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  1. From Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution in the Aims and Methods of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 1984 - Oxford: Blackwell.
    This book argues for the need to put into practice a profound and comprehensive intellectual revolution, affecting to a greater or lesser extent all branches of scientific and technological research, scholarship and education. This intellectual revolution differs, however, from the now familiar kind of scientific revolution described by Kuhn. It does not primarily involve a radical change in what we take to be knowledge about some aspect of the world, a change of paradigm. Rather it involves a radical change in (...)
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  • Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
  • Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen: Part Two: Aim-Oriented Empiricism and Scientific Essentialism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):81-101.
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism provides decisive grounds for accepting scientific realism and rejecting instrumentalism. But it goes further than this. Aim-oriented empiricism implies that physicalism is a central part of current (conjectural) scientific knowledge. Furthermore, we can and need, I argue, to interpret fundamental physical theories as attributing necessitating physical properties to fundamental physical entities.
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  • Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Compatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):640-645.
    Are probabilism and special relativity compatible? Dieks argues that they are. But the possible universe he specifies, designed to exemplify both probabilism and special relativity, either incorporates a universal "now", or amounts to a many world universe, or fails to have any one definite overall Minkowskian-type space-time structure. Probabilism and special relativity appear to be incompatible after all. What is at issue is not whether "the flow of time" can be reconciled with special relativity, but rather whether explicitly probabilistic versions (...)
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  • Does Probabilism Solve the Great Quantum Mystery?Nicholas Maxwell - 2004 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 19 (3):321-336.
    What sort of entities are electrons, photons and atoms given their wave-like and particle-like properties? Is nature fundamentally deterministic or probabilistic? Orthodox quantum theory evades answering these two basic questions by being a theory about the results of performing measurements on quantum systems. But this evasion results in OQT being a seriously defective theory. A rival, somewhat ignored strategy is to conjecture that the quantum domain is fundamentally probabilistic. This means quantum entities, interacting with one another probabilistically, must differ radically (...)
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  • Quantum Propensiton Theory: A Testable Resolution of the Wave/Particle Dilemma.Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):1-50.
    In this paper I put forward a new micro realistic, fundamentally probabilistic, propensiton version of quantum theory. According to this theory, the entities of the quantum domain - electrons, photons, atoms - are neither particles nor fields, but a new kind of fundamentally probabilistic entity, the propensiton - entities which interact with one another probabilistically. This version of quantum theory leaves the Schroedinger equation unchanged, but reinterprets it to specify how propensitons evolve when no probabilistic transitions occur. Probabilisitic transitions occur (...)
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  • Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Incompatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (1):23-43.
    In this paper I expound an argument which seems to establish that probabilism and special relativity are incompatible. I examine the argument critically, and consider its implications for interpretative problems of quantum theory, and for theoretical physics as a whole.
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  • Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part Three: Einstein, Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Discovery of Special and General Relativity.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):275-305.
    In this paper I show that Einstein made essential use of aim-oriented empiricism in scientific practice in developing special and general relativity. I conclude by considering to what extent Einstein came explicitly to advocate aim-oriented empiricism in his later years.
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  • Real Dispositions in the Physical World.Ian J. Thompson - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):67-79.
    The role of dispositions in the physical world is considered. It is shown that not only can classical physics be reasonably construed as the discovery of real dispositions, but also quantum physics. This approach moreover allows a realistic understanding of quantum processes.
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  • The Need for a Revolution in the Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):381-408.
    There is a need to bring about a revolution in the philosophy of science, interpreted to be both the academic discipline, and the official view of the aims and methods of science upheld by the scientific community. At present both are dominated by the view that in science theories are chosen on the basis of empirical considerations alone, nothing being permanently accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of evidence. Biasing choice of theory in the direction of simplicity, unity (...)
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  • Three Philosophical Problems About Consciousness and Their Possible Resolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2011 - Open Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1.
    Three big philosophical problems about consciousness are: Why does it exist? How do we explain and understand it? How can we explain brain-consciousness correlations? If functionalism were true, all three problems would be solved. But it is false, and that means all three problems remain unsolved (in that there is no other obvious candidate for a solution). Here, it is argued that the first problem cannot have a solution; this is inherent in the nature of explanation. The second problem is (...)
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  • Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - London: UCL Press.
    Karl Popper is famous for having proposed that science advances by a process of conjecture and refutation. He is also famous for defending the open society against what he saw as its arch enemies – Plato and Marx. Popper’s contributions to thought are of profound importance, but they are not the last word on the subject. They need to be improved. My concern in this book is to spell out what is of greatest importance in Popper’s work, what its failings (...)
