Hull was one of the first graduates of the History and Philosophy of Science department at Indiana University. After earning his PhD from IU he taught at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee for 20 years before moving to Northwestern, where he taught for another 20 years. Hull was a former president of the Philosophy of Science Association and the Society for Systematic Biology. He was particularly well known for his argument that species are not sets or collections but rather spatially and temporally extended individuals (also called the individuality thesis or "species-as-individuals" thesis).
Hull also proposed an elaborate discussion of science as an evolutionary process in his 1988 book, which also offered a historical account of the "taxonomy wars" of the 1960s and 1970s between three competing schools of taxonomy: phenetics, evolutionary systematics, and cladistics. In Hull's view, science evolves like organisms and populations do, with a demic population structure, subject to selection for ideas based on "conceptual inclusive credit." Either novelty or citation of work gives credit, and the professional careers of scientists share in credit by using successful research. This is a "hidden hand" account of scientific progress.
He was Dressler Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Northwestern University.
Further Readings :
Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series) by David L. Hull
Paperback: 600 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (May 15, 1990)
Amazon: Science as a Process: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science (Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series)
Applies evolutionary models to the cultural and conceptual change of intellectual communities. Essential reading for anyone interested in how ideas evolve, and how best to describe these processes rigorously.
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