IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Formal Model of Theory Vhoice in Science

  • Brock, W.A.
  • Durlauf, S.N.

Since the classic work of Feyerabend and Kuhn, the role of social factors in the scientific enterprise has been a major concern in the philosophy and history of science. In particular, the presence of social factors such as the desire for prestige or pressures to conform to accepted ideas, have been regarded as reasons to question whether science naturally progresses towards more and more accurate approximations of reality. In this paper, we propose a formal model of theory choice which incorporates private and social influences. We provide a characterization of the interaction of social factors with theory choice. Our results demonstrate that the influence of social factors on scientific progress is far more complex than is typically assumed. In particular, we provide conditions under which social influences actually enhance the rate at which a superior theory replaces its inferior predecessor.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/econ/archive/wp9707.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems in its series Working papers with number 9707.

as
in new window

Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:att:wimass:9707
Contact details of provider: Postal: UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN MADISON, SOCIAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH INSTITUTE(S.S.R.I.), MADISON WISCONSIN 53706 U.S.A.

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Blume Lawrence E., 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 387-424, July.
  2. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 1995. "Discrete Choice with Social Interactions I: Theory," Working Papers 95-10-084, Santa Fe Institute.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:att:wimass:9707. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ailsenne Sumwalt)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.