Science and Relativism

Some Key Controversies in the Philosophy of Science

Author: Larry Laudan

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022621933X

Category: Science

Page: 194

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In recent years, many members of the intellectual community have embraced a radical relativism regarding knowledge in general and scientific knowledge in particular, holding that Kuhn, Quine, and Feyerabend have knocked the traditional picture of scientific knowledge into a cocked hat. Is philosophy of science, or mistaken impressions of it, responsible for the rise of relativism? In this book, Laudan offers a trenchant, wide-ranging critique of cognitive relativism and a thorough introduction to major issues in the philosophy of knowledge.

Knowledge, Science and Relativism

Author: P. K. Feyerabend,John Preston

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521641296

Category: Philosophy

Page: 257

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This collection of Feyerabend's philosophical papers gathers together work originally published between 1960 and 1980.

Beyond Objectivism and Relativism

Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxis

Author: Richard J. Bernstein

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press

ISBN: 0812205502

Category: Philosophy

Page: 320

View: 1730

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Drawing freely and expertly from Continental and analytic traditions, Richard Bernstein examines a number of debates and controversies exemplified in the works of Gadamer, Habermas, Rorty, and Arendt. He argues that a "new conversation" is emerging about human rationality—a new understanding that emphasizes its practical character and has important ramifications both for thought and action.

Relativism and Realism in Science

Author: Robert Nola

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400928777

Category: Science

Page: 301

View: 2872

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The institutionalization of History and Philosophy of Science as a distinct field of scholarly endeavour began comparatively earl- though not always under that name - in the Australasian region. An initial lecturing appointment was made at the University of Melbourne immediately after the Second World War, in 1946, and other appoint ments followed as the subject underwent an expansion during the 1950s and 1960s similar to that which took place in other parts of the world. Today there are major Departments at the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong, and smaller groups active in many other parts of Australia and in New Zealand. "Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science" aims to provide a distinctive publication outlet for Australian and New Zealand scholars working in the general area of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Each volume comprises a group of essays on a connected theme, edited by an Australian or a New Zealander with special expertise in that particular area. Papers address general issues, however, rather than local ones; parochial topics are avoided. Further more, though in each volume a majority of the contributors is from Australia or New Zealand, contributions from elsewhere are by no means ruled out. Quite the reverse, in fact - they are actively encour aged wherever appropriate to the balance of the volume in question.

Science and Values

The Aims of Science and Their Role in Scientific Debate

Author: Larry Laudan

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520057432

Category: Science

Page: 149

View: 7063

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Laudan constructs a fresh approach to a longtime problem for the philosopher of science: how to explain the simultaneous and widespread presence of both agreement and disagreement in science. Laudan critiques the logical empiricists and the post-positivists as he stresses the need for centrality and values and the interdependence of values, methods, and facts as prerequisites to solving the problems of consensus and dissent in science.

Relativism, Alternate History, and the Forgetful Reader

Reading Science Fiction and Historiography

Author: Derek Thiess

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 0739196189

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 195

View: 2291

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This book channels the speculative power of science fiction to examine the limits of postmodern philosophies of history. By contrasting the questioning nature of science fiction to postmodern philosophy of history, it finds that this postmodernism often engages in a forgetful, even ahistorical, reading of the past.

Against Relativism

Philosophy of Science, Deconstruction, and Critical Theory

Author: Christopher Norris

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 9780631198642

Category: Science

Page: 344

View: 4959

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This book offers a vigorous and constructive challenge to relativism by examining a wide range of anti-realist theories, and in response offering a variety of arguments amounting to a strong defence of critical realism in the natural and social sciences.

