Epistemology and the theory of problem solving

Alvin I. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Problem solving has recently become a central topic both in the philosophy of science and in cognitive science. This paper integrates approaches to problem solving from these two disciplines and discusses the epistemological consequences of such an integration. The paper first analyzes problem solving as getting a true answer to a question. It then explores some stages of cognitive activity relevant to question answering that have been delineated by historians and philosophers of science and by cognitive psychologists and artificial intelligencers. The traditional opposition between discovery and justification is challenged. It is suggested that epistemology may be conceptualized, in part, as the critical assessment of problem-solving strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-48
Number of pages28
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • General Social Sciences


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