Departmental Papers (Philosophy)

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Book Chapter

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New Waves in Philosophy of Science

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Scientists are not lone agents, cut off from the outside world, responding only to information generated in their own laboratories. Rather, they make decisions about what to investigate by integrating what they discover for themselves with what they learn from others. They also take into account external factors such as grants, prizes, and prestige. These sources of feedback lead scientists to coordinate and divide their resources among differing approaches to the research domain. This coordination seems to enhance the success of scientific communities, but this coordination is neither planned nor explicit. Philip Kitcher has called this fact about scientific communities the division of cognitive labor.

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P.D Magnus & J. Busch, New Waves in Philosophy of Science, 2010, Palgrave MacMillan reproduced with permission of Palgrave Macmillan. This extract is taken from the author's original manuscript and has not been edited. The definitive, published, version of record is available here:

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Date Posted: 04 December 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.