The problem of how to handle interesting but ignored thinkers of the past is discussed through an analysis of the case of Ludwik Fleck. Fleck was totally ignored in the ?30s and declared an important thinker in the 70s and ?80s. In the first case fashion ignored him and in the second it praised him. The praise has been as poor as the silence was unjust. We may do such thinkers more justice if we recognize that intellectual society is fickle, (...) that we cannot make amends in many cases, but that we can do such thinkers justice by treating them critically ? even if this means explaining away any impact they might have had. If we wish to be autonomous and independent of fashion, we must abandon efforts to use the making of amends the occasion for making intellectual society seem fairer than it is. (shrink)
ContentsJames A. BELL: ForewordPreface and AcknowledgmentsAnalytical Table of ContentsIntroduction: Whewell’s Image and Impact; Two Conflicting TalesPART ONE: the building of Whewell’s image 1. Immediate Rejection2. Embarrassed SilencePART TWO: WHEWELL’S IMPACT EMERGING3. Disturbing Recollections Fail to Pass Away4. The 20th Century Sneaks a Worried Look at Old JudgmentsPART THREE: THE IMAGE REINSTATED. THE REALITY COVERED OVER 5. The Return to Old Misconceptions 6. Quixotic Attempts to Revive Mill’s Program 7. The Reappraisal of Whewell’s Place in the History of the Philosophy of (...) Science BeginsPART FOUR: Whewell reappraised today 8. An Overview: Whewell’s Philosophy in Retrospect 9. The Good that Whewell Can Still DoReferencesCOMMENTARIESMichael SEGRE: Whewell’s Legacy and the Art of ArgumentationJoseph AGASSI: The Case-Study and Its Import: Wettersten on WhewellRon CURTIS: The Theological DeductionMaurice A. FINOCCHIARO: Was Whewell an Inductivist?Godfrey GUILLAUMIN J., William Whewell’s Idea of Historical CausationWilliam MARGOLIS: A Small Appreciation of William WhewellREPLIES TO COMMENTARIESJohn WETTERSTEN: Replies to CommentariesIndex. (shrink)
Philosophers wanted commonsense to fight skepticism. They hypostasized and destroyed it. Commonsense is skeptical--Bound by a sense of proportion and of limitation. A scarce commodity, At times supported, At times transcended by science, Commonsense has to be taken account of by the critical-Realistic theory of science. James clerk maxwell's view of today's science as tomorrow's commonsense is the point of departure. It is wonderful but overlooks the value of the sense of proportion.
The question whether attempts to vindicate induction should be abandoned in favor of (other) problems of rationality is pressing and difficult. How may we decide rationally when standards for rationality are at issue? It may be useful to first know how we have decided in the past. Whewell's philosophy of science and the reaction to it are discussed. Whewell's contemporaries mistakenly thought that only an inductivist research program could produce an adequate theory of rationality. But this very move violated their (...) own standards of rationality. We should now avoid making the same mistake again. We should return to Whewell's rejected proposal to make the philosophy of science historical and seek thereby to improve rational practice. (shrink)
Popper's theory of the attraction of closed societies conflicts with his theory of research: the former sees rational thought as contrary to man's nature, whereas the latter sees it as an innate psychological process. This conflict arose because Popper developed a theory of the movement from the closed societyHeimatto civilized society, which sees civilized society as a burden, before he adapted Selz's view of directed thought processes as problem solving, which sees rationality as natural. Rejecting the earlier view and retaining (...) the latter one opens up possibilities for better explanations of closed societies and better means of combating them. Key Words: closed society Popper Selz problems institutions. (shrink)
This essay points out that Popper's theory of the objectivity of science is ambiguous: it is not clear whether it provides a guarantee of correct evaluations of theories or only a means of uncovering errors in such evaluations. The latter approach seems to be a more natural extension of Popper's fallibilist theory and is needed if his learning theory is adopted. But this leads to serious problems for a fallibilist theory of science.
Summary The importance of the problem of how to integrate psychology and methodology was rediscovered by Oswald KÃ¼lpe. He noted that Wundt's psychology was inadequate and that a new methodology was needed to construct an alternative. KÃ¼lpe made real progress but his program turned out to be quite difficult: he had no appropriate method for integrating the two fields. August Messer tried to fill the gap but failed. The problem was largely dropped due to poor methods at hand for studying (...) it but remained important due to Popper's methodology and de Groot's psychology at least. We may now more effectively return to it by using a bootstrap method. (shrink)
This article discusses the following: (i) The acceptability of diverse styles of rationality suggests replacing concern for uniqueness with that for coordination, (ii) Popper's lowering of the standard of rationality increases its scope insufficiently, (iii) Bartley's making the standard comprehensive increases its scope excessively, (iv) the pluralist view of rationality as partial (i.e., of Jarvie and Agassi) is better, but its ranking of all rationality eliminates choice of styles, (v) styles diversify the standards of rationality, (viii) rationality is not merely (...) a matter of style, (vi) (vii) diversity raises new, interesting problems, allowing diversity permits reconciling differences better than does the absent unique standard, and (ix) cultural heritage and rationality are complementary. (shrink)
Bernard Lavor and John Kadvany argue that Lakatoss Hegelian approach to the philosophy of mathematics and science enabled him to overcome all competing philosophies. His use of the approach Hegel developed in his Phenomenology enabled him to show how mathematics and science develop, how they are open-ended, and that they are not subject to rules, even though their rationality may be understood after the fact. Hegel showed Lakatos how to falsify the past to make progress in the present. A critique (...) based on normal standards of fairness and honesty finds this argument an attack on rationality. The similarity of the methods Lakatos used as a Stalinist politician and those he used as a philosopher are pointed out. The Hegelian interpretation of his philosophy is an excuse for his misdeeds. Key Words: Lakatos Popper Agassi research program historiography. (shrink)
