Scientific Diversity and the Theoretical Virtues

Time: 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Location: 456 Ryder Hall, Northeastern University
Sponsored By: Philosophy and Religion Department and the PPE Program
Contact: Rory Smead (

Guest Speaker: Kevin Zollman, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Abstract: Scientists evaluate theories according to many different dimensions of value. Philosophers debate how many and what they are, but it is clear that scientists care about several different aspect of a theory (like its simplicity, predictive accuracy, and the like). It has long been recognized that this diversity of evaluative criteria is one source of diversity in scientific pursuits. This paper explores, via computer simulation, how diversity of values affects scientific diversity and how it compares to other sources of diversity discussed in the literature.

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