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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 2011
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436 found
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  1. Models of Scientific Change.Benjamin Aguilar - manuscript
    This paper challenges premises regarding the ‘Kuhn vs Popper debate’ which is often introduced to students at a university level. Though I acknowledge the disagreements between Kuhn and Popper, I argue that their models of science are greatly similar. To begin, some preliminary context is given to point out conceptual and terminological barriers within this debate. The remainder of paper illuminates consistencies between the influential books The Logic of Scientific Discoveries (by Popper, abbreviated as Logic) and The Structure of Scientific (...)
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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Review of the Second Edition of Scientific Progress. [REVIEW]R. J. Gómez - forthcoming - Noûs.
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  5. Understanding the Progress of Science.C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - In Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge.
    A problem-solving-based account of scientific progress that takes understanding as the principal epistemic aim of science is developed and defended against knowledge reductionism.
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  6. How Intellectual Communities Progress.Lewis D. Ross - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Recent work takes both philosophical and scientific progress to consist in acquiring factive epistemic states such as knowledge. However, much of this work leaves unclear what entity is the subject of these epistemic states. Furthermore, by focusing only on states like knowledge, we overlook progress in intermediate cases between ignorance and knowledge—for example, many now celebrated theories were initially so controversial that they were not known. -/- This paper develops an improved framework for thinking about intellectual progress. Firstly, I argue (...)
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  7. Peter J Bowler. A History of the Future: Prophets of Progress From H. G. Wells to Isaac Asimov. X + 287 Pp., Figs., Illus., Notes, Bibl., Index. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. $74.99 (Cloth); ISBN 9781107148734. [REVIEW]Mark B. Adams - 2021 - Isis 112 (1):205-206.
  8. Understanding Scientific Progress: The Noetic Account.Finnur Dellsén - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11249-11278.
    What is scientific progress? This paper advances an interpretation of this question, and an account that serves to answer it. Roughly, the question is here understood to concern what type of cognitive change with respect to a topic X constitutes a scientific improvement with respect to X. The answer explored in the paper is that the requisite type of cognitive change occurs when scientific results are made publicly available so as to make it possible for anyone to increase their understanding (...)
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  9. İktisat Bilimi ve Bilimsel İlerleme.Ercan Eren - 2021 - İktisat Ve Toplum Dergisi 124:99-110.
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  10. The Algorithmic Turn in Conservation Biology: Characterizing Progress in Ethically-Driven Sciences.James Justus & Samantha Wakil - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:181-192.
    As a discipline distinct from ecology, conservation biology emerged in the 1980s as a rigorous science focused on protecting biodiversity. Two algorithmic breakthroughs in information processing made this possible: place-prioritization algorithms and geographical information systems. They provided defensible, data-driven methods for designing reserves to conserve biodiversity that obviated the need for largely intuitive and highly problematic appeals to ecological theory at the time. But the scientific basis of these achievements and whether they constitute genuine scientific progress has been criticized. We (...)
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  11. The Algorithmic Turn in Conservation Biology: Characterizing Progress in Ethically-Driven Sciences.James Justus & Samantha Wakil - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 88:181-192.
    As a discipline distinct from ecology, conservation biology emerged in the 1980s as a rigorous science focused on protecting biodiversity. Two algorithmic breakthroughs in information processing made this possible: place-prioritization algorithms and geographical information systems. They provided defensible, data-driven methods for designing reserves to conserve biodiversity that obviated the need for largely intuitive and highly problematic appeals to ecological theory at the time. But the scientific basis of these achievements and whether they constitute genuine scientific progress has been criticized. We (...)
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  12. The Freedom We Mean: A Causal Independence Account of Creativity and Academic Freedom.Maria Kronfeldner - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-23.
    Academic freedom has often been defended in a progressivist manner: without academic freedom, creativity would be in peril, and with it the advancement of knowledge, i.e. the epistemic progress in science. In this paper, I want to critically discuss the limits of such a progressivist defense of academic freedom, also known under the label ‘argument from truth.’ The critique is offered, however, with a constructive goal in mind, namely to offer an alternative account that connects creativity and academic freedom in (...)
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  13. Improve Popper and Procure a Perfect Simulacrum of Verification Indistinguishable From the Real Thing.Nicholas Maxwell - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science.
    According to Karl Popper, science cannot verify its theories empirically, but it can falsify them, and that suffices to account for scientific progress. For Popper, a law or theory remains a pure conjecture, probability equal to zero, however massively corroborated empirically it may be. But it does just seem to be the case that science does verify empirically laws and theories. We trust our lives to such verifications when we fly in aeroplanes, cross bridges and take modern medicines. We can (...)
