Thank you for your note and the enclosed reprints. I regret that I was not aware
of them and the Dubos book, since all could have been appropriately cited in my
My interest in Avery arose while I was working on my dissertation under Toulmin in philosophy of science. The object of my
dissertation was to use a very simple utility maximizing model to argue that differences in the speed of acceptance of scientific
theories might be due to different constraints faced by the scientists rather than different values. Hence, I was attempting
to refute Kuhn's irrationalism in a way that might be consistent with the history and practice of science.
For intellectual as well as practical reasons I have changed my professional affiliation to economics. My main research program
is to try to extend economic
maximization models in order to explain human behavior usually thought to lie outside the domain of economics. I have recently
written a paper with Luis Locay
on the economics of matrilineal kinship but most of my effort is devoted to giving an economic (i.e., utility maximizing)
account of theory acceptance.
In case they would be of interest to you, I am enclosing a paper I co-authored on
the acceptance of evolution as well as a brief note on the acceptance of cliometrics. I thank you again for taking the time
to read and comment on my note on Avery.