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Philosophy of Science and Its Rational Reconstructions: Remarks on the VPI Program for Testing Philosophies of Science

Alan W. Richardson
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1992, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1992), pp. 36-46
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192742
Page Count: 11
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Philosophy of Science and Its Rational Reconstructions: Remarks on the VPI Program for Testing Philosophies of Science
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Abstract

In this paper I argue that the program of L. Laudan et al for empirically testing historiographical philosophies of science ("the VPI program") does not succeed in providing a consistent naturalist program in philosophy of science. In particular, the VPI program endorses a nonnaturalist metamethodology that insists on a hypothetico-deductive structure to scientific testing. But hypothetico-deductivism seems to be both inadequate as an account of scientific theory testing in general and fundamentally at odds with most of the historiographic philosophies under test. I sketch an account of testing historiographic philosophies of science more consistent with the views about scientific testing of those philosophies and argue that such a program is neither viciously circular nor necessarily self-refuting.

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