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  14. Bias in Science: Natural and Social.Joshua May - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3345–3366.
    Moral, social, political, and other “nonepistemic” values can lead to bias in science, from prioritizing certain topics over others to the rationalization of questionable research practices. Such values might seem particularly common or powerful in the social sciences, given their subject matter. However, I argue first that the well-documented phenomenon of motivated reasoning provides a useful framework for understanding when values guide scientific inquiry (in pernicious or productive ways). Second, this analysis reveals a parity thesis: values influence the social and (...)
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  15. Conceptions of Scientific Progress in Scientific Practice: An Empirical Study.Moti Mizrahi - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2375-2394.
    The aim of this paper is to contribute to the debate over the nature of scientific progress in philosophy of science by taking a quantitative, corpus-based approach. By employing the methods of data science and corpus linguistics, the following philosophical accounts of scientific progress are tested empirically: the semantic account of scientific progress, the epistemic account of scientific progress, and the noetic account of scientific progress. Overall, the results of this quantitative, corpus-based study lend some empirical support to the epistemic (...)
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  16. Roy Bhaskar on Scientific Progress and the Fallibility of Cognition: A Critique of Four Approaches.Maryam Poostforush - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Theological Research 23 (1):131-148.
    So far, various approaches have been proposed to explain the progress of science. These approaches, which fall under a fourfold classification, are as follows: semantic, functional, epistemic, and noetic approaches. Each of these approaches, based on the intended purpose of science, defines progress on the same basis. The semantic approach defines progress based on the approximation to the truth, the functional approach based on problem-solving, the epistemic approach based on knowledge accumulation, and the noetic approach based on increased understanding. With (...)
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  17. Scientific Revolutions and Progress: Reflections on Kuhn's and Bhaskar's Philosophy of Science.Maryam Poostforush & Mostafa Taqavi - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 15 (35):1-16.
    Scientific progress is one of the topics that has always been considered in the philosophy of science and various accounts have been presented as regards the occurrence of progress. One of the most important challenges in progress is the radical changes in scientific theories, i.e. scientific revolutions. Kuhn considers these revolutions to be discontinuities in the history of science. Although he acknowledges progress in the normal science period by referring to the puzzle solving, he fails to explain the progress in (...)
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  18. So many suns, so many worlds, so many hypotheses: the history of the theories of formation of the Solar System and the progress of science.Danilo Albergaria - 2020 - Dissertation, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
    Theories on the Solar System formation have a long, centuries-old history. Starting with Descartes, going on to the works of Kant and Laplace, several natural philosophers and scientists have proposed theories that tried to explain the origin of the system from an initial primordial state moving forward to the features currently observed. In the second half of the 20th century the question began to be inquired by a growing specialized scientific community. A scientific consensus began to be formed in the (...)
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  19. Troubles with Theoretical Virtues: Resisting Theoretical Utility Arguments in Metaphysics.OtÁvio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):456-469.
  20. Model-Groups as Scientific Research Programmes.Cristin Chall - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-24.
    Lakatos’s methodology of scientific research programmes centres around series of theories, with little regard to the role of models in theory construction. Modifying it to incorporate model-groups, clusters of developmental models that are intended to become new theories, provides a description of the model dynamics within the search for physics beyond the standard model. At the moment, there is no evidence for BSM physics, despite a concerted search effort especially focused around the standard model account of electroweak symmetry breaking. Using (...)
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  21. EL OFICIO DEL INVESTIGADOR NOVEL.Manuel Ángel González Berruga - 2020 - Revista Científica de la Facultad de Filosofía - UNA 11 (2):92 - 114.
    El propósito del ensayo es ofrecer una reflexión sobre la profesión del investigador novel desde la experiencia del autor a la luz de las ideas y reflexiones ofrecidas por Pierre Bourdieu en su obra “El oficio de científico” con cuestiones actuales y retos a los que se enfrentan la comunidad científica en el ámbito de las ciencias de la educación. El texto se articula con relación a los temas que surgen de la lectura del libro de Bourdieu que se irán (...)
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  22. Aristotle's Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science, by Edward Feser. [REVIEW]Monte Johnson - 2020 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2020 (01.02).
  23. The Relativity of Theory: Key Positions and Arguments in the Contemporary Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate.Moti Mizrahi - 2020 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
    This book offers a close and rigorous examination of the arguments for and against scientific realism and introduces key positions in the scientific realism/antirealism debate, which is one of the central debates in contemporary philosophy of science. On the one hand, scientific realists argue that we have good reasons to believe that our best scientific theories are approximately true because, if they were not even approximately true, they would not be able to explain and predict natural phenomena with such impressive (...)
