A Sceptical Theory of Scientific Inquiry: Problems and Their Progress

A Sceptical Theory of Scientific Inquiry: Problems and Their Progress presents a distinctive re-interpretation of Popper’s ‘critical rationalism’, displaying the kind of spirit found at the L.S.E. before Popper’s retirement. It offers an alternative to interpretations of critical rationalism which have emphasised the significance of research programmes or metaphysics (Lakatos; Nicholas Maxwell), and is closer to the approach of Jagdish Hattiangadi. Briskman gives priority to methodological argument rather than logical formalisms, and takes further his own work on creativity. In addition to offering an important contribution to the understanding of critical rationalism, the book contains interesting engagements with Michael Polanyi and the Meno Paradox. This volume also contains an introduction by the editor, which situates Briskman’s work in the history of the interpretation of ‘critical rationalism’.

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Laurence Barry Briskman, Ph.D. 1983, University of Edinburgh, taught Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh up until 1993. He passed away in 2002.
Jeremy Shearmur, Ph.D. 1986, London School of Economics and Political Science, taught Philosophy at Edinburgh, Political Theory at Manchester, and was Lecturer, then Reader, in Political Theory and Philosophy at the Australian National University; currently he is Emeritus Fellow at the Australian National University.
Editorial Note
Editorial Introduction
Larry Briskman: Biographical Note
Larry Briskman’s Publications
Guide to Abbreviations

Introduction: Two Types of Evolution

1 The Rationality of Science
  1.1 The ‘Initial’ and ‘Transcendental’ Strategies
  1.2 Philosophy as Explication: Critical Remarks
  1.3 Methodology – Normative or Naturalistic?
  1.4 The Two Strategies and the Naturalistic Approach
  1.5 Conclusion

2 Scientific Method and Scientific Progress
  2.1 The Problem of the Justification of a Method (or, The Generalised Problem of Induction)
  2.2 The Generalised Problem of Induction and Popper’s Theory of Method
  2.3 Three Apparent Objections to (PR")
  2.4 ‘Transcendentalism’ and Naturalism Re-visited
  2.5 The Relation of Rationality to Choice
  2.6 A Summary of the Argument So Far
  2.7 Explaining the Success of Science
  2.8 The Method of Strengthening Demands – Further Remarks
  2.9 Conclusion

3 Methodology and the Context of Inquiry
  3.1 The Context of Discovery and the Context of Justification
  3.2 Three Crucial Distinctions
  3.3 Towards a Non-psychologistic Context of Production (I)
  3.4 Towards a Non-psychologistic Context of Production (II)
  3.5 Conclusion – Methodology as the Theory of Rational Inquiry

4 Articulating Our Ignorance – Hopeful Scepticism and the Meno Paradox
  4.1 Some ‘Popperian’ Preliminaries
  4.2 Justificationism and the Problem of Diversity
  4.3 Justificationism, Scepticism, and Relativism
  4.4 Justificationism, Socratic Scepticism, and the Meno Paradox
  4.5 TDSK – A Socratic Sceptical Solution to the Meno Paradox
  4.6 Conclusion

5 Against ‘tacit knowing’
  5.1 Three Questions Concerning
  5.2 Against: ‘Tacit Knowing’
  5.3 Conclusion

6 Beyond TDSK
  6.1 The Kuhnian Objection
  6.2 The Problem of Content
  6.3 A Plausibility Argument for (D4)
  6.4 Beyond TDSK 2

Index of Names
Index of Subjects XX
Graduate students and faculties in philosophy, interested especially in the philosophy of science or interested in the theories of Popper.