Critical Approaches to Science and Philosophy

Critical Approaches to Science and Philosophy

by Mario Bunge
     
 

This collection of essays, written on four continents by scientists, philosophers and humanists, was initially presented to Karl R. Popper on his sixtieth birthday as a token of critical admiration and in recognition of his work. But the volume also stands on its own as a remarkable series of statements utilizing Popper's critical vision in the study of

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Overview

This collection of essays, written on four continents by scientists, philosophers and humanists, was initially presented to Karl R. Popper on his sixtieth birthday as a token of critical admiration and in recognition of his work. But the volume also stands on its own as a remarkable series of statements utilizing Popper's critical vision in the study of philosophy proper, logic, mathematics, science as method and theory, and finally to the study of society and history. What is remarkable is that Popper worked in all of these areas, not in a cursory or discursive way, but with the utmost clarity and rigor.

. The core position of this volume and its contributors is that the progress of knowledge is not a linear accumulation of definitive acquisitions but a zigzagging process in which counterexamples and unfavorable evidence ruin generalizations and prompt the invention of more comprehensive and sometimes deeper generalizations, to be criticized in their turn. A critical approach to problems, procedures, and results in every field of inquiry is therefore a necessary condition for the continuance of progress.

The title of this volume then is, in a sense, an homage to Popper's critical rationalism and critical empiricism. The essays are a tribute to his unceasing and uncompromising quest, not for final certainty, but for closer truth and increased clarity. Among the contributors are outstanding figures in philosophy and the exact sciences in their own right, including Herbert Feigl, R. M. Hare, J.O. Wisdom, Nicholas Rescher, David Bohm, Paul K. Feyerabend, F. A. Hayek, and Adolf Grunbaum. Social science contributions include Hans Albert on social science and moral philosophy, W. B. Gallie, on the critical philosophy of history, Pieter Geyl on The Open Society and its Enemies, and George H. Nadel on the philosophy of History.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765804273
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Series:
Science and Technology Series
Pages:
481
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Transaction Edition
Preface
Biographical Notes on the Contributors
Pt. IThe Critical Approach to Philosophy
1Rationality versus the Theory of Rationality3
2Reflections on Karl Popper's Epistemology32
3What Hume Might Have Said to Kant45
4Strength, Confirmation, Compatibility52
5A Question about Plato's Theory of Ideas61
6Popper and Wittgenstein82
7Confirmation, the Paradoxes, and Positivism92
8Some Overlooked Aspects of Popper's Contributions to Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method116
Pt. IIThe Critical Approach to Logic and Mathematics
9The Elimination of Variables by Regular Combinators127
10On Popper's Use of the Notion of Absolute Logical Probability144
11Aristotle's Theory of Modal Syllogisms and Its Interpretation152
12Logical Terminology and Theory of Meaning178
Pt. IIIThe Critical Approach to Science
13The Nature of Scientific Problems and Their Roots in Metaphysics189
14On the Problem of Truth and Understanding in Science212
15The Mach Principle224
16Phenomenological Theories234
17The Simple Laws of Science and History255
18The Neurophysiological Basis of Experience266
19Realism and Instrumentalism: Comments on the Logic of Factual Support280
20Observation and the Quantum309
21Popper on Irreversibility316
22The Theory of Complex Phenomena332
23The Agreement between Mathematics and Physical Phenomena350
24On the Reality of Elementary Particles360
Pt. IVThe Critical Approach to Society and History
25Social Science and Moral Philosophy385
26Popper and the Critical Philosophy of History410
27The Open Society and Its Enemies423
28The Tradition of General Knowledge431
29Philosophy of History before Historicism445
Writings of Karl R. Popper473

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