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  24. Expanding Theory Testing in General Relativity: LIGO and Parametrized Theories.Lydia Patton - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 69:142-53.
    The multiple detections of gravitational waves by LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory), operated by Caltech and MIT, have been acclaimed as confirming Einstein's prediction, a century ago, that gravitational waves propagating as ripples in spacetime would be detected. Yunes and Pretorius (2009) investigate whether LIGO's template-based searches encode fundamental assumptions, especially the assumption that the background theory of general relativity is an accurate description of the phenomena detected in the search. They construct the parametrized post-Einsteinian (ppE) framework in response, (...)
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  25. Scientific Self-Correction: The Bayesian Way.Felipe Romero & Jan Sprenger - 2020 - Synthese (Suppl 23):1-21.
    The enduring replication crisis in many scientific disciplines casts doubt on the ability of science to estimate effect sizes accurately, and in a wider sense, to self-correct its findings and to produce reliable knowledge. We investigate the merits of a particular countermeasure—replacing null hypothesis significance testing with Bayesian inference—in the context of the meta-analytic aggregation of effect sizes. In particular, we elaborate on the advantages of this Bayesian reform proposal under conditions of publication bias and other methodological imperfections that are (...)
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  26. Realists Waiting for Godot? The Verisimilitudinarian and the Cumulative Approach to Scientific Progress.Andrea Roselli - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1071-1084.
    After a brief presentation of the Verisimilitudinarian approach to scientific progress, I argue that the notion of estimated verisimilitude is too weak for the purposes of scientific realism. Despite the realist-correspondist intuition that inspires the model—the idea that our theories get closer and closer to ‘the real way the world is’—, Bayesian estimations of truthlikeness are not objective enough to sustain a realist position. The main argument of the paper is that, since estimated verisimilitude is not connected to actual verisimilitude, (...)
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  27. Duhem on Good Sense and Theory Pursuit: From Virtue to Social Epistemology.Jamie Shaw - 2020 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 33 (2):67-85.
    ABSTRACT The emerging consensus in the secondary literature on Duhem is that his notion of ‘good sense’ is a virtue of individual scientists that guides them choosie between empirically equal rival theories : 149–159; Ivanova 2010. “Pierre Duhem’s Good Sense as a Guide to Theory Choice.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 : 58–64; Fairweather 2011. “The Epistemic Value of Good Sense.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 : 139–146; Bhakthavatsalam. “Duhemian Good (...)
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  28. The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Problem of the Unconceived Alternatives.Fabio Sterpetti & Marta Bertolaso - 2020 - Topoi 39 (4):881-892.
    In the process of scientific discovery, knowledge ampliation is pursued by means of non-deductive inferences. When ampliative reasoning is performed, probabilities cannot be assigned objectively. One of the reasons is that we face the problem of the unconceived alternatives: we are unable to explore the space of all the possible alternatives to a given hypothesis, because we do not know how this space is shaped. So, if we want to adequately account for the process of knowledge ampliation, we need to (...)
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  29. The Crisis of Western Sciences and Husserl’s Critique in the Vienna Lecture.Jakub Trnka - 2020 - Sophia 59 (2):185-196.
    The paper deals primarily with the standard question in what exactly, according to Husserl, consists the crisis of the European sciences. In the literature so far, there have been two tendencies on this question, one focusing on the loss of the sciences’ meaningfulness for life, the other emphasizing the inadequacy of their scientificity. Instead of arguing for one of these two options or for some sort of combination of both, another interpretation of this topic will be suggested. The focus will (...)
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  30. Why Adding Truths Is Not Enough: A Reply to Mizrahi on Progress as Approximation to the Truth.Gustavo Cevolani & Luca Tambolo - 2019 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 32 (2):129-135.
    ABSTRACTIn a recent paper in this journal, entitled ‘Scientific Progress: Why Getting Closer to Truth is Not Enough’, Moti Mizrahi argues that the view of progress as approximation to the truth or increasing verisimilitude is plainly false. The key premise of his argument is that on such a view of progress, in order to get closer to the truth one only needs to arbitrarily add a true disjunct to a hypothesis or theory. Since quite clearly scientific progress is not a (...)
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  31. A Hybrid Account of Scientific Progress: Finding Middle Ground Between the Epistemic and the Noetic Accounts.Clara Goebel - 2019 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 33 (3):1-16.
