Synthese:1-19 (forthcoming)

Carlos Santana
University of Utah
Supposedly, stubbornness on the part of scientists—an unwillingness to change one’s position on a scientific issue even in the face of countervailing evidence—helps efficiently divide scientific labor. Maintaining disagreement is important because it keeps scientists pursuing a diversity of leads rather than all working on the most promising, and stubbornness helps preserve this disagreement. Planck’s observation that “Science progresses one funeral at a time” might therefore be an insight into epistemically beneficial stubbornness on the part of researchers. In conversation with extant formal models, recent empirical research, and a novel agent-based model of my own I explore whether the epistemic goods which stubbornness can secure—disagreement and diversity—are attainable through less-costly methods. I make the case that they are, at least in part, and also use my modeling results to show that if stubbornness is scientifically valuable, it still involves a willingness to change one’s mind.
Keywords non-empirical virtues  stubbornness  inductive risk  epistemic conservativism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-019-02202-z
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 55,981
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

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Formal Models of Scientific Inquiry in a Social Context: An Introduction.Dunja Šešelja, Christian Straßer & AnneMarie Borg - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (2):211-217.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Disagreement and Legitimacy.Zoltan Miklosi & Andres Moles - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (1):1-8.
How to Disagree About How to Disagree.Adam Elga - 2007 - In Ted Warfield & Richard Feldman (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 175-186.
Epistemic Modals and Credal Disagreement.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):987-1011.
The Problem of Deep Disagreement.Klemens Kappel - 2012 - Discipline Filosofiche 22 (2):7-25.
Possible Disagreements and Defeat.Brandon Carey - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (3):371-381.
Conceptual Disagreement.Sarah Stroud - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):15-28.
What is Evidence of Evidence Evidence Of?Fabio Lampert & John Biro - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (2):195-206.
The Value of Epistemic Disagreement in Scientific Practice. The Case of Homo Floresiensis.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (2):169-177.


Added to PP index

Total views
41 ( #244,575 of 2,403,516 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #156,285 of 2,403,516 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes