Scientific Progress

Edited by Yafeng Shan (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
About this topic
Summary There are four main approaches to scientific progress: the epistemic approach, the semantic approach, the functional approach, and the noetic approach. The epistemic approach defines scientific progress in terms of knowledge. The semantic approach construes scientific progress in terms of truth. The functional approach examines scientific progress in terms of functions. The noetic approach typically characterises scientific progress in terms of understanding.
Key works The epistemic approach is recently elaborated and defended by Bird 2007. The semantic approach is mainly developed by Niiniluoto 1980, Niiniluoto 2014. The functional approach is originally developed by Kuhn 1962, Laudan 1977, Laudan 1981, and recently further developed and defended by Shan 2019, Shan 2020. The noetic approach is proposed by Dellsén 2016.
Introductions Niiniluoto 2014
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  1. The Discovery of the Expanding Universe: Philosophical and Historical Dimensions.Patrick M. Duerr & Abigail Holmes - manuscript
    What constitutes a scientific discovery? What role do discoveries play in science, its dynamics and social practices? Must every discovery be attributed to an individual discoverer (or a small number of discoverers)? The paper explores these questions by first critically examining extant philosophical explications of scientific discovery—the models of scientific discovery, propounded by Kuhn, McArthur, Hudson, and Schindler. As a simple, natural and powerful alternative, we proffer the “change-driver model”: in a nutshell, it takes discoveries to be cognitive scientific results (...)
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  2. Die These der semantischen Inkommensurabilität.Johannes Heinle - manuscript
    Was kann und sollte der wissenschaftliche Realist auf die These(n) der semantischen Inkommensurabilität entgegnen?
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  3. Nudging Scientific Advancement through Reviews.Venkata Rayudu Posina, Hippu Salk K. Nathan & Anshuman Behera - manuscript
    We call for a change-of-attitude towards reviews of scientific literature. We begin with an acknowledgement of reviews as pathways for the advancement of our scientific understanding of reality. The significance of the scientific struggle propelling the putting together of pieces of knowledge into parts of a cohesive body of understanding is recognized, and yet undervalued, especially in empirical sciences. Here we propose a nudge, which is prefacing the insights gained in reviewing the literature with: 'Our review reveals' (or an equivalent (...)
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  4. From measurability to a model of scientific progress.Luigi Scorzato - manuscript
    I argue that the key to understand many fundamental issues in philosophy of science lies in understanding the subtle relation between the non-empirical cognitive values used in science and the constraints imposed by measurability. In fact, although we are not able to fix the interpretation of a scientific theory through its formulation, I show that measurability puts constraints that can at least exclude some implausible interpretations. This turns out to be enough to define at least one cognitive value that is (...)
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  5. The Evolutionary Dimension of Scientific Progress.Alexander Yu Antonovskiy & Raisa Ed Barash - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
  6. What is the Point of Persistent Disputes? The meta-analytic answer.Alexandre Billon & Philippe Vellozzo - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Many philosophers regard the persistence of philosophical disputes as symptomatic of overly ambitious, ill-founded intellectual projects. There are indeed strong reasons to believe that persistent disputes in philosophy (and more generally in the discourse at large) are pointless. We call this the pessimistic view of the nature of philosophical disputes. In order to respond to the pessimistic view, we articulate the supporting reasons and provide a precise formulation in terms of the idea that the best explanation of persistent disputes entails (...)
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  7. Scientific Progress Without Justification.Finnur Dellsén - forthcoming - In Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge.
    According to some prominent accounts of scientific progress, e.g. Bird’s epistemic account, accepting new theories is progressive only if the theories are justified in the sense required for knowledge. This paper argues that epistemic justification requirements of this sort should be rejected because they misclassify many paradigmatic instances of scientific progress as non-progressive. In particular, scientific progress would be implausibly rare in cases where (a) scientists are aware that most or all previous theories in some domain have turned out to (...)
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  8. Scientific Progress without Problems: A Reply to McCoy.Finnur Dellsén - forthcoming - In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge.
