Feyerabend’s Theoretical Pluralism: An Investigation of the Epistemic Value of False Theories

In Jamie Shaw & Karim Bschir (eds.), Interpreting Feyerabend: Critical Essays. Cambridge University Press. pp. 72-88 (2021)
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I examine Feyerabend's defense for theoretical pluralism. I compare it to other influential defenses of pluralism, including Philip Kitcher's and Hasok Chang's. I argue that, unlike others, Feyerabend emphasizes importance of comparative evaluations when choosing between competing theories, and that such evaluations are enhanced by the development of multiple competing theories. I also argue that the development of numerous alternative theories enables scientists to make piecemeal changes when replacing one theory with another. I illustrate this by examining the impact of Tycho Brahe's theory on the Copernican Revolution in astronomy.



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K. Brad Wray
Aarhus University

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