PhilSci Archive

Scientific progress and idealisation

Lawler, Insa (2022) Scientific progress and idealisation. New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress.

Lawler_Scientific_progress_and_idealisation_penultimate draft.pdf

Download (237kB) | Preview


Intuitively, science progresses from truth to truth. A glance at history quickly reveals that this idea is mistaken. We often learn from scientific theories that turned out to be false. This chapter focuses on a different challenge: Idealisations are deliberately and ubiquitously used in science. Scientists thus work with assumptions that are known to be false. Any account of scientific progress needs to account for this widely accepted scientific practice. It is examined how the four dominant accounts—the problem-solving account, the truthlikeness account, the epistemic account, and the noetic account—can cope with the challenge from idealisation, with an eye on indispensable idealisations. One upshot is that, on all accounts, idealisations can promote progress. Only some accounts allow them to constitute progress.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Lawler, Insairlawler@uncg.edu0000-0002-1250-6020
Keywords: scientific progress, idealizations, problem-solving, truthlikeness
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Insa Lawler
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2022 19:17
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2022 19:17
Item ID: 21555
Journal or Publication Title: New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress
Publisher: Routledge
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.4324/9781003165859-21
Subjects: General Issues > Models and Idealization
General Issues > Theory Change
Date: November 2022

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item