Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A

Publication Date

3-1-2011

Volume

42

Issue

2

First Page

117

Last Page

124

Abstract

Popper repeatedly emphasised the significance of a critical attitude, and a related critical method, for scientists. Kuhn, however, thought that unquestioning adherence to the theories of the day is proper; at least for ‘normal scientists’. In short, the former thought that dominant theories should be attacked, whereas the latter thought that they should be developed and defended (for the vast majority of the time).

Both seem to have missed a trick, however, due to their apparent insistence that each individual scientist should fulfil similar functions (at any given point in time). The trick is to consider science at the group level; and doing so shows how puzzle solving and ‘offensive’ critical activity can simultaneously have a legitimate place in science. This analysis shifts the focus of the debate. The crucial question becomes ‘How should the balance between functions be struck?’

DOI

10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.031

Print ISSN

00393681

E-ISSN

18792510

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Additional Information

The earlier versions of the paper are presented at the Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford, 2008, and Ockham Society, University of Oxford, February 2009.

Full-text Version

Pre-print

Recommended Citation

Rowbottom, D. P. (2011). Kuhn vs. Popper on criticism and dogmatism in science: A resolution at the group level. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 42(1), 117-124. doi: 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.11.031