Journal for General Philosophy of Science

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 349-368

First online:

Verisimilitude and the Dynamicsof Scientific Research Programmes

  • Jesús P. BonillaAffiliated withDepartamento de Lógica y Filosofía de la CienciaFacultad de Filosofía, U.N.E.D.

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Some peculiarities of the evaluation of theories within scientific research programmes (SRPs) and of the assessing of rival SRPs are described assuming that scientists try to maximise an ‘epistemic utility function’ under economic and institutional constraints. Special attention is given to Lakatos' concepts of ‘empirical progress’ and ‘theoretical progress’. A notion of ‘empirical verisimilitude’ is defended as an appropriate utility function. The neologism ‘methodonomics’ is applied to this kind of studies.

economics of science empirical progress epistemic utility research programmes scientific progress theoretical progress verisimilitude methodonomics