What is theoretical progress of science?

Synthese 196 (2):611-631 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 construed as the claim that science makes theoretical progress. Some prominent realist positions are best understood in terms of commitment to theoretical progress that cannot be equated with accumulation of scientific knowledge.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,466

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Scientific Progress Without Increasing Verisimilitude: In Response to Niiniluoto.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:100-104.
The Role of Justification in the Ordinary Concept of Scientific Progress.Moti Mizrahi & Wesley Buckwalter - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):151-166.
What is Scientific Progress? Lessons From Scientific Practice.Moti Mizrahi - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 44 (2):375-390.
The Structure of Theoretical Progress.Geoffrey Alexander Joseph Gorham - 1994 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
Realism, Progress and the Historical Turn.Howard Sankey - 2017 - Foundations of Science 22 (1):201-214.
What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird’s Epistemic View.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
Scientific Progress: Knowledge Versus Understanding.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:72-83.
What is Scientific Progress?Alexander Bird - 2007 - Noûs 41 (1):64–89.
Epistemic Progress in Biology: A Case Study.Athena Dawn Ogden - 2002 - Dissertation, The University of British Columbia (Canada)
Incommensurability and Scientific Progress.Mark Alan Stone - 1987 - Dissertation, The University of Rochester

Analytics

Added to PP
2016-05-13

Downloads
57 (#205,449)

6 months
2 (#277,475)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Juha Saatsi
University of Leeds

References found in this work

True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.
The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
A Confutation of Convergent Realism.Larry Laudan - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (1):19-49.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.

View all 54 references / Add more references