By David Papineau (auth.)
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Extra resources for For Science in the Social Sciences
The 'hard core' is related to the empirical data and gives rise to definite predictions only with the help of auxiliary hypotheses. These will include assumptions about how specific kinds of experimental situations relate to the entities discussed in the hard core, about how interfering factors will affect the simple relationships the hard core postulates between those entities, about instruments for detecting and measuring those entities, etc. Thus the Newtonian research programme could be considered to have as a hard core the three laws of motion and the law of universal gravitation.
This kind of argument presents something of a puzzle. Although the analysis of particular historical examples is often contested, the appeal to history in itself seems perfectly cogent and to the point. If Galileo's practice is indeed at variance with Lakatos's picture of science, then surely this does something to discredit Lakatos's methodology. But why should it? Why should Lakatos's precepts have to fit Galileo 's practice? SCIENTIFIC THEORIES 41 Why should not Lakatos simply decide that Galileo's practice was unscientific?
There are a number of strands in this notion. Central is the idea of a community of scientists sharing a lasting commitment to certain fundamental postulates. In addition, Kuhn is referring to scientists' recognition of certain classic problem- solutions as exemplary examples of how to do science-he argues that these examples give scientists a SCIENTIFIC THEORIES 35 tacit and intuitive understanding of how to deal with new problems. Various other ideas are on occasion involved. But in any case, Kuhn takes it that the scientist's commitment to a paradigm will so condition what he makes of the evidence that there will be no possibility of that paradigm being empirically disproved.
For Science in the Social Sciences by David Papineau (auth.)