Imagination and Creativity in the Scientific Realm

In Amy Kind & Julia Langkau (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination and Creativity. Oxford University Press (2024)
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Historically left to the margins, the topics of imagination and creativity have gained prominence in philosophy of science, challenging the once dominant distinction between ‘context of discovery’ and ‘context of justification’. The aim of this chapter is to explore imagination and creativity starting from issues within contemporary philosophy of science, making connections to these topics in other domains along the way. It discusses the recent literature on the role of imagination in models and thought experiments, and their comparison with fictions. It then turns to the importance of constraints on imaginings in the scientific domain, as well as whether constraints can hinder creativity. The second part of the paper focuses on the social dimensions of science. It considers imagination and creativity of scientific communities, asks whether the institution of science promotes creativity (and whether we want it to) or if it encourages conservativeness, and ends with a reflection on the politics of imagination and creativity in science.



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Alice Murphy
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
Aboutness.Stephen Yablo - 2014 - Oxford: Princeton University Press.
Against method: outline of an anarchistic theory of knowledge.Paul Feyerabend - 1974 - Atlantic Highlands, N.J.: Humanities Press.

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