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The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 115, Issue 1, January 2018

Kevin J. S. Zollman
Pages 5-33
DOI: 10.5840/jphil201811511

The Credit Economy and the Economic Rationality of Science

Theories of scientific rationality typically pertain to belief. In this paper, the author argues that we should expand our focus to include motivations as well as belief. An economic model is used to evaluate whether science is best served by scientists motivated only by truth, only by credit, or by both truth and credit. In many, but not all, situations, scientists motivated by both truth and credit should be judged as the most rational scientists.