A New Functional Approach to Scientific Progress

Philosophy of Science 86 (4):739-758 (2019)
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This article develops and defends a new functional approach to scientific progress. I begin with a review of the problems of the traditional functional approach. Then I propose a new functional account of scientific progress, in which scientific progress is defined in terms of usefulness of problem defining and problem solving. I illustrate and defend my account by applying it to the history of genetics. Finally, I highlight the advantages of my new functional approach over the epistemic and semantic approaches and dismiss some potential objections to my approach.

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Author's Profile

Yafeng Shan
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

References found in this work

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas Samuel Kuhn - 1962 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Otto Neurath.
On the origin of species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Gillian Beer.
Is Water H2O? Evidence, Realism and Pluralism.Hasok Chang - 2012 - Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science.

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