Rationality and Science

Paul. Thagard

in The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195145397
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:
 Rationality and Science

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Epistemology


Show Summary Details


This article provides a review and assessment of central aspects of rationality in science. It discusses the nature of the reasoning by which individual scientists accept and reject conflicting hypotheses. It also discusses the nature of practical reason in science and then turns to the question of the nature of group rationality in science. In this latter context, this article discusses, among other matters, its CCC (for consensus = coherence + communication) model, which shows how epistemic group rationality can arise in agents who communicate with each other while focusing on the explanation of observed phenomena. Furthermore, this article examines whether scientists are in fact rational—that is, whether they conform to normative standards of individual and group rationality. It considers various psychological and sociological factors that have been taken to undermine the rationality of science.

Keywords: rationality; science; CCC model; epistemic group; sociological factors

Article.  7341 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Epistemology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.