By: Steve Fuller
227 pages, no illustrations
In 1965 Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper took part in a debate about the nature of science which has reverberated ever since. Popper sought to define the difference between ideological and scientific theories, and to explain why only scientific knowledge is cumulative. Kuhn was interested in the historical process by which ideology may evolve into science, and in how the scientific explanations of one era (but not the facts unearthed by them) may become obsolete. Popper's key concept is falsification, whereas Kuhn's is the power of the disciplinary matrix, or paradigm. Many observers regret Kuhn's 'victory' and the consequent loss of a truly critical spirit in scientific enquiry.
Reading Steve Fuller is like reading Umberto Eco on speed. Jeff Hughes, University of Manchester
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Steve Fuller trained in the history and philosophy of science, and is now Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick.
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