The Noetic Approach: Scientific Progress as Enabling Understanding

Finnur Ulf Dellsén*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Roughly, the noetic account characterises scientific progress in terms of increased understanding. This chapter outlines a version of the noetic account according to which scienti?c progress on some phenomenon consists in making scienti?c information publicly available so as to enable relevant members of society to increase their understanding of that phenomenon. This version of the noetic account is briefly compared with four rival accounts of scientific progress, namely the truthlikeness account, the problem-solving account, the new functional account, and the epistemic account. In addition, the chapter seeks to precisify the question that accounts of scientific progress are (or should be) aiming to answer, namely ‘What type of cognitive change with respect to a given topic or phenomenon X constitutes a (greater or lesser degree of) scientific improvement with respect to X?'.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Philosophical Perspectives on Scientific Progress
PublisherTaylor and Francis/ Balkema
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781000780888
ISBN (Print)9780367760557
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 selection and editorial matter, Yafeng Shan; individual chapters, the contributors.


Dive into the research topics of 'The Noetic Approach: Scientific Progress as Enabling Understanding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this