Journal article

The evolutionary structure of scientific theories

JS Wilkins

BIOLOGY & PHILOSOPHY | SPRINGER | Published : 1998

Abstract

David Hull's (1988c) model of science as a selection process suffers from a two-fold inability: (a) to ascertain when a lineage of theories has been established; i.e., when theories are descendants of older theories or are novelties, and what counts as a distinct lineage; and (b) to specify what the scientific analogue is of genotype and phenotype. This paper seeks to clarify these issues and to propose an abstract model of theories analogous to particulate genetic structure, in order to reconstruct relationships of descent and identity. © 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.