    In the course of developing an account of scientific progress, C. D. McCoy (2022) appeals centrally to understanding as well as to problem-solving. On the face of it, McCoy’s account could thus be described as a kind of hybrid of the understanding-based account that I favor (Dellsén 2016, 2021) and the functional (a.k.a. problem-solving) account developed most prominently by Laudan (1977; see also Kuhn 1970; Shan 2019). In this commentary, I offer two possible interpretations of McCoy’s account and explain why (...)
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  9. Review of the second edition of Scientific Progress. [REVIEW]R. J. Gómez - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  10. Conceptualizing Scientific Progress Needs a New Humanism.Ilya Т Kasavin - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
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  11. Justifying Scientific Progress.Jacob Stegenga - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    I defend a novel account of scientific progress centred around justification. Science progresses, on this account, where there is a change in justification. I consider three options for explicating this notion of change in justification. This account of scientific progress dispels with a condition for scientific progress that requires accumulation of truth or truthlikeness, and it emphasises the social nature of scientific justification.
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  12. Accuracy-First Epistemology and Scientific Progress.Peter J. Lewis, Don Fallis & Branden Fitelson - 2024 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 11.
    The accuracy-first program attempts to ground epistemology in the norm that one’s beliefs should be as accurate as possible, where accuracy is measured using a scoring rule. We argue that considerations of scientific progress suggest that such a monism about epistemic value is untenable. In particular, we argue that counterexamples to the standard scoring rules are ubiquitous in the history of science, and hence that these scoring rules cannot be regarded as a precisification of our intuitive concept of epistemic value.
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  13. Thought Styles.Nicola Mößner - 2024 - In Frédéric Darbellay (ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd..
    In this entry, the origin of the concept ‘thought style’ will be traced back to Karl Mannheim’s work in the sociology of knowledge. Afterwards, the most influential version today – Ludwik Fleck’s concept of thought styles – will be discussed in detail. This entry will examine (1) the different elements of which a thought style is composed, and (2) its epistemological and ontological consequences. In this context, it will be pointed out that problems of understanding between adherents of different thought (...)
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  14. Reply to Sprenger’s “A Novel Solution to the Problem of Old Evidence”.Fabian Pregel - 2024 - Philosophy of Science 91 (1):243-252.
    I discuss a contemporary solution to the dynamic problem of old evidence (POE), as proposed by Sprenger. Sprenger’s solution combines the Garber–Jeffrey–Niiniluoto (GJN) approach with Howson’s suggestion of counterfactually removing the old evidence from scientists’ belief systems. I argue that in the dynamic POE, the challenge is to explain how an insight under beliefs in which the old evidence E is known increased the credence of a scientific hypothesis. Therefore, Sprenger’s counterfactual solution, in which E has been artificially removed, does (...)
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  15. Exploring Regulatory Flexibility to Create Novel Incentives to Optimize Drug Discovery.Jacqueline A. Sullivan & E. Richard Gold - 2024 - Frontiers in Medicine 11 (Section on Regulatory Science).
    Efforts by governments, firms, and patients to deliver pioneering drugs for critical health needs face a challenge of diminishing efficiency in developing those medicines. While multi-sectoral collaborations involving firms, researchers, patients, and policymakers are widely recognized as crucial for countering this decline, existing incentives to engage in drug development predominantly target drug manufacturers and thereby do little to stimulate collaborative innovation. In this mini review, we consider the unexplored potential within pharmaceutical regulations to create novel incentives to encourage a diverse (...)
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  16. How pluralistic is pluralism really? A case study of Sandra Mitchell’s Integrative Pluralism.Ragnar van der Merwe - 2024 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 38 (3):319-338.
    Epistemic pluralists in the philosophy of science often argue that different epistemic perspectives in science are equally warranted. Sandra Mitchell – with her Integrative Pluralism (IP) – has notably advocated for this kind of epistemic pluralism. A problem arises for Mitchell however because she also wants to be an epistemological pluralist. She claims that, not only are different epistemic perspectives in science equally warranted in different contexts, but different understandings of these epistemic perspectives in science are also equally warranted in (...)