Relativism and the Social Sciences

Author: Ernest Gellner

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521337984

Category: Philosophy

Page: 212

View: 5883

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This volume of essays deals with the problem of relativism, in particular cultural relativism. If our society knows better than other societies, how do we know that it knows better? There is a profound irony in the fact that this self-doubt has become most acute in the one civilisation that has persuaded the rest of the world to emulate it. The claim to cognitive superiority is often restricted, of course, to the limited sphere of natural science and technology; and that immediately raises the second main theme of this volume - the differences between the human and natural sciences. These essays reach towards a new style and mode of enquiry - a mixture of philosophy, history and anthropology - that promises to prove more revealing and fruitful.

Beyond Positivism and Relativism

Theory, Method, and Evidence

Author: Larry Laudan

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 277

View: 8035

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Laudan argues that the debate between positivists and post-positivist relativists can only be resolved by seeing that these unacceptable positions rest on the same unexamined set of assumptions. By targeting and critiquing these assumptions, he lays the groundwork for a post-positivist philosophy of science that does not provide aid and comfort to the enemies of reason.

Fear of Knowledge

Against Relativism and Constructivism

Author: Paul Boghossian

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 0191622753

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 410

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The academic world has been plagued in recent years by scepticism about truth and knowledge. Paul Boghossian, in his long-awaited first book, sweeps away relativist claims that there is no such thing as objective truth or knowledge, but only truth or knowledge from a particular perspective. He demonstrates clearly that such claims don't even make sense. Boghossian focuses on three different ways of reading the claim that knowledge is socially constructed - one as a thesis about truth and two about justification. And he rejects all three. The intuitive, common-sense view is that there is a way things are that is independent of human opinion, and that we are capable of arriving at belief about how things are that is objectively reasonable, binding on anyone capable of appreciating the relevant evidence regardless of their social or cultural perspective. Difficult as these notions may be, it is a mistake to think that recent philosophy has uncovered powerful reasons for rejecting them. This short, lucid, witty book shows that philosophy provides rock-solid support for common sense against the relativists; it will prove provocative reading throughout the discipline and beyond.

Relativism and Realism in Science

Author: Robert Nola

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400928777

Category: Science

Page: 301

View: 9770

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The institutionalization of History and Philosophy of Science as a distinct field of scholarly endeavour began comparatively earl- though not always under that name - in the Australasian region. An initial lecturing appointment was made at the University of Melbourne immediately after the Second World War, in 1946, and other appoint ments followed as the subject underwent an expansion during the 1950s and 1960s similar to that which took place in other parts of the world. Today there are major Departments at the University of Melbourne, the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong, and smaller groups active in many other parts of Australia and in New Zealand. "Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science" aims to provide a distinctive publication outlet for Australian and New Zealand scholars working in the general area of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Each volume comprises a group of essays on a connected theme, edited by an Australian or a New Zealander with special expertise in that particular area. Papers address general issues, however, rather than local ones; parochial topics are avoided. Further more, though in each volume a majority of the contributors is from Australia or New Zealand, contributions from elsewhere are by no means ruled out. Quite the reverse, in fact - they are actively encour aged wherever appropriate to the balance of the volume in question.

Science and Hypothesis

Historical Essays on Scientific Methodology

Author: Larry Laudan

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 9401572887

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 260

View: 2680

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This book consists of a collection of essays written between 1965 and 1981. Some have been published elsewhere; others appear here for the first time. Although dealing with different figures and different periods, they have a common theme: all are concerned with examining how the method of hy pothesis came to be the ruling orthodoxy in the philosophy of science and the quasi-official methodology of the scientific community. It might have been otherwise. Barely three centuries ago, hypothetico deduction was in both disfavor and disarray. Numerous rival methods for scientific inquiry - including eliminative and enumerative induction, analogy and derivation from first principles - were widely touted. The method of hypothesis, known since antiquity, found few proponents between 1700 and 1850. During the last century, of course, that ordering has been inverted and - despite an almost universal acknowledgement of its weaknesses - the method of hypothesis (usually under such descriptions as 'hypothetico deduction' or 'conjectures and refutations') has become the orthodoxy of the 20th century. Behind the waxing and waning of the method of hypothesis, embedded within the vicissitudes of its fortunes, there is a fascinating story to be told. It is a story that forms an integral part of modern science and its philosophy.

