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Ray Scott Percival
London School of Economics
  1. Confirmation Versus Falsificationism.Ray Scott Percival - 2015 - In Robin L. Cautin & Scott O. Lilienfeld (eds.), Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology.
    Confirmation and falsification are different strategies for testing theories and characterizing the outcomes of those tests. Roughly speaking, confirmation is the act of using evidence or reason to verify or certify that a statement is true, definite, or approximately true, whereas falsification is the act of classifying a statement as false in the light of observation reports. After expounding the intellectual history behind confirmation and falsificationism, reaching back to Plato and Aristotle, I survey some of the main controversial issues and (...)
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  2. Is Jung's Theory of Archetypes Compatible with Neo-Darwinism and Sociobiology?Ray Scott Percival - 1993 - Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems 16 (4):459 - 487.
    I argue that Carl Jung's theory of archetypes is incompatible with the darwinian theory of evolution.
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  3. The Necessity of Exosomatic Knowledge for Civilization and a Revision to Our Epistemology.Ray Scott Percival - 2012 - In Norbert-Bertrand Barbe (ed.), Le Néant dans la Pensée contemporaine. [The Nothing in Contemporary Thought.]. pp. 136-150.
    The traditional conception of knowledge is justified, true belief. If one looks at a modern textbook on epistemology, the great bulk of questions with which it deals are to do with personal knowledge, as embodied in beliefs and the proper experiences that someone ought to have had in order to have the right (or justification) to know. I intend to argue that due to the explosive growth of knowledge whose domain is “outside the head”, this conception has outlived its relevance. (...)
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  4. Descartes' Model of Mind.Ray Scott Percival - 2015 - In Robin L. Cautin & Scott O. Lilienfeld (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology.
    Rene Descartes (1596 – 1650) is considered the founder of modern philosophy. Profoundly influenced by the new physics and astronomy of Kepler and Galileo, Descartes was a scientist and mathematician whose most long-lasting contributions in science were the invention of Cartesian coordinates, the application of algebra to geometry, and the discovery of the law of refraction, what we now call Snell’s law.His most important books on philosophy were The discourse on method(1637) and The meditations(1642). Descartes’ writings display an exemplary degree (...)
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  5. Persons and Popper's World 3: Do Humans Dream of Electric Sheep?Ray Scott Percival - 2004 - In Jeffrey A. Schaler (ed.), Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics. Open Court Publishing Company. pp. 119-130.
    In the film classic Blade Runner, the story explores the notion of personal identity through that of carefully crafted androids. Can an android have a personality; can androids be persons? The title of the original story by Philip K. Dick is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The story suggests that our sense of being a person depends on our having memories that connect us with our childhood. In the movie, the androids are only a couple of years old, but (...)
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  6.  85
    Sir Karl Popper.Ray Scott Percival - 2005 - In Stuart Brown (ed.), The Dictionary of Twentieth Century British Philosophers. Thoemmes. pp. 800-807.
    A brief intellectual biography of Sir Karl Popper.
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  7.  56
    Manchester Terrorist: Politics, Not Religion.Ray Scott Percival - manuscript
    It is facile and factually incorrect to represent suicide terrorists as simply seeking mass destruction, as demented or believing that they will be rewarded by "seventy-two virgins in paradise". In my book The Myth of the Closed Mind: Understanding How and Why People are Rational I felt it was important to deal with the issue of terrorism by consulting explanatory theories of human behaviour and the substantial research on the strategic pattern of terrorist incidents over the decades, led principally by (...)
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  8.  51
    Dial P for Philosophy (Review of Mary Midgley's Utopias, Dolphins and Computers.). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1997 - New Scientist (2066).
    Mary Midgley's book Utopias, Dolphins and Computers will be needed to recharge our more philosophical approach to life as new problems present themselves to humanity at an accelerated rate. The most dangerous attitude to these challenges, Midgley argues, is an anti-intellectualism that fails to see that all approaches presuppose tacit or hidden assumptions, that is a philosophy. One part of our tacit philosophy that is now breaking up is the social contract, according to Mary Midgley in Utopias, Dolphins and Computers (...)
