A Theory Of Method By Husain Sarkar [Book Review]

Isis 77 (1):125-125 (1986)
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Review of: Husain Sarkar. A Theory of Method. xvii+ 229 pp., bibl., indexes. Berkeley/Los Angeles/London: University of California Press, 1983. $29.95. The subject of this book is best stated in the author's words: "A theory is about the world; a method is about theories; and, a theory of method is about methods" (p. 1). A theory of method seeks to offer a general framework within which to choose among methods. Through critical examination of the positions of Karl Popper, Imre Lakatos, and Larry Laudan, Sarkar develops his own framework for evaluating methods, which includes two bold proposals: that the history of science cannot be used as an arbitrator among methods, and that methods should be chosen by testing the heuristic advice they give about which lines of scientific research to pursue further.
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