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Is the contingentist / inevitabilist debate a matter of degrees?

Martin, Joseph D. (2013) 'Is the contingentist / inevitabilist debate a matter of degrees?', Philosophy of science., 80 (5). pp. 919-930.


The contingentist/inevitabilist debate contests whether the results of successful science are contingent or inevitable. This article addresses lingering ambiguity in the way contingency is defined in this debate. I argue that contingency in science can be understood as a collection of distinct concepts, distinguished by how they hold science contingent, by what elements of science they hold contingent, and by what those elements are contingent upon. I present a preliminary taxonomy designed to characterize the full-range positions available and illustrate that these constitute a diverse array rather than a spectrum.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2013 by University of Chicago Press.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:02 October 2019
Date of first online publication:2013
Date first made open access:02 October 2019

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