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The Need for a Revolution in the Philosophy of Science

Maxwell, Nicholas (2002) The Need for a Revolution in the Philosophy of Science. UNSPECIFIED.

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    Abstract

    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 or explanatory power does not permanently commit science to the thesis that nature is simple or unified. This current "paradigm" is, I argue, untenable. We need a new paradigm, which acknowledges that science makes a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe, theories being chosen partly on the basis of compatibility with these assumptions. Eleven arguments are given for favouring this new "paradigm" over the current one.


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    Item Type: Other
    Keywords: philosophy of science, scientific method, scientific rationality, scientific aims and methods, scientific progress, explanation, simplicity, unity, verisimilitude, scientific discovery, understanding.
    Subjects: General Issues > Theory Change
    General Issues > Explanation
    Specific Sciences > Physics
    Depositing User: Nicholas Maxwell
    Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2005
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:13
    Item ID: 2449
    Public Domain: No
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2449

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