Tracing some consensus regarding pre-scientific frameworks in philosophy of science

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Peer-Reviewed Research


The wide and sophisticated terminology of contemporary philosophy of science seemingly points toward a multitude of different pre-scientific frameworks (for example, worldviews, philosophy) directing our scientific investigations. This study, however, illustrates forms of consensus between the views of various prominent twentieth-century philosophers of science on the characteristics and functions of pre-scientific frameworks in scientific activity. It specifically highlights various helpful insights offered by reformational philosophy as its point of departure. This study finds that, on the pre-scientific level, fundamental motives and worldviews are usually recognised as pre-theoretical frameworks – with specific characteristics and functions – influencing scientific investigation. Reformational notions such as ‘ground motive’ and certain definitions of ‘worldview’ that did not originate in the context of ‘philosophy of science’ are introduced with a two-fold purpose: to establish a fruitful dialogue between reformational philosophers and more recognised philosophers of science, as well as to better equip us to trace what their views have in common.