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  1. Scientific Progress as Accumulation of Knowledge: A Reply to Rowbottom.Bird Alexander - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (2):279-281.
    I defend my view that scientific progress is constituted by the accumulation of knowledge against a challenge from Rowbottom in favour of the semantic view that it is only truth that is relevant to progress.Keywords: Scientific progress; Knowledge; Aim of inquiry; Darrell Rowbottom.
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  • What’s so Bad About Scientism?Moti Mizrahi - 2017 - Social Epistemology 31 (4):351-367.
    In their attempt to defend philosophy from accusations of uselessness made by prominent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking, some philosophers respond with the charge of ‘scientism.’ This charge makes endorsing a scientistic stance, a mistake by definition. For this reason, it begs the question against these critics of philosophy, or anyone who is inclined to endorse a scientistic stance, and turns the scientism debate into a verbal dispute. In this paper, I propose a different definition of scientism, and thus a (...)
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  • Why Adding Truths Is Not Enough: A Reply to Mizrahi on Progress as Approximation to the Truth.Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-7.
    ABSTRACTIn a recent paper in this journal, entitled ‘Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough’, Moti Mizrahi argues that the view of progress as approximation to the truth or increasing verisimilitude is plainly false. The key premise of his argument is that on such a view of progress, in order to get closer to the truth one only needs to arbitrarily add a true disjunct to a hypothesis or theory. Since quite clearly scientific progress is not a (...)
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  • Scientific Progress Without Increasing Verisimilitude: In Response to Niiniluoto.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:100-104.
    First, I argue that scientific progress is possible in the absence of increasing verisimilitude in science’s theories. Second, I argue that increasing theoretical verisimilitude is not the central, or primary, dimension of scientific progress. Third, I defend my previous argument that unjustified changes in scientific belief may be progressive. Fourth, I illustrate how false beliefs can promote scientific progress in ways that cannot be explicated by appeal to verisimilitude.
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  • Scientific Realism: What It is, the Contemporary Debate, and New Directions.Darrell Rowbottom - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):451-484.
    First, I answer the controversial question ’What is scientific realism?’ with extensive reference to the varied accounts of the position in the literature. Second, I provide an overview of the key developments in the debate concerning scientific realism over the past decade. Third, I provide a summary of the other contributions to this special issue.
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  • The Inference Rule of Addition and the Semantic View of Scientific Progress: Reply to Mizrahi.Damián Islas Mondragón - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (4):421-425.
    ABSTRACTThis discussion note aims to show that Moti Mizrahi does not make clear whether the proponents of the semantic view of scientific progress reject or accept the inference rule of Addition. If they reject the rule, then it does not make sense that Mizrahi contrives different types of disjuncts ‘on behalf of’ proponents of the semantic view. If they accept the rule, then the characterisation of the semantic view that Mizrahi discusses has nothing to do with the supposedly arbitrariness of (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Scientific Progress: Knowledge Versus Understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:72-83.
    What is scientific progress? On Alexander Bird’s epistemic account of scientific progress, an episode in science is progressive precisely when there is more scientific knowledge at the end of the episode than at the beginning. Using Bird’s epistemic account as a foil, this paper develops an alternative understanding-based account on which an episode in science is progressive precisely when scientists grasp how to correctly explain or predict more aspects of the world at the end of the episode than at the (...)
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  • Scientific Progress, Understanding, and Knowledge: Reply to Park.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):451-459.
    Dellsén has recently argued for an understanding-based account of scientific progress, the noetic account, according to which science makes cognitive progress precisely when it increases our understanding of some aspect of the world. I contrast this account with Bird’s ; epistemic account, according to which such progress is made precisely when our knowledge of the world is increased or accumulated. In a recent paper, Park criticizes various aspects of my account and his arguments in favor of the noetic account as (...)
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  • Scientific Progress as Increasing Verisimilitude.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:73-77.
    According to the foundationalist picture, shared by many rationalists and positivist empiricists, science makes cognitive progress by accumulating justified truths. Fallibilists, who point out that complete certainty cannot be achieved in empirical science, can still argue that even successions of false theories may progress toward the truth. This proposal was supported by Karl Popper with his notion of truthlikeness or verisimilitude. Popper’s own technical definition failed, but the idea that scientific progress means increasing truthlikeness can be expressed by defining degrees (...)
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  • What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird’s Epistemic View.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
    This paper challenges Bird’s view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge, by arguing that unjustified scientific beliefs (and/or changes in belief) may nevertheless be progressive. It also argues that false beliefs may promote progress.
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  • Evolutionary Epistemology and the Aim of Science.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):209-225.