    Whereas the progressive nature of science is widely recognised, specifying the standards of scientific progress has been subject to philosophical debate since the enlightenment. Recently, Ilkka Niiniluoto, Alexander Bird, and Finnur Dellsén have revived this debate by setting forward a semantic, epistemic and noetic account of scientific progress respectively. I argue that none of these accounts is satisfactory. The semantic and epistemic accounts might advance necessary conditions for scientific progress, namely an accumulation of true, justified, and non-Gettiered beliefs, but fail (...)
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  32. Epistemic Diversity and Editor Decisions: A Statistical Matthew Effect.Remco Heesen & Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    This paper offers a new angle on the common idea that the process of science does not support epistemic diversity. Under minimal assumptions on the nature of journal editing, we prove that editorial procedures, even when impartial in themselves, disadvantage less prominent research programs. This purely statistical bias in article selection further skews existing differences in the success rate and hence attractiveness of research programs, and exacerbates the reputation difference between the programs. After a discussion of the modeling assumptions, the (...)
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  33. Uncertainty: How It Makes Science Advance.Kostas Kampourakis & Kevin McCain - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Scientific knowledge is the most solid and robust kind of knowledge that humans have because of its inherent self-correcting character. Nevertheless, anti-evolutionists, climate denialists, and anti-vaxxers, among others, question some of the best-established scientific findings, making claims unsupported by empirical evidence. A common aspect of these claims is reference to the uncertainties of science concerning evolution, climate change, vaccination, and so on. This is inaccurate: whereas the broad picture is clear, there will always exist uncertainties about the details of the (...)
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  34. Über Tatsachen. An die Gebildeten unter ihren Verächtern.Geert Keil - 2019 - Forschung and Lehre:894-897.
    * Einige Gemeinplätze über Tatsachen und Wissenschaft * Postfaktische Kommunikation und »alternative Fakten« * Ist nur Unumstößliches Tatsache? * Woran starb Ramses II.? * Ist der naive Realismus nicht seit Kant überwunden?
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  35. A New Task for Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (3):316-338.
    This paper argues that philosophers of science have before them an important new task that they urgently need to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science (...)
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  36. Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (4):1003-1028.
    I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology—and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions.
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  37. In Defense of Realism and Selectivism From Lyons’s Objections.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (4):605-615.
    Lyons (2016, 2017, 2018) formulates Laudan’s (1981) historical objection to scientific realism as a modus tollens. I present a better formulation of Laudan’s objection, and then argue that Lyons’s formulation is supererogatory. Lyons rejects scientific realism (Putnam, 1975) on the grounds that some successful past theories were (completely) false. I reply that scientific realism is not the categorical hypothesis that all successful scientific theories are (approximately) true, but rather the statistical hypothesis that most successful scientific theories are (approximately) true. Lyons (...)
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  38. Specialisation and the Incommensurability Among Scientific Specialties.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):129-144.
    In his mature writings, Kuhn describes the process of specialisation as driven by a form of incommensurability, defined as a conceptual/linguistic barrier which promotes and guarantees the insularity of specialties. In this paper, we reject the idea that the incommensurability among scientific specialties is a linguistic barrier. We argue that the problem with Kuhn’s characterisation of the incommensurability among specialties is that he presupposes a rather abstract theory of semantic incommensurability, which he then tries to apply to his description of (...)
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  39. What is Theoretical Progress of Science?Juha Saatsi - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):611-631.
    The epistemic conception of scientific progress equates progress with accumulation of scientific knowledge. I argue that the epistemic conception fails to fully capture scientific progress: theoretical progress, in particular, can transcend scientific knowledge in important ways. Sometimes theoretical progress can be a matter of new theories ‘latching better onto unobservable reality’ in a way that need not be a matter of new knowledge. Recognising this further dimension of theoretical progress is particularly significant for understanding scientific realism, since realism is naturally (...)
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  40. A New Functional Approach to Scientific Progress.Yafeng Shan - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (4):739-758.
    This article develops and defends a new functional approach to scientific progress. I begin with a review of the problems of the traditional functional approach. Then I propose a new functional account of scientific progress, in which scientific progress is defined in terms of usefulness of problem defining and problem solving. I illustrate and defend my account by applying it to the history of genetics. Finally, I highlight the advantages of my new functional approach over the epistemic and semantic approaches (...)
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  41. Thomas Reid on the Improvement of Knowledge.Christopher A. Shrock - 2019 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 17 (2):125-139.
    Thomas Reid often seems distant from other Scottish Enlightenment figures. While Hume, Hutcheson, Kames, and Smith wrestled with the nature of social progress, Reid was busy with natural philosophy and epistemology, stubbornly loyal to traditional religion and ethics, and out of touch with the heart of his own intellectual world. Or was he? I contend that Reid not only engaged the Scottish Enlightenment's concern for improvement, but, as a leading interpreter of Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon, he also developed a (...)
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  42. The Decline of Western Science: Defending Spengler’s Account of the End of Science: Within Reason.Gregory Morgan Swer - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):545-560.
    Haack classifies Spengler’s views on the end of science as what she terms annihilationist in that he forecasts the absolute termination of scientific activity as opposed to its completion or culmination. She also argues that in addition to his externalist argument that Western science, as cultural product, cannot survive the demise of Western Culture, Spengler also puts forward an internalist argument that science, regardless of the imminent demise of Western Culture, is in terminal decline as evidenced by its diminishing returns. (...)
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  43. Scientific Progress: Four Accounts.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12525.
    Scientists are constantly making observations, carrying out experiments, and analyzing empirical data. Meanwhile, scientific theories are routinely being adopted, revised, discarded, and replaced. But when are such changes to the content of science improvements on what came before? This is the question of scientific progress. One answer is that progress occurs when scientific theories ‘get closer to the truth’, i.e. increase their degree of truthlikeness. A second answer is that progress consists in increasing theories’ effectiveness for solving scientific problems. A (...)
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  44. Scientific Progress, Understanding, and Knowledge: Reply to Park.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):451-459.
    Dellsén has recently argued for an understanding-based account of scientific progress, the noetic account, according to which science makes cognitive progress precisely when it increases our understanding of some aspect of the world. I contrast this account with Bird’s ; epistemic account, according to which such progress is made precisely when our knowledge of the world is increased or accumulated. In a recent paper, Park criticizes various aspects of my account and his arguments in favor of the noetic account as (...)
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  45. Who is Afraid of Scientific Imperialism?Roberto Fumagalli - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):4125-4146.
    In recent years, several authors have debated about the justifiability of so-called scientific imperialism. To date, however, widespread disagreements remain regarding both the identification and the normative evaluation of scientific imperialism. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation by making some conceptual distinctions concerning scientific imperialism and by providing a detailed assessment of the most prominent objections to it. I shall argue that these objections provide a valuable basis for opposing some instances of scientific imperialism, but do not (...)
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  46. The Technological Fix as Social Cure-All: Origins and Implications.Sean F. Johnston - 2018 - IEEE Technology and Society 37 (1):47-54.
    On the historical origins of technological fixes and their wider social and political implications.
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  47. We Need Progress in Ideas About How to Achieve Progress.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Metascience (2).
    Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment NOW is in many ways a terrific book, from which I have learnt much. But it is also deeply flawed. Science and reason are at the heart of the book, but the conceptions that Steven Pinker defends are damagingly irrational. And these defective conceptions of science and reason, as a result of being associated with the Enlightenment Programme for the past two or three centuries, have been responsible, in part, for the genesis of the global problems (...)
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  48. Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment: An Idea to Help Save the World.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Ethical Record 123 (1):27-30.
    Natural science, properly understood, provides us with the methodological key to the salvation of humanity. First, we need to acknowledge that the actual aims of science are profoundly problematic, in that they make problematic assumptions about metaphysics, values and the social use of science. Then we need to represent these aims in the form of a hierarchy of aims, which become increasingly unproblematic as one goes up the hierarchy; as result we create a framework of relatively unproblematic aims and methods, (...)
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  49. The Grand Pessimistic Induction.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Review of Contemporary Philosophy 17:7-19.
    After decades of intense debate over the old pessimistic induction (Laudan, 1977; Putnam, 1978), it has now become clear that it has at least the following four problems. First, it overlooks the fact that present theories are more successful than past theories. Second, it commits the fallacy of biased statistics. Third, it erroneously groups together past theories from different fields of science. Four, it misses the fact that some theoretical components of past theories were preserved. I argue that these four (...)
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  50. The Noetic Account of Scientific Progress and the Factivity of Understanding.Fabio Sterpetti - 2018 - In David Danks & Emiliano Ippoliti (eds.), Building Theories. Heuristics and Hypotheses in Sciences. Cham: Springer Verlag.
    There are three main accounts of scientific progress: 1) the epistemic account, according to which an episode in science constitutes progress when there is an increase in knowledge; 2) the semantic account, according to which progress is made when the number of truths increases; 3) the problem-solving account, according to which progress is made when the number of problems that we are able to solve increases. Each of these accounts has received several criticisms in the last decades. Nevertheless, some authors (...)
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