Current theories of the division of cognitive labor are confined to the “context of justification,” assuming exogenous theories. But new theories are made from the same labor that is used for developing existing theories, and if none of this labor is ever allocated to create new alternatives, then scientific progress is impossible. A unified model is proposed in which theories are no longer given but a function of the division of labor in the model itself. The interactions of individuals balancing (...) the exploitation of existing theories and the exploration of new theories results in a robust cyclical pattern. (shrink)
Kuhn wanted to install a new research agenda in philosophy of science. I argue that the tools are now available to better articulate his paradigm and let it guide philosophical research instead of itself remaining the object of philosophical debate.
Academic and corporate research departments alike face a crucial dilemma: to exploit known frameworks or to explore new ones; to specialize or to innovate? Here I show that these two conflicting epistemic desiderata are sufficient to explain pluralistic ignorance and its boom-and-bust-like dynamics, exemplified in the collapse of the efficient markets hypothesis as a modern risk management paradigm in 2007. The internalist nature of this result, together with its robustness, suggests that pluralistic ignorance is an inherent feature rather than a (...) threat to the rationality of epistemic communities. (shrink)
This article addresses the question how philosophy should be evaluated in a research-grant funding environment. It offers a new conception of philosophy that is inclusive and builds on familiar elements of professional, philosophical practice. Philosophy systematically questions the questions we ask, the concepts we use, and the values we hold. Its product is therefore rarely conclusive but can be embodied in everything we do. This is typical of explorative research and differentiates it from exploitative research, which constitutes the bulk of (...) funded research activity. This article argues that exploratory research is crucial for long-term progress and requires a distinct evaluative regime. (shrink)
Does science progress toward some goal or merely away from primitive beginnings? Two agent-based models are built to explain how possibly both kinds of progressive scientific change can result from the interactions of individuals exploring an epistemic landscape. These models are shown to result in qualitatively different predictions about what the resulting system of science should be like.
According to Thomas Kuhn (1962/1970), science is characterized by two levels, one within and one between paradigms. The problem of Kuhnian rationality concerns the choice between paradigms, for which no rational basis appears to exist because this choice is inevitably circular to some extent. This is the main reason why Kuhn's view is perceived to glorify irrationality. (ibid. 199) I present two interpretations of the problem of Kuhnian rationality, one based on concepts (the neo-positivist interpretation) and one based on values. (...) I also describe two notions of rationality, optimizing and satisficing. Neither interpretation supports the notion of optimizing, but the values-interpretation supports satisficing, suggesting that if Kuhnian scientists are rational, as Kuhn insisted, they are satisficers. An agent-based model demonstrates that aggregating the behaviour of satisficing agents can account for Kuhn's view on the dynamics of scientific change. (shrink)
The lack of an account of rationality in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions was a lacuna which Thomas Kuhn acutely felt. In this paper, I argue that Herbert Simon’s notion of “satisficing” provides a formally well-developed and empirically well-established theory of rationality that fits well with Kuhn’s general characterization of science. I start by considering two rival interpretations of the problem of Kuhnian rationality and introduce Simon’s notion of satisficing. In Section 3, I show how satisficing can be used to (...) interpret paradigm, change, rational theory-choice, relativism, and progress. On this account, Kuhnian scientists are not irrational. Rather they employ the same computational mechanism which allows humans to play chess. (shrink)