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

Columbia University Press (2004)
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Abstract

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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Steve Fuller
University of Warwick

Citations of this work

Critical Rationalism and Post-Truth.Thomas Hainscho - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations 17 (42):91–106.
Karl Popper.Stephen Thornton - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Influence of James B. Conant on Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions.K. Brad Wray - 2016 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 6 (1):1-23.

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