UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment

Maxwell, N; (2017) Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment. [Book]. UCL Press: London. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Karl-Popper-Science-and-Enlightenment.pdf

Download (5MB) | Preview

Abstract

Here is an idea that just might save the world. It is that science, properly understood, provides us with the methodological key to the salvation of humanity. A version of this idea can be found in the works of Karl Popper. Famously, Popper argued that science cannot verify theories but can only refute them, and this is how science makes progress. Scientists are forced to think up something better, and it is this, according to Popper, that drives science forward. But Nicholas Maxwell finds a flaw in this line of argument. Physicists only ever accept theories that are unified – theories that depict the same laws applying to the range of phenomena to which the theory applies – even though many other empirically more successful disunified theories are always available. This means that science makes a questionable assumption about the universe, namely that all disunified theories are false. Without some such presupposition as this, the whole empirical method of science breaks down. By proposing a new conception of scientific methodology, which can be applied to all worthwhile human endeavours with problematic aims, Maxwell argues for a revolution in academic inquiry to help humanity make progress towards a better, more civilized and enlightened world.

Type: Book
Title: Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment
ISBN-13: 9781787350397
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/111.9781787350397
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781787350397
Language: English
Additional information: Text © Nicholas Maxwell, 2017 Images © Nicholas Maxwell, 2017 This book is published under a Creative Commons 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work; to adapt the work and to make commercial use of the work providing attribution is made to the authors (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Attribution should include the following information: Nicholas Maxwell, Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment. London, UCL Press, 2017. https://doi.org/10.14324/111. 9781787350397
Keywords: Karl Popper, Science, Civilisation, The Enlightenment
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573506
Downloads since deposit
10Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item