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Theoretical Virtues: do scientists think what philosophers think they ought to think?

Schindler, Samuel (2021) Theoretical Virtues: do scientists think what philosophers think they ought to think? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Theoretical virtues play an important role in the acceptance and belief of theories in science and philosophy. Philosophers have well-developed views on which virtues ought and ought not to influence one’s acceptance and belief. But what do scientists think? This paper presents the results of a quantitative study with scientists from the natural and social sciences and compared their views to those held by philosophers. Some of the main results are: (i) there is broad agreement across all three groups about how the virtues are to be ranked, (ii) all groups agree that unification is an epistemic virtue and there is even some evidence that simplicity is viewed as epistemic by scientists, (iii) all groups consider syntactic parsimony as more important than ontological parsimony, and (iv) all groups consider unifying power as independent from simplicity.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Schindler, Samuelsamuel.schindler@css.au.dk0000-0002-5656-9840
Additional Information: forthcoming in Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Theoretical virtues, theory choice, ranking, epistemic, pragmatic, simplicity, unification
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Samuel Schindler
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2021 02:06
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2021 02:06
Item ID: 19277
Subjects: General Issues > Structure of Theories
General Issues > Theory Change
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19277

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