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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, is an analysis of the history of science, published in 1962. Its publication was a landmark event in the history, philosophy, and sociology of scientific knowledge and it triggered an ongoing worldwide assessment and reaction in — and beyond — those scholarly communities. In this work, Kuhn challenged the then prevailing view of progress in “normal science.” Scientific progress had been seen primarily as “development-by-accumulation” of accepted facts and theories. Kuhn argued for an episodic model in which periods of such conceptual continuity in normal science were interrupted by periods of revolutionary science. During revolutions in science the discovery of anomalies leads to a whole new paradigm that changes the rules of the game and the “map” directing new research, asks new questions of old data, and moves beyond the puzzle-solving of normal science.

For example, Kuhn’s analysis of the Copernican Revolution emphasized that, in its beginning, it did not offer more accurate predictions of celestial events, such as planetary positions, than the Ptolemaic system, but instead appealed to some practitioners based on a promise of better, simpler, solutions that might be developed at some point in the future. Kuhn called the core concepts of an ascendant revolution its “paradigms” and thereby launched this word into widespread analogical use in the second half of the 20th century. Kuhn’s insistence that a paradigm shift was a mélange of sociology, enthusiasm and scientific promise, but not a logically determinate procedure, caused an uproar in reaction to his work. Kuhn addressed concerns in the 1969 postscript to the second edition. For some commentators it introduced a realistic humanism into the core of science while for others the nobility of science was tarnished by Kuhn’s introduction of an irrational element into the heart of its greatest achievements.

via The Structure of Scientific Revolutions – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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In this article, two philosophers provide good agruements that artificial moral enhancement is now essential if humanity is to avoid catastrophe.


Their book is available in the UK this month. It is entitled, “Unfit for the Future: The Urgent Need for Moral Enhancement”.

via Moral Enhancement | Philosophy Now.

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In this sweeping review of psychological research, Dan Simon shows how flawed investigations can produce erroneous evidence and why well-meaning juries send innocent people to prison and set the guilty free.

via In Doubt — Dan Simon | Harvard University Press.

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Better Never to Have Been by David Benatar.

A fascinating book on the voluntary extinction of human beings.�

To most people this idea is unpalatable, immediately. But, if one has the capacity for considering a multitude of facts, the idea isn’t so far fetched, after all. It’s an interesting proposition and one that shouldn’t be brushed aside merely due to our own survival instincts.�

Description

Better Never to Have Been�argues for a number of related, highly provocative, views: (1) Coming into existence is always a serious harm. (2) It is always wrong to have children. (3) It is wrong not to abort fetuses at the earlier stages of gestation. (4) It would be better if, as a result of there being no new people, humanity became extinct. These views may sound unbelievable–but anyone who reads Benatar will be obliged to take them seriously.

Features

  • Is it good to be alive?
  • A radical challenge to bioethics.
  • Clearly argued, accessible to non-specialists.
  • This may be the most provocative philosophical view ever defended.

via Oxford University Press: Better Never to Have Been: David Benatar.

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