MTL PhilSci Net | Conférence « Progress in the Sciences and in the Arts » – Philip Kitcher, Columbia University

Jeudi 22 mars / Thursday 22 March 15:00 – 17:00
Philip Kitcher, Columbia University
“Progress in the Sciences and in the Arts”
Leacock 927, McGill University
Conférence co-organisée avec / Talk co-organized with McGill’s Philosophy Department
The view that the sciences make progress, while the arts do not, is extremely common.  This lecture will challenge it.  I begin by distinguishing teleological progress from pragmatic progress.   You make pragmatic progress not by coming closer to a goal, but by solving some of the problems of your current state.  Scientific progress should be seen as pragmatic.  When the point is recognized, it becomes evident that scientific progress has social dimensions.  A socially embedded notion of scientific progress then allows for a parallel concept of progress applicable to the arts.