Permanent Revolution Is Science: A Quantum Epistemology release_rev_c9336cb9-a0e9-40bf-baa2-045617be7d07

by Steve Fuller

Published in Philosophy of the Social Sciences by SAGE Publications.

2020   p004839312091098


This article is the preface to the Russian translation of my Kuhn vs Popper. I use it as an opportunity to re-examine the difference between Kuhn and Popper on the nature of 'revolutions' in science. Kuhn is rightly seen as a 'reluctant revolutionary' and Popper a 'permanent revolutionary'. In this respect, Kuhn sticks to the original medieval meaning of 'revolution' as restoration of a natural order, whereas Popper adopts the more modern meaning of 'revolution' that comes into fashion after the French Revolution, which suggests a radical renewal. A key to understanding this difference in revolutionary mentalities lies in Kuhn's and Popper's respective treatment of the 'Gestalt switch' phenomenon. Kuhn sees the ambiguous Gestalt figure from the standpoint of the subject, and Popper from that of the experimenter. Behind this difference lies alternative interpretations of the significance of quantum mechanics for scientific epistemology, a preoccupation that Kuhn and Popper shared with the original Gestalt psychologists and is beginning engage the interest of social scientists.
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Date   2020-06-04
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