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Science & Speculation

Currie, Adrian (2020) Science & Speculation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Despite wide recognition that speculation is critical for successful science, philosophers have attended little to it. When they have, speculation has been characterized in narrowly epistemic terms: a hypothesis is speculative due to its (lack of) evidential support. These ‘evidence-first’ accounts provide little guidance for what makes speculation productive or egregious, nor how to foster the former while avoiding the latter. I examine how scientists discuss speculation and identify various functions speculations play. On this basis, I develop a ‘function-first’ account of speculation. This analysis grounds a richer discussion of when speculation is egregious and when it is productive, based in both fine-grained analysis of the speculation’s purpose, and what I call the ‘epistemic situation’ scientists face.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Currie, Adrian
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr Adrian Currie
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2020 05:06
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2020 05:06
Item ID: 18539
Subjects: General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18539

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