Some problems for "progress and its problems"

Philosophy of Science 47 (4):601-616 (1980)
In a recent book, Laudan has put forward a new and provocative theory of scientific progress. In this discussion we shall show that some of the claims which Laudan presents as new, are (or at least can be made into) parts of more "traditional" wisdom. In particular (in Section 1) we shall criticize his claim to have uncovered a new class of non-refuting anomalies for theories. We shall also (in section 2) criticize Laudan's view that a theory may have an anomaly because of conflict with non-scientific theories--as long as those theories are perceived of as rational. Laudan's view of theory-assessment--via the assessment of "research traditions"--is also examined in this section. It is found to be a significant departure from both traditional, and more radical (Lakatosian, Kuhnian, Feyerabendian) alternatives. Finally, (in Section 3), we examine Laudan's claim that theories may have anomalies because of conflict with methodological theories
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DOI 10.1086/288960
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