Horizon for scientific practice: Scientific discovery and progress

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Abstract

In this article, I introduce the notion of horizon for scientific practice (HSP), representing limits or boundaries within which scientists ply their trade, to facilitate analysis of scientific discovery and progress. The notion includes not only constraints that delimit scientific practice, e.g. of bringing experimentation to a temporary conclusion, but also possibilities that open up scientific practice to additional scientific discovery and to further scientific progress. Importantly, it represents scientific practice as a dynamic and developmental integration of activities to investigate and analyze the natural world. I use the discovery of the clotting factor, thrombin, and the experiments conducted by the Johns Hopkins physiologist, William Howell, on the enzymatic nature of thrombin to illustrate the notion of HSP. In a concluding section, I compare the notion of HSP to other notions for scientific practice proposed in the history and philosophy of science literature. © 2010 Open Society Foundation.

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Marcum, J. A. (2010, June). Horizon for scientific practice: Scientific discovery and progress. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/02698595.2010.484545

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