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Nicholas Maxwell
University College London
  1. Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Incompatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1985 - Philosophy of Science 52 (1):23-43.
    In this paper I expound an argument which seems to establish that probabilism and special relativity are incompatible. I examine the argument critically, and consider its implications for interpretative problems of quantum theory, and for theoretical physics as a whole.
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  2. 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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  3. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press.
    The central thesis of this book is that we need to reform philosophy and join it to science to recreate a modern version of natural philosophy; we need to do this in the interests of rigour, intellectual honesty, and so that science may serve the best interests of humanity. Modern science began as natural philosophy. In the time of Newton, what we call science and philosophy today – the disparate endeavours – formed one mutually interacting, integrated endeavour of natural philosophy: (...)
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  4.  83
    How Universities Have Betrayed Reason and Humanity – And What’s to Be Done About It.Nicholas Maxwell - 2021 - Frontiers 631.
    In 1984 the author published From Knowledge to Wisdom, a book that argued that a revolution in academia is urgently needed, so that problems of living, including global problems, are put at the heart of the enterprise, and the basic aim becomes to seek and promote wisdom, and not just acquire knowledge. Every discipline and aspect of academia needs to change, and the whole way in which academia is related to the rest of the social world. Universities devoted to the (...)
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  5. Understanding Scientific Progress: Aim-Oriented Empiricism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - St. Paul, USA: Paragon House.
    "Understanding Scientific Progress constitutes a potentially enormous and revolutionary advancement in philosophy of science. It deserves to be read and studied by everyone with any interest in or connection with physics or the theory of science. Maxwell cites the work of Hume, Kant, J.S. Mill, Ludwig Bolzmann, Pierre Duhem, Einstein, Henri Poincaré, C.S. Peirce, Whitehead, Russell, Carnap, A.J. Ayer, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Paul Feyerabend, Nelson Goodman, Bas van Fraassen, and numerous others. He lauds Popper for advancing beyond (...)
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  6. Science and Enlightenment: Two Great Problems of Learning.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Verlag.
    Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the nature of the universe and about ourselves and other living things as a part of the universe, and learning how to become civilized or enlightened. The first problem was solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of modern science. But the second problem has not yet been solved. Solving the first problem without also solving the second puts us in a situation of great danger. All our current (...)
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  7. The Comprehensibility of the Universe: A New Conception of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 1998 - Oxford University Press UK.
    The Comprehensibility of the Universe puts forward a radically new conception of science. According to the orthodox conception, scientific theories are accepted and rejected impartially with respect to evidence, no permanent assumption being made about the world independently of the evidence. Nicholas Maxwell argues that this orthodox view is untenable. He urges that in its place a new orthodoxy is needed, which sees science as making a hierarchy of metaphysical assumptions about the comprehensibility and knowability of the universe, these assumptions (...)
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  8. A Critique of Popper's Views on Scientific Method.Nicholas Maxwell - 1972 - Philosophy of Science 39 (2):131-152.
    This paper considers objections to Popper's views on scientific method. It is argued that criticism of Popper's views, developed by Kuhn, Feyerabend, and Lakatos, are not too damaging, although they do require that Popper's views be modified somewhat. It is argued that a much more serious criticism is that Popper has failed to provide us with any reason for holding that the methodological rules he advocates give us a better hope of realizing the aims of science than any other set (...)
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  9. Can There Be Necessary Connections Between Successive Events?Nicholas Maxwell - 1968 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 19 (1):1-25.
    THE aim of this paper is to refute Hume's contention that there cannot be logically necessary connections between successive events. I intend to establish, in other words, not 'Logically necessary connections do exist between successive events', but instead the rather more modest proposition: 'It may be, it is possible, as far as we can ever know for certain, that logically necessary connections do exist between successive events.' Towards the end of the paper I shall say something about the implications of (...)
