Science Studies 8 (2):32-43 (1995)

Petri Ylikoski
University of Helsinki
In this paper I will discuss the idea of the invisible hand in the connection of its recent use in the philosophy of science. It has been invoked by some philosophers of science with a naturalistic bent as a part of their account of science. Some have made explicit references to the idea (Hull, 1988a) and others have only presupposed it (Giere, 1988; Goldman, 1991; Kitcher, 1993). I will argue that there are some problematic features in the way the idea of the invisible hand isused inthese accounts. I will first discuss some general properties of the invisible hand explanations and then present some motives for its use in the theory of science. Then I will show how one particular philosopher of science, David Hull, uses the idea. I will use Hull's account as a practising target and offer some comments and criticism in order to promote more disciplined use of this model of explanation in science studies.
Keywords invisible hand  social epistemology
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Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation.Petri Ylikoski - 2001 - Dissertation, University of Helsinki
Invisible Hands and the Success of Science.K. Brad Wray - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):163-175.
The Division of Cognitive Labor: Two Missing Dimensions of the Debate.Baptiste Bedessem - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):3.

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