Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 25, number 75, diciembre 1993
Presupuestos básicos de la ciencia y cambio científico
[Basic Presuppositions of Science and Scientific Change]
Jesús Martínez Velasco
Colegio Universitario de Soria

Abstract: This paper discusses the issue of whether prevailing research traditions in science —assumed as sine qua non conditions of the very scientific knowledge— are capable of change or not. If they are, can such a change be called rational and progressive? Does it follow some methodology? And finally, how is it to be explained? The issue is seen in the light of four different contemporary theories: Kuhn’s, Lakatos’, Popper’s, and, especially, Laudan’s. This latter epistemological model is approached in more detail, for Laudan is a post-Kuhnian and post-Popperian who contributes —the author considers— a surpassing vision of the concepts of progressive change and rationality in science. As Martínez Velasco asserts, in Laudan’s view science is not an activity mainly directed to the search for truth, but devoted instead to the resolution of problems; theories and research traditions should be evaluated in terms of their effectiveness in this enterprise. Scientific progress is thus precisely the increase of the theoretical capability of producing desired results. Nevertheless, the author claims that the idea of progress in science development is still a “cloudy” concept, although it is indeed objective.
[Laura Lecuona]
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