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eBook Kuhn vs.Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science download

by Professor of Sociology Steve Fuller PhD

eBook Kuhn vs.Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science download ISBN: 1840464682
Author: Professor of Sociology Steve Fuller PhD
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd; UK ed. edition (June 5, 2003)
Language: English
Pages: 244
ePub: 1215 kb
Fb2: 1472 kb
Rating: 4.3
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Category: Political
Subcategory: Philosophy

Steve Fuller is professor of sociology at the University of Warwick .

Steve Fuller is professor of sociology at the University of Warwick, England, and the author of Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times. 'Kuhn paved the way for the postmodern critique of Whig history by calling for two 'separate but equal' historiographies of science - an airbrushed, inspirational one for scientists (and the general public) and a confusing but more accurate one for historians. Yet if Popper's science was so wonderful in Fuller view why then did it fail? The highly irrate Stove, in "Anything Goes", tells us why: Popper fell for Hume's inductive skepticism.

In contrast, Karl Popper's seminal book The Logic of Scientific Discovery has lapsed into relative obscurity. Although the two men debated the nature of science only once, the legacy of this encounter has dominated intellectual and public discussions on the topic ever since. But has this victory been beneficial for science? Steve Fuller argues that not only has Kuhn's dominance had an adverse impact on the field but both thinkers have been radically misinterpreted in the process.

Kuhn vs. Popper book. The problem is that Fuller takes this legitimate criticism that there are aspects of science Kuhn does not take seriously, and warps it into a total denunciation of everything he stood for. Which isn't necessarily illegitimate, except Fuller doesn't seem to understand what the point of Kuhn's study was. An internal history might miss out on some aspects of science, but that helps bring others into focus.

This book is incoherent fluff. Thus Fuller's answer to the title question is apparently that philosophers are pro-science because they aim to underwrite (or even "epitomise") certain societal values.

This book is incoherent fluff a relatively unnoticed legacy of Cold War science policy. encouraged the scientist to function less as a free agent who aims to transcend boundaries than a cognitive module who operates within strict parameters. But this is soon contradicted

In 1965 Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper met at the University of London to stage what has turned out to be the most . At stake was no less than the soul of science itself

In 1965 Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper met at the University of London to stage what has turned out to be the most momentous philosophical debate of the 20th century. At stake was no less than the soul of science itself. No discipline remained untouched by the consequences of this debate. Most people think they know what Popper and Kuhn stood for - and why it was a 'good thing' that Kuhn's 'postmodernism' triumphed over Popper's 'positivism'. Unfortunately, the received view about the nature and significance of the Kuhn-Popper debate is radically distorted.

recent appearance of a book by Professor Paolo Rocchi, Docent Emeritus of IBM, titled . This article describes the representation of science as transmitted by the school system and the role that science text books have in promoting these representations.

recent appearance of a book by Professor Paolo Rocchi, Docent Emeritus of IBM, titled Reliability is a new science: Gnedenko was right published by Springer in 2017. The panel discussion was well attended and enthusiastically received and could serve as a forerunner to other such panel discussions at future MMR conferences. The following two dimensions of these representations are examined: the nature of science and the history of science.

In 1965 Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper took part in a debate about the nature of science which has reverberated ever since. Steve Fuller trained in the history and philosophy of science, and is now Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. Popper sought to define the difference between ideological and scientific theories, and to explain why only scientific knowledge is cumulative. Kuhn was interested in the historical process by which ideology may evolve into science, and in how the scientific explanations of one era (but not the facts unearthed by them) may become obsolete. 227 pages, no illustrations. Publisher: Icon Books. Popper was Book of the Month for February 2005 in the US mass circulation magazine, Popular . Kuhn vs. Popper: the struggle for the soul of science. Fuller, Steve (2009). The sociology of intellectual life: the career of the mind in and around the academy. Popper was Book of the Month for February 2005 in the US mass circulation magazine, Popular Science. Thriplow, UK, New York, US: Icon Books, Columbia University Press. Los Angeles London: SAGE.

Steve Fuller argues that Kuhn actually held a profoundly conservative view of science and how one ought to study its history. Early on, Kuhn came under the influence of Harvard President James Bryant Conant (to whom Structure is dedicated), who had developed an educational program intended to help deflect Cold War unease over science's uncertain future by focusing on its illustrious past

Steve Fuller is the Auguste Comte Professor in Social Epistemology, the Department of Sociology, the University of Warwick

Steve Fuller is the Auguste Comte Professor in Social Epistemology, the Department of Sociology, the University of Warwick. 2nd edn) (2003), Kuhn vs Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science (2003), New Frontiers in Science and Technology Studies (2007), and Science: The Art of Living (2010). Steve’s talk at Beyond Human will highlight and extend some themes from his forthcoming book Humanity . : What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future : Social thinkers in all fields are faced with one unavoidable question: what does it mean to be ‘human’ in the 21st century?

