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Kuhn vs Popper - About James H. Collier

Kuhn vs Popper - About James H. Collier

processes of governance

processes of governance and wealth production.This list is interesting because, despite their overlappingtheoretical interests, these philosophersvaried considerably across the ideologicalspectrum. Specifically, they did not all stand on thepolitical left, yet they felt compelled to speak outagainst the deformation of science in their times.Given the success of Structure, Kuhn was betterpositioned than his contemporaries to make anintervention that would have given some focus andclarity to the inchoate critiques of science in societyat large. Of course, several reasons may be offeredfor Kuhn’s silence. Most of these reasons do notspeak well to his courage, his concern, his clarity ofmind or his sense of the times. But in the end, thereremains the original objection to negative responsibilitythat would cast Kuhn’s inaction in a morefavourable light: the integrity of his life-project wasmore important than the difference his criticalintervention would have made. Indeed, Kuhnshould perhaps, then, be congratulated for notallowing his vision to be clouded by quotidianevents, which could have dissipated his efforts.I close with two comments on this interpretationof Kuhn’s inaction. First, as in the case of Heidegger,attempts to exonerate Kuhn become increasingly214

self-serving over time, since we are the primarybeneficiaries of Kuhn’s life-project, and as time goeson, our own life-projects, unsurprisingly, departfrom Kuhn’s. Excusing Kuhn thus becomes a covertway of justifying ourselves. Second, the bare factthat Kuhn, again like Heidegger, requires specialdispensation from negative responsibility does notspeak well about the times in which he lived.Heidegger’s defenders derive considerable rhetoricalsupport from an image of Nazi Germany as sooppressive that it could deform so profound athinker as Heidegger. Is perhaps some similarargument about Cold War America required to addmoral ballast to Kuhn’s silence? The lack of such anargument to date suggests that we have yet to assessthe full moral cost of claiming that Kuhn flourishedin – and not in spite of – Cold War America.215

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    Kuhn vsPopperThe Struggle for theSo

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    CONTENTSIntroduction 1Chapter 1: In

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    more than ever preoccupied with fac

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    paradigmatic pedigree than by its p

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    . CHAPTER 1 .IN SEARCH OF THE CAUSE

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    second concerns how the debate mana

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    Watkins, who relied on the student

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    actual precursor but who are no les

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    debate, especially as they bear on

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    extended encyclopaedia entry, as th

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    means by which people become scient

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    happened to be an apt vehicle for a

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    logic is for. For positivists, logi

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    suppressed by the first great autho

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    Russell and Popper shared an antipa

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    theories. Kuhn’s reception was he

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    was Conant who recommended Kuhn to

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    Legend has it that while Popper lik

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    new paradigm. For Kuhn, a paradigm

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    matters of ‘tradition’, ‘trac

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    studies practitioners is sufficient

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    The series of exchanges alluded to

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    already doing, not over whether the

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    disciplines, can determine the best

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    considerations to influence the cou

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    associated with the civic republica

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    own aversion to Hegel’s authorita

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    digms relates to a public good conc

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    looking standard, one based on enti

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    the 19th-century roots of modern ma

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    Lakatos believed he had improved on

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    est track record, a kind of evoluti

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    more than Kuhn himself - concluded

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    the incommensurable theories are tr

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    systematically misunderstood. Consi

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    progress. However, Kuhn and Popper

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    . CHAPTER 7 .WHY PHILOSOPHERS GET N

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    Darwin’s theory of natural select

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    But the complete alienation of phil

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    having supped on the gruel of norma

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    permits the survival of chance muta

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    iochemist Lawrence J. Henderson (18

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    . CHAPTER 8 .SO, WHY ARE PHILOSOPHE

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    Cold War science policy - namely, t

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    pure inquiry. Exceptionally disappo

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    would seem to require the abandonme

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    what an omnipotent deity friendly t

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    the rather technical and tedious wo

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    narrator considers herself at least

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    would now say) awaiting propitious

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    were secular Jews who did not exhib

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    ‘conjectures and refutations’.

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    At various points in Western histor

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    is how second-order colonialism fee

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    external grants, scientists have be

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    . CHAPTER 11 .DO WE BELIEVE BY EVID

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    case through acquaintance with chur

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    showed how Galileo had to resort to

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    grounds for what the Jesuits call t

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    is rather different. For him, a sci

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    Kuhn was that if design in nature i

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    except that the venue should provid

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    effectively preoccupied with the pr

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    whereby our liabilities simulate vi

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    Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835), f

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    However, from its inception, the un

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    the uncharted domain. This rather l

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    producers in their domains. Here it

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    original distinction between the tr

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    Indeed, what had made the natural s

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    influence dissipated in the long te

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    philosophical disciplines?) that sh

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    Here we see an important difference

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    tendency of experimental psychology

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    that the Enlightenment has yet to b

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    people would need to come to regard

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    . CHAPTER 14 .POPPER AND ADORNO DIV

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    idealised understanding of scientif

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    new evidence), criticism must opera

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    oth of which were in evidence in th

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    translated into emancipatory action

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  • Page 175 and 176: sciences. (Back then, the philosoph
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  • Page 179 and 180: over time. In other words, it is al
  • Page 181 and 182: A good model for understanding the
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  • Page 217: I have already raised the examples
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  • Page 223 and 224: Rather than listing many texts of v
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  • Page 231: lishers, 1997). Kuhn’s views on h
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