Methodology, Metaphysics and the History of Science

In Memory of Benjamin Nelson

  • Robert S. Cohen
  • Marx W. Wartofsky

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 84)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Paul K. Feyerabend
    Pages 137-147
  3. Hyman Hartman
    Pages 183-213
  4. Elena Panova
    Pages 235-245
  5. N. Sivin
    Pages 323-330
  6. Donald D. Weiss
    Pages 331-358
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 359-373

About this book


This selection of papers that were presented (or nearly so!) to the Boston Colloquium for the Philosophy of Science during the seventies fairly re­ presents some of the most disturbing issues of scientific knowledge in these years. To the distant observer, it may seem that the defense of rational standards, objective reference, methodical self-correction, even the distin­ guishing of the foolish from the sensible and the truth-seeking from the ideological, has nearly collapsed. In fact, the defense may be seen to have shifted; the knowledge business came under scrutiny decades ago and, indeed, from the time of Francis Bacon and even far earlier, the practicality of the discovery of knowledge was either hailed or lamented. So the defense may be founded on the premise that science may yet be liberating. In that case, the analysis of philosophical issues expands to embrace issues of social interest and social function, of instrumentality and arbitrary perspective, of biological constraints (upon knowledge as well as upon the species-wide behavior of human beings in other relationships too), of distortions due to explanatory metaphors and imposed categories, and of radical comparisons among the perspectives of different civilizations. Some of our contributors are frankly programmatic, showing how problems must be formulated afresh, how evasions must be identified and omissions rectified, but they do not reach their own completion.


Karl R. Popper history of science metaphysics philosophy of science realism science truth

Editors and affiliations

  • Robert S. Cohen
    • 1
  • Marx W. Wartofsky
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Philosophy and History of ScienceBoston UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Dept. of PhilosophyBaruch College, City University of New YorkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1984
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-009-6333-7
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-6331-3
  • Series Print ISSN 0068-0346
  • Buy this book on publisher's site