Astrobiologists believe that hydrothermal vents may give us a lot of information on the origin of life on earth as well as origin and existence of life on other planets. The first is to conceive of discovery in terms of abductive reasoning ( section 6.1 ). The second is to conceive of discovery in terms of problem-solving algorithms, whereby heuristic rules aid the processing of available data and enhance the success in finding solutions to problems ( section 6.2 ). Both lines of argument rely on a broad conception of logic, whereby the logic” of discovery amounts to a schematic account of the reasoning processes involved in knowledge generation.
Not only do empirical studies of actual scientific discoveries inform philosophical thought about the structure and cognitive mechanisms of discovery, but researches in psychology, cognitive science, artificial intelligence and related fields have become an integral part of philosophical analyses of the processes and conditions of the generation of new knowledge.
Redner’s algorithm identified 9. As illustrated by these findings, certain scientific research can be very relevant for a scientific discovery that is later awarded a Nobel Prize, but the research itself does not need to have an extraordinary impact on science and does not need to meet the criteria of the algorithms.
Dunbar, K., 1997, How scientists think: On-line creativity and conceptual change in science”, in T.B. Ward, S.M. Smith, and J. Vaid (eds), Conceptual Structures and Processes: Emergence, Discovery , and Change, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Press.
Reichenbach maintains that philosophy of science includes a description of knowledge as it really is. Descriptive philosophy of science reconstructs scientists’ thinking processes in such a way that logical analysis can be performed on them, and it thus prepares the ground for the evaluation of these thoughts (Reichenbach 1938: § 1). Discovery, by contrast, is the object of empirical—psychological, sociological—study.