Synthese 198 (1):419-449 (2018)

Jamie Shaw
University of Toronto, St. George Campus
To anyone vaguely aware of Feyerabend, the title of this paper would appear as an oxymoron. For Feyerabend, it is often thought, science is an anarchic practice with no discernible structure. Against this trend, I elaborate the groundwork that Feyerabend has provided for the beginnings of an approach to organizing scientific research. Specifically, I argue that Feyerabend’s pluralism, once suitably modified, provides a plausible account of how to organize science. These modifications come from C.S. Peirce’s account of the economics of theory pursuit, which has since been corroborated by empirical findings in the social sciences. I go on to contrast this approach with the conception of a ‘well-ordered science’ as outlined by Kitcher, Cartwright :981–990, 2006), which rests on the assumption that we can predict the content of future research. I show how Feyerabend has already given us reasons to think that this model is much more limited than it is usually understood. I conclude by showing how models of resource allocation, specifically those of Kitcher, Strevens :55–79, 2003) and Weisberg and Muldoon :225–252, 2009), unwittingly make use of this problematic assumption. I conclude by outlining a proposed model of resource allocation where funding is determined by lottery and briefly examining the extent to which it is compatible with the position defended in this paper.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-02026-3
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References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Science, Truth, and Democracy.Philip Kitcher - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
The Logic of Scientific Discovery.K. Popper - 1959 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 10 (37):55-57.

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Citations of this work BETA

Well-Ordered Science’s Basic Problem.Cristian Larroulet Philippi - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (2):365-375.
On the Very Idea of Pursuitworthiness.Jamie Shaw - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 91:103-112.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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