    Both Popper and van Fraassen have used evolutionary analogies to defend their views on the aim of science, although these are diametrically opposed. By employing Price's equation in an illustrative capacity, this paper considers which view is better supported. It shows that even if our observations and experimental results are reliable, an evolutionary analogy fails to demonstrate why conjecture and refutation should result in: (1) the isolation of true theories; (2) successive generations of theories of increasing truth-likeness; (3) empirically adequate (...)
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  • What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):611-631.
    The epistemic conception of scientific progress equates progress with accumulation of scientific knowledge. I argue that the epistemic conception fails to fully capture scientific progress: theoretical progress, in particular, can transcend scientific knowledge in important ways. Sometimes theoretical progress can be a matter of new theories ‘latching better onto unobservable reality’ in a way that need not be a matter of new knowledge. Recognising this further dimension of theoretical progress is particularly significant for understanding scientific realism, since realism is naturally (...)
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  • What is Scientific Progress? Lessons From Scientific Practice.Moti Mizrahi - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (2):375-390.
    Alexander Bird argues for an epistemic account of scientific progress, whereas Darrell Rowbottom argues for a semantic account. Both appeal to intuitions about hypothetical cases in support of their accounts. Since the methodological significance of such appeals to intuition is unclear, I think that a new approach might be fruitful at this stage in the debate. So I propose to abandon appeals to intuition and look at scientific practice instead. I discuss two cases that illustrate the way in which scientists (...)
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  • The Role of Justification in the Ordinary Concept of Scientific Progress.Moti Mizrahi & Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):151-166.
    Alexander Bird and Darrell Rowbottom have argued for two competing accounts of the concept of scientific progress. For Bird, progress consists in the accumulation of scientific knowledge. For Rowbottom, progress consists in the accumulation of true scientific beliefs. Both appeal to intuitions elicited by thought experiments in support of their views, and it seems fair to say that the debate has reached an impasse. In an attempt to avoid this stalemate, we conduct a systematic study of the factors that underlie (...)
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  • Information Versus Knowledge in Confirmation Theory.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2012 - Logique Et Analyse 226:137-149.
    I argue that so-called 'background knowledge' in confirmation theory has little, if anything, to do with 'knowledge' in the sense of mainstream epistemology. I argue that it is better construed as 'background information', which need not be believed in, justified, or true.
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  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold.Amit Hagar - manuscript
    Scientific realism is dead, or so many philosophers believe. Its death was announced when philosophers became convinced that one can accept all scientific results without committing oneself to metaphysical existence claims about theoretical entities (Fine 1986, 112). In addition, the inability of self–proclaimed scientific realists, despite recurrent demands, to distinguish themselves from their rival anti–realists (Stein 1989) didn’t exactly help their cause. If realists cannot identify the key feature or features that set them apart from their opponents, then there is (...)
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  • Progress as Approximation to the Truth: A Defence of the Verisimilitudinarian Approach.Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (4):921-935.
    In this paper we provide a compact presentation of the verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress (VS, for short) and defend it against the sustained attack recently mounted by Alexander Bird (2007). Advocated by such authors as Ilkka Niiniluoto and Theo Kuipers, VS is the view that progress can be explained in terms of the increasing verisimilitude (or, equivalently, truthlikeness, or approximation to the truth) of scientific theories. According to Bird, VS overlooks the central issue of the appropriate grounding of scientific (...)
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  • Optimistic Realism About Scientific Progress.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2015 - Synthese 194 (9):3291-3309.
    Scientific realists use the “no miracle argument” to show that the empirical and pragmatic success of science is an indicator of the ability of scientific theories to give true or truthlike representations of unobservable reality. While antirealists define scientific progress in terms of empirical success or practical problem-solving, realists characterize progress by using some truth-related criteria. This paper defends the definition of scientific progress as increasing truthlikeness or verisimilitude. Antirealists have tried to rebut realism with the “pessimistic metainduction”, but critical (...)
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  • What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird’s Epistemic View.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
    This article challenges Bird’s view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge, by arguing that unjustified scientific beliefs may nevertheless be progressive. It also argues that false beliefs may promote progress.
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  • The Epistemology of Science—a Bird’s-Eye View.Alexander Bird - 2010 - Synthese 175 (S1):5-16.
    In this paper I outline my conception of the epistemology of science, by reference to my published papers, showing how the ideas presented there fit together. In particular I discuss the aim of science, scientific progress, the nature of scientific evidence, the failings of empiricism, inference to the best (or only) explanation, and Kuhnian psychology of discovery. Throughout, I emphasize the significance of the concept of scientific knowledge.
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