In 1965 Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper met at the University of London to stage what has turned out to be the most momentous philosophical debate of the 20th century. At stake was no less than the soul of science itself...No discipline remained untouched by the consequences of this exchange. Was it really such a good thing that Kuhn's 'postmodernism' triumphed over Popper's 'positivism'? Kuhn vs. Popper is a provocative account of a landmark confrontation in which 'the wrong guy' won. A fantastically regarded author whom Icon are proud to have on board Touches upon every aspect of thinking about science in the 20th century Pacey, provocative and sure to receive media coverage
Comments: (7)
Modifyn
This short book (122 pages) reveals insights into ideas that shaped - and are shaping still - the modern world.

Should science have the final word on every belief?

Everything - Politics? Economics? Religion? History? Ethics?

Is there only one science or is each one different, separate?

And finally, who decides? The group of learned scientists? Or should all just accept the ideas that succeed and reject ones that fail? Fuller presents a good analysis. Chapters -

1. In search of the causes of a non-event
2. Kuhn and Popper: A case of mistaken identities
3. Popperian suspicion and Kuhnian vindication
4. We've been here before
5. Dialectics as the pulse of scientific progress
6. A parting shot at the misunderstanding
7. Why philosophers get no respect from scientists
8. So, Why are philosophers of science pro-science?
9. The return of the repressed: philosopher as Tory historians of science
10. The Religious Unconscious of the debate
11. De we believe by evidence or decision?
12. The University as the absent presence
13. Popper and Adorno united: The rationalist left at positivism wake
14. Popper and Adorno divided: The rationalist left haunted by Historicism
15. How to be responsible for ideas - The Popperian way
16. Failing the Popperian test for intellectual responsibilitiy: Rorty on Heidegger
17. Is Thomas Kuhn the American Heidegger?

From introduction:

''These issues plumb the depths of the Western psyche: What is the relationship between knowledge and power? Can science bring unity to knowledge? Can history bring meaning to life? At the same time, these issues are entangled in more secular concerns about economy and society, politics and war.'' (2)

Fuller wrote this in 2003. Still valid.

Can/Should knowledge be found by each person or given by experts?

''Who needs an explicit social contract for science, when science's own social relations constitute a natural aristocracy?'' (3)

''Popper's view that a non-scientist might critique science for failing to abide by its own publicly avowed standards is rarely found inside academia today. . . . It comes as no surprise that philosophers today sooner criticize Creationists for violating evolutionary strictures than evolutionists for violating more general scientific norms - an activity for which Popper had been notorious.'' (3)

Science, in recent decades, has been repeatedly disgraced. Climategate, cold fusion, cholesterol, global cooling, Piltdown man, Sokal hoax, eugenics, etc., etc..

One striking chapter is entitled - ''The Return of the Repressed''. . .

''Kuhn paved the way for the postmodern critique of Whig history by calling for two 'separate but equal' historiographies of science - an airbrushed, inspirational one for scientists (and the general public) and a confusing but more accurate one for historians. Kuhn accepted this version of the double-truth doctrine as a Faustian bargain: scientists live a noble lie in public view, while historians cultivate the truth in the relative obscurity of their profession.'' (55)

Now suspicion of history has made it almost useless.

Fuller comments on the modern turn to irrationality. He cites astrology, and . . .

''. . . today astrology is hardly alone in cultivating this form of irrationalism. The demographic and climatological models used to forecast ecological crisis often concentrate the policy imagination on, say, carbon emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, while deferring more direct solutions to problems relating to poverty and development (which would involve political and economic regime changes). . . . Something similar may be said about the attempts by self styled 'sociobiologists', 'evolutionary psychologists', and 'behavioral geneticists' to trace complex features of the human condition directly to bits of DNA.'' (93)

Atoms are matter - therefore only atoms matter. Ideas are not matter - therefore they never matter.

Five page glossary, five pages of suggestions for further reading, eight page index. No photographs.

Writing for academics. General reader will need background in Popper and Kuhn, not to mention Lakatos, Feyerabend and Heidegger.
Swift Summer
Fuller's "Kuhn vs. Popper" tells of the authoritarian Kuhn and the libertarian Popper, and their separate ideals of science indicated below:

(1) Thomas Kuhn, in The Structure of Science, related science to the fallibility of scientists, and this made science into a progression of phase changes (Kuhn's paradigm transitions). Science could not be separated from either scientist or from history. The ruling paradigm was an opiate, a habitual application of the one induction that gave its support to an authoritarian class; breaking the paradigm required something special.

