Show Book List

Reviews elsewhere on the web:
Complete Review
Nous.org.uk
Popular Science

Steve Fuller

Kuhn vs Popper

I'm not totally convinced about the value of 'A vs B' books. The author always seems to construct two people to fit his arguments rather than the other way around. In this case I'm not convinced either that Popper 'lost' the battle with Kuhn. Maybe in the world of 'science studies' Popper might need a defender, but in a wider context I feel that his falsificationism is alive and well.

But despite all that I feel that Fuller's 'Kuhn vs Popper' is definitely worth reading, as it isn't just a narrow look at the work of two philosophers, rather it is a wide ranging discussion of why the philosophers of science seem to have argued themselves into a corner, giving an optional commentary on science, rather than an opinion on how to improve it. Furthermore it is written to be read by non-specialists, and so is very useful in helping those of us who are confused by the direction philosophy has taken to sort things out in our minds.

Fuller looks at the work of both philosophers and discusses how he thinks they have been misrepresented. He also demonstrates how past philosophies may be aligned in the debate. Fuller goes on to show how philosophers of science are often those who are on the losing side of scientific debates, and uses the term 'Tory history' of science to represent history written from the point of view of how things should have been. The book also looks at the development of univerities - are they a place for the development of ideas or are they simply for imparting the accepted view to the next generation?

Amazon.com info
Paperback 240 pages  
ISBN: 1840467223
Salesrank: 1332946
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 ICON BOOKS
Marketplace::Used from $22.57
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 240 pages  
ISBN: 1840467223
Salesrank: 633615
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 Icon Books Ltd
Marketplace::Used from £12.91
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 240 pages  
ISBN: 1840467223
Salesrank: 1041209
Weight:0.49 lbs
Published: 2006 Icon Books
Marketplace::Used from CDN$ 14.40
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions has sold over a million copies in more than twenty languages and has remained one of the ten most cited academic works for the past half century. In contrast, Karl Popper's seminal book The Logic of Scientific Discovery has lapsed into relative obscurity. Although the two men debated the nature of science only once, the legacy of this encounter has dominated intellectual and public discussions on the topic ever since.

Almost universally recognized as the modern watershed in the philosophy of science, Kuhn's relativistic vision of shifting paradigms―which asserted that science was just another human activity, like art or philosophy, only more specialized―triumphed over Popper's more positivistic belief in science's revolutionary potential to falsify society's dogmas. But has this victory been beneficial for science? Steve Fuller argues that not only has Kuhn's dominance had an adverse impact on the field but both thinkers have been radically misinterpreted in the process. This debate raises a vital question: Can science remain an independent, progressive force in society, or is it destined to continue as the technical wing of the military-industrial complex? Drawing on original research―including the Kuhn archives at MIT―Fuller offers a clear account of "Kuhn vs. Popper" and what it will mean for the future of scientific inquiry.