David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Michael Rahnfeld (ed.), Is there Certain Knowledge? Leipziger Universitätsverlag (2006)
We ordinarily assume that we have reliable knowledge of our immediate surroundings, so much so that almost all the time we entrust our lives to the truth of what we take ourselves to know, without a moment’s thought. But if, as Karl Popper and others have maintained, all our knowledge is conjectural, then this habitual assumption that our common sense knowledge of our environment is secure and trustworthy would seem to be an illusion. Popper’s philosophy of science, in particular, fails to do justice to the distinction we ordinarily draw between secure knowledge and mere conjecture. But Popper’s philosophy of science, in particular his attempted solution to the problem of induction, is defective. It fails to take into account that physics, in only accepting unified theories, even though endlessly empirically more successful disunified rivals are always available, makes the persistent metaphysical assumption that all disunified theories are false. Once this point is acknowledged, it becomes clear that a new conception of scientific method is required which sees science as making a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe. This provides a framework of relatively unproblematic assumptions and associated methods of science within which much more problematic assumptions and associated methods can be critically assessed and improved. This hierarchical view seems at first to intensify the problem of distinguishing certainty from conjecture, in that it emphasizes that scientific knowledge, and even humble common sense knowledge, contain usually unacknowledged cosmological conjectures. But actually it explicates the basis we have for drawing the distinction between trustworthy knowledge and mere conjecture, and even goes some way towards providing a rationale for this distinction, in so far as one exists.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Greg Bamford (2002). From Analysis/Synthesis to Conjecture/Analysis: A Review of Karl Popper’s Influence on Design Methodology in Architecture. [REVIEW] Design Studies 23 (3):245 - 61.
Timothy Cleveland (1997). A Refutation of Pure Conjecture. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 28 (1):55-81.
Peter Lipton (1995). Popper and Reliabilism. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 39:31-43.
Nicholas Maxwell (2005). A Mug's Game? Solving the Problem of Induction with Metaphysical Presuppositions. In John Earman & John Norton (eds.), PhilSci Archive.
Nicholas Maxwell (2002). The Need for a Revolution in the Philosophy of Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 33 (2):381-408.
Karl R. Popper (1989/2002). Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge. Routledge.
Nicholas Maxwell (forthcoming). Popper's Paradoxical Pursuit of Natural Philosophy. In J. Shearmur & G. Stokes (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Popper. Cambridge University Press.
Nicholas Maxwell, The Problem of Induction and Metaphysical Assumptions Concerning the Comprehensibility and Knowability of the Universe. PhilSci Archive.
Nicholas Maxwell (2011). A Priori Conjectural Knowledge in Physics: The Comprehensibility of the Universe. In Mkichael Shaffer & Michael Veber (eds.), What Place for the A Priori? Open Court.
Nicholas Maxwell (1997). Must Science Make Cosmological Assumptions If It is to Be Rational?,. In T. Kelly (ed.), The Philosophy of Science: Proceedings of the Irish Philosophical Society Spring Conference. Irish Philosophical Society.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads54 ( #34,373 of 1,413,158 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #51,713 of 1,413,158 )
How can I increase my downloads?