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The Oxford Handbook of Rationality$
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Alfred R. Mele and Piers Rawling

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195145397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195145399.001.0001

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RATIONALITY AND SCIENCE

RATIONALITY AND SCIENCE

Chapter:
(p.363) chapter 19 RATIONALITY AND SCIENCE
Source:
The Oxford Handbook of Rationality
Author(s):

Paul. Thagard (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195145399.003.0019

Thagard provides a review and assessment of central aspects of rationality in science, dealing first with the traditional question: What is the nature of the reasoning by which individual scientists accept and reject conflicting hypotheses? He also discusses the nature of practical reason in science and then turns to the question of the nature of group rationality in science. In this latter context, Thagard discusses, among other matters, his CCC (for consensus = coherence + communication) model, which shows how epistemic group rationality can arise in agents who communicate with each other while focusing on the explanation of observed phenomena. In the remainder of the chapter he examines whether scientists are in fact rational, that is, whether they conform to normative standards of individual and group rationality. He considers various psychological and sociological factors that have been taken to undermine the rationality of science.

Keywords:   coherence, communication, consensus, group rationality, hypothesis, individual rationality, psychological factor, reasoning, science, sociological factor

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