Synthese 179 (3):361 - 376 (2011)
AbstractIn this paper I consider two accounts of scientific discovery, Robert Hudson's and Peter Achinstein's. I assess their relative success and I show that while both approaches are similar in promising ways, and address experimental discoveries well, they could address the concerns of the discovery sceptic more explicitly than they do. I also explore the implications of their inability to address purely theoretical discoveries, such as those often made in mathematical physics. I do so by showing that extending Hudson's or Achinstein's account to such cases can sometimes provide a misleading analysis about who ought to be credited as a discoverer. In the final sections of the paper I work out some revisions to the Hudson/Achinstein account by drawing from a so-called structural realist view of theory change. Finally, I show how such a modified account of discovery can answer sceptical critics such as Musgrave or Woolgar without producing misleading analyses about who ought to receive credit as a discoverer in cases from the mathematical sciences. I illustrate the usefulness of this approach by providing an analysis of the case of the discovery of the Casimir effect
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References found in this work
A Metaphysics for Scientific Realism: Knowing the Unobservable.Anjan Chakravartty - 2007 - Cambridge University Press.
What is Structural Realism?James Ladyman - 1998 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 29 (3):409-424.
Remodelling Structural Realism: Quantum Physics and the Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW]Steven French & James Ladyman - 2003 - Synthese 136 (1):31-56.
Citations of this work
The Role of Imagination in Social Scientific Discovery: Why Machine Discoverers Will Need Imagination Algorithms.Michael Stuart - 2019 - In Mark Addis, Fernand Gobet & Peter Sozou (eds.), Scientific Discovery in the Social Sciences. Springer Verlag.
Scientific Discovery: That-What’s and What-That's.Samuel Schindler - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2.
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