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What is Scientific Progress? Lessons from Scientific Practice

Mizrahi, Moti (2013) What is Scientific Progress? Lessons from Scientific Practice. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Alexander Bird argues for an epistemic account of scientific progress, whereas Darrell Rowbottom argues for a semantic account. Both appeal to intuitions about hypothetical cases in support of their accounts. Since the methodological significance of such appeals to intuition is unclear, I think that a new approach might be fruitful at this stage in the debate. So I propose to abandon appeals to intuition and look at scientific practice instead. I discuss two cases that illustrate the way in which scientists make judgments about progress. As far as scientists are concerned, progress is made when scientific discoveries contribute to the increase of scientific knowledge of the following sorts: empirical, theoretical, practical, and methodological. I then propose to articulate an account of progress that does justice to this broad conception of progress employed by scientists. I discuss one way of doing so, namely, by expanding our notion of scientific knowledge to include both know-that and know-how.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Mizrahi, Motimotimizra@gmail.com
Keywords: aim of science; Alexander Bird; Darrell Rowbottom; scientific knowledge; scientific practice; scientific progress
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Moti Mizrahi
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2013 06:52
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2013 06:52
Item ID: 9889
Subjects: General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 17 July 2013
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9889

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