Philosophy of Science 86 (4):739-758 (2019)

Authors
Yafeng Shan
University of Kent
Abstract
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.
Keywords scientific progress  problem-defining  problem-solving  usefulness
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DOI 10.1086/704980
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