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Reading: Is Fahrbach right in thinking theory change is coming to an end?

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Is Fahrbach right in thinking theory change is coming to an end?

Author:

Silvina Maestro

London School of Economics and Political Science, GB
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Abstract

Ludwig Fahrbach puts forward a defense of realism in the form of the argument of the exponential growth of science. This view takes into account the quantity of scientific work done by scientist since around the 18th century and proposes that we focus on the increment of the amount of such work in time. In this essay I shall assess Fahrbach’s view that theory change is coming to an end. I begin with an explanation of the exponential growth of science approach he uses to support realism against the pessimistic meta-induction argument. I will then assess his refutation of the pessimistic meta-induction and finally I shall follow with a critical assessment of such views. I shall conclude that he fails to show compelling evidence for his argument, that higher degrees of success at best might be associated with a period of theory stability but is not enough to prove the end of theory change. Furthermore, I shall attempt to show that a more critical assessment of figures reveals that the growth of science has not been exponential.

How to Cite: Maestro, S., 2019. Is Fahrbach right in thinking theory change is coming to an end?. Rerum Causae, 10(1), pp.60–70.
Published on 11 Sep 2019.
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