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The Comprehensibility of the Universe:A New Conception of Science

Maxwell, N; (1998) The Comprehensibility of the Universe:A New Conception of Science. [Book]. (First ed.). Clarendon Press: Oxford.

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The aim of this book is to change the nature of science. At present science is shaped by the orthodox view that scientific theories are accepted and rejected impartially with respect to evidence, no permanent assumption being made about the world independently of the evidence. This view is untenable. We need a new orthodoxy, which sees science as making a hierarchy of increasingly attenuated metaphysical assumptions concerning the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe. This is the new conception of science argued for in this book. This new conception has a number of implications for the nature of science. One is that it is part of current scientific knowledge that the universe is comprehensible, even physically comprehensible (something not recognized at present). Another is that metaphysics and philosophy, instead of being excluded from science, are actually central to scientific knowledge. Another is that science possesses a rational, if fallible and non-mechanical method of discovery (not at present adequately understood). And yet another implication is that the whole picture of scientific method and rationality needs to be changed.

Type: Book
Title: The Comprehensibility of the Universe:A New Conception of Science
ISBN: 0-19-823776-6
Keywords: Physics, scientific method, metaphysics, theoretical unification, explanation, induction, quantum theory
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/105663
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