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The Rationality of Science in Relation to its History

Roush, Sherrilyn (2015) The Rationality of Science in Relation to its History. Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions - 50 Years On. pp. 71-90.

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Abstract

Many philosophers have thought that Kuhn’s claim that there have been paradigm shifts introduced a problem for the rationality of science, because it appears that in such a change nothing can count as a neutral arbiter; even what you observe depends on which theory you already subscribe to. The history of science challenges its rationality in a different way in the pessimistic induction, where failures of our predecessors to come up with true theories about unobservable entities is taken by many to threaten the rationality of confidence in our own theories. The first problem arises from a perception of too much discontinuity, the second from an unfortunate kind of continuity, in the track record of science. I argue that both problems are only apparent, and due to under-description of the history. The continuing appeal of the pessimistic induction in particular is encouraged by narrow focus on a notion of method that Kuhn was eager to resist.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Roush, Sherrilynsherri.roush@gmail.com
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Sherrilyn Roush
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2020 20:12
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2020 20:12
Item ID: 17387
Journal or Publication Title: Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions - 50 Years On
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-13383-6_6
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 2015
Page Range: pp. 71-90
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17387

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