Description : What is the nature of scientific progress and what makes it possible? When we look back at the scientific theories of the past and compare them to the state of science today, there seems little doubt that we have made progress. But is it a continuous process which gradually incorporates past successes into present theories, or are entrenched theories overthrown by superior competitors in a revolutionary manner? Theories of Scientific Progress is the ideal introduction to this topic. It is clearly organized, with suggestions for further reading that point the way to both primary texts and secondary literature. It will be essential reading for students of the history and philosophy of science.
Description : It is generally believed that doing science means accumulating empirical data with no or little reference to the interpretation of the data based on the scientist’s th- retical framework or presuppositions. Holton (1969a) has deplored the widely accepted myth (experimenticism) according to which progress in science is presented as the inexorable result of the pursuit of logically sound conclusions from un- biguous experimental data. Surprisingly, some of the leading scientists themselves (Millikan is a good example) have contributed to perpetuate the myth with respect to modern science being essentially empirical, that is carefully tested experim- tal facts (free of a priori conceptions), leading to inductive generalizations. Based on the existing knowledge in a field of research a scientist formulates the guiding assumptions (Laudan et al. , 1988), presuppositions (Holton, 1978, 1998) and “hard core” (Lakatos, 1970) of the research program that constitutes the imperative of presuppositions, which is not abandoned in the face of anomalous data. Laudan and his group consider the following paraphrase of Kant by Lakatos as an important guideline: philosophy of science without history of science is empty. Starting in the 1960s, this “historical school” has attempted to redraw and replace the positivist or logical empiricist image of science that dominated for the first half of the twentieth century. Among other aspects, one that looms large in these studies is that of “guiding assumptions” and has considerable implications for the main thesis of this monograph (Chapter 2).
Description : The central problem of the essays in this volume is the problem of theory appraisal in economics. In the history of economic theory we find few widely recognised theoretical achievements and in the history of the methodology of economics we find little agreement concerning the standards by which we should judge a theory as an improvement on its predecessors.
Description : Nowadays, philosophy and methodology of science appear as a combination of novelty and continuity. This blend is clear both in the general approaches to science (those thought of as any science) and in the specific perspectives on every science, either formal or empirical. There are new topics for philosophical reflection, such as key issues in philosophy of medicine and central problems raised by neuroscience. Thus, new contents have brought attention to aspects that previously went almost unnoticed. In addition, there are new angles for philosophical study, such as the repercussion of society on scientific activity (in aims, processes, and results). But the background of the main philosophical and methodological trends of the twentieth century is, in many ways, still in place.
Description : The institutionalization of History and Philosophy of Science as a distinct field of scholarly endeavour began comparatively earl- though not always under that name - in the Australasian region. An initial lecturing appointment was made at the University of Melbourne immediately after the Second World War, in 1946, and other appoint ments followed as the subject underwent an expansion during the 1950s and 1960s similar to that which took place in other parts of the world. Today there are major Departments at the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong, and smaller groups active in many other parts of Australia and in New Zealand. "Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science" aims to provide a distinctive publication outlet for Australian and New Zealand scholars working in the general area of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Each volume comprises a group of essays on a connected theme, edited by an Australian or a New Zealander with special expertise in that particular area. Papers address general issues, however, rather than local ones; parochial topics are avoided. Further more, though in each volume a majority of the contributors is from Australia or New Zealand, contributions from elsewhere are by no means ruled out. Quite the reverse, in fact - they are actively encour aged wherever appropriate to the balance of the volume in question.
Description : An analysis of the optical revolution in the context of early 19th century Britain. Far from merely involving the replacement of one optical theory by another, the revolution also involved substantial changes in instruments and the practices that surrounded them. People's judgements about classification, explanation and evaluation were affected by the way they used such optical instruments as spectroscopes, telescopes, polarisers, photometers, gratings, prisms and apertures. There were two instrumental traditions in this historical period, each of which nurtured a body of practice that exemplified how optical instruments should be operated, and especially how the eye should be used. These traditions functioned just like paradigms, shaping perspectives and even world views. Readership: Scholars and graduate students in the history of science, history of instrument, philosophy of science and science studies. Can also be used as a textbook in graduate courses on 19th century physics.
Description : The papers presented here derive from the 4th International Confe:--ence on History and Philosophy of Science held in Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A., November 2-6, 1982. The Conference was sponsored by the I nternational Union of History and Philosophy of Science and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Particular thanks go to L. Jonathan Cohen, Secretary of the Union, as well as to Dean Henry Bauer of the College of Arts & Sciences, Wilfred Jewkes and the Center for Programs in the Humanities, Arthur Donovan and the Center for the Study of Science in Society and the Department of Philoso phy and Religion at Virginia Tech. Not only did they come through with the necessat"y funds, but they were all always ready with a helping hand when things got confusing. Two additional groups of individuals require a special note of thanks. First, considerable appreciation is due the mem bers of the Joint Commission of the I nternational Union of History and Philosophy of Science: Maurice Crosland, Risto Hilpinen and Vladimir Kirsanov. They were more than gen erous in thei r advice and co-operation. The Local Organizing Committee (Kenneth Alpern, Roger Ariew, Arthur Donovan, Larry Laudan, Ann La Berge, Duncan Porter, Eleonore Stump and Dennis Welch) not only demon strated efficiency and insured a pleasant stay for' all participants, but also went out of their way on numerous occasions to make everyone feel at home.
Description : Originally published in 1963. Can one discern certain regularities in the manoeuvrings and techniques employed by scientists and can these be formulated into the methodological principles of science? What is the origin and basis of such principles? Are they imposed by objective realities, do they derive from conceptual necessities or are they rooted in our own deep seated predilections? This volume investigates these questions and sheds light on the growth mechanism of the evolving structure of science itself.
Description : The death of Imre Lakatos on February 2, 1974 was a personal and philosophical loss to the worldwide circle of his friends, colleagues and students. This volume reflects the range of his interests in mathematics, logic, politics and especially in the history and methodology of the sciences. Indeed, Lakatos was a man in search of rationality in all of its forms. He thought he had found it in the historical development of scientific knowledge, yet he also saw rationality endangered everywhere. To honor Lakatos is to honor his sharp and aggressive criticism as well as his humane warmth and his quick wit. He was a person to love and to struggle with. PAUL K. FEYERABEND ROBERT S. COHEN MARX W. WARTOFSKY TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface VII JOHN WORRALL / Imre Lakatos (1922-1974): Philosopher of Mathematics and Philosopher of Science JOSEPH AGASSI / The Lakatosian Revolution 9 23 D. M. ARMSTRONG / Immediate Perception w. W. BAR TLEY, III/On Imre Lakatos 37 WILLIAM BERKSON / Lakatos One and Lakatos Two: An Appreciation 39 I. B. COHEN / William Whewell and the Concept of Scientific Revolution 55 L. JONATHAN COHEN / How Can One Testimony Corroborate Another? 65 R. S. COHEN / Constraints on Science 79 GENE D'AMOUR/ Research Programs, Rationality, and Ethics 87 YEHUDA ELKANA / Introduction: Culture, Cultural System and Science 99 PA UL K.