Constraints on rational theory choice

Abstract

In a recent paper, Samir Okasha presented an argument that suggests that there is no rational way to choose among scientific theories. This would seriously undermine the view that science is a rational entreprise. In this paper I show how a suitably nuanced view of what scientific rationality requires allows us to avoid Okasha’s conclusion. I go on to argue that making further assumptions about the space of possible scientific theories allows us to make scientific rationality more contentful. I then show how such a view of scientific rationality fits with what Thomas Kuhn thought.

Publication
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 68:3 617–638