Understanding scientific rationality through scientific discovery



Philosophy of science and history of science were not so closely related in the past precisely because the problem of discovery was either thrown away or made an appendage to the problem of justification. This paper makes an attempt to explicate the complex interaction between the problem of discovery and history and philosophy of science, including its bearing on scientific practice. Post-positivist and anti-positivist critical discourses in philosophy of science totally disturbed the orthodox and established disciplines of knowledge and radically transformed our understanding about science, scientific knowledge and the context of scientific discovery. Understanding the significance of the problem of discovery to history and philosophy of science enables us to arrive at an adequate theory of science as a cognitive inquiry and creative human endeavor. The central argument in this paper is to drive home the point that the contemporary debates on problem of discovery can shed new light on the central issues of history and philosophy of science, and most importantly on the nature of scientific rationality.


Scientific discovery; Scientific rationality; Context of discovery; Context of justification; Scientific explanation

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