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  17. Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions at 60.K. Brad Wray (ed.) - 2024 - Cambridge University Press.
    Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions has sold more than one million copies since its publication in 1962, is one of the most cited academic books of all time, and continues to be read and studied today. This volume of new essays evaluates the significance of Kuhn's classic book in its changing historical context, including its initial reception and its lasting effects. The essays explore the range of ideas which Kuhn made popular with his influential philosophy of science, including (...)
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  18. Using the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress to address the needs of adolescent mothers living with HIV.M. Brotherton - 2023 - South African Journal of Bioethics and Law 16 (2):63.
    Various human rights issues arise from the intersection of adolescent motherhood and HIV. While health rights may be the most obvious means by which to address such issues through policy development and legislative means, the right to health is not the only human right that may provide recourse or relief in this regard. This article considers an unexplored avenue of approaching such issues through reliance on the right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress. The International Covenant on Economic, Social (...)
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  19. Scientific Progress and Democratic Society through the Lens of Scientific Pluralism.Theptawee Chokvasin - 2023 - Suranaree Journal of Social Science 17 (2):Article ID e268392 (pp. 1-15).
    Background and Objectives: In this research article, the researcher addresses the issue of creating public understanding in a democratic society about the progress of science, with an emphasis on pluralism from philosophers of science. The idea that there is only one truth and that there are just natural laws awaiting discovery by scientists has historically made it difficult to explain scientific progress. This belief motivates science to develop theories that explain the unity of science, and it is thought that diversity (...)
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  20. Review of Slobodan Perovic's From Data to Quanta: Niels Bohr’s Vision of Physics. [REVIEW]Michael E. Cuffaro - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 91 (2):525-529.
    There has, as of late, emerged a promising strand in the historical and philosophical literature on Bohr that focuses on the central importance assigned in his view to the details of the experimental context under which observations of the systems described by quantum theory are made. Perovic’s book, which I summarize in the first part of this review, belongs to this tradition. The book is not without its shortcomings, which I summarize in the second part of this review, but overall (...)
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  21. Would Disagreement Undermine Progress?Finnur Dellsén, Insa Lawler & James Norton - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy 120 (3):139-172.
    In recent years, several philosophers have argued that their discipline makes no progress (or not enough in comparison to the “hard sciences”). A key argument for this pessimistic position appeals to the purported fact that philosophers widely and systematically disagree on most major philosophical issues. In this paper, we take a step back from the debate about progress in philosophy specifically and consider the general question: How (if at all) would disagreement within a discipline undermine that discipline’s progress? We reject (...)
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  22. Predictive Infelicities and the Instability of Predictive Optimality.Chris Dorst - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Recent neo-Humean theories of laws of nature have placed substantial emphasis on the characteristic epistemic roles played by laws in scientific practice. In particular, these theories seek to understand laws in terms of their optimal predictive utility to creatures in our epistemic situation. In contrast to other approaches, this view has the distinct advantage that it is able to account for a number of pervasive features possessed by putative actual laws of nature. However, it also faces some unique challenges. First, (...)
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  23. Universities as Anarchic Knowledge Institutions.Säde Hormio & Samuli Reijula - 2023 - Social Epistemology (2):119-134.
    Universities are knowledge institutions. Compared to several other knowledge institutions (e.g. schools, government research organisations, think tanks), research universities have unusual, anarchic organisational features. We argue that such anarchic features are not a weakness. Rather, they reflect the special standing of research universities among knowledge institutions. We contend that the distributed, self-organising mode of knowledge production maintains a diversity of approaches, topics and solutions needed in frontier research, which involves generating relevant knowledge under uncertainty. Organisational disunity and inconsistencies should sometimes (...)
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  24. How Science Tracks Understanding. [REVIEW]Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2023 - Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce) 74:317-320.
    This review article discusses the book Understanding How Science Explains the World by Kevin McCain, published by Cambridge University Press (2022). With an impressive combination of clarity and depth, McCain provides the reader with a firm grasp of how science works, of what science aims to achieve, and of what makes science a successful epistemic enterprise. The review article reconstructs the book’s overall dialectic and identifies one potential point of tension which concerns the role of truth or accuracy in scientific (...)
