, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 349-368

Verisimilitude and the Dynamicsof Scientific Research Programmes

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Abstract

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.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.