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  • We Need to Recreate Natural Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (4):28-0.
    Modern science began as natural philosophy, an admixture of philosophy and science. It was then killed off by Newton, as a result of his claim to have derived his law of gravitation from the phenomena by induction. But this post-Newtonian conception of science, which holds that theories are accepted on the basis of evidence, is untenable, as the long-standing insolubility of the problem of induction indicates. Persistent acceptance of unified theories only in physics, when endless equally empirically successful disunified rivals (...)
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  • Popper’s Paradoxical Pursuit of Natural Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2004 - In Jeremy Shearmur & Geoffrey Stokes (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Popper. Cambridge University Press. pp. 170-207.
    Unlike almost all other philosophers of science, Karl Popper sought to contribute to natural philosophy or cosmology – a synthesis of science and philosophy. I consider his contributions to the philosophy of science and quantum theory in this light. There is, however, a paradox. Popper’s most famous contribution – his principle of demarcation – in driving a wedge between science and metaphysics, serves to undermine the very thing he professes to love: natural philosophy. I argue that Popper’s philosophy of science (...)
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  • How Can Life of Value Best Flourish in the Real World?Nicholas Maxwell - 2009 - In Leemon McHenry (ed.), Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom. Ontos Verlag.
    The Urgent Need for an Intellectual Revolution For much of my working life (from 1972 onwards) I have argued, in and out of print, that we need to bring about a revolution in the aims and methods of science – and of academic inquiry more generally. Instead of giving priority to the search for knowledge, academia needs to devote itself to seeking and promoting wisdom by rational means, wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for (...)
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  • Reply to Comments on Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom.Nicholas Maxwell - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):667-690.
    In this article I reply to comments made by Agustin Vicente and Giridhari Lal Pandit on Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom (McHenry 2009 ). I criticize analytic philosophy, go on to expound the argument for the need for a revolution in academic inquiry so that the basic aim becomes wisdom and not just knowledge, defend aim-oriented empiricism, outline my solution to the human world/physical universe problem, and defend the thesis that free will is compatible with physicalism.
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  • Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Metaphysics of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Philosophia:1-18.
    Over 40 years ago, I put forward a new philosophy of science based on the argument that physics, in only ever accepting unified theories, thereby makes a substantial metaphysical presupposition about the universe, to the effect it possesses an underlying unity. I argued that a new conception of scientific method is required to subject this problematic presupposition to critical attention so that it may be improved as science proceeds. This view has implications for the study of the metaphysics of science. (...)
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  • A New Task for Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (3):316-338.
    This paper argues that philosophers of science have before them an important new task that they urgently need to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science (...)
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  • Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Compatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):640-645.
    Are special relativity and probabilism compatible? Dieks argues that they are. But the possible universe he specifies, designed to exemplify both probabilism and special relativity, either incorporates a universal "now" (and is thus incompatible with special relativity), or amounts to a many world universe (which I have discussed, and rejected as too ad hoc to be taken seriously), or fails to have any one definite overall Minkowskian-type space-time structure (and thus differs drastically from special relativity as ordinarily understood). Probabilism and (...)
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  • Hume on Causal Contiguity and Causal Succession.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1974 - Dialogue 13 (2):271-282.
  • The Rationality of Scientific Discovery Part I: The Traditional Rationality Problem.Nicholas Maxwell - 1974 - Philosophy of Science 41 (2):123-153.
    The basic task of the essay is to exhibit science as a rational enterprise. I argue that in order to do this we need to change quite fundamentally our whole conception of science. Today it is rather generally taken for granted that a precondition for science to be rational is that in science we do not make substantial assumptions about the world, or about the phenomena we are investigating, which are held permanently immune from empirical appraisal. According to this standard (...)
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  • A New Task for the Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy (3):316-338.
    We philosophers of science have before us an important new task that we need urgently to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science itself. The outcome (...)
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  • Towards a Micro Realistic Version of Quantum Mechanics, Part I.Nicholas Maxwell - 1976 - Foundations of Physics 6 (3):275-292.
    This paper investigates the possibiity of developing a fully micro realistic version of elementary quantum mechanics. I argue that it is highly desirable to develop such a version of quantum mechanics, and that the failure of all current versions and interpretations of quantum mechanics to constitute micro realistic theories is at the root of many of the interpretative problems associated with quantum mechanics, in particular the problem of measurement. I put forward a propensity micro realistic version of quantum mechanics, and (...)
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