The Productive Anarchy of Scientific Imagination

Philosophy of Science 87 (5):968-978 (2020)
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Abstract

Imagination is important for many things in science: solving problems, interpreting data, designing studies, etc. Philosophers of imagination typically account for the productive role played by imagination in science by focusing on how imagination is constrained, e.g., by using self-imposed rules to infer logically, or model events accurately. But the constraints offered by these philosophers either constrain too much, or not enough, and they can never account for uses of imagination that are needed to break today’s constraints in order to make progress tomorrow. Thus, epistemology of imagination needs to make room for an element of epistemological anarchy.

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Michael T. Stuart
University of York

References found in this work

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The material theory of induction.John D. Norton - 2021 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada: University of Calgary Press.
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Against Method.P. Feyerabend - 1975 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 26 (4):331-342.

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