Gould, Hull, and the individuation of scientific theories

Foundations of Science 14 (4):295-313 (2009)
When is conceptual change so significant that we should talk about a new theory, not a new version of the same theory? We address this problem here, starting from Gould’s discussion of the individuation of the Darwinian theory. He locates his position between two extremes: ‘minimalist’—a theory should be individuated merely by its insertion in a historical lineage—and ‘maximalist’—exhaustive lists of necessary and sufficient conditions are required for individuation. He imputes the minimalist position to Hull and attempts a reductio : this position leads us to give the same ‘name’ to contradictory theories. Gould’s ‘structuralist’ position requires both ‘conceptual continuity’ and descent for individuation. Hull’s attempt to assimilate into his general selectionist framework Kuhn’s notion of ‘exemplar’ and the ‘semantic’ view of the structure of scientific theories can be used to counter Gould’s reductio , and also to integrate structuralist and population thinking about conceptual change.
Keywords Theory Individuation  Selectionism  Structuralism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10699-009-9161-3
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,694
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Units of Evolution: A Metaphysical Essay.David L. Hull - 1981 - In Uffe Juul Jensen & Rom Harré (eds.), The Philosophy of Evolution. St. Martin's Press. pp. 23--44.
Physics: The Elements.N. R. Campbell - 1921 - Mind 30 (118):207-214.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
110 ( #46,925 of 2,197,196 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #148,610 of 2,197,196 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature