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Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London, 1965, Vol. 4 Paperback – October 23, 1970

ISBN-13: 978-0521096232 ISBN-10: 0521096235 Edition: 0th

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Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge: Proceedings of the International Colloquium in the Philosophy of Science, London, 1965, Vol. 4 + The Logic of Scientific Discovery (Routledge Classics) + The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (October 23, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521096235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521096232
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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'An interesting and valuable collection of papers.' Nature

'This book is a fascinating example of philosophical debate about issues which should interest any historian of science concerned with scientific method and the philosophy of scientific change.' Philosophy of Science

Book Description

"An important collection of significant papers." American Scientist

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James Bach on October 31, 2000
I've been a big Kuhn fan for years. I thought I understood his ideas, too, until I read this book. This gem is a debate among some of the most interesting philosophers of science in the twentieth century-- all trying to make sense of Kuhn, most concluding that his ideas are deeply flawed.
The criticism helped me advance my own interpretation of Kuhn, but it was Kuhn's reply to the criticism that brought the whole thing into technicolor 3D. I could hardly have learned more if I had the man in my living room.
-- James
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2000
This is a collection of "essays" about T.S. Kuhn's distiction between normal science and revolutionary science. Various philosophers, including Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend, criticize various aspects of Kuhn's argument. Finally Kuhn presents a reply to his critics.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Viktor Blasjo on April 14, 2008
Kuhn's "Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research?" is a beautiful criticism of Popper. I. Criteria of demarcation should be based on the nature of normal science rather than revolutionary science (bold hypotheses, etc.). For example, astrology cannot be dismissed as unfalsifiable; in fact, it repeatedly made categorically false predictions, which were recognised as such. The reason why astrology is not a science is that it cannot digest these anomalies through puzzle solving. IV. Instead, to understand the development of science we must understand the mind of the scientist. "Knowing what scientists value, we may hope to understand what problems they will undertake and what choices they will make in particular circumstances of conflict." (p. 21)

Everyone else hates Kuhn's "normal science." Popper thinks it is "dangerous" because it is dogmatic. Feyerabend thinks it is "boring", "pedestrian", "anti-humanitarian", etc. Toulmin thinks it is indistinguishable from revolutionary science. Watkins attacks it as a demarcation criteria since it would seem to include biblical scholarship as a science (where the puzzles of normal research would be to explain away apparent inconsistencies in the Bible); Feyerabend, similarly, because it would seem to include organised crime. The former type of criticisms are not addressed directly by Kuhn in his reply, except for his observation that history is on his side (thus, regardless of what philosophers may think about it, to reject normal science is to reject the vast bulk of all science throughout history). The latter examples are dismissed by Kuhn on the grounds that "no problems are thereby created" since his description concerned theories dealing with natural phenomena (p. 245).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sid1gen on December 4, 2008
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Kuhn was never able to solve the paradox within his idea of sciences: if his "language of incommensurability implies that we cannot understand another's scheme or paradigm" (Dasenbrock, TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES pp. 49), how can we then know that we can't understand this? Other people's sciences are so radically different from "our" science that we can never understand theirs or they ours and, yet, Kuhn can know that: he understands that; the rest of us don't.

Kuhn's appeal to fallacy pervades all of his work in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Reflections on my Critics, and The Essential Tension. Basically, Kuhn alleges that we cannot even begin to understand other people's paradigms; we understand only our paradigm. Yet Kuhn understood enough to "see" this. He can use the "historical study of scientific development" to argue that Popper is wrong, but he also wants the rest of us to see that we cannot understand the science paradigm of previous centuries: Kuhn can use history and its language to attack ideas that punch holes in his idea (or to tell us about Aristotle's concept of science); the rest of us cannot use history because, you see, we cannot understand other paradigms.

If Kuhn were right, then his theory would be nothing but a fad, a "paradigm" that will pass and be replaced by some other fad. In a sense this has happened, but only in the social sciences because Kuhn was "adopted" by a particular group of philosophers and literary critics who saw the usefulness of a theory that claimed that science, this spawn of the modernism, reason and humanism that Heidegger and more recent characters such as Foucault and Derrida have relentlessly attacked, was nothing but an opinion held by an old boys network.
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