Barry Barnes, Listener, 19.4.84


"Kuhn's work uncompromisingly and comprehensively undermines the rationalist account of science."




Karl Popper


"...... an idea ... acquires scientific status only when it is presented in falsifyable form; that is to say, when it has become possible to decide empirically between it  and some rival theory."


"Science is not a system of certain, or well-established statements; nor is it a system which steadily advances towards a state of finality."




Auguste Comte


"We shall find that there is no chance of order and agreement but in subjecting social phenomena, like all others, to invariable natural laws."

Two types of knowledge


"When the sun rises, do you see a round disk of fire, somewhat like a guinea? O no, no, I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying 'Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty'."





Primary knowledge is delight


For knowledge is delight; and such a delight

breeds love; yet, suited as it rather is

To thought and to the climbing intellect,

It teaches less to love than to adore;

If that be not indeed the highest love!


Wordsworth, The Excursion, 346-50




Without this imaginative experience, science is only pseudo-knowledge:


... that false secondary power by which

In weakness we multiply distinctions, then

Deem our petty boundaries are things

That we perceive and not that we have made.


Wordsworth, The Prelude, II 216-19.