Verisimilitude and the dynamics of scientific research programmes

Abstract
Some peculiarities of the evaluation of theories within scientific research programmes (SRPs) and of the assessing of rival SRPs are described assuming that scientists try to maximise an ‘epistemic utility function’ under economic and institutional constraints. Special attention is given to Lakatos' concepts of ‘empirical progress’ and ‘theoretical progress’. A notion of ‘empirical verisimilitude’ is defended as an appropriate utility function. The neologism ‘methodonomics’ is applied to this kind of studies.
Keywords economics of science  empirical progress  epistemic utility  research programmes  scientific progress  theoretical progress  verisimilitude methodonomics
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DOI 10.1023/A:1022415606099
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