By Larry Laudan
With the decline of logical positivism after 1950, a lot paintings within the philosophy of technology has careened towards an uncritical relativistic process. Many students, confronted with a call among a narrowly restrictive positivism and an “anything is going” relativism, have sought to discover a center course within the debate.In this selection of papers, numerous of which seem right here for the 1st time, Larry Laudan argues that resolving this quandary consists of no longer a few centrist compromise place yet particularly a notion of medical wisdom that is going past either positivism and relativism. This perception needs to commence with the rejection of assumptions approximately wisdom that those it sounds as if adverse positions carry in universal. Relativism, for Laudan, is a very self-defeating kind of neopositivism.In displaying the connections among those ways and clarifying the positions of such influential philosophers as Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, Laudan does the good provider of laying the root for an account of technology that rejects the error of positivism with out supplying reduction and luxury to the enemies of cause. He additionally takes a clean examine many different crucial problems with clinical philosophy, together with the science/non-science demarcation, the underdetermination of idea via facts, and the contested function of social elements within the legitimation of clinical knowledge.Beyond Positivism and Relativism is a massive assertion in regards to the nature of technological know-how and proof that may command the curiosity of philosophers of technological know-how, epistemologists, sociologists of data, and all who're heavily desirous about technology, medical growth, and the consequences for wisdom in lots of different fields.
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Additional resources for Beyond Positivism and Relativism: Theory, Method, and Evidence
I have already said that Quine nowhere engages in an exhaustive examination of various rules of rational theory choice with a view to showing them impotent to make a choice between all pairs of theories. Instead, he is content to examine a single rule of theory choice, what we might call the Popperian gambit. " Quine's strategy is to show that this particular rule radically underdetermines theory choice. I intend to spend the bulk of this section examining Quine's case for the claim that this particular rule underdetermines theory choice.
But such fuzziness of conception is precisely why most methodologists have avoided falling back on these hazy notions for talking about the empirical warrant for theories. Consider a different set of standards, one arguably more familiar to philosophers of science: • prefer theories which are internally consistent; • prefer theories which correctly make some predictions which are surprising given our background assumptions; -46- • prefer theories which have been tested against a diverse range of kinds of phenomena to those which have been tested only against very similar sorts of phenomena.
Consider a different set of standards, one arguably more familiar to philosophers of science: • prefer theories which are internally consistent; • prefer theories which correctly make some predictions which are surprising given our background assumptions; -46- • prefer theories which have been tested against a diverse range of kinds of phenomena to those which have been tested only against very similar sorts of phenomena. Even standards such as these have some fuzziness around the edges, but can anyone believe that, confronted with any pair of theories, and any body of evidence, these standards are so rough-hewn that they could be used indifferently to justify choosing either element of the pair?