Is the Contingentist/Inevitabilist Debate a Matter of Degrees?

Citation data:

Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0031-8248, Vol: 80, Issue: 5, Page: 919-930

Publication Year:
2013
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10596
DOI:
10.1086/674003
Author(s):
Joseph D. Martin
Publisher(s):
University of Chicago Press
Tags:
Arts and Humanities
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article description
The contingentist/inevitabilist debate contests whether the results of successful science are contingent or inevitable. This article addresses lingering ambiguity in the way contingency is defined in this debate. I argue that contingency in science can be understood as a collection of distinct concepts, distinguished by how they hold science contingent, by what elements of science they hold contingent, and by what those elements are contingent upon. I present a preliminary taxonomy designed to characterize the full-range positions available and illustrate that these constitute a diverse array rather than a spectrum. © 2013 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.

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