Critical Approaches to Science and Philosophy

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Mario Bunge
Transaction Publishers, 1964 - Philosophy - 480 pages
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This collection of essays, written on four continents by scientists, philosophers and humanists, was initially presented to Karl R. Popper on his sixtieth birthday as a token of critical admiration and in recognition of his work. But the volume also stands on its own as a remarkable series of statements utilizing Popper's critical vision in the study of philosophy proper, logic, mathematics, science as method and theory, and finally to the study of society and history. What is remarkable is that Popper worked in all of these areas, not in a cursory or discursive way, but with the utmost clarity and rigor.

. The core position of this volume and its contributors is that the progress of knowledge is not a linear accumulation of definitive acquisitions but a zigzagging process in which counterexamples and unfavorable evidence ruin generalizations and prompt the invention of more comprehensive and sometimes deeper generalizations, to be criticized in their turn. A critical approach to problems, procedures, and results in every field of inquiry is therefore a necessary condition for the continuance of progress.

The title of this volume then is, in a sense, an homage to Popper's critical rationalism and critical empiricism. The essays are a tribute to his unceasing and uncompromising quest, not for final certainty, but for closer truth and increased clarity. Among the contributors are outstanding figures in philosophy and the exact sciences in their own right, including Herbert Feigl, R. M. Hare, J.O. Wisdom, Nicholas Rescher, David Bohm, Paul K. Feyerabend, F. A. Hayek, and Adolf Grunbaum. Social science contributions include Hans Albert on social science and moral philosophy, W. B. Gallie, on the critical philosophy of history, Pieter Geyl on "The Open Society and its Enemies, "and George H. Nadel on the philosophy of History.

 

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Contents

Rationality versus the Theory of Rationality
3
Reflections on Karl Poppers Epistemology
32
What Hume Might Have Said to Kant And a few questions about induction and meaning
45
Strength Confirmation Compatibility
52
A Question about Platos Theory of Ideas
61
Popper and Wittgenstein
82
Confirmation the Paradoxes and Positivism
92
Overlooked Aspects of Poppers Contributions to Philosophy Logic and Scientific Method
116
The Simple Laws of Science and History
255
The Neurophysiological Basis of Experience
266
Realism and Instrumentalism Comments on the Logic of Factual Support
280
Observation and the Quantum
309
Popper on Irreversibility
316
The Theory of Complex Phenomena
332
The Agreement between Mathematics and Physical Phenomena
350
On the Reality of Elementary Particles
360

The Elimination of Variables by Regular Combinators
127
On Poppers Use of the Notion of Absolute Logical Probability
144
Aristotles Theory of Modal Syllogisms and its Interpretation
152
Logical Terminology and Theory of Meaning
178
The Nature of Scientific Problems and Their Roots in Metaphysics
189
On the Problem of Truth and Understanding in Science
212
The Mach Principle
224
Phenomenological Theories
234
Social Science and Moral Philosophy A Critical Approach to the Value Problem in the Social Sciences
385
Popper and the Critical Philosophy of History
410
The Open Society and Its Enemies
423
The Tradition of General Knowledge
431
Philosophy of History Before Historicism
445
Writings of Karl R Popper
473
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