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Could Science be Interestingly Different?

Virmajoki, Veli (2021) Could Science be Interestingly Different? [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper, I investigate the issue of the contingency and inevitability of science. First, I point out valuable insights from the existing discussion about the issue. I then formulate a general framework, built on the notion of contrastive explanation and counterfactuals, that can be used to approach questions of contingency of science. I argue, with an example from the existing historiography of science, that this framework could be useful to historians of science. Finally, I argue that this framework shows the existing views on historical contingency and counterfactuals in a new light. The framework also shows the value of existing historiography in philosophical debates.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Virmajoki, Velivevirm@utu.fi
Keywords: historical necessity; history and philosophy of science; contrastive explanation; historical counterfactuals; inevitabilism; contingentism
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Veli Virmajoki
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2021 15:14
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2021 15:14
Item ID: 18962
Official URL: https://brill.com/view/journals/jph/12/2/article-p...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1163/18722636-12341388
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18962

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