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Perception, Theory, and Commitment: The New Philosophy of Science Paperback – September 1, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0226076188 ISBN-10: 0226076180 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: New Philosophy of Science
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226076180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226076188
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,407,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Harold I. Brown is professor of philosophy at Northern Illinois University. He is the author of Observation and Objectivity and Rationality.

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Frank Bierbrauer on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book provides a superb critique of the philosophies of logical positivism and empiricism, which, arising from the solid logical structure exemplified by Whitehead's and Russell's "Principia Mathematica" attempted to put the philosophy of science on a firm footing in the sense of absolute knowledge and truth. Whether this belief in absolute concepts derives from a deep need inherent in the social structure of human beings is not debated but it is nevertheless shown to be alien to the practise of science itself. Proceeding through the history of science and presenting many examples demonstrating his ideas Brown gives a very clear indication of the "new philosophy of science" as it is understood today through its history, its dialectical development (not in the Hegelian sense) and epistomological presuppositions. Science is a continuous process of research which attempts to form a coherent structure based on conceptual theories which are studied through observations made on the concepts inherent in the theories themselves. The rationality, objectivity and legitimacy are approached through the examples of Aristotle's rational man or "man of practical wisdom" and a reality independent of theories about it is retained. The fallibility of this new approach is countered by the fact that theories are based on presuppositions and that any philosophy based on absolute ideas are themselves based on a presupposition, in other words it is impossible to avoid a presuppositionless view in the current understanding of the interaction between man and reality.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bruce I. Kodish on February 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Brown espouses what he calls "the new philosophy of science," contrasting this with logical empiricism. He contends that the logical empiricists maintained a general belief that science could provide an unbiased and presuppositionless approach to `objective' facts. They were concerned with the elaboration of formal logical approaches to `meaning,' explanation, verification and falsification of claims, etc. The new philosophy of science, in contrast, goes beyond formalism and doesn't exclude psychological, historical, and sociological approaches in order to formulate what and how scientists do what they do. According to Brown, "It is...the meaning of the observed situation that becomes a part of our knowledge and the objects of significant perceptions are thus meanings" (87). "Science consists of a sequence of research projects structured by accepted presuppositions which determine what observations are to be made, how they are to be interpreted, what phenomena are problematic, and how these problems are to be dealt with" (166). Brown asserts that "...the best that science can hope to attain is tentative rational consensus on the basis of available evidence..." (152). Korzybski's evaluational approach to science surely pushes in the direction of Brown's "new philosophy."
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