The productive anarchy of scientific imagination

Michael T. Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Imagination is important for many things in science: solving problems, interpreting data, designing studies, and much else. Philosophers of imagination typically account for the productive role played by imagination in science by focusing on how imagination is constrained, for example, by self-imposed rules to infer logically or model events accurately. But the constraints offered by these philosophers constrain either too much or not enough, and they can never account for uses of imagination that are needed to break today’s constraints in order to make progress tomorrow. Thus, epistemology of imagination needs to make room for an element of epistemological anarchy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-978
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2020


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