KNOWING SCIENCE • KNOWING MEDICINE • REPLICATION CRISIS • CREATIVITY • NATURAL KINDS • POWERS AND PROPERTIES
The aim of science is the production of scientific knowledge. Scientific progress is the accumulation of scientific knowledge (a surprisingly radical thesis in the philosophy of science).
A novel account of social or group knowing. Group knowing does not supervene on the mental states of scientists. Rather it depends on the group being organised (e.g. in distributed cognition) in a manner suited to the achievement of cognitive goals.
A functionalist account of evidence that implies that while evidence is knowledge, it is not any special kind of knowledge—evidence in science is not observational knowledge, nor perceptual knowledge, nor non-inferential knowledge.
A functionalist account of observation. Insofar as the concept of observation is important for understanding science, it is not a perceptual concept. (Indeed, observations can be made by machines.)
A view of theoretical inference in science according to which knowledge is gained through 'inference to the only explanation' (or 'Holmesian inference').
Inference to the best explanation is an approximation to Holmesian inference that allows us to assess the plausibility of a hypothesis and which bears a heuristic relationship to Bayesian inference.
Standard, global realism vs. anti-realism debates are redundant. Meta-scientific arguments cannot replace consideration of the first-order scientific arguments and can supplement the latter only locally.In the book I briefly argue that scientific understanding is a species of scientific knowledge—typically knowledge of explanatory relations. I will expand on this argument in future work.