Cognitive Relativism and Social Science

Author: Diederick Raven,Lieteke Van Vucht Tijssen,Jan De Wolf

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 9781412819787

Category: Social Science

Page: 297

View: 2966

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Modern epistomology has been dominated by an empiricist theory of knowledge that assumes a direct individualistic relationship between the knowing subject and the object of knowledge. Truth is held to be universal, and non-individualistic social and cultural factors are considered sources of distortion of true knowledge. Since the late 1950s, this view has been challenged by a cognitive relativism asserting that what is true is socially conditioned. This volume examines the far-reaching implications of this development for the social sciences. Recently, cognitive relativism has become a key issue of debate in anthropology, philosophy, and sociology. In anthropology this is illustrated by a growing awareness of the similarity of all systems of knowledge. In philosophy it is exemplified by the realization that traditional monolithic and absolutist concepts of truth have increasingly lost any power to make sense and to convince. In sociology it is visible in a renewal of interest in a general sociology of knowledge. Yet, in spite of this convergence of interests, practitioners of these three disciplines have on the whole shown no inclination to reach a consensus on the terms of reference that could facilitate an interdisciplinary approach. "Cognitive Relativism and Social Science "aims to do just this. It is a working assumption of this volume that, as far as the subject of cognitive relativism is concerned, anthropologists, philosophers, and sociologists should join forces rather than try to deal with the challenges of cognitive relativism within strictly imposed boundaries that normally separate academic disciplines. Only when they work together will it be possible to treat the problems posed by cognitive relativism in an adequate way. This volume provides the results of attempts to communicate on cognitve relativism across disciplinary boundaries. This is must reading in the philosophy of social science and in social research theory.

Metaepistemology and Relativism

Author: J. Carter

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137336641

Category: Music

Page: 298

View: 6621

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Is knowledge relative? Many academics across the humanities say that it is. However those who work in mainstream epistemology generally consider that it is not. Metaepistemology and Relativism questions whether the kind of anti-relativistic background that underlies typical projects in mainstream epistemology can on closer inspection be vindicated.

Leo Strauss, Max Weber, and the Scientific Study of Politics

Author: Nasser Behnegar

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226041438

Category: Political Science

Page: 221

View: 1237

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Can politics be studied scientifically, and if so, how? Assuming it is impossible to justify values by human reason alone, social science has come to consider an unreflective relativism the only viable basis, not only for its own operations, but for liberal societies more generally. Although the experience of the sixties has made social scientists more sensitive to the importance of values, it has not led to a fundamental reexamination of value relativism, which remains the basis of contemporary social science. Almost three decades after Leo Strauss's death, Nasser Behnegar offers the first sustained exposition of what Strauss was best known for: his radical critique of contemporary social science, and particularly of political science. Behnegar's impressive book argues that Strauss was not against the scientific study of politics, but he did reject the idea that it could be built upon political science's unexamined assumption of the distinction between facts and values. Max Weber was, for Strauss, the most profound exponent of values relativism in social science, and Behnegar's explication artfully illuminates Strauss's critique of Weber's belief in the ultimate insolubility of all value conflicts. Strauss's polemic against contemporary political science was meant to make clear the contradiction between its claim of value-free premises and its commitment to democratic principles. As Behnegar ultimately shows, values—the ethical component lacking in a contemporary social science—are essential to Strauss's project of constructing a genuinely scientific study of politics.

Science and Culture

Author: Joseph Agassi

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401729468

Category: Philosophy

Page: 416

View: 2889

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This work addresses scientism and relativism, two false philosophies that divorce science from culture in general and from tradition in particular. It helps break the isolation of science from the rest of culture by promoting popular science and reasonable history of science. It provides examples of the value of science to culture, discussions of items of the general culture, practical strategies and tools, and case studies. It is for practising professionals, political scientists and science policy students and administrators.