Theoretical Virtues in Science: Uncovering Reality Through Theory

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2018)
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Abstract

What are the features of a good scientific theory? Samuel Schindler's book revisits this classical question in the philosophy of science and develops new answers to it. Theoretical virtues matter not only for choosing theories 'to work with', but also for what we are justified in believing: only if the theories we possess are good ones can we be confident that our theories' claims about nature are actually correct. Recent debates have focussed rather narrowly on a theory's capacity to predict new phenomena successfully, but Schindler argues that the justification for this focus is thin. He discusses several other theory properties such as testability, accuracy, and consistency, and highlights the importance of simplicity and coherence. Using detailed historical case studies and careful philosophical analysis, Schindler challenges the received view of theoretical virtues and advances arguments for the view that science uncovers reality through theory.

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Samuel Schindler
Aarhus University

Citations of this work

Logical Predictivism.Ben Martin & Ole Hjortland - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (2):285-318.
Diagnosing Pseudoscience – by Getting Rid of the Demarcation Problem.Maarten Boudry - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (2):83-101.
Imagination in Scientific Practice.Steven French - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.

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References found in this work

Scientific realism and the stratagema de divide et impera.Timothy D. Lyons - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):537-560.

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