Criticism and the History of Science: Kuhn's, Lakatos's and Feyerabend's Criticisms of Critical Rationalism

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Criticism and the History of Science deals with Thomas Kuhn's, Imre Lakatos's and Paul Feyerabend's criticism of Karl Popper's falsificationist conception of science. It argues that this criticism is based on two important methodological problems: the problem that observations and tests statements are fallible and impregnated with theory, and the problem of how to test complex theoretical systems. In order to solve these problems it shows how problematic test statements can be criticised and whole theoretical systems falsified. In this way the falsificationist conception of science is developed and defended in a way making a deeper understanding of science and its history possible.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Review of the German edition:
'Andersson's book provides the first major improvement of falsificationist methodology since the 30s.'
Gerard Radnitzky, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 1991.
'...will be welcomed by all non-German-reading philosophers of science...This book is a very agreeable; its tone is low-key and patient, even thought its critical thrusts are lethal.'
I.C. Jarvie.
Argues that the major criticisms of Karl Popper's falsificationist conception of science is methodologically flawed by the problem that observation and test statements are fallible and riddled with theory, and the problem of how to test complex theoretical systems. Defends and develops the falsificationist conception by showing how problematic test statements can be criticized and whole theoretical systems falsified. Originally published in German in 1988. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004100503
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/1994
  • Series: Philosophy of History and Culture Series, #13
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 161
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gunnar Andersson, Ph.D. (1975) in Philosophy of Science, is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Umea (Sweden). He has published on the philosophy of science of Critical Rationalism and has edited the volume Rationality in Science and Politics (1984).
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
A The Falsificationist Theory of Science 1
B The History of Science Challenges Falsificationism 2
C Is Falsificationism Tenable? 6
2 Logical Aspects of Falsification 11
A Explanation 11
B Prediction 12
C Falsification 16
3 Kuhn's Historical Criticism 22
A Theory and Experience 22
B Normal and Extraordinary Science 29
4 Lakatos's Answer to Historical Criticism 35
A Dogmatic Falsificationism 35
B Naive Methodological Falsificationism 37
C Sophisticated Methodological Falsificationism 40
D Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes 47
E Rational Reconstruction of The History Of Science 50
5 Feyerabend's Epistemological Anarchism 53
A Criticism of Kuhn 54
B Criticism of Lakatos 57
C Criticism of Popper 60
D Epistemological Anarchism and Critical Rationalism 66
6 A Criticist Solution to the Problem of the Empirical Basis 68
A Popper on Test Statements 69
B Kuhn on Test Statements 79
C Lakatos on Test Statements 91
D Feyerabend on Test Statements 94
7 Auxiliary Hypotheses and Theoretical Modifications 100
A Popper on Theoretical Modifications 100
B Discussion of Popper's View 103
C Kuhn on Theoretical Modifications 107
D Lakatos on Theoretical Modifications 110
E Feyerabend on Theoretical Modifications 120
8 Critical Rationalism and the History of Science 130
A The History of Science and Relativism 130
B Experience Impregnated by Theory 134
C Immunity Against Criticism 138
D The History of Science and Criticism 142
Theorems on Explanation, Prediction, and Falsification 143
Bibliography 151
Index of subjects 156
Index of names 160
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