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date: 14 August 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides a review and assessment of central aspects of rationality in science. It discusses the nature of the reasoning by which individual scientists accept and reject conflicting hypotheses. It also discusses the nature of practical reason in science and then turns to the question of the nature of group rationality in science. In this latter context, this article discusses, among other matters, its CCC (for consensus = coherence + communication) model, which shows how epistemic group rationality can arise in agents who communicate with each other while focusing on the explanation of observed phenomena. Furthermore, this article examines whether scientists are in fact rational—that is, whether they conform to normative standards of individual and group rationality. It considers various psychological and sociological factors that have been taken to undermine the rationality of science.

Keywords: rationality, science, CCC model, epistemic group, sociological factors

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