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The Philosophy of the Future of Science

Virmajoki, Veli (2021) The Philosophy of the Future of Science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper, I argue that the philosophy of science has not paid enough attention to the future of science. Even though the philosophy of science has deepened our understanding of science, explicit conceptual tools to understand the estimating of possible futures of science are missing from its repertoire. I argue that the philosophy of science can achieve two main objectives of the futures research: enhancing understanding and challenging conventional thinking. While there are legitimate concerns about the epistemic and ethical impossibility of predicting scientific innovations and discoveries, it is nevertheless possible to investigate a wide range of questions concerning the future of science. I sketch structural taxonomies as a tool for the estimating of possible futures of science. A structural taxonomy is a map of scenarios that are possible according to some philosophical theory of science. I show how the merits of such taxonomies can be assessed and how the assessment sheds new light on the existing philosophy of science. I conclude by noting that future-oriented thinking is highly valuable for our current understanding of science.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Virmajoki, Velivevirm@utu.fi
Keywords: Future of Science; Philosophy of Science; Futures Research; Development of Science
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Veli Virmajoki
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2021 14:16
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2021 14:16
Item ID: 18877
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 31 March 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18877

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