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  9.  65
    Bergson: Challenger to Einstein's Theory of Time. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 2000 - Times Higher Education:1 - 2.
    Henri Bergson is perhaps most remembered for his bold challenge to Einstein's theory of the relativity of simultaneity. Bergson maintained that Einstein's theory did not cope with our intuition of time, which is an intuition of duration. Einstein retorted that there may be psychological time, but there is no special philosopher's time. For Einstein, time forms the fourth dimension of a so-called Parmenidean "block universe". I argue that we must be on our guard not to read into the work of (...)
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  10.  80
    Natural Selections. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1994 - Nature 371 (6499):666-667.
    How do you put both physicists and biologists on their guard? Answer: propound a philosophical theory that ignores Darwin's demolition of essentialism in species and brands any physicist who denies your theory of natural kinds as an anti-realist. A traditional division in philosophy is between metaphysics (what sorts of things exist) and epistemology (what and how we know). Some think that the core of realism is the metaphysical assumption that there is a world independent of our minds. But this core (...)
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  11.  58
    Mozart and the Nightingale (Review of Roger Scruton's An Intelligent Person's Guide to Philosophy). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1998 - New Scientist (2122 ).
    ROGER SCRUTON’s An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Philosophy takes a personal and provocative look at the subject—those abstract, but nevertheless practical, problems that concern anyone who has reflected on his or her life. Of special delight is his discussion of sex and music. I make some brief critical comments on this based on new economic approaches.
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  12.  58
    The Metaphysics of Scarcity.Ray Scott Percival - 1996 - The Critical Rationalist 1 (2):1 - 31.
    Natural resources are infinite. This is possible because humans can create theories whose potential goes beyond the limited imaginative capacity of the inventor. For instance, no number of people can work out all the economic potential of quantum theory. Economic Resources are created by an interaction of Karl Popper's Worlds 1, 2 and 3, the worlds of physics, psychology and the abstract products of the human mind, such as scientific theories. Knowledge such as scientific theories has unfathomable information content, is (...)
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  13.  55
    Nitpicking Newton (Review Of: Pierre Simon Laplace: A Life in Exact Science). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1998 - New Scientist (2123).
    ONE of the most celebrated mathematical physicists, Pierre-Simon Laplace is often remembered as the mathematician who showed that despite appearances, the Solar System does conform to Newton’s theories. Together with distinguished scholars Robert Fox and Ivor Grattan-Guinness, Charles Gillispie gives us a new perspective, showing that Laplace did not merely vindicate Newton’s system, but had a uniquely creative and independent mind.
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  14.  53
    Thoughts About Russell's Thoughts. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1998 - Times Higher Education.
    This collection of essays by acclaimed philosophers explores Bertrand Russell's influence on one of the dominant philosophical approaches of this century. Michael Dummett argues that analytical philosophy began with Gottlob Frege's analysis of numbers. Frege had begun by inquiring about the nature of number, but found it more fruitful to ask instead about the meanings of sentences containing number words. Russell was to exploit this method systematically. I reflect on the essays of Charles R. Pigden, David Lewis as an exponent (...)
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  15.  67
    Science Evolving. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1995 - Nature 376 (6536):131-132.
    MICHAEL Ruse aims to describe what scientists actually do in their research and how they arrive at their theories — a mixed bag of false starts, fallacious reasoning, the cultivation of followers, the marketing of ideas and so on. His approach, evolutionary naturalism, rejects the traditional distinction between the normative and the descriptive analysis of science. For him the path of discovery to, say, Darwin's theory of natural selection makes a difference to the theory itself, whereas for the normative analyst (...)
