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

Yafeng Shan
University of Kent
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/704980
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: 59,687
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

İktisat Bilimi ve Bilimsel İlerleme.Ercan Eren - 2021 - İktisat Ve Toplum Dergisi 124:99-110.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Scientific Progress: Four Accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
Reevaluating Scientific Progress as a Problem Resolution.Damián Islas - 2014 - Azafea: Revista de Filosofia 16:133-147.
A Problem-Solving Approach to Scientific Progress.Larry Laudan - 1981 - In Ian Hacking (ed.), Scientific Revolutions. Oxford University Press.
Kuhn, Relativism and Realism.Howard Sankey - 2018 - In Juha Saatsi (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Scientific Realism. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 72-83.
Does Scientific Progress Consist in Increasing Knowledge or Understanding?Seungbae Park - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):569-579.
Pure Science and the Problem of Progress.Heather Douglas - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:55-63.
What is Scientific Progress? Lessons From Scientific Practice.Moti Mizrahi - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (2):375-390.
Is Evolutionary Epistemology of Science Compatible with Scientific Realism.Ivan Kuzin - 2015 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 46 (4):163-179.
What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):611-631.


Added to PP index

Total views
58 ( #177,365 of 2,432,283 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #97,385 of 2,432,283 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes