Conceptions of Inquiry
Brown (Stuart), Fauvel (John) & Finnegan (Ruth), Eds.
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Back Cover Blurb

  1. A number of significant contributions have been made, both to specific intellectual disciplines and on the broader philosophical front, by researches into the nature of inquiry. The papers in this collection illustrate a number of such areas of debate in mathematics, natural science, social studies and history, allowing an appraisal of their importance in their own context as well as comparisons across disciplinary frontiers.
  2. Some extracts are undoubtedly classic - Plato on mathematics, Newton on physics and J.S. Mill on social science. However, most contributions are more contemporary - work by theorists such as Foucault and Hofstadter, and by practitioners such as Bondi and Einstein.
  3. Mathematics is considered under a number of headings, from Plato's 'eternal truth' to Hodgkin's 'social practice'. Its relation to the 'real world' is discussed in a number of essays. In the section on natural science various strands of the Popper-Kuhn debate can be followed, including the questions of progress, rationality and the demarcation of science as opposed to 'pseudo-science'. A similar set of problems is presented in the sections on social inquiry. Here the scientific status of sociology, anthropology, history and the like is at issue. Some writers argue that social inquiry is quite distinct from science, whilst others, including Hempel, deny that there is any essential difference between the human and the natural sciences.
  4. The final sections are devoted to more general problems. Extracts from Hume, Hirst and Foucault discuss the isolation and definition of forms of knowledge; the prevailing views of the objectivity of science are challenged by Hanson and Kuhn; and the role of values in social inquiry is debated by Weber, Gouldner and Hesse.

BOOK COMMENT:

University Paperbacks, Methuen; Open University Set Book, 1981



"Beattie (John) - Inquiry in Social Anthropology"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Bondi (Hermann) - What is Progress in Science?"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Dirac (Paul) - The Test of Einstein"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Easton (David) - Theory and Behavioural Research"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Einstein (Albert) - Geometry and Experience"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Foucault (Michel) - The Archaeology of Knowledge"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Gouldner (Alvin W.) - Anti-Minotaur: the Myth of a Value-free Sociology"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hanson (Norwood R.) - Observation as Theory-laden"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hardy (G.H.) - Mathematics as Art"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hardy (G.H.) - Two Realities"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hempel (Carl) - Explanation in Science and in History"

Source: Nidditch - The Philosophy of Science - Oxford Readings
COMMENT: Also in "Brown (Stuart), Fauvel (John) & Finnegan (Ruth), Eds. - Conceptions of Inquiry"



"Hesse (Mary) - Theory and Value in the Social Sciences"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hirst (Paul H.) - Forms of Knowledge"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hirst (Paul H.) - Forms of Knowledge Revisited"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hodgkin (Luke) - Mathematics as Social Practice"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hofstadter (Douglas) - Mathematics as Logic"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Hogben (Lancelot) - Mathematics as Language"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Ivins (William M.) - Geometry and Perception"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Kline (Morris) - Geometry and Truth"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Kuhn (Thomas) - Progress Through Revolutions"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Kuhn (Thomas) - The Route to 'Normal Science'"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Kuhn (Thomas) - The Sciences as Puzzle-solving Traditions"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Kuhn (Thomas) - Value Judgments and Theory Choice"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Lakatos (Imre) - Science and Pseudoscience"

Source: Curd & Cover - Philosophy of Science - The Central Issues


Philosophers Index Abstract
  1. The problem of demarcation is not simply a philosophical one: one can easily show that it has also grave ethical and political implications.
  2. Different solutions to the problem have been proposed so far, but they all turned out to be insufficient.
  3. The "methodology of scientific research programmes" solves some of the difficulties into which other methodologies have led.

Editors’ introduction1
  1. In an important paper2, Lakatos put forward his view that the key to the demarcation between science and pseudo-science lies in the distinction between progressive research programmes and degenerating ones.
  2. As against Karl Popper he allows that any scientific research programme has a ‘hard core' which is belted against falsification by auxiliary hypotheses. According to Lakatos it is this protective belt which is adjusted in the light of unfavourable results.
  3. These adjustments will lead, in the case of a progressive programme, to an increase in the content of the theory whereas, in the case of a degenerating programme, the theory becomes increasingly trivial and empty.
  4. Lakatos insists, contrary to Thomas Kuhn, that the changeover from one programme to another is a wholly rational process even though it lacks the ‘instant rationality’ of a Popperian refutation.
  5. The following extract3 is a radio talk given by Lakatos for an Open University course. It is an informal account of his position and includes some exaggeration natural to the spoken word.


COMMENT: Also in "Brown (Stuart), Fauvel (John) & Finnegan (Ruth), Eds. - Conceptions of Inquiry" (full text, with editorial introduction).




In-Page Footnotes ("Lakatos (Imre) - Science and Pseudoscience")

Footnote 1: Footnote 2: Footnote 3:
  • It’s the complete text, as far as I can see.



"Lessnoff (Michael) - Minds and Social Science"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"MacIntyre (Alasdair) - The Idea of a Social Science"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals. See "MacIntyre (Alasdair) - The Idea of a Social Science"



"Mill (John Stuart) - Hypotheses and Verification"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Mill (John Stuart) - That There Is, or May Be, a Science of Human Nature"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Mill (John Stuart) - The Method of Agreement and Difference"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Newton (Isaac) - Hypotheses and 'Experimental Philosophy'"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Passmore (John) - The Objectivity of History"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry


Philosophers Index Abstract
    The author's aim is to compare and contrast history with other forms of inquiry. He poses the question: "is history objective?" he answers his own question by saying: "it all depends on how high you set your standards." (Staff)


COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Poincare (Henri) - Mathematics as Aesthetic Creation"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Polanyi (Michael) - Mathematics as Intellectual Passion"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Popper (Karl) - Against Methods of Discovery"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Popper (Karl) - Conjectures and Refutations"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Popper (Karl) - The Rationality of Scientific Revolutions"

Source: Hacking - Scientific Revolutions - Oxford Readings
COMMENT: Also in "Brown (Stuart), Fauvel (John) & Finnegan (Ruth), Eds. - Conceptions of Inquiry"



"Scheffler (Israel) - The 'Standard' View of Objectivity"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Weber (Max) - 'Objectivity' In Social Science"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Wigner (E.P.) - Mathematics and Scientific Inquiry"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



"Winch (Peter) - Understanding Social Institutions"

Source: Brown, Fauvel & Finnegan - Conceptions of Inquiry
COMMENT: Note: These extracts are brief and abridged, and the titles aren't the originals



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  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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