Synthese:1-33 (2017)

Authors
Abstract
There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a coordinated and cumulative role in theory formation and evaluation across the disciplines—with allowance for discipline specific modification. An informal and flexible logic of theory choice is in the making here. Evidential accuracy, according to my systematization, is not a largely isolated trait of good theories, as some have made it out to be. Rather, it bears multifaceted relationships, constituting significant epistemic entanglements, with other theoretical virtues.
Keywords Theoretical virtues  Inference to the best explanation  Epistemic value  Aesthetics  Prediction  Science–technology relations
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1355-6
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1993 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
The Scientific Image.Michael Friedman - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (5):274-283.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.

View all 72 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Knowledge‐First Functionalism.Mona Simion - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):254-267.
Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
Overcoming the Modal/Amodal Dichotomy of Concepts.Christian Michel - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-23.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Confirmation, Heuristics, and Explanatory Reasoning.Timothy McGrew - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (4):553-567.
Virtues and Their Vices.Timpe Kevin & Boyd Craig (eds.) - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Is Fertility Virtuous in its Own Right?Daniel Nolan - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (2):265-282.
Aesthetic and Other Theoretical Virtues in Science.Jason Simus - 2009 - American Society for Aesthetics Graduate E-Journal 1 (2):9-16.
The Virtues of Embodiment.Charles Taliaferro - 2001 - Philosophy 76 (1):111-125.
Emotions Among the Virtues of the Christian Life.Robert C. Roberts - 1992 - Journal of Religious Ethics 20 (1):37 - 68.
Other–Regarding Epistemic Virtues.Jason Kawall - 2002 - Ratio 15 (3):257–275.
Xunzi and Virtue Epistemology.Cheng-Hung Tsai - 2014 - Universitas 41 (3):121-142.
The Dangers of Pragmatic Virtue.Daniel Nolan - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (5-6):623-644.
The Social Virtues: Two Accounts. [REVIEW]S. Goldberg - 2009 - Acta Analytica 24 (4):237-248.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-03-12

Total views
291 ( #25,535 of 2,343,995 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
41 ( #15,965 of 2,343,995 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes