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Replication, uncertainty and progress in comparative cognition

Boyle, Alexandria ORCID: 0000-0001-8827-5479 (2021) Replication, uncertainty and progress in comparative cognition. Animal Behavior and Cognition, 8 (2). 296 - 304. ISSN 2372-5052

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Replications are often taken to play both epistemic and demarcating roles in science: they provide evidence about the reliability of fields’ methods and, by extension, about which fields “count” as scientific. I argue that, in a field characterized by a high degree of theoretical openness and uncertainty, like comparative cognition, replications do not sit well in these roles. Like other experiments conducted under conditions of uncertainty, replications are often equivocal and open to interpretation. As a result, they are poorly placed to deliver clear judgments about the reliability of comparative cognition’s methods or its scientific bona fides. I suggest that this should encourage us to take a broader view of both the nature of scientific progress and the role of replication in comparative cognition.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2022 14:36
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2024 03:37

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