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Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Aim-Oriented Empiricism

Maxwell, N; (2005) Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Aim-Oriented Empiricism. Philosophia , 32 (1-4) 181 - 239. 10.1007/BF02641621. Green open access

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In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), a conception of natural science that I have defended at some length elsewhere, is a kind of synthesis of the views of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, but is also an improvement over the views of all three. Whereas Popper's falsificationism protects metaphysical assumptions implicitly made by science from criticism, AOE exposes all such assumptions to sustained criticism, and furthermore focuses criticism on those assumptions most likely to need revision if science is to make progress. Even though AOE is, in this way, more Popperian than Popper, it is also, in some respects, more like the views of Kuhn and Lakatos than falsificationism is. AOE is able, however, to solve problems which Kuhn's and Lakatos's views cannot solve.

Type: Article
Title: Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Aim-Oriented Empiricism
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/BF02641621
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF02641621
Language: English
Keywords: Scientific method, Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, metaphysics, physicalism, simplicity, discovery, verisimilitude
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/105631
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