Scientific Irrationalism

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Overview

Little known outside his native Australia, David Stove was one of the most illuminating and brilliant philosophical essayists of his era. A fearless attacker of intellectual and cultural orthodoxies, Stove left powerful critiques of scientific irrationalism, Darwinian theories of human behavior, and philosophical idealism.

Since its inception in the 1940s, the field of science studies, originally intended to bridge the gap between science and the humanities, has been the center ...

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Overview

Little known outside his native Australia, David Stove was one of the most illuminating and brilliant philosophical essayists of his era. A fearless attacker of intellectual and cultural orthodoxies, Stove left powerful critiques of scientific irrationalism, Darwinian theories of human behavior, and philosophical idealism.

Since its inception in the 1940s, the field of science studies, originally intended to bridge the gap between science and the humanities, has been the center of controversy and debate. The most notable figures in this debate are Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper. In Scientific Irrationalism, now available in paperback, David Stove demonstrates how extravagant has been the verbiage wasted on this issue and how irrational the combatants have been. He shows that Kuhn and Popper share considerable common ground. Stove argues that the problems all reside in the reasoning of the critics. He identifies the logical mistakes and conceptual allusions made by Kuhn and Popper and their supporters, as well as their collective dependency on a single argument made by the philosopher of the Scottish Enlightenment, David Hume. He then demonstrates how little potency that argument actually has for the claims of science.

In his foreword, Keith Windschuttle explains the debate surrounding the field of science studies and explores David Stove's contribution as well as his lack of recognition. In an afterword, James Franklin discusses reactions to Stove's work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With a combination of dazzling philosophical acumen and scarifying wit, Stove does for irrationalism in the philosophy of science what the Romans did for Carthage in the Third Punic War. He assaults and destroys it utterly. It has been a long time since I have read a book of philosophy as entertaining and illuminating." —Roger Kimball, New Criterion "[T]his book certainly broaches current topics in the philosophy of science with provocative arguments." —Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412806466
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/2007
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Keith Windschuttle is an Australian writer, historian, and publisher.

James Franklin is an associate professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New South Wales, and Stove's literary executor.

David Stove (1927-1994) taught philosophy at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney. He is the author of numerous books, including The Rationality of Induction and Against the Idols of the Age.

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Table of Contents


Foreword   Keith Windschuttle     1
Philosophy and the English language: How irrationalism about science is made credible
Neutralising success words     21
Sabotaging logical expressions     51
How irrationalism about science began
The historical source located     91
The key premise of irrationalism identified     111
Further evidence for this identification     161
Afterword   James Franklin     195
Notes     199
Bibliography     208
Index     215
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2008

    absolutely brilliant

    with devestating logic and deadly pychological perceptiveness David Stove, a rare and gifted thinker, brilliantly exposes the scientific irrationality of writers like Thomas Kuhn.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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