AuthorLenhart, Stephen J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractScience benefits from substantial cognitive diversity because cognitive diversity promotes scientific progress toward greater accuracy. Without diversity of goals, beliefs, and methods, science would neither generate novel discoveries nor certify representations with its present effectiveness. The revolution in geosciences is a principal case study.The role of cognitive diversity in discovery is explored with attention to computational results. Discovery and certification are inseparable. Moreover, diverse scientific groups agree convergently, and their agreements manifest an explanatory defense akin to the explanatory defense of realism. Scientists accept representations as a matter of their instrumental success in individual scientific research. Because scientists are diverse, this standard of acceptance means that widespread acceptance involves widespread instrumental success. This success is best explained through the accuracy of topics of agreement.The pessimistic induction is addressed; it fails to undermine the explanatory defense because past scientific successes don't resemble present ones in their degree of instrumental success; to make this point, instrumental success of representations of caloric and of oxygen are compared.Cognitive diversity challenges the methodological uniformity of scientific practice. Science lacks uniform methods and aims, and it ought to. It is argued that there is no sound basis for thinking that science aims. Moreover, the growth of science itself is not the growth of knowledge. Scientific communities rather than individual scientists are the main certifiers of scientific results. Hence, since knowledge requires a certifying belief formation process but the process relevant to science is not realized individually, science does not progress toward knowledge. The epistemology of science is socialized, but remains broadly realist because, even without a method of inquiry, science develops accurate representations of unobservable nature.
Degree ProgramGraduate College