Theory choice, good sense and social consensus

Ivanova, Milena and Paternotte, Cedric (2013) Theory choice, good sense and social consensus. Erkenntnis, 78 5: 1109-1132. doi:10.1007/s10670-012-9390-7

Author Ivanova, Milena
Paternotte, Cedric
Title Theory choice, good sense and social consensus
Journal name Erkenntnis   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0165-0106
Publication date 2013-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10670-012-9390-7
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 78
Issue 5
Start page 1109
End page 1132
Total pages 24
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Language eng
Abstract There has been a significant interest in the recent literature in developing a solution to the problem of theory choice which is both normative and descriptive, but agent-based rather than rule-based, originating from Pierre Duhem's notion of 'good sense'. In this paper we present the properties Duhem attributes to good sense in different contexts, before examining its current reconstructions advanced in the literature and their limitations. We propose an alternative account of good sense, seen as promoting social consensus in science, and show that it is superior to its rivals in two respects: it is more faithful to Duhemian good sense, and it cashes out the effect that virtues have on scientific progress. We then defend the social consensus account against objections that highlight the positive role of diversity and division of labour in science.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Created: Wed, 10 Aug 2016, 15:33:46 EST by Milena Ivanova on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)