The work of David Stove was recently raised on an email list as a corrective to Popper’s philosophy of science. This has prompted me to revive a dormant idea, along the lines of the Bent Spoon Award handed out each year by the Australian Skeptics for the best/worst example of credulity in science reporting. The idea was to poke fun at the bent spoon trickery of Uri Geller.
This prize could be awarded annually (if nominations of sufficient quality are received) for the worst example of mangling and misrepresenting Popper’s ideas, preferably in refereed literature.For people who have not noticed, the late David Stove was a Sydney-based philosopher who was such a strong devotee of inductive logic that he condemned Popper, Lakatos, Kuhn and Feyerabend as irrationalists of the darkest hue who opened the gates of the academy to the barbarians of POMO. He has a devoted follower in Sydney, Dr Jim Franklin (Mathematics, Uni of NSW) who tends the shrine that is dedicated to Stove. He also has a following in strange places, like the New Criterion group in the US.
This is my rejoinder to Stove on Popper. Jim and I cross paths quite regularly and we have agreed to disagree on these matters. He has written a really excellent history of the teaching of philosophy in Australia.
Getting back to the award, I am not in a position to provide a cash payment or even a trophy that would do justice to such an achievement so the recipient will have to be satisfied with the prestige that will come from being recorded for posterity in the prominent position in the Rathouse.
Nominations are called for the award. Of course a committee will have to be convened to ensure that my personal bias does not intrude (too much). I suppose I should call for nominations for the committee as well.