This collection of original essays offers a comprehensive examination of scientific progress, which has been a central topic in recent debates in philosophy of science.

Traditionally, debates over scientific progress have focused on different methodological approaches, notably the epistemic and semantic approaches. The chapters in Part I of the book examine these two traditional approaches, as well as the newly revived functional and newly developed noetic approaches. Part II features in-depth case studies of scientific progress from the history of science. The chapters cover individual sciences including physics, chemistry, evolutionary biology, seismology, psychology, sociology, economics, and medicine. Finally, Part III of the book explores important issues from contemporary philosophy of science. These chapters address the implications of scientific progress for the scientific realism/anti-realism debate, incommensurability, values in science, idealisation, scientific speculation, interdisciplinarity, and scientific perspectivalism.

New Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working on the history and philosophy of science.

chapter |9 pages


Philosophical Analyses of Scientific Progress

part I|71 pages

Main Philosophical Approaches

chapter 1|14 pages

The Epistemic Approach

Scientific Progress as the Accumulation of Knowledge

chapter 2|19 pages

The Semantic Approach

Scientific Progress as Increased Truthlikeness

chapter 3|16 pages

The Functional Approach

Scientific Progress as Increased Usefulness

chapter 4|20 pages

The Noetic Approach

Scientific Progress as Enabling Understanding

part II|190 pages

Historical Case Studies

chapter 5|23 pages

Progress in Physics

A Modular Approach

chapter 6|20 pages

Progress in Chemistry

A Cumulative and Pluralist View

chapter 7|21 pages

Progress in Chemistry

Themes at the Macroscopic and Microscopic Levels

chapter 8|19 pages

Epigenetic Inheritance and Progress in Modern Biology

A Developmental System Approach

chapter 9|16 pages

Progress in Seismology

Turning Data Into Evidence About the Earth's Interior

chapter 10|20 pages

Progress in Psychology

chapter 11|20 pages

Progress in Sociology?

chapter 12|21 pages

Progress in Economics

chapter 13|28 pages

Progress in Medicine and Medicines

Moving From Qualitative Experience to Commensurable Materialism

part III|140 pages

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