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Rogier De Langhe                

Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science
Ghent University
Blandijnberg 2
120.049
B-9000 Gent
Belgium


Email: rogierdelanghe @ gmail.com (remove spaces)
Twitter: @_roedel_
Blog: New Commons
Facebookgroup: Digitale revolutie: peer-to-peer, deeleconomie, collaborative commons


Waarom we ons te pletter werken, De Morgen (11/05/2016)
Deeleconomie maakt komaf met geplande veroudering van producten, De Tijd (01/12/2015)

Hoe de overheid Uber kan verslaan, Knack (10/11/2015)
Uber en Airbnb: Overheden duwen deeleconomie in handen van multinationals, Knack (04/11/2015)
Is onze politiek nog wendbaar genoeg?, De Tijd (23/10/2015)
Basisinkomen is geen vangnet maar een springplank, De Morgen (02/06/2015) - met Michel Bauwens
Peer-to-peer economie: van negatieve naar positieve vrijheid, De Wereld Morgen (30/01/2015)

Fixatie op vermogensbelasting verhult een tragedie, De Tijd (14/01/2015)
Zet zelfrijdende wagens op het goede spoor, De Tijd (04/12/2014)
Als de jeugd met de voeten stemt, De Tijd (14/11/2014)
Ik hoop dat wie betoogt beseft dat hij of zij betoogt tegen de toekomst, De Tijd (05/11/2014)
Over de maatschappelijke rol van de wetenschapsfilosoof, De Wereld Morgen (28/12/2011) nav de "filosofenstrijd"
Over de dubbelblinde methode van de pseudo-wetenschapsfilosoof, De Wereld Morgen (17/12/2011) nav de "filosofenstrijd"
 

Research

Thomas Kuhn's notions of "paradigm", "paradigm shift" and "scientific revolution" have appealed strongly to practicing scientists but are philosophically problematic. I believe that this gap between philosophical rigor and societal relevance can now be closed thanks to novel developments such as agent-based modeling and the availability of scientometric data. A better understanding of the evolution of science will increase our ability to foster progress and innovation. My goals are to prove the existence of paradigms, find statistical evidence of paradigm shifts and provide policy recommendations for better science and innovation policies.

In my paper The Kuhnian Paradigm I lay out this research programme in more detail. It describes Kuhnís philosophy of science as a genuinely new paradigm for philosophy of science.  As such it provides the frame for much of the rest of my work in philosophy of science, most importantly:

  1. An agent-based model of Kuhnís Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science), showing how possibly the interactions of individually rational scientists can result in an aggregate patter of normal science, crisis and revolution. Free version here.  

  2. A Unified Model of the Division of Cognitive Labor (Philosophy of Science), a unification of Kitcher and Kuhnís ideas on the division of cognitive labor. This paper won the Philosophy of Science Graduate Student Essay award of the Philosophy of Science Association. Free version here.

  3. A Comparison of Two Models of Scientific Progress (Studies in History and Philosophy of Science), in which I build an agent-based model to make explicit Kuhnís"sandpile" model of progress and contrast it with the traditional linear model of progress. Free version here.


Background

My academic degrees in economics and philosophy culminated in a Ph.D. on the use of models in economics. A year into this research the financial crisis began. The drastic shift in the questions economists were asking and the standards they upheld made a deep and lasting impression. ďThe whole intellectual edifice collapsed in the summer of last year," testified Alan Greenspan in 2008. I began studying the dynamics of science rather than continuing the traditional focus on a static analysis of the finished products of science: how to deal with disagreement (Peer Disagreement under Multiple Epistemic Systems, To Specialize or to Innovate? An Internalist Account of Pluralistic Ignorance) and pluralism (How Monist is Heterodoxy? Why Should I Adopt Pluralism?, ), how to balance dynamically the virtues of precision and generality (Does Generality Lead to Simplicity in Ecology?, Mainstream Economics: Searching Where the Light Is), how to divide cognitive labor (A Unified Model of the Division of Cognitive Labor, Standards and the Distribution of Cognitive Labour, The Division of Labour in Science: the Tradeoff between Specialisation and Diversity). Dynamics are best studies using simulations because they focus on processes rather than their products. I became one of the pioneers of agent-based modeling in philosophy by organizing a bi-annual workshop (Agent-Based Modeling in Philosophy) aimed specifically at teaching philosophers how to program these models.

