Foresight and Understanding: An Enquiry into the Aims of Science

Foresight and Understanding: An Enquiry into the Aims of Science

Foresight and Understanding: An Enquiry into the Aims of Science

Foresight and Understanding: An Enquiry into the Aims of Science

Excerpt

This book originated in the thirty-fourth series of Mahlon Powell lectures, delivered at Indiana University in March 1960. I have rewritten and considerably expanded the lectures, though without substantially changing their scope or argument. My philosophical colleagues at Princeton and elsewhere will recognize in parts of Chapter 2 the material delivered to them under the title 'Prediction and Explanation': parts of the remaining chapters have also seen the light of day in more inchoate forms.

I intend to treat more adequately elsewhere some of the historical examples which are here presented without sufficient documentation. Many of the missing references will be supplied in the Ancestry of Science series (to be published by Hutchinson in London and Harper in New York), of which the first volume has already appeared. Much of the historical material is familiar and well established: my debts to the working historians of science are so obvious as not to require detailed acknowledgment. The only case in which my historical enquiries have led me to make markedly original (and therefore questionable) claims is that discussed in Chapter 4. I hope in due course to back up my claims in a projected book on The Heritage of the Stoics -- a topic on which fascinating light is already being thrown by the work of Dr. C. C. Gillispie and Professor S. Sambursky.

I am grateful to the President and Trustees of Indiana University for the opportunity of preparing and delivering . . .

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