The Relevance of History to Philosophy of Science

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 2171-679X, Vol: 21, Issue: 2, Page: 197-212

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Hudson, Robert G.
Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
article description
My task in this paper is to defend the legitimacy of historicist philosophy of science, defined as the philosophic study of science that takes seriously case studies drawn from the practice of science. Historicist philosophy of science suffers from what I call the ‘evidence problem’. The worry is that case studies cannot qualify as rigorous evidence for the adjudication of philosophic theories. I explore the reasons why one might deny to historical cases a probative value, then reply to these reasons on behalf of historicism. The main proponents of the view I am criticizing are Pitt (2001) and Rasmussen (2001).