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Reason versus Ian Hacking’s styles of scientific reasoning

Kola Abimbola

Abstract: There is a view in contemporary philosophy of science according to which scientific methodology itself is subject to radical change as part of scientific progress. According to this view, change in science is not confined to accepted theories. The core principles of scientific theory appraisal, including the rules and categories used to rank and confer truth-values on theories, are also said to be subject to radical change as science develops. In this paper, I examine Ian Hacking’s (1975; 1980; 1982; 1983; 1985; 1996; 1999; 2012) version of this no-invariant-methodology thesis. I argue that, just like Thomas Kuhn’s “paradigms,” Larry Laudan’s “research traditions,” and Imre Lakatos’ “research programmes,” Hacking’s “styles of reasoning” fail to give an adequate account of scientific progress.
Keywords: Ian Hacking / scientific / styles / science / thesis / rank / give / Laudan

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