Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and aim-oriented empiricism

Philosophia 32 (1-4):181-239 (2005)
Abstract
In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), a conception of natural science that I have defended at some length elsewhere, is a kind of synthesis of the views of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, but is also an improvement over the views of all three. Whereas Popper's falsificationism protects metaphysical assumptions implicitly made by science from criticism, AOE exposes all such assumptions to sustained criticism, and furthermore focuses criticism on those assumptions most likely to need revision if science is to make progress. Even though AOE is, in this way, more Popperian than Popper, it is also, in some respects, more like the views of Kuhn and Lakatos than falsificationism is. AOE is able, however, to solve problems which Kuhn's and Lakatos's views cannot solve
Keywords Karl Popper  Thomas Kuhn  Imre Lakatos  Aim-Oriented Empiricism  Scientific Method  Rationality of Science  Science and Metaphysics
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