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  16.  32
    Malthus and His Ghost (A Critique of The Club of Rome and Paul R. Ehrlich).Ray Scott Percival - 1990 - In Kurt Finsterbusch & George Mkenna (eds.), Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Social Issues. Dushkin Publishing.
    Philosophy and economics of Malthusianism. An optimistic view of human population growth and a critique of The Club of Rome and Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb. I apply Julian Simon's perspective to the malthusian debate, inspired by his book The Ultimate Resource. When a child is born he brings into existence not just an extra mouth to feed, but two hands and - more importantly in the long run - an extra brain with which to solve any (...)
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  17.  32
    Cold Turkey - Kicking the Habit of Justification (Review of Critical Rationalism: A Restatement and Defence). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1994 - New Scientist (1939).
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  18.  30
    Breaking the Grip of Materialism (Review of Unsnarling the World-Knot). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1998 - New Scientist (2137).
    David Ray Griffin does not fully come to terms with the fact that science has already abandoned the narrow materialist view of bits of matter pushing each other around. Even as early as Newton's law of gravitation, and most obviously with quantum physics, science has embraced the view that the world consists of relationships (often described as laws) between different types of processes and states.
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  19.  36
    A Survey of British Epistemology.Ray Scott Percival - 2006 - In Anthony Grayling, Andrew Pyle & Naomi Goulder (eds.), Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Philosophy. Thoemmes Continuum. pp. 999-1007.
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  20.  27
    Is Technology a Blessing or a Curse? (Review of The Song of the Earth: Heidegger and the Grounds of the History of Being). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1994 - New Scientist (1915).
    Michel Haar supports the natural, but he fails to see that the drives behind technology— people's curiosity, exploration and desire to control—could not be more natural. They are, after all, part of our evolutionary heritage. As Konrad Lorenz, the famous ethologist, shows in Behind the Mirror. In his discussion of alienation, Haar also overlooks the work of Friedrich Hayek, the Nobel prizewinning economist, who explores the emergence of the extended society of worldwide markets in his book Fatal Conceit. Hayek predicts (...)
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  21.  32
    Tug of Love (Review of Kuhn Versus Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 2003 - New Scientist (2411).
    A review of Steven Fuller's excellent book. Steve Fuller, professor of sociology at the University of Warwick, argues that, unfortunately for science, Kuhn won this debate. In the wake of Kuhn, science has come to be justified more by its paradigmatic pedigree than by its progressive aspirations. In other words, science is judged by whatever has come to be the dominant scientific community.
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  22.  24
    Review of The Myth of the Framework and Knowledge and the Body-Mind Problem. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1997 - New Scientist (10th Dec).
    The myth of the framework, as Popper explains it, is the idea that a rational and fruitful discussion is impossible unless the participants share a common framework of basic assumptions or, at least, unless they have agreed on such a framework for the purposes of the discussion. Popper admits that understanding another mind or language max' be difficult, but if there is a desire to understand another person's aims and problems you can bridge the gap.
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  23.  24
    Where Does Awareness Dawn? [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1997 - New Scientist (2105):48.
    JOHN SEARLE is clear, challenging and profound, and his book The Mystery of Consciousness reflects its author. It offers an engaging debate between Searle and David Chalmers, Daniel Dennett, Roger Penrose and Israel Rosenfield. Searle also touches on the work of Gerald Edelman and Francis Crick. Yet Searle does not always hit the target. For example, he confuses giving an explanation with giving an ultimate explanation in criticising Edelman's reentry mapping.
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  24.  22
    Worlds 3 Popper 0. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1995 - New Scientist (19th May).
    THE MIND-BODY PROBLEM: A GUIDE TO THE CURRENT DEBATE (EDITED BY RICHARD WARNER AND TA D E U S Z SZUBKA) contains recent essays by the key players in the the field of the Mind-Body problem: Searle, Fodor, Problem Honderich, Nagel, McGinn, Stich, Rorty and others. But there are a few interesting exceptions, for example Edelman, Popper, Putnam and Dennett. Nevertheless, these thinkers do get a mention here and there, and nearly all the exciting topical issues are dealt with, including (...)
