Author Archives: Rafe

The Duhem Problem: The Bayesian Turn

CHAPTER 3 of my thesis Aspects of the Duhem Problem. The previous chapter concluded with an account of the attempt by Lakatos to retrieve the salient features of falsificationism while accounting for the fact that a research programme may proceed … Continue reading

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Stephen Toulmin on Popper

Given the high marks assigned to Toulmin for his commentary on Kuhn and the affinity of his program with that of Popper (evolutionary epistemology vs formalism) , what does he say about Popper? The short answer is that he dismissed … Continue reading

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More on Stephen Toulmin and Kuhn

Finishing the story of Toulmin’s critique of Kuhn. He traced the evolution of Kuhn’s ideas through five stages (1) his account in The Copernican Revolution (1957), (2) a public talk about revolutions at Worcester College in Oxford in 1961, (3) … Continue reading

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A note on Stephen Toulmin as a critic of Kuhn and the logical positivists

Stephen Toulmin 1922-2009 was a British-born philosopher, heavily influenced by Wittgenstein but also a full bottle on the history and philosophy of science. In 1972 he published Human Understanding:  General Introduction and Part I: The Collective Use and Evolution of … Continue reading

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The Cost of Positivism in the 20th Century

Toby Huff in Max Weber and the Methodology of the Social Scienes (Transaction Books, 1984) suggested that the philosophy of science that Weber was reading read at the turn of the century was in better shape than the positivism that … Continue reading

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Jacques Barzun. A brilliant career

Jacques Barzun (1907 – 2012) was probably best known for his writing on education at all levels until Dawn to Decadence reminded people of the remarkable breadth and depth of his scholarship. He specialised in the cultural history of modern … Continue reading

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Hulsmann on von Mises

Jorg Guido Hulsmann, Mises: The Last Knight of Liberalism. Mises Institute, Auburn, Alabama, 2007. Hardback, 1150 pp, index. Jorg Guido Hulsmann, professor of economics at the University of Angers in France has written a monumental biography of Ludwig von Mises. … Continue reading

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Hacohen on Popper

Review of Malachi Hacohen, Karl Popper, The Formative Years, 1902-1945. Cambridge University Press, 2000. Karl Popper almost came to the University of Sydney in 1945. John Anderson invited him to join the staff in Philosophy but Popper delayed his decision … Continue reading

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A warning on fake news from R G Collingwood in 1940

R G Collingwood (1889-1943) was an English philosopher and historian who was obsessed with the rise of communism and state socialism while the sciences were making giant strides. A recurring motif in Collingwood’s later writing is the presence of sinister … Continue reading

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Yvor Winters: A Man for all Reasons

An unpublished piece on the US poet, critic and scholar Yvor Winters, written circa 1985 and put into the public domain on my website in the first edition of the Revivalist series. [http://www.the-rathouse.com/YvorWinters.html] Winters combined the careers of poet, critic, … Continue reading

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