Scientific Progress without Problems: A Reply to McCoy

In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In the course of developing an account of scientific progress, C. D. McCoy (2022) appeals centrally to understanding as well as to problem-solving. On the face of it, McCoy’s account could thus be described as a kind of hybrid of the understanding-based account that I favor (Dellsén 2016, 2021) and the functional (a.k.a. problem-solving) account developed most prominently by Laudan (1977; see also Kuhn 1970; Shan 2019). In this commentary, I offer two possible interpretations of McCoy’s account and explain why I do not find it entirely compelling on either interpretation.

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Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland

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