On the Structure and Function of Paradigms in Science

In the 1930s the Marx-inspired scientist Boris Hessen with a keen interest in history scandalized worshipers of pure science in general and of Isaac Newton in particular by asking questions such as whether the need for a superior technology of navigation in imperialist England influenced the genesis of Newtonian mechanics. Worse still, scientists inspired by Freud asked whether the castration complex might influence logicians in their conception of negation. The usual straight stroke as a sign of negation is at the same time a symbol of a knife. In these cases, science is seen as something certain people do who are just like most other people, impelled by a mixture of personal motives or by impersonal structures such as systems of production. History of science until that time was largely seen simply as a quest for truth with its own logic, that of induction, deduction, verification, and falsification. Other factors were treated under the title of heuristics, the art of discovery. All very laudable and decent, and deserving the name of classical history of science.


Scientific Enterprise Pure Science Classical History Auxiliary Hypothesis Christmas Tree 
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© Springer 2005

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