Research Article

Scientific Pluralism in Practice: Responses to Anomaly in the Sciences



Scientific pluralism has become a household position within the philosophy of science literature. There are numerous accounts of plurality within various research fields. Most scientific pluralists, however, focus on the plurality of theories, explanations, or mechanisms, while other potential targets of plurality that the philosophy of scientific practice has particularly emphasized have so far not received extensive treatment. How should we approach such practice-based candidates of plurality? And what are potential pluralist positions concerning the objects of scientific practice? In this article, I set out to answer these questions. I combine approaching a widely influential topic within the philosophy of science, scientific pluralism, with social science methodology. Using interview data combined with sociological analysis, I provide a nuanced picture of the dynamics of one particular research field that displays plurality. Focusing on how sociological configurations resonate with intellectual commitments within a research field, I disentangle practice-based from theoretical plurality. I consider how these empirical results should feedback on the scientific pluralism literature.

Keywords: scientific pluralism, philosophy of scientific practice, model organisms, scientific repertoire, theoretical pluralism, anomalies in science

How to Cite: Veigl, S. J. (2022) “Scientific Pluralism in Practice: Responses to Anomaly in the Sciences”, Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology. 14(0). doi: