Comments on Thomason

  • Keith Hutchison
Part of the Australasian Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 12)


One of the clear targets of Thomason’s paper is the Feyerabendian portrait of Galileo as epistemic opportunist, hastening to substitute rhetoric for reason. Thomason reveals that Feyerabend has fallen into that awkward trap all critics must fear: when we claim to detect blemishes of logic, the defect may well be in our own grasp of the argument. Yet in making this very point, Thomason is already defending one of Feyerabend’s favourite claims — the reasoning processes used by great scientists are remarkably untidy and do not readily compress themselves into neat philosophic formulation.


Natural Kind Great Scientist General Modus Operandi Clear Target Social Causa 
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  1. Galilei, Galileo and Weiser, Mark, ‘Letters on sunspots’ [1613], excerpted & trans. S. Drake, on pp.87–144 of Discoveries and opinions of Galileo, ed. S. Drake, (New York: Anchor, 1957 & reprints).Google Scholar
  2. Hutchison, K., ‘Towards a Political Iconology of the Copemican Revolution’. On pp.95–141 of Astrology, Science and Society: Historical Essays, ed. Patrick Curry, (The Boy dell Press: Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1987).Google Scholar
  3. Hutchison, K., ‘Harmony and Authority: the Political Symbolism of Copernicus’ Personal Seal’. On pp. 115–68 of Non-verbal communication in science prior to 1900, ed. Renato Maz-zolini, (Florence: Olschki, 1993).Google Scholar
  4. Thomason, N., ‘The Power of ARCHED Hypotheses: Feyerabend’s Galileo as a Closet Rationalist’, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1994): 255–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Van Helden, A., ‘Saturn and his Anses’, Journal of the History of Astronomy 5 (1974): 105–21.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Hutchison
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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