Kuhn Vs. Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science

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Columbia University Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 143 pages
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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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jewsbury - LibraryThing

On the face of it, this book is a third-hand account written by a sociologist about two second-hand opinions provided by philosophers about science. However, it is actually something quite different ... Read full review

KUHN VS. POPPER: The Struggle for the Soul of Science

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

An overview of the debate between the two most influential modern philosophies of science.Fuller (Sociology/Univ. of Warwick) places Thomas Kuhn (1922-96) and Karl Popper (1902-94) at the heads of two ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER
12
CHAPTER 4
25
CHAPTER 6
40
CHAPTER 9
53
CHAPTER 12
70
The Rationalist Left
87
CHAPTER 16
102
Glossary
123
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About the author (2004)

Steve Fuller is professor of sociology at the University of Warwick, England, and the author of Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times.

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