnian revolution. In the process of addressing anomalies, chemists who were trained to see elements as defined by their atomic weight discovered that their theoretical assumptions were impediments to understanding the chemical world. The only way to normalize the (...)
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  45. Constraints on Rational Theory Choice.Seamus Bradley - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):639-661.
    ABSTRACT In a recent article, Samir Okasha presented an argument that suggests that there is no rational way to choose among scientific theories. This would seriously undermine the view that science is a rational enterprise. In this article, I show how a suitably nuanced view of what scientific rationality requires allows us to sidestep this argument. In doing so, I present a new argument in favour of voluntarism of the type favoured by van Fraassen. I then show how such a (...)
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  46. Robert J. Richards and Lorraine Daston, Eds. Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions at Fifty: Reflections on a Science Classic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. Pp. 202. $25.00. [REVIEW]Christian Damböck - 2017 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 7 (1):154-156.
  47. Scientific Revolutions and the Explosion of Scientific Evidence.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5039-5072.
    Scientific realism, the position that successful theories are likely to be approximately true, is threatened by the pessimistic induction according to which the history of science is full of suc- cessful, but false theories. I aim to defend scientific realism against the pessimistic induction. My main thesis is that our current best theories each enjoy a very high degree of predictive success, far higher than was enjoyed by any of the refuted theories. I support this thesis by showing that both (...)
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  48. Models of Intelligibility in Galileo's Mechanical Science.David Marshall Miller - 2017 - In Marcus Adams, Zvi Biener, Uljana Feest & Jaqueline Sullivan (eds.), Eppur Si Muove: Doing History and Philosophy of Science with Peter Machamer, A Collection of Essays in Honor of Peter Machamer. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 39-54.
    Based on an examination of Galileo’s mechanics, Peter Machamer and Andrea Woody (and Machamer alone in subsequent articles) proposed the scientific use of what they call models of intelligibility. As they define it, a model of intelligibility (MOI) is a concrete phenomenon that guides scientific understanding of problematic cases. This paper extends Machamer and Woody’s analysis by elaborating the semantic function of MOIs. MOIs are physical embodiments of theoretical representations. Therefore, they eliminate the interpretive distance between theory and phenomena, creating (...)
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  49. Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth Is Not Enough.Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):415-419.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to contribute to the ongoing debate over the nature of scientific progress. I argue against the semantic view of scientific progress, according to which scientific progress consists in approximation to truth or increasing verisimilitude. If the semantic view of scientific progress were correct, then scientists would make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding true disjuncts to their hypotheses or theories. Given that it is not the case that scientists could make scientific progress simply by arbitrarily adding (...)
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  50. Selective Realism Vs. Individual Realism for Scientific Creativity.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Creativity Studies 10 (1):97-107.
    Individual realism asserts that our best scientific theories are (approximately) true. In contrast, selective realism asserts that only the stable posits of our best scientific theories are true. Hence, individual realism recommends that we accept more of what our best scientific theories say about the world than selective realism does. The more scientists believe what their theories say about the world, the more they are motivated to exercise their imaginations and think up new theories and experiments. Therefore, individual realism better (...)
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