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Chang, Hasok, , . The Persistence of Epistemic Objects Through Scientific Change
2011, Erkenntnis 75(3): 413-429.
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Added by: Nick Novelli, Contributed by:

Abstract: Why do some epistemic objects persist despite undergoing serious changes, while others go extinct in similar situations? Scientists have often been careless in deciding which epistemic objects to retain and which ones to eliminate; historians and philosophers of science have been on the whole much too unreflective in accepting the scientists’ decisions in this regard. Through a re-examination of the history of oxygen and phlogiston, I will illustrate the benefits to be gained from challenging and disturbing the commonly accepted continuities and discontinuities in the lives of epistemic objects. I will also outline two key consequences of such re-thinking. First, a fresh view on the (dis)continuities in key epistemic objects is apt to lead to informative revisions in recognized periods and trends in the history of science. Second, recognizing sources of continuity leads to a sympathetic view on extinct objects, which in turn problematizes the common monistic tendency in science and philosophy; this epistemological reorientation allows room for more pluralism in scientific practice itself.

Comment: An interesting argument about ontology and scientific practice; would be useful in any philosophy of science course that engages with issues in scientific practice.

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Ivanova, Milena, , . Is There a Place for Epistemic Virtues in Theory Choice?
2014, In Abrol Fairweather (ed.), Virtue Epistemology Naturalized. Springer, Cham. pp. 207-226.
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Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Milena Ivanova

Abstract: This paper challenges the appeal to theory virtues in theory choice as well as the appeal to the intellectual and moral virtues of an agent as determining unique choices between empirically equivalent theories. After arguing that theoretical virtues do not determine the choice of one theory at the expense of another theory, I argue that nor does the appeal to intellectual and moral virtues single out one agent, who defends a particular theory, and exclude another agent defending an alternative theory. I analyse Duhem’s concept of good sense and its recent interpretation in terms of virtue epistemology. I argue that the virtue epistemological interpretation does not show how good sense leads to conclusive choices and scientific progress.

Comment: Philosophy of Science, Virtue Epistemology Theory Choice, Intellectual virtues
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