Toulmin on ideals of natural order

Synthese 22 (3-4):431 - 437 (1971)
In this paper I criticize Toulmin's concept of Ideals of Natural Order and his account of the role these Ideals play in scientific explanation as given in his book, Foresight and Understanding. I argue that Toulmin's account of Ideals of Natural Order as those theories taken to be self evident by scientists at a given time introduces an undesirable subjectivism into his account of scientific explanation. I argue also that the history of science, especially the recent history of microphysics, does not support Toulmin's contentions about the supposed self-evidence of the basic explanatory theories in science.
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