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)
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.
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)
Raimo Tuomola has complained that my critical review of his The Philosophy of Sociality is superficial, that I have not presented, even that I have misrepresented his work, and that I have neglected its virtues, which others have praised. I reject his complaint about the content of my review as unwarranted in an open society, as he demands that I take his work on his own terms. I defend my view of the place of his work in the analytic tradition, (...) my analysis of his work as essentialist and not explanatory, my argument that his analytic method is weak, and my appraisal that the framework he offers for current social scientific research is not needed and not very useful. (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.
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)
From the pre-Socratics to the present, one primary aim of philosophy has been to learn from arguments. Philosophers have debated whether we could indeed do this, but they have by and large agreed on how we would use arguments if learning from argument was at all possible. They have agreed that we could learn from arguments either by starting with true premises and validly deducing further statements which must also be true and therefore constitute new knowledge, or that we could (...) start from putative premises and validly deduce false consequences thereby showing that our premises were false. Our aim in this paper is to suggest a third alternative: we can learn from plausible arguments through criticism of such arguments which enable us to discover new problems. (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)
Philosophers have tried to explain how science finds the truth by using new developments in logic to study scientific language and inference. R. G. Collingwood argued that only a logic of problems could take context into account. He was ignored, but the need to reconcile secure meanings with changes in context and meanings was seen by Karl Popper, W. v. O. Quine, and Mario Bunge. Jagdish Hattiangadi uses problems to reconcile the need for security with that for growth. But he (...) mistakenly insists that all problems are mere contradictions and artificially separates rigid from flexible aspects of meanings. In order to resolve the conflict we must replace the quest for rigid terms with techniques for improvement, use plausible arguments to uncover confused meanings, use frameworks to choose problems and to regulate meanings, and employ a bootstrap approach that uses frameworks to improve meanings and refined meanings to improve frameworks. (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)
The nineteenth-century appraisal of Whewell's philosophy as confused, eclectic, and metaphysical is still dominant today. Yet he keeps reappearing on the agenda of the historians and philosophers of science. Why? Whewell continues to be a puzzle. Historians evade the puzzle by deeming him to have had no serious philosophy but some interesting ideas and/or to have been socially important. Menachim Fisch's recent study offers promise of a new appraisal. But Fisch's account leads back to the puzzle. Fisch poses the question (...) well, promises a new answer, but does not provide one. The puzzle will remain until the strength of Whewell's turn away from empiricist problems to Kantian ones has been appreciated. (shrink)
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)
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 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)
The primary aim of this book is to show that evolutionary theory is incapable of solving an incredibly large number of problems in an incredibly broad range of areas. It has ostensibly a second aim as well, which is to suggest that new developments and especially those in chaos theory open possibilities for new types of explanations. These explanations should go beyond the boundaries set by the research program of evolutionary theory, which, the author is convinced, will never be able (...) to solve the many and varied problems raised by the development of life from its chemical beginnings to contemporary man. The text is primarily devoted, however, to demonstrating the limitations of evolutionary theory. (shrink)
Karl Bühler hat zur Entwicklung von Karl Poppers Forschungsgebieten drei wichtige Beiträge geleistet. Erstens hat er Popper in die laufende Forschung der Mitglieder der Würzburger Schule eingeführt, und die Richtung dieser Forschung hat in wichtigen Punkten Popper ein Leben lang beeinflusst. Dabei hatte er sich zunächst die nicht-assoziative Psychologie der Schule zu eigen gemacht. Dann griff er auf die Denkpsychologie von Otto Selz zurück und entwickelte davon ausgehend sein eigenes Forschungsgebiet der Methodologie. Zweitens betrafen die damals behandelten Probleme auch methodologische (...) Fragen: Wie ist die Beziehung zwischen Logik und Psychologie? Wie ist eine deduktivistische Methodologie möglich? Drittens hat Bühler ihn eine Zwei-Welten-Theorie gelehrt. Heinrich Gomperz war der erste, der Popper darauf hinwies, dass er bereits davon ausgegangen war, dass Ideen unabhängige Entitäten sind. Diese Entitäten hat er dann viel später mit John Eccles als Teile der dritten Welt bezeichnet. Auch als Gesprächspartner war Gomperz für Popper wichtig, insofern als Popper versuchte, eine klare Theorie über die Beziehungen zwischen Psychologie und Logik und danach zwischen Psychologie und Methodologie zu finden. Und Gomperz war es auch, der Poppers Augenmerk auf die Geschichte der griechischen Philosophie lenkte und ihm den großen Unterschied zwischen Platon und Sokrates klarmachte. (shrink)
In den 1980er-Jahren war Hans Alberts Lehrstuhl der Ausgangspunkt für meine Versuche, meine Forschung voranzutreiben und eine annehmbare Stelle zu finden. Mit seiner Unterstützung ist es mir gelungen, mein erstes Ziel zu erreichen; denn bis heute habe ich über hundert Veröffentlichungen gemacht, darunter vier Bücher und über siebzig Artikel. Der zweite Wunsch ist nie in Erfüllung gegangen.