Normative naturalism and the challenge of relativism: Laudan versus Worrall on the justification of methodological principles

Howard Sankey
University of Melbourne
In a recent exchange, John Worrall and Larry Laudan have debated the merits of the model of rational scientific change proposed by Laudan in his book Science and Values. On the model advocated by Laudan, rational change may take place at the level of scientific theory and methodology, as well as at the level of the epistemic aims of science. Moreover, the rationality of a change which occurs at any one of these three levels may be dependent on considerations at the remaining levels. Yet, in spite of the avowedly anti-relativistic motivation of Laudan's model, Worrall criticizes Laudan for irrevocably relativizing scientific rationality to historically variant methodological standards.
Keywords Larry Laudan  John Worrall  relativism  normative naturalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/02698599608573528
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: 42,236
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

Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.Imre Lakatos & Alan Musgrave (eds.) - 1970 - Cambridge University Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
What is Justified Belief.Alvin I. Goldman - 1979 - In George Pappas (ed.), Justification and Knowledge. Boston: D. Reidel. pp. 1-25.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

How the Epistemic Relativist May Use the Sceptic’s Strategy: A Reply to Markus Seidel.Howard Sankey - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):140-144.
On Relativism and Pluralism: Response to Steven Bland.Howard Sankey - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:98-103.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Laudan, Friedman and the Role of the A Priori in Science.Dan McArthur - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:169-190.
Normative Naturalism and Epistemic Relativism.Karyn L. Freedman - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (3):309 – 322.
The Empirical Character of Methodological Rules.Warren Schmaus - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):106.
Progress and Rationality: Laudan's Attempt to Divorce a Happy Couple.Matthias Kaiser - 1991 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):433-455.
What's Really Wrong with Laudan's Normative Naturalism.Jonathan Knowles - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (2):171 – 186.
Laudan's Naturalistic Axiology.Karyn L. Freedman - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):537.
Normative Naturalism and the Role of Philosophy.Alexander Rosenberg - 1990 - Philosophy of Science 57 (1):34-43.
Normative Naturalism and the Relativised a Priori.Dan McArthur - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):331 - 350.


Added to PP index

Total views
102 ( #75,830 of 2,253,841 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #595,126 of 2,253,841 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature