Scientific Progress and Collective Attitudes

Episteme:1-20 (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Psychological-epistemic accounts take scientific progress to consist in the development of some psychological-epistemic attitude. Disagreements over what the relevant attitude is – true belief, knowledge, or understanding – divide proponents of the semantic, epistemic, and noetic accounts of scientific progress, respectively. Proponents of all such accounts face a common challenge. On the face of it, only individuals have psychological attitudes. However, as I argue in what follows, increases in individual true belief, knowledge, and understanding are neither necessary nor sufficient for scientific progress. Rather than being fatal to the semantic, epistemic, and noetic accounts, this objection shows that these accounts are most plausible when they take the psychological states relevant to scientific progress to be states of communities, rather than individuals. I draw on recent work in social epistemology to develop two ways in which communities can be the bearers of irreducible psychological-epistemic states. Each way yields a strategy by which proponents of one of the psychological-epistemic accounts might attempt to account for the social dimensions of scientific progress. While I present serious reasons for concern about the first strategy, I argue that the second strategy, at least, offers a promising path forward for a psychological-epistemic account of scientific progress.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,594

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Scientific Understanding, Fictional Understanding, and Scientific Progress.Seungbae Park - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (1):173–184.
Does Scientific Progress Consist in Increasing Knowledge or Understanding?Seungbae Park - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):569-579.
What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):611-631.
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.
Scientific Progress: Knowledge Versus Understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:72-83.
Scientific Progress: Four Accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
Epistemic Progress in Biology: A Case Study.Athena Dawn Ogden - 2002 - Dissertation, The University of British Columbia (Canada)
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.
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.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-04-05

Downloads
28 (#413,491)

6 months
3 (#211,070)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Keith Raymond Harris
Ruhr-Universität Bochum

References found in this work

The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.
Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):661-688.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.
On Social Facts.Margaret Gilbert - 1989 - Ethics 102 (4):853-856.

View all 51 references / Add more references