The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions

Oxford University Press (1993)

Philip Kitcher
Columbia University
During the last three decades, reflections on the growth of scientific knowledge have inspired historians, sociologists, and some philosophers to contend that scientific objectivity is a myth. In this book, Kitcher attempts to resurrect the notions of objectivity and progress in science by identifying both the limitations of idealized treatments of growth of knowledge and the overreactions to philosophical idealizations. Recognizing that science is done not by logically omniscient subjects working in isolation, but by people with a variety of personal and social interests, who cooperate and compete with one another, he argues that, nonetheless, we may conceive the growth of science as a process in which both our vision of nature and our ways of learning more about nature improve. Offering a detailed picture of the advancement of science, he sets a new agenda for the philosophy of science and for other "science studies" disciplines.
Keywords Science Philosophy  Science History
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 1995
Buy the book $9.99 used (88% off)   $38.00 new (55% off)   $77.22 direct from Amazon (7% off)    Amazon page
Call number Q175.K533 1993
ISBN(s) 0195096533   9780195096538   0195046285 (acid-free paper)
DOI 10.2307/2186026
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 47,182
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
Chapters BETA
Legend's Legacy

Begins with an outline of the major characteristics of the dominant conception of science offered by logical empiricism. Then explains how this view was criticized.

Realism and Scientific Progress

The account of progress is defended against a number of objections. Some of these are offered by philosophers who are sceptical of realism in the philosophy of science; others are urged by historians and sociologists of science.

The Organization of Cognitive Labor

Ends with an attempt to construct a formal model of knowledge for scientists working together in a community of inquiry. It is shown how the questions of social epistemology can be conceived in terms of optimal strategies for the attainment of the goals of science, and how particular socia... see more

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.

View all 398 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
228 ( #32,442 of 2,289,509 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #32,768 of 2,289,509 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature