In Euel Elliot & L. Douglas Kiel (eds.), Complex Systems in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: Theory, Method, and Application. University of Michigan Press (forthcoming)

Patrick Grim
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Philosophers have long tried to understand scientific change in terms of a dynamics of revision within ‘theoretical frameworks,’ ‘disciplinary matrices,’ ‘scientific paradigms’ or ‘conceptual schemes.’ No-one, however, has made clear precisely how one might model such a conceptual scheme, nor what form change dynamics within such a structure could be expected to take. In this paper we take some first steps in applying network theory to the issue, modeling conceptual schemes as simple networks and the dynamics of change as cascades on those networks. The results allow a new understanding of two traditional approaches—Popper and Kuhn—as well as introducing the intriguing prospect of viewing scientific change using the metaphor of selforganizing criticality.
Keywords paradigm shifts  coputational philosophy  information cascades  networks  social epistemology  philosophy of science  theory change
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
From a Logical Point of View.W. V. O. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
The Web of Belief.W. V. O. Quine & J. S. Ullian - 1970 - New York: Random House.
Conjectures and Refutations.K. Popper - 1963 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 21 (3):431-434.

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