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  25.  28
    A Brief, but Passionate Encounter (A Review Of: Wittgenstein’s Poker). [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 2001 - New Scientist (2284).
    A review of a book on Popper's encounter with Wittgenstein.
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  26.  20
    A Sense of Wonder. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1997 - New Scientist (2089).
    Review of Confessions of a Philosopher by Bryan Magee. Magee's heroes are those philosophers who did not lose their childhood wonder, but instead, cultivated it and tried to answer the big questions. His list includes Hume, Kant and Schopenhauer, and, this century, Heidegger, Popper, Russell and Wittgenstein. The villains are the philosophers who have tried to reduce philosophy to the linguistic analysis of questions without trying to answer them: Austin, Ryle and Strawson. Magee had the good fortune to have known (...)
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  27.  20
    Philosophy of Education.Ray Scott Percival - 2006 - In Anthony Grayling, Andrew Pyle & Naomi Goulder (eds.), Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Philosophy. Thoemmes. pp. 954-956.
    A brief survey of British philosophy of education.
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  28.  20
    Archives of the Abstract. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1999 - Times Higher Education.
    There is nothing more important in the evolution of culture than the evolution of its abstract thought, and philosophical thought dominates all other thought in the long run. It is often the musings of some recluse abstract scribbler that open opportunities for a society or erect its mental prisons. This is why the history of philosophy is important. To understand a culture is to understand the abstract products of its thought and how that culture interpreted them. But this should not (...)
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  29.  12
    Carry on Learning: Learning Cyberspace. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1995 - New Scientist (issue: 2004).
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  30.  14
    A Man of Ideas. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1997 - New Scientist (2111).
    Review of: Isaiah Berlin’s The Sense of Reality: Studies in Ideas and their History.
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  31.  61
    Openness to Argument: A Philosophical Examination of Marxism and Freudianism.Ray Scott Percival - 1992 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    No evangelistic erroneous network of ideas can guarantee the satisfaction of these two demands : (1) propagate the network without revision and (2) completely insulate itself against losses in credibility and adherents through criticism. If a network of ideas is false, or inconsistent or fails to solve its intended problem, or unfeasible, or is too costly in terms of necessarily forsaken goals, its acceptability may be undermined given only true assumptions and valid arguments. People prefer to adopt ideologies that (i) (...)
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  32. Does the New Classicism Need Evolutionary Theory?Ray Scott Percival - 2016 - In Elizabeth Millán (ed.), After the Avant-Gardes: Reflections on the Future of the Fine Arts. Chicago: Open Court Publishers. pp. 109-126.
    In what way might the new classicism gain support from evolutionary theory? My rough answer is that evolutionary theory can help defend a return to more classical artistic standards and also explain why classical standards are not simply imposed by social conditioning or by powerful elites, but arise naturally from something more fundamental in the human constitution. Classical standards and themes are an expression of our evolutionary history. The mind can be seen as a biological organ or function, produced by (...)
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  33.  37
    Appeal to the Court of Experience. [REVIEW]Ray Scott Percival - 1999 - Times Higher Education.
    Geoffrey Stokes's introduction to Karl Popper's work portrays it as an evolving system of ideas and aims to explore the little-understood intricate logical relationships between Popper's work on scientific method and his philosophy of politics. It is one of the few books to cover the debate between Popper and the Frankfurt School. Characteristic of many of Stokes's "criticisms" is that they are presented as Popper "admitting" or "granting" them - as if Popper was not the one who originally raised and (...)
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  34.  20
    Scientific Induction.Ray Scott Percival - 2006 - In Anthony Grayling, Andrew Pyle & Naomi Goulder (eds.), Continuum Encyclopaedia of British Philosophy. Thoemmes. pp. 1619-1622.
    A brief introduction to the debate about scientific induction.
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