Tag Archives: history of science

Anything goes? Feyerabend and method

This entry looks at Paul Feyerabend’s reductio ad absurdum of specific rationalist conceptions of scientific method, perhaps one of the least understood arguments in the philosophy of science. I explain the structure of the reductio before considering how Feyerabend applied … Continue reading

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The politics of demarcation

Abstract: Is it better to have demarcation criteria that allow us to demarcate in practice rather than ones that are philosophically rigorous? This entry looks again at the demarcation problem and considers the criticism that philosophical treatments of it fail … Continue reading

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Ockham’s Razor

Ockham’s Razor, otherwise called the principle of the economy of thought, is often invoked in debate or arguments, usually to discard or count against one or more theories on the basis that another exists that is simpler or more parsimonious. … Continue reading

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Astrology and its problems: Popper, Kuhn and Feyerabend

The merits or otherwise of astrology have been subject to much discussion recently, resulting in attacks that have been critiqued by Rebecca Higgitt, amongst others. The problem, according to Higgitt, is that astrology is “rubbish” but not because of the … Continue reading

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Scientific method and demarcation

In The Scientific Method, Mike Zajko sets out an argument that “no agreed-upon formulation of the scientific method exists” and that “it is more effective to consider science’s methods in terms of Hugh Gauch’s ‘general principles of scientific methodology’”, going … Continue reading

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Concepts and consequences

In Book IV of the Physics, Aristotle explored the concept of place in search of a rigorous understanding. Rejecting the possibilities of shape, matter and “some sort of extension between the bounding surfaces of the containing body” (221b), he arrived … Continue reading

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Refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope

There is a famous reference in the so-called Galileo affair to various people refusing to look through Galileo’s telescope at the sunspots and other phenomena he wished to show them. The best known is Cesare Cremonini and I did some … Continue reading

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