Epistemological Background

Inductivism, Essentialism, Instrumentalism, Falsificationism, and Paradigms
  • Jonathan Stone
Part of the Perspectives in Vision Research book series (PIVR)


There are compelling reasons for an experimental scientist to avoid philosophical issues, yet equally compelling matters that demand his attention to them. Many neurobiologists already feel so distracted from their research by the duties imposed by their institutions and the technical management of their laboratories that they are impatient with the further distraction of philosophical debate. In any case, some of the problems raised by philosophers (can we really know anything?, can we prove anything?, can we disprove anything?) seem either meaningless or unanswerable and certainly, as Dr. Johnson’s acquaintance commented, cheerless. There seems little to be gained by spending time on them; better get on with our experiments.


Cortical Cell Normal Science Essential Nature Visual Science Contrary Evidence 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.School of AnatomyUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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