In this dissertation, I develop an account of the structures and dynamics of debate in science. This account consists of a framework of concepts that identify and organize the features of scientific debates. These concepts are applied to the histories of two concrete case studies of ongoing scientific debates. Further concepts regarding the specific changes that may occur within scientific debates are abstracted from these case studies. This central concept I develop is ‘the scientific debate tradition.’ This refers the various rival positions of a scientific debate, and the relationships between them, as they change over time. I investigate the implications of these changes for our conception of scientific practice. Through the analysis of the concrete case studies, I identify a number of specific modes of debate that a tradition may take up. Changes to the relationships between rival debate positions occur as a scientific debate shifts from one mode of debate to the next. In the first chapter, I explore relevant work in the philosophy of science on traditions’ of scientific practice, especially Imre Lakatos’s notion of the ‘scientific research programme.’ The second chapter develops the notion of the scientific debate tradition and its associated framework of concepts. The third chapter offers a case study of a debate in the field of neurobiology over the nature of ‘synaptic vesicles,’ tiny organelles responsible for neurotransmission. The fourth chapter offers a case study of a debate from the field of developmental psychology over children’s ability to understand that others have separate minds and perspectives. In the final chapter, I apply the notion of the scientific debate tradition to the two case studies. From the histories of these case studies I abstract a series of concepts regarding the modes of debate which a tradition can possess.
|School:||State University of New York at Stony Brook|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/12, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Neurosciences, Philosophy, Science history, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Lakatos, Imre, Philosophy of science, Scientific debate, Scientific practice, Synaptic vesicle, Theory of mind|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be