After my PhD (Models in Science) I realized that Thomas Kuhn presented a perspective on science that unified the questions I was asking (A Mechanism of Progressive Paradigm Change, Satisficing as an Account of Kuhnian Rationality, The Problem of Kuhnian Rationality) . For the unifying principle behind this insight (A Unified Model of the Division of Cognitive Labor) I was awarded the PSA award, the most prestigious prize for graduate students in my field. This brought me invitations for lectures and helped me to become a recognized Kuhn-scholar. Top journals such as the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science ask me to referee papers on Kuhnian themes. I have edited special issues of both Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (The Progress of Science) and Topoi (Introduction: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50 Years On) on the occasion of the 50th birthday of Thomas Kuhnís ďStructure of Scientific RevolutionsĒ. This has given me a large network among other Kuhn-experts. I am also the owner of tskuhn.com where I blog, spread news and disseminate my work. 

During this period I started appreciating the relevance of physics. I brought together Koen Schoors, an economist specializing in financial crashes, Eric Schliesser, an expert in history and philosophy of science and Jan Ryckebusch, an expert on phase transitions in physics to form the Complex Systems Institute (CSI), an interdisciplinary research group on critical events in complex systems. As thesis supervisor of physics students I learnt about recent developments in network theory and realized that Kuhnís framework could offer a way to draw philosophical conclusions from empirical data in much the same way as these tools had already successfully yielded new insights in financial economics. This new image of science opens up a new range of systemic questions about science which inform my Kuhnian research programme as sketched in my paper The Kuhnian Paradigm.


Publications                          

2014
The Progress of Science, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science (with Stephan Hartmann & Jan Sprenger) 46 54
To Specialize or to Innovate? An Internalist Account of Pluralistic Ignorance, Synthese
191(11) 2499-2511

A Unified Model of the Division of Cognitive Labor, Philosophy of Science (PSA Graduate Student Essay Award), 81(3) 444-459

A Comparison of Two Models of Scientific Progress, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 46 94-99


2013
Does Generality Lead to Simplicity in Ecology?
(with Matthew Evans et al.), Cell, 28(10) 578-83 (2012 JCR impact factor: 15.389) 

Satisficing as an Account of Kuhnian Rationality, Philosophy Study, 3(5) 398-411

Peer Disagreement under Multiple Epistemic Systems, Synthese, 190(13) 2547-56

The Kuhnian Paradigm, Topoi, 32(1) 65-73
Introduction: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50 Years On, Topoi, 32(1) 1-2


2012
Kuhn's Evolutionary Social Epistemology, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
The Problem of Kuhnian Rationality, Philosophica, 86(2) 11-31
Agent-Based Modeling in Philosophy, The Reasoner, 6(7) 119-20
 
2011

Over de Maatschappelijke Rol van de Wetenschapsfilosoof, De Wereld Morgen, 28 December 2011
Over de Dubbelblinde Methode van de Pseudo-Wetenschapsfilosoof, De Wereld Morgen, 17 December 2011
Betogen tegen Onszelf, De Tijd, 21 January 2011
Betoging, De Morgen, 20 January 2011


2010

Standards and the Distribution of Cognitive Labour: A Model of the Dynamics of Scientific Activity (with Matthias Greiff),  Logic Journal of the IGPL, 18(2): 278-94
How Monist is Heterodoxy?, Cambridge Journal of Economics, (34): 793-805
The Division of Labour in Science: the Tradeoff between Specialisation and Diversity, Journal of Economic Methodology, 17(1): 37-51
Models in Science, Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 3(2), 146-7
Models in Science: Essays on Scientific Virtues, Scientific Pluralism and the Distribution of Labour in Science. ISBN: 9789490695163  (Ph.D. dissertation)

2009
Mainstream Economics: Searching Where the Light Is; Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, 32(1): 137-50 
Why Should I Adopt Pluralism?, in: Garnett, Olsen & Starr (eds.) Economic Pluralism, London: Routledge, 139-59
Trading Off Explanatory Virtues, in: Weber, Libert, Marage & Vanpaemel, (eds.) Logic, Philosophy and History of Science in Belgium, Brussel: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van BelgiŽ , 62-67
Evidence in Science and Philosophy of Science, Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte, 2009(1): 65-9


2007
Naar een Pluralistisch Model van Onderzoeksfinanciering in de Humane Wetenschappen, in: Loobuyck, Vanheeswijck, Van Herck ea. (eds.), Welke universiteit willen we (niet)?, Gent: Academia Press, 205-16
Is There an Alternative?, Ethiek & Maatschappij, 10(4): 101-11
A Pragmatist Approach to the Plurality of Explanations in International Relations Theory (with Erik Weber and Jeroen Van Bouwel), EPCR-SGIR, Turin [online]

2005
Graham Allisons Modellen voor de Analyse van Internationale Betrekkingen: een Pluralistische Kritiek, Ethiek & Maatschappij, 8(2): 64-77