Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Articulating the WorldConceptual Understanding and the Scientific Image$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joseph Rouse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226293677

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226293707.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Scientific Significance

Scientific Significance

(p.317) Ten Scientific Significance
Articulating the World

Joseph Rouse

University of Chicago Press

Scientific research and understanding are more selectively focused than traditional conceptions of a comprehensive scientific image suggest. Most truths and possible topics of inquiry have little or no scientific significance; recognizing which concepts, projects, apparatus, skills, and achieved results matter scientifically is central to scientific understanding. This chapter adapts Davidson’s distinction between homonomic and heteronomic inquiry to explicate two complementary aspects of scientific significance. The most basic form of conceptual articulation in the sciences is homonomic, extending and refining domain-constitutive concepts, skills, and laws. A self-enclosed domain of concepts and skills would be conceptually empty, however. Internal development of conceptual domains matters in its bearing upon other scientific domains and broader concerns. Heteronomic inquiry ranges from local collaborative projects, through more stable “trading zones”, to new domains of inquiry at, between, or across the boundaries of others. The chapter uses examples mostly from the history of genetics to show how homonomic and heteronomic conceptual development are closely intertwined in shaping the significance of research projects and achievements. Neither a comprehensive scientific image nor conceptions of an unsurpassable disunity of science adequately account for this futural aspect of the temporality of conceptual normativity in the sciences.

Keywords:   research, scientific image, scientific significance, Davidson, heteronomic inquiry, genetics, disunity of science, conceptual normativity, temporality

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.