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  25. The Relationship between Scientific Realism and Scientific Progress Accounts.Siavash Mazdapour & Mostafa Taqavi - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 25 (4):109-134.
    One of the most significant topics in the philosophy of science literature is the debate between scientific realism and anti-realism. In recent years, a considerable amount of literature has emerged on scientific progress accounts. The aim of this article is to explore the relationship between scientific realism/anti-realism and scientific progress accounts. Scientific realism, in this article, refers to epistemic realism, which posits that mature and successful scientific theories offer an (approximately) true description of the world. In contrast, advocates of epistemic (...)
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  26. Progressing Bird’s account of scientific progress.Kevin McCain - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):1-6.
    One of the central claims of Alexander Bird’s book Knowing Science is that the concept of knowledge is central to understanding science. In light of this, it is unsurprising that Bird construes scientific progress solely in terms of the accumulation of scientific knowledge. Although his account of scientific progress is itself promising, there is an underlying tension between Bird’s support for the knowledge-centric account of scientific progress and his case against rival accounts of scientific progress. Specifically, Bird criticizes semantic accounts (...)
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  27. Understanding the Progress of Science.C. D. McCoy - 2023 - In Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge. pp. 353-369.
    Philosophical debates on how to account for the progress of science have traditionally divided along the realism-anti-realism axis. Relatively recent developments in epistemology, however, have opened up a new knowledge-understanding axis to the debate. This chapter presents a novel understanding-based account of scientific progress that takes its motivation from problem-solving practices in science. Problem-solving is characterized as a means of measuring degree of understanding, which is argued to be the principal epistemic (or cognitive) aim of science, over and against knowledge. (...)
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  28. Scientism and Sentiments about Progress in Science and Academic Philosophy.Moti Mizrahi - 2023 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 12 (6):39-60.
    Mizrahi (2017a) advances an argument in support of Weak Scientism, which is the view that scientific knowledge is the best (but not the only) knowledge we have, according to which Weak Scientism follows from the premises that scientific knowledge is quantitatively and qualitatively better than non-scientific knowledge. In this paper, I develop a different argument for Weak Scientism. This latter argument for Weak Scientism proceeds from the premise that academic disciplines that make progress are superior to academic disciplines that do (...)
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  29. Science evaluation and future-proof science. [REVIEW]Nicola Mößner - 2023 - Metascience (1):1-6.
  30. Why philosophy needs a concept of progress.James Norton - 2023 - Metaphilosophy 54 (1):3-16.
    This paper defends the usefulness of the concept of philosophical progress and the common assumption that philosophy and science aim to make the same, or a comparable, kind of progress. It does so by responding to Yafeng Shan's (2022) arguments that the wealth of research on scientific progress is not applicable or useful to philosophy, and that philosophy doesn't need a concept of progress at all. It is ultimately argued that while Shan's arguments are not successful, they reveal the way (...)
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  31. Scientific Progress.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2023 - Cambridge University Press.
    What constitutes cognitive scientific progress? This Element begins with an extensive survey of the contemporary debate on how to answer this question. It provides a blow-by-blow critical summary of the key literature on the issue over the past fifteen years, covering the central positions and arguments therein. It also draws upon older literature, where appropriate, to inform the treatment. The Element then enters novel territory by considering meta-normative issues concerning scientific progress. It focuses on how the standards involved in assessing (...)
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  32. Questionable metascience practices.Mark Rubin - 2023 - Journal of Trial and Error 1.
    Metascientists have studied questionable research practices in science. The present article considers the parallel concept of questionable metascience practices (QMPs). A QMP is a research practice, assumption, or perspective that has been questioned by several commentators as being potentially problematic for metascience and/or the science reform movement. The present article reviews ten QMPs that relate to criticism, replication, bias, generalization, and the characterization of science. Specifically, the following QMPs are considered: (1) rejecting or ignoring self-criticism; (2) a fast ‘n’ bropen (...)
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  33. Scientific progress, normative discussions, and the pragmatic account of definitions of life.Ludo L. J. Schoenmakers - 2023 - Synthese 201 (4):1-20.
