Conceptions of scientific progress in scientific practice: an empirical study

Synthese 199 (1-2):2375-2394 (2021)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate over the nature of scientific progress in philosophy of science by taking a quantitative, corpus-based approach. By employing the methods of data science and corpus linguistics, the following philosophical accounts of scientific progress are tested empirically: the semantic account of scientific progress, the epistemic account of scientific progress, and the noetic account of scientific progress. Overall, the results of this quantitative, corpus-based study lend some empirical support to the epistemic and the noetic accounts over the semantic account of scientific progress, for they suggest that practicing scientists use the terms ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ significantly more often than the term ‘truth’ when they talk about the aims or goals of scientific research in their published works. But the results do not favor the epistemic account over the noetic account, or vice versa, for they reveal no significant differences between the frequency with which practicing scientists use the terms ‘knowledge’ and ‘understanding’ when they talk about the aims or goals of scientific research in their published works.

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Moti Mizrahi
Florida Institute of Technology

Citations of this work

What Is the Basic Unit of Scientific Progress? A Quantitative, Corpus-Based Study.Moti Mizrahi - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (4):441-458.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.
Knowledge and its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 64 (1):200-201.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (210):105-116.
Scientific progress: Knowledge versus understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56 (C):72-83.

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