Does Scientific Progress Consist in Increasing Knowledge or Understanding?
- First Online:
- 58 Downloads
Bird (2007) argues that scientific progress consists in increasing knowledge. Dellsén (2016a) objects that increasing knowledge is neither necessary nor sufficient for scientific progress, and argues that scientific progress rather consists in increasing understanding. Dellsén also contends that unlike Bird’s view, his view can account for the scientific practices of using idealizations and of choosing simple theories over complex ones. I argue that Dellsén’s criticisms against Bird’s view fail, and that increasing understanding cannot account for scientific progress, if acceptance, as opposed to belief, is required for scientific understanding.
KeywordsEpistemic approach Knowledge Noetic approach Scientific progress Understanding
- Cohen, L. J. (1992). An essay on belief and acceptance. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Einstein, A. (1905/1956). Investigations on the theory of the Brownian movement (A. D. Cowper, Trans.). New York: Dover.Google Scholar
- Grimm, S. (2014). Understanding as knowledge of causes. In A. Fairweather (Ed.), Virtue epistemology naturalized: Bridges between virtue epistemology and philosophy of science. Synthese Library (Vol. 366, pp. 329–345). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
- Kuhn, T. (1962/1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Laudan, L. (1977). Progress and its problems. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
- Laudan, L. (1984). Science and values. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Lipton, P. (2004). Inference to the best explanation. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Niiniluoto, I. (1980). Is science progressive?. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
- Park, S. (2015). Accepting our best scientific theories. Filosofija. Sociologija, 26(3), 218–227.Google Scholar
- Park, S. (2017). Defense of epistemic reciprocalism. Filosofija Sociologija, 28(1), 56–64.Google Scholar
- Psillos, S. (1999). Scientific realism: How science tracks truth. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar