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Protoscience refers to historical philosophical disciplines that existed prior to the development of scientific method, but which nonetheless contributed to the development of established scientific disciplines. (prescientific). In reference to a modern science, "protoscience" denotes a fringe science that has limited acceptance in the mainstream scientific community but is nonetheless rooted in established principles and thus has potential for being more widely accepted. In other words, protoscience can be defined as "any set of beliefs or theories that have not yet been tested adequately by the scientific method but which are otherwise consistent with existing science, [thus being] a new science working to establish itself as legitimate science".[1]


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  • H Holcomb, Moving Beyond Just-So Stories: Evolutionary Psychology as Protoscience. Skeptic Magazine, 1996.
  • D Hartmann, Protoscience and Reconstruction. Journal of General Philosophy of Science, 1996.
  • R Tuomela, Science, Protoscience and Pseudoscience. Rational Changes in Science.
  • JA Campbell, On artificial intelligence. Artificial Intelligence Review, 1986.
  • G Kennedy, Psychoanalysis: Protoscience and Metapsychology. 1959.
  • AC Maffei, Psychoanalysis: Protoscience Or Science?. 1969.
  • N Psarros, The Constructive Approach to the Philosophy of Chemistry. Epistemologia, 1995.

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