Mike Renzulli Posted March 11, 2011 Share Posted March 11, 2011 (edited) I found this review on Amazon.com and thought I would post it. The author lists some scientists/philosophers who may have already covered the territory David Harriman and Leonard Peikoff are covering years before The Logical Leap was published.If this is the case, good for the scientists/philosophers Mcginnis lists but it might be too little too late for ARI.Objectivism is not 'philosophy.' Full stop., January 11, 2011 By Nicolas McginnisThis review is from: The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics (Paperback) Harriman writes: 'In my physics lab course, I learned how to determine the atomic structure of crystals by means of x-ray diffraction and how to identify subatomic particles by analyzing bubble-chamber photographs. In my philosophy of science course, on the other hand, I was taught by a world-renowned professor (Paul Feyerabend) that there is no such thing as scientific method and that physicists have no better claim to knowledge than voodoo priests. I knew little about epistemology [the philosophy of knowledge] at the time, but I could not help noticing that it was the physicists, not the voodoo priests, who had made possible the life-promoting technology we enjoy today.' This is enough to know this book is a hack piece of garbage that should not be tossed aside lightly; it should be thrown, with great force. The only evidence I need is that the author makes sweeping claims about philosophy of science by citing exactly one philosopher, Feyerabend. If the author, either of the review or the book, were serious, they would engage with the field as a whole. They would also know that philosophy of science, as practiced in analytic departments, has taken a strong stand against post-modern relativism and has able, articulate and competent writers with scientific backgrounds: Bas van Fraasen, Hilary Putnam, Nelson Goodman, Philip Kitcher, Harvey Brown, Eliot Sober, Nancy Cartwright, Patrick Suppes... I could go on. The author would know, as well, that Putnam made the very same argument against Feyerabend over 40 years ago: namely, that if scientific methodology does not track truth, then we have no way of explaining technological applications. This ignorance betrays a fundamental ignorance of the literature in philosophy of science. There are real issues in philosophy: questions about deductive and inductive logic, Bayesian confirmation, biomedical ethics, clinical trial structure, physical interpretation, but of course our authors prefer to dwell the disputed (and here, unsurprisingly, mischaracterized) claims of a single figure. A contrarian figure that, if anything, stands opposed to the mainstream consensus in philosophy of science, positivistic (e.g., the Vienna Circle, Rudolf Carnap, Otto Neurath, Moritz Schlick, and so on) and post-positivistic: that science works, works best, and likely describes real, knowable entities. It's plenty clear both authors don't have a clue what they are talking about. That Ayn Rand is brought up only underscores this. I suggest no one wastes their time on this obvious trash. If you want good, relevant, interesting philosophy of science, any of the above-mentioned authors would do fine. Edited March 11, 2011 by Mike Renzulli Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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