A gradualist theory of discovery in ecology

Biology and Philosophy 16 (4):547-571 (2001)
The distinction between the context ofdiscovery and the context of justificationrestricts philosophy of science to the rationalreconstruction of theories, and characterizesscientific discovery as rare, theoreticalupheavals that defy rational reconstruction. Kuhnian challenges to the two contextsdistinction show that non-rational elementspersist in the justification of theories, butgo no further to provide a positive account ofdiscovery. A gradualist theory of discoverydeveloped in this paper shows, with supportfrom ecological cases, that discoveries areroutinely made in ecology by extending modelsto new domains, or by making additions toearlier models. The logic of discovery isphilosophically accessible once it isappreciated that model truth is presumed, evenif counterfactually, in ecologists' applicationof models. A gradualist view shows thatmodels' heuristic power routinely leads todiscoveries.
Keywords context of discovery  context of justification  ecology  heuristic power  heuristics  island biogeography  logic of scientific discovery  models  rational reconstruction  scientific discovery  semantic conception  two contexts distinction
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1011950525922
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,520
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
35 ( #149,765 of 2,180,777 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #300,627 of 2,180,777 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums