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  1. From Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution in the Aims and Methods of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 1984 - Oxford: Blackwell.
    This book argues for the need to put into practice a profound and comprehensive intellectual revolution, affecting to a greater or lesser extent all branches of scientific and technological research, scholarship and education. This intellectual revolution differs, however, from the now familiar kind of scientific revolution described by Kuhn. It does not primarily involve a radical change in what we take to be knowledge about some aspect of the world, a change of paradigm. Rather it involves a radical change in (...)
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  • Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part One: How to Solve the Problem of Induction.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):61-79.
    In this three-part paper, my concern is to expound and defend a conception of science, close to Einstein's, which I call aim-oriented empiricism. I argue that aim-oriented empiricsim has the following virtues. (i) It solve the problem of induction; (ii) it provides decisive reasons for rejecting van Fraassen's brilliantly defended but intuitively implausible constructive empiricism; (iii) it solves the problem of verisimilitude, the problem of explicating what it can mean to speak of scientific progress given that science advances from one (...)
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  • Quantum Propensiton Theory: A Testable Resolution of the Wave/Particle Dilemma.Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1):1-50.
    In this paper I put forward a new micro realistic, fundamentally probabilistic, propensiton version of quantum theory. According to this theory, the entities of the quantum domain - electrons, photons, atoms - are neither particles nor fields, but a new kind of fundamentally probabilistic entity, the propensiton - entities which interact with one another probabilistically. This version of quantum theory leaves the Schroedinger equation unchanged, but reinterprets it to specify how propensitons evolve when no probabilistic transitions occur. Probabilisitic transitions occur (...)
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  • Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Aim-Oriented Empiricism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):181-239.
    In this paper I argue that aim-oriented empiricism (AOE), a conception of natural science that I have defended at some length elsewhere[1], is a kind of synthesis of the views of Popper, Kuhn and Lakatos, but is also an improvement over the views of all three. Whereas Popper's falsificationism protects metaphysical assumptions implicitly made by science from criticism, AOE exposes all such assumptions to sustained criticism, and furthermore focuses criticism on those assumptions most likely to need revision if science is (...)
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  • Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part Three: Einstein, Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Discovery of Special and General Relativity.Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):275-305.
    In this paper I show that Einstein made essential use of aim-oriented empiricism in scientific practice in developing special and general relativity. I conclude by considering to what extent Einstein came explicitly to advocate aim-oriented empiricism in his later years.
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  • The Need for a Revolution in the Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):381-408.
    There is a need to bring about a revolution in the philosophy of science, interpreted to be both the academic discipline, and the official view of the aims and methods of science upheld by the scientific community. At present both are dominated by the view that in science theories are chosen on the basis of empirical considerations alone, nothing being permanently accepted as a part of scientific knowledge independently of evidence. Biasing choice of theory in the direction of simplicity, unity (...)
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  • Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - London: UCL Press.
    Karl Popper is famous for having proposed that science advances by a process of conjecture and refutation. He is also famous for defending the open society against what he saw as its arch enemies – Plato and Marx. Popper’s contributions to thought are of profound importance, but they are not the last word on the subject. They need to be improved. My concern in this book is to spell out what is of greatest importance in Popper’s work, what its failings (...)
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  • What’s Wrong With Aim-Oriented Empiricism?Nicholas Maxwell - 2015 - Acta Baltica Historiae Et Philosophiae Scientiarum 3 (2):5-31.
    For four decades it has been argued that we need to adopt a new conception of science called aim-oriented empiricism. This has far-reaching implications and repercussions for science, the philosophy of science, academic inquiry in general, conception of rationality, and how we go about attempting to make progress towards as good a world as possible. Despite these far-reaching repercussions, aim-oriented empiricism has so far received scant attention from philosophers of science. Here, sixteen objections to the validity of the argument for (...)
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  • How Can Life of Value Best Flourish in the Real World?Nicholas Maxwell - 2009 - In Leemon McHenry (ed.), Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom. Ontos Verlag.
    The Urgent Need for an Intellectual Revolution For much of my working life (from 1972 onwards) I have argued, in and out of print, that we need to bring about a revolution in the aims and methods of science – and of academic inquiry more generally. Instead of giving priority to the search for knowledge, academia needs to devote itself to seeking and promoting wisdom by rational means, wisdom being the capacity to realize what is of value in life, for (...)
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  • Reply to Comments on Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom.Nicholas Maxwell - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):667-690.
    In this article I reply to comments made by Agustin Vicente and Giridhari Lal Pandit on Science and the Pursuit of Wisdom (McHenry 2009 ). I criticize analytic philosophy, go on to expound the argument for the need for a revolution in academic inquiry so that the basic aim becomes wisdom and not just knowledge, defend aim-oriented empiricism, outline my solution to the human world/physical universe problem, and defend the thesis that free will is compatible with physicalism.
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  • Should Popper’s View of Rationality Be Used for Promoting Teacher Knowledge?Stephanie Chitpin - 2013 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 45 (8):833-844.
    Popper?s theory of learning is sometimes met with incredulity because Popper claims that there is no transference of knowledge or knowledge elements from outside the individual, neither from the physical environment nor from others. Instead, he claims that we can improve our present theories by discovering their inadequacies.The intent of this article is not to persuade educators to adopt Popper?s approach uncritically to build their professional knowledge. Rather, it presents a discussion on the need for teachers to adopt a critical (...)
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  • Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Metaphysics of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Philosophia:1-18.
    Over 40 years ago, I put forward a new philosophy of science based on the argument that physics, in only ever accepting unified theories, thereby makes a substantial metaphysical presupposition about the universe, to the effect it possesses an underlying unity. I argued that a new conception of scientific method is required to subject this problematic presupposition to critical attention so that it may be improved as science proceeds. This view has implications for the study of the metaphysics of science. (...)
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  • The Rationality of Scientific Discovery Part I: The Traditional Rationality Problem.Nicholas Maxwell - 1974 - Philosophy of Science 41 (2):123-153.
    The basic task of the essay is to exhibit science as a rational enterprise. I argue that in order to do this we need to change quite fundamentally our whole conception of science. Today it is rather generally taken for granted that a precondition for science to be rational is that in science we do not make substantial assumptions about the world, or about the phenomena we are investigating, which are held permanently immune from empirical appraisal. According to this standard (...)
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  • Towards a Micro Realistic Version of Quantum Mechanics, Part I.Nicholas Maxwell - 1976 - Foundations of Physics 6 (3):275-292.
    This paper investigates the possibiity of developing a fully micro realistic version of elementary quantum mechanics. I argue that it is highly desirable to develop such a version of quantum mechanics, and that the failure of all current versions and interpretations of quantum mechanics to constitute micro realistic theories is at the root of many of the interpretative problems associated with quantum mechanics, in particular the problem of measurement. I put forward a propensity micro realistic version of quantum mechanics, and (...)
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  • Science, Reason, Knowledge, and Wisdom: A Critique of Specialism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1980 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):19 – 81.
    In this paper I argue for a kind of intellectual inquiry which has, as its basic aim, to help all of us to resolve rationally the most important problems that we encounter in our lives, problems that arise as we seek to discover and achieve that which is of value in life. Rational problem-solving involves articulating our problems, proposing and criticizing possible solutions. It also involves breaking problems up into subordinate problems, creating a tradition of specialized problem-solving - specialized scientific, (...)
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