(2) Karl Popper's The Logic of Scientific Discovery departed significantly from Kuhn's view. Popper was a deductivist, and he wanted to bring scientific theories to the test of falsification, mere verification of the ever-go-lucky induction would not do. Popper's deduction was meant to eliminate induction by refutation, bringing science closer to an ideal that is independent of the fallibility of scientists. Popper wanted to liberate science from the dictates of the ruling paradigm.

Fuller (page 31) writes: "While neither Kuhn nor Popper would care to deny that a specific paradigm may dominate the understanding of a particular slice of reality at a particular time, they differ over whether it should be treated as a source of stability (Kuhn) or a problem to be overcome (Popper)."

Fuller's book in interesting (worth four stars) because of the contrast made between Kuhn and Popper found in the first half of the book. The confusion comes later, but Fuller (page viii) shows little affection for Kuhn from the get-go, and writes: "The more I have tired to make sense of Kuhn's words and deeds, the more I have come to regard him as an intellectual coward who benefitted from his elite institutional status in what remains the world's dominant society." Fuller tells us that Kuhn won the class struggle, and Fuller's own emotionality betrays his affection for Popper's libertarianism. From about chapter 13 on, Fuller stops comparing Kuhn and Popper directly, and Theodor Adorno and Martin Heidegger are noted. Fuller's views become more political as the reader approaches the end of the book.

Politics can only be confusing. Despite Heidegger's Nazi past, despite the cold war and the Vietnam war, Fuller fails to discredit Kuhn's privileged professional life. Fuller's criticism of Kuhn's silence on moral issues goes nowhere, in my view. My impressions aside, Fuller has made a stronger case for his criticism in "Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times." Nevertheless, there is no Popperian deduction that I know of that will remove the confusion from Fuller's politics. What Fuller is doing is not deduction, rather it is an exploration of history and it is dialectical. Fuller's dialectical path to truth is closer to Kuhn's history-knows-best-approach than it is to Popper's call-for-empirical-refutation, at least in my opinion.

Yet if Popper's science was so wonderful in Fuller view why then did it fail? The highly irrate Stove, in "Anything Goes", tells us why: Popper fell for Hume's inductive skepticism. Popper, like Fuller, gives to deduction a perfection that cannot be given to any logic independent of the emotions of the logician. Induction cannot be reduces by deduction, the two must stand independent yet one logic cannot eliminate the other. Therefore, there must be something important that is dialectical, something missing from Fuller's account even as Fuller relies much on dialectical logic.

The confident induction and the doubting deduction as emotions are made obvious by a read of Stove, or Fuller. Popper's deduction works to break free of the overbearing induction, while Kuhn's induction works to return us to a blissful automatic polite. It can only be that deduction and induction are one in the same emotion, only coming at us from a different point of view. Schelling's transcendental idealism gives support to this view, as a sensation must come that is found breaking away from itself if only to return later to get a better look of itself. Error recognition is required for induction (as Popper demanded), but it is also needed for deduction (something Popper and Fuller forgot), and it is also needed on something that has to do with emotionality (what Charles S. Peirce calls abduction). The three levels of error recognition returns us to science again, but this cannot be a confused dialectical science that Marx would have us follow. This science would integrate both Kuhn and Popper, something that Fuller's bitterness missed.

Disclosure: My agenda is declared in my profile.
Negal
Popper takes science to mean "objective inquiry", or "philosophy by more exact means" to use Popper's own phrase. When we look at today's university and corporate science institutions, we do not find objective inquiry. Therefore, what we call "science" is in fact pseudo-science, according to Popper. As Fuller states on p. 29, "Science's success as a source of societal governance and economic growth may have been at the cost of its progress as a form of inquiry."

A parallel can be drawn to what Walter Benjamin wrote about the concept of progress in industry.
"This is how the angel of history must look. His face is turned toward the past. Where a chain of events appears before us, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles debris on top of debris and hurls it before his feet.... A storm is blowing from Paradise and has got caught in his wings; it is so strong that the angel can no longer close them. This storm drives him irresistibly into the future to which his back is turned. That, which we call progress, is this storm." - Thesis IX, On the Concept of History
We mistake an accumulation of debris for progress in industry in the same way that, according to Popper, we mistake an accumulation of pseudo-science for progress in science.