Historian Richard Hofstadter’s observations about American cold-war politics are used to contextualize Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and argue that substantive claims about the nature of scientific knowledge and scientific change found in Structure were adopted from this cold-war political culture.Las observaciones del historiador Richard Hofstadter sobre la política americana en la Guerra Fría se utilizan para contextualizar La estructura de las revoluciones científicas de Thomas Kuhn y sostener que algunas afirmaciones fundamentales sobre la naturaleza del conocimiento científico (...) y el cambio científico que se pueden hallar en La estructura fueron adoptadas de esta cultura política de la Guerra Fría. (shrink)
This intriguing and ground-breaking book is the first in-depth study of the development of philosophy of science in the United States during the Cold War. It documents the political vitality of logical empiricism and Otto Neurath's Unity of Science Movement when these projects emigrated to the US in the 1930s and follows their de-politicization by a convergence of intellectual, cultural and political forces in the 1950s. Students of logical empiricism and the Vienna Circle treat these as strictly intellectual non-political projects. (...) In fact, the refugee philosophers of science were highly active politically and debated questions about values inside and outside science, as a result of which their philosophy of science was scrutinized politically both from within and without the profession, by such institutions as J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. It will prove absorbing reading to philosophers and historians of science, intellectual historians, and scholars of Cold War studies. (shrink)
(2001). Against a third dogma of logical empiricism: Otto Neurath and 'unpredictability in principle' International Studies in the Philosophy of Science: Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 199-209. doi: 10.1080/02698590120059068.
I criticize conceptual pluralism, as endorsed recently by John Dupre and Philip Kitcher, for failing to supply strategies for demarcating science from non-science. Using creation-science as a test case, I argue that pluralism blocks arguments that keep creation-science in check and that metaphysical pluralism offers it positive, metaphysical support. Logical empiricism, however, still provides useful resources to reconfigure and manage the problem of creation-science in those practical and political contexts where pluralism will fail.
In the light of two unpublished letters from Carnap to Kuhn, this essay examines the relationship between Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and Carnap's philosophical views. Contrary to the common wisdom that Kuhn's book refuted logical empiricism, it argues that Carnap's views of revolutionary scientific change are rather similar to those detailed by Kuhn. This serves both to explain Carnap's appreciation of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and to suggest that logical empiricism, insofar as that program rested on Carnap's (...) shoulders, was not substantially upstaged by Kuhn's book. (shrink)