Another very unsatisfactory introduction to the philosophy of science.
So far Popper’s critique of inductive logic has not been effectively answered, although some people like to use the term to apply to (1) the process of forming a hypothesis or (2) the expectation that the world behaves in regular or consistent way. Popper denied (1), insisting that there is no “logic” or algorithm for discovery, and he accepted (2) not as a form of induction but as a metaphysical theory about the nature of the universe (to behave in a consistent and regular manner, even if underlying regularities or patterns are hard to find).
A lot of space is devoted to Kuhn and The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, “unquestionably the most influential work of philosophy of science in the last 50 years.” Okasha correctly pointed out that this created a huge stir at a time when the movement of logical empiricism was decaying. However this impact had nothing to do with the merits of Kuhn’s ideas because positivism and logical empiricism were intellectually dead in the water after Popper developed and published his ideas in the 1930s. Okasha wrote that the positivists paid little attention to the history of science but that did not apply to Popper who always urged the historical approach, for example in the Preface to the The Logic of Scientific Discovery (1959).
“Why did Kuhn’s ideas cause such a storm?” One reason was the failure of positivism/empiricism to solve its problems: to find a theory of meaning that worked, and to make inductive logic credible. It was stale and boring. The thrill of its iconoclastic attack on all and any school of thought that did not use the correct scientific method was exhausted. Red-blooded students in the swinging sixties needed something more exciting and the concept of scientific revolutions was just the thing to capture the spirit of the age. In fact paradigm theory itself became boring when Kuhn recanted most of his early views.
There is some talk about Kuhn’s “highly controversial philosophical theses” like the turn to history (anticipated by Popper) his insistence on the “theory-dependence of facts” (also anticipated by Popper) and his focus on the social context of science. Actually Popper anticipated that as well, in chapter 23 of The Open Society and its Enemies (1945).