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The Super Bowl and the Ox-Phos Controversy: "Winner-Take-All" Competition in Philosophy of Science

Douglas Allchin
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1994, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1994), pp. 22-33
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/193008
Page Count: 12
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The Super Bowl and the Ox-Phos Controversy: "Winner-Take-All" Competition in Philosophy of Science
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Abstract

Several diagrams and tables from review articles during the Ox-Phos Controversy serve as an occasion to assess the nature of competition in models of theory choice in science. Many models follow "Super-Bowl" principles of polar, either-or, winner-take-all competition. A significant alternative highlighted by this episode, however, is the differentiation of domains. Incommensurability and the partial divergence of overlapping domains serve both as signals and context for shifting frameworks of competition. Appropriate strategies may thus help researchers diagnose the status of competition and shape their research accordingly.

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