    Discussions on the status of definitions of life have long been dominated by a position known as definitional pessimism. Per the definitional pessimist, there is no point in trying to define life. This claim is defended in different ways, but one of the shared assumptions of all definitional pessimists is that our attempts to define life are attempts to provide a list of all necessary and sufficient conditions for something to count as alive. In other words, a definition of life (...)
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  34. The Physical Foundation of Quantum Theory.Mehran Shaghaghi - 2023 - Foundations of Physics 53 (1):1-36.
    The number of independent messages a physical system can carry is limited by the number of its adjustable properties. In particular, systems with only one adjustable property cannot carry more than a single message at a time. We demonstrate that this is true for the photons in the double-slit experiment, and that this is what leads to the fundamental limit on measuring the complementary aspect of the photons. Next, we illustrate that systems with a single adjustable property exhibit other quantum (...)
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  35. Science is more than knowing.Yafeng Shan - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):1-6.
    Bird’s new book, Knowing Science, provides an exemplar of how to do epistemology and philosophy of science together. While I wholeheartedly appreciate his attempt to bridge the gap between epistemology and philosophy of science and find his project promising, I am not convinced by the central thesis of the book that knowledge plays a central role in science. In this article, I focus on Bird’s epistemic account of scientific progress, which is the view that the nature of scientific progress is (...)
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  36. Realism, antirealism, and theoretical conservatism.Luca Tambolo & Gustavo Cevolani - 2023 - Synthese 201 (1):1-18.
    This paper contributes to the debate on the question of whether a systematic connection obtains between one’s commitment to realism or antirealism and one’s attitude towards the possibility of radical theoretical novelty, namely, theory change affecting our best, most successful theories (see, e.g., Stanford in Synthese 196:3915–3932, 2019; Dellsén in Stud Hist Philos Sci 76:30–38, 2019). We argue that it is not allegiance to realism or antirealism as such that primarily dictates one’s response to the possibility of radical theoretical novelty: (...)
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  37. Realism, Antirealism, and Theoretical Conservatism.Luca Tambolo & Gustavo Cevolani - 2023 - Synthese 1 (201):1-18.
    This paper contributes to the debate on the question of whether a systematic connection obtains between one’s commitment to realism or antirealism and one’s attitude towards the possibility of radical theoretical novelty, namely, theory change affecting our best, most successful theories (see, e.g., Stanford in Synthese 196:3915–3932, 2019; Dellsén in Stud Hist Philos Sci 76:30–38, 2019). We argue that it is not allegiance to realism or antirealism as such that primarily dictates one’s response to the possibility of radical theoretical novelty: (...)
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  38. A Pragmatist Reboot of William Whewell’s Theory of Scientific Progress.Ragnar van der Merwe - 2023 - Contemporary Pragmatism 20 (3):218-245.
    William Whewell’s philosophy of science is often overlooked as a relic of 19th century Whiggism. I argue however that his view – suitably modified – can contribute to contemporary philosophy of science, particularly to debates around scientific progress. The reason Whewell’s view needs modification is that he makes the following problematic claim: as science progresses, it reveals necessarily truths and thereby grants a glimpse of the mind of God. Modifying Whewell’s view will involve reinventing his notion of necessary truth as (...)
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  39. Scientific progress and interdisciplinarity.Hanne Andersen - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. New York: Routledge. pp. 374-391.
    A frequently advanced claim in contemporary science policy is that interdisciplinarity is especially well suited for being ‘transformative’ and for bringing about ‘major breakthroughs’. Thus, it is expected that, in contemporary science, major progress will come primarily from interdisciplinary research (IDR). Often in this dis-course, interdisciplinarity is also expected to integrate the involved disciplines or specialties. This chapter will provide a philosophical qualification of this political discourse by examining how interdisciplinary progress can be characterised. I shall argue that in addition (...)
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  40. From Philosophical Traditions to Scientific Developments: Reconsidering the Response to Brouwer’s Intuitionism.Kati Kish Bar-On - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1–25.