Wolfgang Stegmüller, the leading German philosopher of science, considers the status of scientific revolutions the central issue in the field ever since "the famous Popper-Lakatos-Kuhn discussion" of a decade and a half ago, comments on "almost all contributions to this problem", and offers his alternative solutions in a series of papers culminating with, and summarized in, his recent "A Combined Approach to Dynamics of Theories. How To Improve Historical Interpretations of Theory Change By Applying Set Theoretical Structures", published in Gerard (...) Radnitzky and Gunnar Andersson, editors, The Structure and Development of Science, issued in the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science series, volume 59, 1979, pp. 151-86. Popper views scientific revolutions as rational and due to empirical refutations, but there are no refutations in science. Lakatos agrees and assumes that research programs are refutable and their replacements to be revolutions, but the same arguments he launches against Popper apply to him; moreover, applying his philosophy to itself makes it collapse anyway . Kuhn's view was interpreted to be one of scientific revolutions as quite irrational and as arbitrary as mob action. Stegmüller presents revolution in another interpretation of Kuhn - as non-rational, as based on hopes and value judgment but not on facts. He thinks there are big and small revolutions. And he uses his own modifications of J. D. Sneed's famous formal analysis of scientific theory to make his point. After presenting a summary of Stegmüller's ideas in our own way, which seems to us a clarification of presentation with no change of content, especially due to our stressing all differences of opinion, we apply Stegmüller's idea to itself, the way Stegmüller has done with the view of Lakatos, and with similar results. (shrink)
Whether Popper's philosophy will be used widely enough to shape the philosophy of science in the future will determine what his role in the history of the philosophy of science will be. The choice is that between the quest for deeper understanding of science and society, on the one hand, and the maintenance of old and comfortable views, on the other. Although in the past comfort has normally won out, progress has been made by dissidents such as Maimon and Whewell. (...) If the philosophy of science remains progressive, Popper will have the same kind of success. (shrink)
Heutzutage sind die Theorien über ad-hoc-Hypothesen problematisch. Sie sind entweder zu streng und verbieten zu viel, oder sie sind relativ leer. Um eine Erklärung dafür zu entwickeln, werden die Wurzeln der wissenschaftstheoretischen Probleme der ad-hoc-Hypothesen dargestellt. Die in diesem Jahrhundert vorgeschlagenen Theorien über ihre Anwendung werden kritisiert. Ihre Unzulänglichkeit wird auf ihre allzu hohen positivistischen Ansprüche zurückgeführt: Keine Theorie über ad-hoc-Hypothesen kann sie unabhängig von Analysen ihrer Kontexte identifizieren, und keine solche Theorie kann als einziger Maßstab für die wissenschaftlichen Theorien (...) dienen. Die neuen Versuche müssen dem Zusammenhang zwischen verschiedenen Maßstäben für die wissenschaftlichen Theorien einerseits und der erhofften Vermeidung von ad-hoc-Hypothesen andererseits Rechnung tragen. Die neuen Theorien der Problemauswahl bieten gute Möglichkeiten, dieses Ziel zu erreichen, wenn der Entdeckung von neuen Problemen Priorität gegeben wird. (shrink)
Popper's theory of demarcation has set the standard of falsifiability for all sciences. But not all falsifiable theories are part of science and some tests of scientific theories are better than others. Popper's theory has led to the banning of metaphysical and/or philosophical anthropological theories from science. But Joseph Agassi has supplemented Popper's theory to explain how such theories are useful as research programs within science. This theory can also be used to explain how interesting tests may be found. Theories (...) of rationality may be used to illustrate this point by showing how they fail or succeed in producing interesting and testable hypotheses in the social sciences. (shrink)
The early research of Karl Popper both in psychology and in philosophy of science is described; its basis for his later breakthroughs in the philosophy of science is explained. His debt to Otto Selz’s thought psychology is thereby detailed. Otto Selz’s philosophy of science is then explained, and its conflict with Popper’s early as well as his later views is portrayed. These studies of the conflicting views of Popper’s early views and Selz’s philosophy of science provide the basis for demonstrating (...) the mistakes that Michel ter Hark has made in claiming that the alleged originality of Popper’s views occurred only in the 1970s and are little more than a rehash of Selz’s alleged evolutionary epistemology. (shrink)
Extremists who have been well educated in science are quite common, but nevertheless puzzling. How can individuals with high levels of scientific education fall prey to irrationalist ideologies? Implicit assumptions about rationality may lead to tremendous and conspicuous developments. When correction of social deficits is seen as a pressing problem, it is quite common that individuals conclude that some religious or political system contains the all-encompassing answer, if only it is applied with sufficiently high standards. Implicit assumptions about rationally high (...) standards often demand consistency, system and justification. The strict application of these standards to political and/or religious systems leads quite readily to extremism. J. L. Talmon has shown how the rationality of the Enlightenment led to intolerance, dictatorship and torture. The Enlightenment view of rationality can also encourage irrationalist ideologies and extremism: it leads individuals to conclude that various religions and/or political systems contain all encompassing answers, if only they are systematic, coherant and justified. Alternative theories of science and rationality, which view rationality as critical, partial, and progressive, and which seek to improve imperfect standards, can help avoid the unintended support of extremism rendered by established views of rationality. Unfortunately such theories meet enormous resistance: they call into question well-established canonical doctrines. (shrink)