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  10. 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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  11. The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism: A Revolution for Science and Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    This book gives an account of work that I have done over a period of decades that sets out to solve two fundamental problems of philosophy: the mind-body problem and the problem of induction. Remarkably, these revolutionary contributions to philosophy turn out to have dramatic implications for a wide range of issues outside philosophy itself, most notably for the capacity of humanity to resolve current grave global problems and make progress towards a better, wiser world. A key element of the (...)
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  12. Cutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together Again: A New Approach to Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2010 - Pentire Press.
    Cutting God in Half argues that, in order to tackle climate change, world poverty, extinction of species and our other global problems rather better than we are doing at present we need to bring about a revolution in science, and in academia more generally. We need to put our problems of living – personal, social, global – at the heart of the academic enterprise. How our human world, imbued with meaning and value, can exist and best flourish embedded in the (...)
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  13. How Universities Can Help Create a Wiser World.Nicholas Maxwell - 2014 - Times Higher Education , No. 21 P. 30 (2136):30.
    The crisis of our times is that we have science without wisdom. Modern science and technology lead to modern industry and agriculture which in turn lead to all the great benefits of the modern world and to the global crises we face, from population growth to climate change. The fault lies, not with science, but with science dissociated from a more fundamental concern with problems of living. We urgently need to bring about a revolution in academia so that the fundamental (...)
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  14. Instead of Particles and Fields: A Micro Realistic Quantum "Smearon" Theory.Nicholas Maxwell - 1982 - Foundatioins of Physics 12 (6):607-631.
    A fully micro realistic, propensity version of quantum theory is proposed, according to which fundamental physical entities - neither particles nor fields - have physical characteristics which determine probabilistically how they interact with one another . The version of quantum "smearon" theory proposed here does not modify the equations of orthodox quantum theory: rather, it gives a radically new interpretation to these equations. It is argued that there are strong general reasons for preferring quantum "smearon" theory to orthodox quantum theory; (...)
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  15. Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Compatible?Nicholas Maxwell - 1988 - Philosophy of Science 55 (4):640-645.
    Are special relativity and probabilism compatible? Dieks argues that they are. But the possible universe he specifies, designed to exemplify both probabilism and special relativity, either incorporates a universal "now" (and is thus incompatible with special relativity), or amounts to a many world universe (which I have discussed, and rejected as too ad hoc to be taken seriously), or fails to have any one definite overall Minkowskian-type space-time structure (and thus differs drastically from special relativity as ordinarily understood). Probabilism and (...)
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  16. Is Science Neurotic?Nicholas Maxwell - 2002 - Metaphilosophy 33 (3):259-299.
    Neurosis can be interpreted as a methodological condition which any aim-pursuing entity can suffer from. If such an entity pursues a problematic aim B, represents to itself that it is pursuing a different aim C, and as a result fails to solve the problems associated with B which, if solved, would lead to the pursuit of aim A, then the entity may be said to be "rationalistically neurotic". Natural science is neurotic in this sense in so far as a basic (...)
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  17. 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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  18. Physics and Common Sense: A Critique of Physicalism.Nicholas Maxwell - 1966 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (February):295-311.
    In this paper I set out to solve the problem of how the world as we experience it, full of colours and other sensory qualities, and our inner experiences, can be reconciled with physics. I discuss and reject the views of J. J. C. Smart and Rom Harré. I argue that physics is concerned only to describe a selected aspect of all that there is – the causal aspect which determines how events evolve. Colours and other sensory qualities, lacking causal (...)
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  19. Is Science Neurotic?Nicholas Maxwell - 2002 - Philosophy Now 51:30-33.
    Neurosis can be interpreted as a methodological condition which any aim-pursuing entity can suffer from. If such an entity pursues a problematic aim B, represents to itself that it is pursuing a different aim C, and as a result fails to solve the problems associated with B which, if solved, would lead to the pursuit of aim A, then the entity may be said to be "rationalistically neurotic". Natural science is neurotic in this sense in so far as a basic (...)
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  20. From Knowledge to Wisdom: The Need for an Academic Revolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2007 - London Review of Education 5:97-115.