    Brouwer’s intuitionistic program was an intriguing attempt to reform the foundations of mathematics that eventually did not prevail. The current paper offers a new perspective on the scientific community’s lack of reception to Brouwer’s intuitionism by considering it in light of Michael Friedman’s model of parallel transitions in philosophy and science, specifically focusing on Friedman’s story of Einstein’s theory of relativity. Such a juxtaposition raises onto the surface the differences between Brouwer’s and Einstein’s stories and suggests that contrary to Einstein’s (...)
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  41. The epistemic approach : scientific progress as the accumulation of knowledge.Alexander Bird - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge.
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  42. Scientific Progress: By-Whom or For-Whom?Finnur Dellsén - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 97 (C):20-28.
    When science makes cognitive progress, who or what is it that improves in the requisite way? According to a widespread and unchallenged assumption, it is the cognitive attitudes of scientists themselves, i.e. the agents by whom scientific progress is made, that improve during progressive episodes. This paper argues against this assumption and explores a different approach. Scientific progress should be defined in terms of potential improvements to the cognitive attitudes of those for whom progress is made, i.e. the receivers rather (...)
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  43. The noetic approach : scientific progress as enabling understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge.
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  44. The Noetic Approach: Scientific Progress as Enabling Understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge. pp. 62-81.
    Roughly, the noetic account characterizes scientific progress in terms of increased understanding. This chapter outlines a version of the noetic account according to which scientific progress on some phenomenon consists in making scientific information publicly available so as to enable relevant members of society to increase their understanding of that phenomenon. This version of the noetic account is briefly compared with four rival accounts of scientific progress, viz. the truthlikeness account, the problem-solving account, the new functional account, and the epistemic (...)
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  45. Understanding and scientific progress: lessons from epistemology.Nicholas Emmerson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    Contemporary debate surrounding the nature of scientific progress has focused upon the precise role played by justification, with two realist accounts having dominated proceedings. Recently, however, a third realist account has been put forward, one which offers no role for justification at all. According to Finnur Dellsén’s (Stud Hist Philos Sci Part A 56:72–83, 2016) noetic account, science progresses when understanding increases, that is, when scientists grasp how to correctly explain or predict more aspects of the world that they could (...)
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  46. Progress in psychology.Uljana Feest - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge. pp. 184-203.
    The chapter argues that whereas traditional accounts of progress have typically focused on scientific theories (evaluating them with regards to their truthlikeness or their explanatory and predictive success), we should pay closer attention to efforts of forming and developing scientific concepts (evaluating them with regards to how well such concepts serve the respective aims of research, which can include, but are not limited to, explanation and prediction). If we focus on concepts rather than theories, our attention is drawn to the (...)
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  47. Scientific progress and scientific realism.David Harker - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge.
  48. Scientific progress and aesthetic values.Milena Ivanova - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge.
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  49. Scientific progress and idealisation.Insa Lawler - 2022 - In Yafeng Shan (ed.), New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress. Routledge.
    Intuitively, science progresses from truth to truth. A glance at history quickly reveals that this idea is mistaken. We often learn from scientific theories that turned out to be false. This chapter focuses on a different challenge: Idealisations are deliberately and ubiquitously used in science. Scientists thus work with assumptions that are known to be false. Any account of scientific progress needs to account for this widely accepted scientific practice. It is examined how the four dominant accounts—the problem-solving account, the (...)
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  50. The Challenges of Identifying Significant Epistemic Failure in Science.Tobias Lehmann, Michael Borggräfe & Jochen Gläser - 2022 - In Michael Jungert & Sebastian Schuol (eds.), Scheitern in den Wissenschaften: Perspektiven der Wissenschaftsforschung. Brill Deutschland GmbH. pp. 237-267.
    If one follows the accounts by philosophers of science and the discussions in scientific communities, there can be little doubt that failure is an essential part of scientific practice. It is essential both in the sense of being integral to scientific practice and of being necessary for its overall success. Researchers who create new scientific knowledge face uncertainties about the nature of the problem they are trying to solve, the existence of a solution to that problem, the way in which (...)
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