Does science have a “global goal?”: A critique of Hull's view of conceptual progress [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 9 (1):85-97 (1994)

Todd Grantham
College of Charleston
Hull's recent work in evolutionary epistemology is marred by a deep tension. While he maintains that conceptual and biological evolution are both driven by selection processes, he also claims that only the former is globally progressive. In this paper I formulate this tension and present four possible responses (including Hull's). I argue that Hull's position rests on the assumption that there is a goal which is sufficiently general to describe most scientific activity yet precise enough to guide research. Working from within Hull's framework, I argue that a non-progressionist stance is both preferable and more consistent with Hull's basic commitments.
Keywords Progress  evolutionary epistemology
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DOI 10.1007/BF00849916
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Human Understanding.Stephen Edelston Toulmin - 1972 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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David Hull's Natural Philosophy of Science.Paul E. Griffiths - 2000 - Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):301-310.

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