    At present the basic intellectual aim of academic inquiry is to improve knowledge. Much of the structure, the whole character, of academic inquiry, in universities all over the world, is shaped by the adoption of this as the basic intellectual aim. But, judged from the standpoint of making a contribution to human welfare, academic inquiry of this type is damagingly irrational. Three of four of the most elementary rules of rational problem-solving are violated. A revolution in the aims and methods (...)
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  21. 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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  22. What Kind of Inquiry Can Best Help Us Create a Good World?Nicholas Maxwell - 1992 - Science, Technology and Human Values 17:205-227.
    In order to create a good world, we need to learn how to do it - how to resolve our appalling problems and conflicts in more cooperative ways than at present. And in order to do this, we need traditions and institutions of learning rationally devoted to this end. When viewed from this standpoint, what we have at present - academic inquiry devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how - is an intellectual and human disaster. We urgently need (...)
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  23. 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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  24. Popper's Paradoxical Pursuit of Natural Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2016 - In J. Shearmur & G. Stokes (eds.), Cambridge Companion to Popper. Cambridge University Press. pp. 170-207.
    Philosophy of science is seen by most as a meta-discipline – one that takes science as its subject matter, and seeks to acquire knowledge and understanding about science without in any way affecting, or contributing to, science itself. Karl Popper’s approach is very different. His first love is natural philosophy or, as he would put it, cosmology. This intermingles cosmology and the rest of natural science with epistemology, methodology and metaphysics. Paradoxically, however, one of his best known contributions, his proposed (...)
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  25. Methodological Problems of Neuroscience.Nicholas Maxwell - 1985 - In David Rose & Vernon Dobson (eds.), Models of the Visual Cortex. New York: Wiley.
    In this paper I argue that neuroscience has been harmed by the widespread adoption of seriously inadequate methodologies or philosophies of science - most notably inductivism and falsificationism. I argue that neuroscience, in seeking to understand the human brain and mind, needs to follow in the footsteps of evolution.
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  26. A New Look at the Quantum Mechanical Problem of Measurement.Nicholas Maxwell - 1972 - American Journal of Physics 40:1431-5..
    According to orthodox quantum mechanics, state vectors change in two incompatible ways: "deterministically" in accordance with Schroedinger's time-dependent equation, and probabilistically if and only if a measurement is made. It is argued here that the problem of measurement arises because the precise mutually exclusive conditions for these two types of transitions to occur are not specified within orthodox quantum mechanics. Fundamentally, this is due to an inevitable ambiguity in the notion of "meawurement" itself. Hence, if the problem of measurement is (...)
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  27. Understanding Sensations.Nicholas Maxwell - 1968 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):127-146.
    My aim in this paper is to defend a version of the brain process theory, or identity thesis, which differs in one important respect from the theory put forward by J.J.C. Smart. I shall argue that although the sensations which a person experiences are, as a matter of contingent fact, brain processes, nonetheless there are facts about sensations which cannot be described or understood in terms of any physical theory. These 'mental' facts cannot be described by physics for the simple (...)
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  28. Can Humanity Learn to Become Civilized? The Crisis of Science Without Civilization.Nicholas Maxwell - 2000 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):29-44.
    Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the nature of the universe and our place in it, and learning how to become civilized. The first problem was solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of modern science. But the second problem has not yet been solved. Solving the first problem without also solving the second puts us in a situation of great danger. All our current global problems have arisen as a result. What we need (...)
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  29. 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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  30. The Human World in the Physical Universe: Consciousness, Free Will, and Evolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2001 - Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
    This book tackles the problem of how we can understand our human world embedded in the physical universe in such a way that justice is done both to the richness..
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  31. How Wisdom Can Help Solve Global Problems.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - In R. Sternberg, H. Nusbaum & J. Glueck (eds.), Applying Wisdom to Contemporary World Problems. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 337-380.
    Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the nature of the universe and about ourselves and other living things as a part of the universe, and learning how to become civilized. The first problem was solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of modern science. But the second problem has not yet been solved. Solving the first problem without also solving the second puts us in a situation of great danger. All our current global problems (...)
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  32. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life.Nicholas Maxwell - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):705-715.
    Modern science began as natural philosophy. In the time of Newton, what we call science and philosophy today – the disparate endeavours – formed one mutually interacting, integrated endeavour of natural philosophy: to improve our knowledge and understanding of the universe, and to improve our understanding of ourselves as a part of it. Profound, indeed unprecedented discoveries were made. But then natural philosophy died. It split into science on the one hand, and philosophy on the other. This happened during the (...)
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  33. A New Task for the Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy (3):316-338.
    We philosophers of science have before us an important new task that we need urgently to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science itself. The outcome (...)
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  34. The Rationality of Scientific Discovery Part 1: The Traditional Rationality Problem.Nicholas Maxwell - 1974 - Philosophy of Science 41 (2):123--53.
    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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  35. The Scandal of the Irrationality of Academia.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education 1 (1):105-128..
    Academic inquiry, in devoting itself primarily to the pursuit of knowledge, is profoundly and damagingly irrational, in a wholesale, structural fashion, when judged from the standpoint of helping to promote human welfare. Judged from this standpoint, academic inquiry devoted to the pursuit of knowledge violates three of the four most elementary rules of rational problem-solving conceivable. Above all, it fails to give intellectual priority to the tasks of (1) articulating problems of living, including global problems, and (2) proposing and critically (...)
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  36. A New Task for Philosophy of Science.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (3):316-338.
    This paper argues that philosophers of science have before them an important new task that they urgently need to take up. It is to convince the scientific community to adopt and implement a new philosophy of science that does better justice to the deeply problematic basic intellectual aims of science than that which we have at present. Problematic aims evolve with evolving knowledge, that part of philosophy of science concerned with aims and methods thus becoming an integral part of science (...)
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  37.  92
    How Universities Can Help Create a Wiser World: The Urgent Need for an Academic Revolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2014 - Exeter: Imprint Academic.
    In order to make progress towards a better world we need to learn how to do it. And for that we need institutions of learning rationally designed and devoted to helping us solve our global problems, make progress towards a better world. It is just this that we lack at present. Our universities pursue knowledge. They are neither designed nor devoted to helping humanity learn how to tackle global problems — problems of living — in more intelligent, humane and effective (...)
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  38. What’s Wrong With Science? Towards a People’s Rational Science of Delight and Compassion, Second Edition.Nicholas Maxwell - 2009 - London: Pentire Press.
    What ought to be the aims of science? How can science best serve humanity? What would an ideal science be like, a science that is sensitively and humanely responsive to the needs, problems and aspirations of people? How ought the institutional enterprise of science to be related to the rest of society? What ought to be the relationship between science and art, thought and feeling, reason and desire, mind and heart? Should the social sciences model themselves on the natural sciences: (...)
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  39. From Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the Humanities (Second Edition).Nicholas Maxwell - 2007 - London: Pentire Press.
    From Knowledge to Wisdom argues that there is an urgent need, for both intellectual and humanitarian reasons, to bring about a revolution in science and the humanities. The outcome would be a kind of academic inquiry rationally devoted to helping humanity learn how to create a better world. Instead of giving priority to solving problems of knowledge, as at present, academia would devote itself to helping us solve our immense, current global problems – climate change, war, poverty, population growth, pollution... (...)
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  40. Unification and Revolution: A Paradigm for Paradigms.Nicholas Maxwell - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):133-149.
    Incommensurability was Kuhn’s worst mistake. If it is to be found anywhere in science, it would be in physics. But revolutions in theoretical physics all embody theoretical unification. Far from obliterating the idea that there is a persisting theoretical idea in physics, revolutions do just the opposite: they all actually exemplify the persisting idea of underlying unity. Furthermore, persistent acceptance of unifying theories in physics when empirically more successful disunified rivals can always be concocted means that physics makes a persistent (...)
