Book ID: CBB541662109

Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency (2017)


Fisch, Menachem (Author)

University of Chicago Press

Publication Date: 2017
Physical Details: 304 pp.
Language: English

Thomas Kuhn and Karl Popper are believed by many who study science to be the two key thinkers of the twentieth century. Each addressed the question of how scientific theories change, but they came to different conclusions.   By turning our attention to ambiguity and indecision in science, Menachem Fisch, in Creatively Undecided, offers a new way to look at how scientific understandings change. Following Kuhn, Fisch argues that scientific practice depends on the framework in which it is conducted, but he also shows that those frameworks can be understood as the possible outcomes of the rational deliberation that Popper viewed as central to theory change. How can a scientist subject her standards to rational appraisal if that very act requires the use of those standards? The way out, Fisch argues, is by looking at the incentives scientists have to create alternative frameworks in the first place. Fisch argues that while science can only be transformed from within, by people who have standing in the field, criticism from the outside is essential. We may not be able to be sufficiently self-critical on our own, but trusted criticism from outside, even if resisted, can begin to change our perspective—at which point transformative self-criticism becomes a real option.

Reviewed By

Review Chris Dragos (2019) Review of "Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency". Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 33-35). unapi

Review Sheldon Richmond (2018) Review of "Creatively Undecided: Toward a History and Philosophy of Scientific Agency". Transversal: International Journal for the Historiography of Science (pp. 182-189). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Alexander Bogner
Eva Ruffing
Katharina Steiner
Stefan Böschen
Barlösius, Eva
Rydlewski, Michał
Acta Historica Leopoldina
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Studia Historiae Scientiarum
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Science and Education
Oxford University Press
H. Champion
Philosophy of science
Theories of knowledge
History of philosophy of science
History of science, as a discipline
Science and society
Explanation; hypotheses; theories
Kuhn, Thomas S.
Popper, Karl Raimund
Jarnicki, Paweł
Balicki, Bogdan
Reichenbach, Hans
Plonka-Syroka, Bozena
Time Periods
20th century
21st century
20th century, late
19th century

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