메인 Philosophy of the Social Sciences Book Reviews : Unended Ouest. By KARL POPPER. Lasalle. Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company....
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426 NeBBtonian Optic’. This is not to say that the other historical papers, hy Aran Musgrave on ’Why did ()rygen supplant Phlugisln’’’ and hy Martin Frickc on ’The Rejection uf Avogadro’s Hypotheses*. may not be equally v;tluahlc: it is ,just that I myself prefer reading about physius to reading about chemistry. Zahar’s paper has previously been puhlish~°d in 77it, British .Ic>rrrmnl./ur /A<’ P/N’/O.~f~/tV y’SoicW c’c~. A research programme has a ’hard more’ of assumptions which are not qucstioned a ithin the programme itself. and a ’positive heuristic*. which is a general strategy for solving problems hy trying out certain sorts of assumptions in addition to those of the hard core. Thus the hard core of the atomic programme the assumption that macroscopic objects are composed of atoms which hehave in accordance with mechanical interaction according to the laws of classical mechanics. The positive heuristic consisted in part of pieces of advice as to how to make assumptions about these atoms, their degrees ctf freedom, the distribution of their velocities and so un. The historical studies in the present volume proceed hy arguing that successful theories (e.g.. Einstein’s as against Lorentz’s) developed from a hard core and a positive heuristic which led to a progressive research programme, whereas the unsuccessful rival theories constituted parts of degenerating programmes. It is a matter for historians to decide whether the internal explanations &dquo;,hich are offered in these papers are superior to the previous external explanations. For example. historians will be interested in assessing Worrall’s criticism of those &dquo; riters w ho have explained the neglect of Thomas Young’s wave theory by reference to such things as the prestige of Newtun and the animosity of Brougham. Feyerabend is particularly concerned to stress the non-rational causes of scientific change. Indeed. he appears to doubt whether objectively there is such a thing as rationality at all. If he were merely drawing atten; tion to Hume’s problem this would be all right: but in the early part of this article he seems to me to carry scepticism about science to absurd lengths, with an equally absurd receptiveness to crackpot theories. This weakens the impact of his advocacy of a reasonable open-mindedness. However, perhaps in the early part of the paper he was concerned to trail his coat. to astonish the bourgeoisie, or even to give our legs a slight pull. Though I dislike pp. 310-14 of Feyerabend’s paper, the rest of it (pp. 31s-39) constitutes a very interesting critique of the methodological theories and historical methods which are used in the rest of the was book. The Australian National J. J. C. SMART University Unended Ouest. By KARL POPPER. Lasalle. Illinois: Company. 1976. Pp. 255. $2.95. Open Court Publishing This volume is a slightly revised version of the Popper Autobiography which originally appeared in the Popper volume of The Library of Lii-iiig Philosophers in 1974. It also contains a selected bibliography of Popper’s works designed primarily to make clear references to his writings that are mentioned in the Autobiography. In the reviewer’s opinion. Popper is the most important of the classical methodologists of science, and his importance is related both to the breadth of his intellectual interests and to the honesty with which he has immediately tackled the most important challenges to his central ideas. This autobiography is fascinating. Anyone interested in philosophy or in recent European intellectual history will want to read this book and Open Court has done a service to such readers who would not be interested in Downloaded from pos.sagepub.com at University of Texas Libraries on June 4, 2015 some of the 427 technical) issues cxplorecl in the papers of the Liain,s,~ Uhmr,v volumes, hy making it availahle in this inexpensive form. Huving said that, the review itsell’ciin Only indicate a few of the rewards that a careful rcadcr will amass. Popper was. hy modern standards. a fate starter. The autobiography hegins with a hilarious account of Popper’... apprenticeship in his early twenties to a master cabinet-maker of wide intellectual interests who enjoyed lecturin~; his university student apprentice on many topic5. telling Popper of his efforts to construct a perpetual motion machine, he said, ’They say you can’t make it; hut once it’s been made they’ll talk different’. After this apprenticeship, Popper turned t<> schoolteaching. He did nm attain a university pc>st until 1 936. w hen hc: was almost thirty-five. This was a lectureship in New Zetland partly arranged in consequence of Popper’s growing reputation, based on publication c~f Thl’ l.y~ic m/’.Se~ic·~rti/io !)i.scwvc·rv in 1934. In 1946, Popper assume a position at the London Schou) of Economics. The difficulties in Pc>pper’s early career. the background of his flight from Europe, as well a, associates events. arc well worth reading by those who have achieved university posts in more tranquil times. (?fall of the interesting philosophical, political, histurical and scientific asides. there is room here to mention only a few. In Sections I I-14 (pp. 53-72) there is an interesting digression in which Popper discusses some of his views s on music. It is indicative of the dense world of European (and especially Austrian) culture in the early twentieth century that Popper can express opinion on Bruno Walter and Amold Schoenberg from having performed music under their direction. Popper has comments on the origin of polyphony. the differences bem een Bach and Beethoven and the music of Wagner which parallel his more w ell known ideas about scientific reasoning and historicism. Another rich series of remarks occurs in connection with section 37. where Popper discuses the status of Darwinian theory. Here Popper discusses Darwinism as a metaphysical research programme which ’almost explains’ the observed variety of life forms. This passage is indicative of the subtlety of Popper’s methodological position, in that Darwinism is not dismissed, along with other pseudo-theories, as nonsense. nor is it distorted so as to make it seem equivalent to various theories in physics. Popper has larded his account of ideas and history w ith sturies and anecdotes which may be familiar to intimates, but many of which appear in print here for the first time. Some of these involve famous personalities. such as his account of infuriating Wittgenstein at a meeting of the Moral Science Club at Cambridge. Some of these are true to life and unsettling. such as his account of frst attempting to express his view that scientific know ledge is cunjectural in halting English in 1936 during a discussion of a Bertrand Russell paper. His assertion that the background difficulty was in assuming that scientific knowledge w as knowledge was greeted with laughter and clapping. Some of these stories are simply charming, such as his account of taking a compartment on an English train in 1946 with a young couple. The woman (who was reading an attack on The Opell Society in a leftist journal) said to her companion. ’Who is this Karl Popper?’ ’Never heard of him.’ her companion replied. What has not been mentioned so far are Popper’s excursions into realism. quantum theory. corroboration. probability. induction. the arroBB of time. v orld 3. and so forth. Here the bare bones uf Pupperian doctrine are laid out and rooted in a chronological account of intellectual concerns and crises. The serious student of Popper’s views on science and social philosophy w il) w ant to examine these passages for their insights into the origins and basic thrusts of major Popperian themes. This material is, of course. too complex to exposit and criticize here; but it should be noted that Popper exhibits mnsiderable flair for Downloaded from pos.sagepub.com at University of Texas Libraries on June 4, 2015 4281 striking a balance between accessibility of his views to the general reader and provision of the insights necessary for the considered attention of specialists. In the opinion of the reviewer, Unended Quest stands with Russell’s Autobiography as constituting the major philosophical autobiographies of the twentieth century. University of Massachusetts, Amherst ROBERT ACKERMANN Downloaded from pos.sagepub.com at University of Texas Libraries on June 4, 2015