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The Enlightenment, Popper and Einstein

Maxwell, N; (2007) The Enlightenment, Popper and Einstein. In: Shi, Y and Olson, DL and Stam, A, (eds.) Knowledge and Wisdom: Advances in Multiple Criteria Decision Making and Human Systems Management. (131 - 148). IOS Press: Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Green open access

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A basic idea of the 18th century French Enlightenment was to learn from scientific progress how to achieve social progress towards an enlightened world. Unfortunately, the philosophes developed this profoundly important idea in a seriously defective form, and it is this defective form that came to be built into the institutional structure of academia in the early 20th century with the creation of departments of social science. We still suffer from it today. This article discusses four versions of the Enlightenment programme, each correcting mistakes of its predecessor, the upshot being that we need to bring about a revolution in the aims and methods of academic inquiry if the basic Enlightenment idea is to be properly implemented.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The Enlightenment, Popper and Einstein
ISBN-13: 9781586037482
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.iospress.nl/book/advances-in-multiple-c...
Language: English
Keywords: Enlightenment, Enlightenment programme, scientific method, social inquiry, rationality, academic inquiry, problems of living.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/105627
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