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Authors: Musumeci, Daniele* 
De Benedetti, Arnaldo Angelo* 
Branca, Stefano* 
Ingaliso, Luigi* 
Title: Rittmann’s heritage: A philosophical approach for current research
Issue Date: 2022
ISBN: 9780813725536
Abstract: We present an interdisciplinary study between philosophy and science that uses a historical case to show some aspects of scientific research. The case in question is that of Alfred F. Rittmann (1893–1980), known as one of the central figures of twentieth-century volcanology. After outlining Rittmann’s scientific background and hypotheses, we briefly examine the set of his theories using Thomas Kuhn’s model of the development of science. We highlight the methodology of multiple working hypotheses and how they contributed to defining his geoscientific paradigm, namely, magmatological tectonics. Rittmann worked on his paradigm throughout his life, even making little-known criticisms on plate tectonics. We present some of them, contextualizing them in twentieth-century as well as current research. His use of multiple working hypotheses, along with his drive to search for synthetic visions between different models, could be a stimulating and pluralistic approach to unsolved geoscientific questions.
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