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  41.  71
    Steven Pinker Defends a Damagingly Irrational Conception of Reason: Steven, Pinker. 2021. Rationality: What It is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters. London: Allen Lane, 2021, Xvii + 412pp, £25 HB, ISBN: 978-0-241-38027-7.Nicholas Maxwell - 2022 - Metascience 31 (1):49-52.
    In the Preface to Rationality, Steven Pinker remarks that “we are smart enough to have … articulated the rules of reason that we so often flout” (p. xiv). Unfortunately, Pinker does not get the rules of reason right in this book. Pinker defends a damagingly irrational conception of reason. But despite this rather drastic failure, there is much of interest in this book, even if at a rather elementary level.
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  42. 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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  43. 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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  44. Arguing for Wisdom in the University: An Intellectual Autobiography.Nicholas Maxwell - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):663-704.
    For forty years I have argued that we urgently need to bring about a revolution in academia so that the basic task becomes to seek and promote wisdom. How did I come to argue for such a preposterously gigantic intellectual revolution? It goes back to my childhood. From an early age, I desired passionately to understand the physical universe. Then, around adolescence, my passion became to understand the heart and soul of people via the novel. But I never discovered how (...)
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  45. Does Probabilism Solve the Great Quantum Mystery?Nicholas Maxwell - 2004 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 19 (3):321-336.
    What sort of entities are electrons, photons and atoms given their wave-like and particle-like properties? Is nature fundamentally deterministic or probabilistic? Orthodox quantum theory evades answering these two basic questions by being a theory about the results of performing measurements on quantum systems. But this evasion results in OQT being a seriously defective theory. A rival, somewhat ignored strategy is to conjecture that the quantum domain is fundamentally probabilistic. This means quantum entities, interacting with one another probabilistically, must differ radically (...)
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  46. Our Fundamental Problem: A Revolutionary Approach to Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2020 - Montreal, Canada: Mcgill-Queen's University Press.
    How our human world can exist and best flourish even though it is embedded in the physical universe.
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  47.  84
    Does the Scientific Community Misconstrue the Nature of Science?Nicholas Maxwell - manuscript
    The scientific community takes for granted a view of science that may be called standard empiricism. This holds that the basic intellectual aim of science is truth, nothing being presupposed about the truth, the basic method being to assess theories with respect to evidence. A basic tenet of the view is that science must not accept any thesis about the world as a part of scientific knowledge independent of evidence, let alone in violation of evidence. But physics only accepts unified (...)
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  48. We Need Progress in Ideas About How to Achieve Progress.Nicholas Maxwell - 2018 - Metascience 27 (2).
    Steven Pinker's book Enlightenment NOW is in many ways a terrific book, from which I have learnt much. But it is also deeply flawed. Science and reason are at the heart of the book, but the conceptions that Steven Pinker defends are damagingly irrational. And these defective conceptions of science and reason, as a result of being associated with the Enlightenment Programme for the past two or three centuries, have been responsible, in part, for the genesis of the global problems (...)
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  49. Three Philosophical Problems About Consciousness and Their Possible Resolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2011 - Open Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1.
    Three big philosophical problems about consciousness are: Why does it exist? How do we explain and understand it? How can we explain brain-consciousness correlations? If functionalism were true, all three problems would be solved. But it is false, and that means all three problems remain unsolved (in that there is no other obvious candidate for a solution). Here, it is argued that the first problem cannot have a solution; this is inherent in the nature of explanation. The second problem is (...)
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  50. Aim-Oriented Empiricism Since 1984.Nicholas Maxwell - 2007 - In From Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the Humanities. Pentire Press.
    This chapter outlines improvements and developments made to aim-oriented empiricism since "From Knowledge to Wisdom" was first published in 1984. It argues that aim-oriented empiricism enables us to solve three fundamental problems in the philosophy of science: the problems of induction and verisimilitude, and the problem of what it means to say of a physical theory that it is unified.
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